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Medical Volunteer in Guatemala, Antigua

Are you a medical professional with a desire to volunteer your time and expertise to people in need? Perhaps you are a medical student seeking experience and a way to give back to others? Then you should join IFRE’s medical volunteer opportunities Guatemala!

Guatemala was the heart of the Mayan empire in the past, and this charming Central American country still retains a heavy cultural influence from its Mayan roots. The colorful city of Antigua with its beautiful historical buildings also gives travelers a taste of Spanish colonialism and other fascinating parts of Guatemalan history.

Although Guatemala has a lot to offer when it comes to cultural, historical, and natural beauty, over half of its people live in poverty, with the indigenous people suffering the worst. Over 80% of indigenous people live in extreme poverty, and lack access to much needed healthcare. 8 in 10 indigenous children suffer from chronic malnutrition and are unable to lead healthy lives. Volunteer in Guatemala and help people have access to medical care!

When you join the medical volunteer in Guatemala project, you will shadow local doctors, gaining life changing medical experience while making a difference helping poor communities, the elderly and children. Your work will thus have great meaning for both your life and the lives of others. You will gain valuable experience in the medical field while helping people in need improve their quality of life and stop them from falling prey to treatable diseases that they would otherwise suffer or even die from.

Do you want to become a medical volunteer in Guatemala and help impoverished Guatemalans gain access to necessary medical care? Contact IFRE today to learn more about our medical volunteer in Guatemala Antigua!

Take a minute to complete the form and we will be in touch.

Volunteer Responsibilities & Impact

When you join this medical volunteer opportunities in Guatemala, your responsibilities and specific daily duties will vary considerably depending on your qualifications, skills, education level, the current needs of the project and Spanish skills. Volunteers will work 3-4 hours per day from Monday to Friday. Work hours may be in the morning or afternoon depending on the project. We offer two types of options: A Healthcare Program for students in training and Medical Programs for advanced medical students and professionals.

The Healthcare program is for those who are not licensed and are still completing their training. This applies to students in Health Sciences, pre-med, nursing and Medical School Year 1 and 2. Volunteers will work in specialized living facilities and work with people who are physically or mentally disabled, elderly or HIV infected. You will care for the patients, provide companionship, distribute medicine, assist with daily tasks and workshops, check patients and ensure their overall well-being.

The Medical program is for licensed medical professionals and students in the last 2 years of medical school. Volunteers will be working in hospitals, clinics, assisted living or other healthcare facilities. You will be shadowing & helping treat patients under the supervision and guidance of local doctors and nurses. You will assist with check-ups, run medical campaigns, assist with triage, take blood pressure and other vital signs, organize patient records, prepare materials and equipment, and assist with general care of patients. While volunteers will not be allowed to perform major diagnostic or surgical work, you will play a vital role in assisting doctors and interacting with patients.

Medical volunteer Guatemala program is a great opportunity for medical students to gain practical, hands-on, experience while helping others, and this looks great on your resume. Volunteers will also be part of medical campaigns, vaccination programs and learn about the healthcare system of Guatemala. Doctors and other medical professionals can share their skills and expertise with patients who truly need their help, making a profound impact on their quality of life.

Skills and Qualifications:

In order to be eligible for this medical volunteer program in Guatemala program, you need to be a certified medical professional or a medical student. Proof of medical certification or a medical student ID from a recognized institution needs to be presented when submitting your application, this is for appropriate placing based on your particular background and interests. You will also need to bring scrubs, a stethoscope and closed-toed shoes.

The most important qualification for this project, beyond your medical training or background, is a compassionate attitude and a willingness to help those in need. You should be flexible, have a positive mindset and be able to connect with patients.

Though not mandatory, it is helpful to have basic Spanish skills as most patients do not speak English. . If you want to learn Spanish, you can join our Spanish immersion class during your volunteering. Volunteers also need to be at least 18 years old to participate in this program.

Being a medical volunteer in Guatemala is an incredibly rewarding experience that will leave you with enough fun memories to last a lifetime.

We will provide you with the details of your schedule and specific duties once your final volunteer placement is selected. You should keep an open mind and be flexible when it comes to your hours and the tasks that may be required of you. We’ve provided a sample schedule here to give you a rough idea of what to expect.

First Day : On your first day of volunteering in Guatemala, our helpful in-country coordinator will escort you to your project placement. You will meet the dedicated project staff you will be working with and have an informative training session. During your orientation, you will learn all about your project, your daily schedule, safety protocol, and the customs and culture of Guatemala.

Weekdays : Your medical work starts on the second day, but you can expect your hours and duties to vary considerably depending on your placement. A typical volunteer day is as follows:

7.00 to 7.30 AM : Enjoy a local breakfast with your welcoming host family. You might be having rice, beans, eggs, and fried plantain, with a nice cup of café con leche.

7.45 AM: Head out to your placement, whether it be a hospital, clinic, or health camp. Your accommodations will be within 20 minutes or so of your project site, so you’ll have no trouble getting there.

12.00 PM: Break for lunch. Take the time to bond with your fellow volunteers in Guatemala and to chat with your local project staff.

3.00 PM: After your volunteer work concludes for the day, you will have the rest of the day free. You can explore the surrounding area, or head back to relax at the home of your host family.

6.45 PM: Share a typical dinner with your host family. Rice and beans will likely figure into the menu. This is a great time to really immerse yourself in the Guatemalan culture and see what daily life is like in your host country.

Fees & Program Dates

Program Dates

IFRE programs begin every Monday year-round. If you have travel constraints, you can start your chosen program on any day of the year.

Volunteers can participate in our program for a minimum of 1 week or up to 12 weeks.


Since 2006, IFRE has been the most trusted, respected, and affordable volunteer abroad organization in the world. We’re dedicated to providing the highest quality volunteer programs at the lowest fees so that everyone, especially students, have the possibility to volunteer abroad and make a positive impact on 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 directly to your host family and project (via country coordinator), and includes housing, food, and minor expenses. IFRE is a non-profit organization, so your program fees are tax deductible.

Volunteer Program Fee (US$)

    Duration Health Project
  1 Week $475
   2 Weeks $830
   3 Weeks $1,110
   4 Weeks $1,375
   5 Weeks $1,645
   6 Weeks $1,915
   7 Weeks $2,185
   8 Weeks $2,455
  9 Weeks   $2,725
  10 Weeks   $2,995
  11 Weeks   $3,265
  12 Weeks   $3,535

Comprehensive Travel Insurance $3.49/day ( below 28 years) and $4.49/day ( above 28 years) »

Spanish Lessons (2 hours per day) $55 per week

How your fee is allocated?

Program Fees Cover:

  • Shared Accommodation with host family
  • 2 meals per day (Breakfast & Dinner)
  • Airport Pick up
  • Special Project Surcharge
  • In-country support
  • Program Orientation
  • Project Management
  • Volunteer Certificate
  • Discount for returning volunteers

Program Fees Exclude:

  • Visas
  • Airfare
  • Personal expenses on soft drinks and foods
  • Daily transportation
  • Airport return transfer

The volunteering programs in Antigua, Guatemala fees will cover expenses that will begin on the first day of the program 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.

Take a minute to complete the form and we will be in touch.

Accommodation and Meal

While doing volunteer work in Guatemala Antigua, you will be staying with a welcoming host family. The accommodations are located in safe neighborhoods. All the host families have been carefully selected and have experience hosting international volunteers. You will be provided with a shared accommodation and you will be sharing a room with another volunteer of the same gender. Volunteer rooms are basic, clean and comfortable, and