Volunteer in Antigua, Guatemala
Would you like to experience Central America while making a positive impact? Do you feel called to make a difference in the lives of underprivileged communities? Then keep reading about these incredible volunteer opportunities in Antigua, Guatemala.
Antigua is a gorgeous colonial city classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Once the capital of Guatemala, it is located right outside the capital, Guatemala City. Full of churches, cobbled streets, lively markets and amazing bars, the city is surrounded by volcanoes towering over the skyline.
Sadly, Guatemala struggles with poverty, with a small percentage of the population controlling most of the country’s wealth, leading to extreme income inequality. More than half of the country’s inhabitants are indigenous, mostly Maya. These members of society are often the poorest, and struggle with access to education, healthcare, and infrastructures.
Several organizations are currently working hard to break this cycle of poverty and they need your help to lift poor children and entire communities out of bad conditions. Whatever Guatemala volunteering program you choose you can be happy knowing that you are making a huge difference for countless people through your love, passion and dedicated efforts.
Do you want to experience an amazing country filled with natural and man-made splendors alike and make a difference in the lives of the people who live there? Contact IFRE today to start your journey!
Volunteer in Antigua, Guatemala: Available Projects
No matter what passions, skills, or interests you bring to the table, IFRE has a project in Antigua that can use your help. Explore our available projects and find one that speaks to you!
Would you like to travel and volunteer in Guatemala to improve the lives of children in need? In recent years, the number of abandoned children in Guatemala has drastically increased. Deprived of their homes and families, these children desperately need attention, love, friendship, and basic necessities.
By joining IFRE’s Working with Kids volunteer in Antigua Guatemala, you will have the wonderful opportunity to give help, love, and attention to the children who are in urgent need of care and protection. There is no better way to help them than by participating in this rewarding volunteer program that aims to protect them from the harsh realities of daily life. We guarantee that it will be an unforgettable experience for both you and these children, with whom you will share your time, energy, and love.
English is the global language of commerce, business and tourism. Therefore, a good knowledge of the English language has become crucial for local Guatemalans seeking good employment opportunities. Unfortunately, many Guatemalan citizens cannot afford adequate English education for themselves or their children. Moreover, the majority of public schools lack qualified English teachers. As a result, international volunteers are crucial for locals to be able to learn English and improve their living standards.
As a Teaching English volunteer with IFRE’s volunteer program in Guatemala program, you will be teaching English to students in local schools for about 6 hours a day. It will be a great opportunity for you to learn the fundamentals of teaching in a class and gain valuable practical work experience. If you would like to join this program, you must be 18 years old or older and have a solid grasp of the English language.
While participating in IFRE’s Medical volunteer in Guatemala, Antigua you will be volunteering in local public hospitals while working alongside the local nurses and doctors. As a volunteer, you will be shadowing and assisting local doctors and nurses in treating sick patients, carrying out training and providing basic health care service to local people.
The Medical Volunteer in Guatemala is a perfect fit for those who would like to build their careers in the field of healthcare, and provides you with plenty of practical hands-on experience while supporting local doctors in their critically important work.
While participating in IFRE’s Construction volunteer in Guatemala, Antigua you will be part of a team helping improve the local communities and making an impact in the lives of disadvantaged people. Your support will go a long way towards creating important infrastructure such as houses, schools and community centers for the development of the underprivileged communities.
The Construction Volunteer in Guatemala program is perfect for those who are passionate about helping communities and people in need, and interested in construction work.
While participating in IFRE’s Exotic Animal volunteer in Guatemala Antiqua, you will be part of important wildlife conservation efforts. Your support will go a long way towards the protection of these endangered animals and ensure a happy life for them.
The Exotic Animal Volunteer in Guatemala is a perfect opportunity for those who are passionate about working with animals and helping them. In this project, you will assist with the rescue and rehabilitation of animals, and ensure their continued protection.
Are you curious about the state of agriculture in Guatemala and its impact on the local population? Have you ever wondered how sustainable farming practices can contribute to both environmental preservation and community well-being? Are you interested in getting hands-on experience by volunteering and making a meaningful contribution to responsible farming practices in Guatemala?
Volunteer in Antigua, Guatemala: Dates and Fees
IFRE programs begin every Monday year-round. If you have travel constraints, you can still start your chosen program on any day of the year.
Volunteers can participate in our program anywhere from 1 week up to 12 weeks.
Since 2006, IFRE has been the most trusted and respected volunteer abroad organization in the world, and also the most affordable. We’re dedicated to providing the highest quality volunteer programs at the lowest fees, which make it possible for everyone, especially students, to volunteer internationally and make a positive impact in the lives of others.
We believe in 100% transparency. Rest assured, we never use middlemen. Your one-time registration fee of $299 covers our administrative costs. The low weekly fee is paid in the host country directly to your host family and project (via the country coordinator), and includes housing, food, and minor expenses. IFRE is a non-profit organization, so your program fees are tax deductible.
Volunteer Program Fees (US$)
|Duration|| Working with Kids,
Program Fees (US$)
| Medical, Construction,
Program Fees (US$)
Spanish Lessons (2 hours per day) $55 per week
Program Fees Cover:
- Shared Accommodation (host family)
- 2 meals per day (Breakfast & Dinner)
- Program Orientation
- In-country support
- Program Orientation
- Project Management
- Volunteer Certificate
- Discount for returning volunteers
Program Fees Exclude:
- Personal expenses on soft drinks and foods
- Daily transportation
- Airport return transfer
The fees for volunteer programs in Antigua, Guatemala cover expenses that begin on the first day of the program (usually the first or third Monday of the month) to the last day of the program. If you arrive before the first day of the program or you decide you stay beyond your program’s last day, you will be responsible for the additional expenses, which would typically be around $30 a day for room and meals at a hostel.
You might feel overwhelmed about managing accommodation and meals during your volunteer trip abroad. With IFRE, you can rest assured that we will arrange safe and secure accommodation options with 3 daily meals.
During your Guatemala volunteer trip, we will arrange your accommodation with our carefully selected host families. Our caring and responsible host family will provide you with 2 healthy meals (breakfast and dinner) per day.
Are you hoping for some free time to explore Antigua, Guatemala and make the most of your time abroad? You’re in luck! You will be volunteering on average 4-6 hours a day Monday-Friday, but that leaves plenty of time in the evenings and on the weekends to go sightseeing, take excursions, and travel around Guatemala!
Volunteers in Guatemala can enjoy local architecture, volcanoes, mystical ruins, national parks, colorful markets, museums, hiking, restaurants, lakes, and much more. You can climb Acatenango and watch the nearby volcano named Fuego erupt, wander through the gorgeous colonial streets lined with churches and other amazing buildings, visit bustling markets, and much more!
Safety and In-country Support
Your safety is IFRE’s number one priority at all times, and you can have peace of mind knowing we will do everything possible to ensure you have a safe and secure experience volunteering in Antigua, Guatemala. We offer pre-trip support, reliable and comprehensive travel insurance, airport pick-up, and 24/7 guidance by an experienced in-country staff that is right there on the ground to help you every step of the way.
As soon as you arrive in Antigua, Guatemala, you will have the support of an experienced team of in-country field staff. The team is composed of mature, educated, socially respected individuals who are dedicated humanitarians highly experienced in working with international volunteers.
Your main point of contact will be the in-country coordinator. They will select your Antigua, Guatemala volunteering project placement, make all the arrangements for your airport transfer, accommodations, and food, give you an orientation which covers culture, safety, and your service work, introduce you to your host family and project staff, and make periodic visits and calls to check up on your progress. You can reach out to the coordinator at any time with any questions, issues, or to ask for advice and they will be happy to assist you.
Volunteer in Antigua, Guatemala: FAQs
Which airport do I need to fly to for my volunteer project in Guatemala?
You should fly to the Aurora International Airport.
Do you organize airport pick-up services?
Yes, we organize airport pick-up services for you. You just need to provide our staff with your flight details and then meet them at the airport, so that they can drop you off at your hotel before the start of your project.
What happens if I miss my flight or arrive late?
Prior to departing for your Guatemala volunteer trip, you will be provided with the contact information for our in-country coordinator . As soon as you are aware of delays or changes in your travel plans, inform the coordinator and they will arrange for a new pick-up time for you.
Who will come to pick me up? How will I recognize this person at the airport?
Our local representative will be waiting for you at the airport arrival terminal. He/she will pick you up from the airport and take you to your accommodations before the start of your volunteer work in Guatemala. You can recognize our local representative by looking for a person carrying a white sign with your name on it. Another option is calling them directly if you do not see them straight away, as their contact information will be provided to you before your flight to Guatemala.
If my volunteer program begins on Monday, when should I arrive? If I want to arrive earlier than the starting date of my assignment, where will I stay and who will organize the accommodations? Will it cost me extra?
If your assignments begin on Monday, we highly advise you to arrive on Sunday, one day before the start of your volunteer placement. If you plan to arrive earlier than the starting date of your program, you should get in touch with our in-country coordinator and let them organize the accommodations for your stay which will incur additional cost. Another option is to look for hotels online and make reservations for your stay on your own. If you make your own arrangements, be sure to let the coordinator know about your plans.
Who will bring me to the airport for my departure?
IFRE does not provide any airport drop-off services for you after the completion of your volunteer project in Guatemala. You will need to arrange for a transfer vehicle to the airport for your departure and budget for this extra expense. The local project staff will be able to advise you on how to set up a taxi if you need help with this.
What do I need to do before departure from my home country?
You will need to do many things before departing from your home country. To begin with, you will need to get up to date on your vaccines and meet with your doctor about your planned travel, obtain travel insurance, apply for your visa (if applicable), and buy flight tickets and provide your trip details to our in-country coordinator.
We suggest you do a fair amount of research on your destination prior to traveling abroad, paying particular attention to the culture, customs, and expected dress and behavior in your host country. Learn some Spanish will also be a big help in easing your culture-shock and allow you to connect on a deeper level with the people you are volunteering with in Guatemala.
Where are the projects located?
All our volunteer projects are located in Antigua. Located in the central highlands of Guatemala, Antigua serves as popular travel destination for backpackers from all around the world. The colorful colonial town of Antigua is most famous for its churches, colorful markets, leafy plazas, and cobblestone streets. There is a lot to see, do, and take in Antigua, as it also offers services and commodities expected from modern cities.
Is there a minimum and a maximum stay?
IFRE’s volunteer programs are available from a minimum of 1 week to a maximum of 12 weeks.
Can I extend my stay if I choose to?
Yes, if you would like to stay for a longer period of time and continue your volunteer trip, you can extend your stay in Guatemala without any issues, and IFRE is happy to assist you with this.
Will I have enough time to travel after work and on weekends?
Yes, you will have enough free time to travel and explore the country after work and during weekends. All of IFRE’s volunteer projects have flexible schedules that allow you to do extra activities and travel across the country.
Who will guide or support me in my Guatemala volunteer project?
Our in-country coordinator will be responsible for guiding and supervising you throughout your stay in Guatemala. Similarly, our local staff will keep an eye on you at all times and be available to offer you support when you need it.
Can I change my project if I do not like the one I chose?
Yes, you can change your program if you have any issues. However, most of our volunteers hardly ever decide to change their volunteer projects, as we have a 99% satisfaction rate and make sure that all of our volunteer experiences are interesting and satisfying. Contact our in-country coordinator to discuss this option, and please be aware that placement at a new project will be based upon availability.
Can I work in more than one project at a time?
Yes, you can choose to work in more than one volunteer project at a time. For that option, you should get in touch with our in-country coordinator to begin the application process for two different volunteer programs. However, you should keep in mind that each of our volunteer programs in Guatemala will require you to work for at least 5 hours every day. It can be physically demanding to work on more than one volunteer project in one day. A more manageable option might be to split your travel time in two, volunteering during the first half of your journey at one project and transferring to another for the last half of your trip.
How old should I be to take part in these projects?
Most of the time, in order to join our volunteer projects you should be 18 years old or above. Anyone below that recommended age must provide parental consent from their parents/guardians to be eligible for our programs. In some cases, we can make exceptions. Minors can also volunteer alongside their parents.
Who manages the volunteer projects in Guatemala?
All of our programs are managed by an experienced in-country coordinator, who is responsible for running each volunteer project smoothly. The in-country coordinator provides full support and assistance to you throughout your trip. You can consult our in-country coordinator whenever you need help regarding your project activities and tasks.
Will I receive training before the start of the project?
IFRE provides a training class to you before the start of your program. The nature of the training given will depend on the specific volunteer project on which you will be working. Our in-country coordinator and the local staff will train you thoroughly for the work you will be doing and will also be on hand to assist with any issues that may arise. Your orientation will also include a briefing on the customs and culture of Guatemala, along with any safety measures you should keep in mind.
Is there a dress code to volunteer in Antigua, Guatemala?
There is not a specific dress code to participate in our programs. However, you should dress in a modest and conservative manner. Please do your research regarding what is considered as acceptable clothing in Guatemala and do your best to always show respect to the culture which you are visiting.
Why should I pay to volunteer abroad?
IFRE is a non-profit volunteer organization whose main goal is to offer life-changing volunteering opportunities in countries all over the world. However, running our programs would be impossible without charging a small volunteer program fee. This is because IFRE depends on its program fees for the operation and management of its programs.
Money paid by volunteers helps IFRE cover everything from the utility bills, rent, and advertisement, to the salaries of its staff members and taxes of the company. Your fee also covers many things for you while you travel abroad, such as housing, food, supervision, and a donation to the project in which you are volunteering.
Why are IFRE’s fees so much more affordable than other volunteer organizations?
IFRE has never focused on gaining financial profits from its volunteering projects in Guatemala or in the 19 other countries around the world in which it operates programs. The money collected from the fees of IFRE’s volunteer programs is just enough to support its humanitarian goals of helping destitute people and communities overcome poverty, illiteracy, and social injustice.
Also, there are no middlemen involved in any of IFRE’s volunteer projects. Therefore, IFRE is able to charge much more affordable program fees compared to the fees of other volunteer organizations.
Can I get a tax deduction for my volunteer program in Guatemala?
Yes, volunteers can get a tax deduction for participating in our volunteer programs. Being a 501(c) 3 organization, IFRE can provide tax deductions to its participants who wish to go on a rewarding but very affordable volunteer trip.
Can I get help to raise funds?
Yes, we are always ready to help you raise funds for volunteer projects across the globe.
Is it safe to travel to Guatemala?
Yes, it is very safe to travel to Guatemala. The government of Guatemala is doing its best to make sure that international volunteers can come and experience the beauty of Guatemala as safely as possible. IFRE also puts much effort in keeping you away from any risks and dangers. With that being said, all travel involves risk, and you should check with your home country’s advisory website to keep up to date on the current situation in your destination.
What safety measures should I take during my volunteer trip in Guatemala?
If you get sick and require immediate help while volunteering in Guatemala, our field staff will take proper care of your health and take you to the nearest hospital or clinic. Our in-country coordinator along with the help of local doctors and medical professionals will do their best to make you feel better. Be sure to bring along your passport and a copy of your travel insurance to present to the physician.
What will happen if I get sick while in Guatemala?
If you get sick, then you will be taken to the nearby local hospital or clinic depending on the level of seriousness and severity of your health conditions. Our local staff and in-country coordinator will do everything possible to improve your health. You must always keep our staff informed about your health condition or if you want to visit the hospital for a quick checkup. Be sure to bring your passport and a copy of your travel insurance to present to the physician.
Why must I get travel insurance before beginning my volunteer trip?
IFRE requires you to obtain travel insurance before departing from your home country. This will cover you in the case of injury, illness, or emergency. If you need help finding a policy, IFRE can help provide reliable and comprehensive coverage.
What vaccination do I need to have to volunteer in Guatemala?
Hepatitis A, hepatitis B, typhoid, rabies, yellow fever, and malaria are some of the vaccinations suggested by the CDC (www.cdc.gov) and WHO for travellers planning to go to Guatemala for at least a week. However, you must consult your local doctor and ask them for proper advice. Learn more about vaccinations for a trip in Guatemala here.
What are the principal health risks for traveling in Guatemala?
Like any other country in the world, Guatemala has its own health risks and hazards, which you should be prepared for. You must be cautious while volunteering outdoors and be prepared to cope with the temperature and exposure to sun and insects. Staying hydrated all day long should be your top priority, but you should only drink water that is boiled or chemically filtered. You should avoid drinking the tap water and eat food only from hygienic places, as food and water-borne illness are a cause for concern.
Do I need a visa to volunteer and travel in Guatemala?
Yes, you need a visa to volunteer and travel in Guatemala, but this is largely dependent on your nationality. However, citizens of the US, Canada, and European countries are eligible for a 90-day stay without a visa. You can learn more about Guatemala’s visa policies here.
How do I apply for the visa?
The easiest and most direct way to apply for a Guatemalan tourist visa is by visiting the official Embassy of Guatemala in your home country before your departure. You can also apply for a visa after your arrival at the airport and before the start of your volunteer placement. You need to have a passport with a validity period of at least 6 months to obtain a tourist visa. Do your research ahead of time to determine what the requirements will be based on your home country.
Can I extend my visa while I am in the country? Can you help me with this?
Extending a Guatemalan tourist visa is usually not difficult. According to the Immigration law, you simply need to visit the General Directorate of Migration in Guatemala and fill out a visa extension application for a longer stay in Guatemala. Check this website to learn more about Guatemalan visa extension: www.migracion.gob.gt. If you require assistance, you are welcome to reach out to our in-country coordinator for advice.
How do I contact IFRE’s local coordinator during my volunteer work in Guatemala?
You can contact IFRE’s local coordinator via phone or email. You will be provided with the full contact information prior to your trip. You are also welcome to stop in the offices at any time you like.
How can I communicate with my family from Guatemala?
The most convenient way to communicate with your family while you are in Guatemala is by chatting online on social media like Facebook and Skype. Internet facilities are available everywhere in Guatemala, so it will not be difficult to access the Internet from your project location.
Can I use my phone during my volunteer project in Guatemala?
Yes, you can use your personal mobile phone during your time at the project. However, you will need to reach out to your current phone provider to determine if your phone will function while you are traveling abroad. International roaming charges may apply, and these can be quite expensive.
How can I access/purchase Internet services?
The first thing which you should do in order to purchase Internet services in Guatemala is buy a local SIM Card. For that, you will need to bring your original passport along with a recent passport size photo for documentation. Then, you have to activate the SIM Card by inserting it in your mobile phone. After that, you just need to ask the vendor to buy an Internet data plan to access the Internet. Again, check with your provider prior to travel to ensure the SIM will function in your phone.
Is there internet available everywhere?
Internet facilities are available everywhere in Antigua, Guatemala so you will have no trouble accessing the internet while abroad.
What do I need to bring for my volunteering project in Guatemala?
You should not forget to bring the following items: passport, flight tickets, travel insurance, pair of sneakers, pair of flip-flops, travel towel, sunglasses, hat, headlamp, credit cards, small amount of cash, tissues, toiletries, sunscreen, insect repellent, pollution mask, sleep mask, power bank, medicines, first-aid kit, earplugs, power adapter, hand sanitizer, camera, laptop, mobile phone, plug adapter, and water bottle. IFRE provides bedding material, but if you feel a sleeping bag is something you would like, you are welcome to bring one along.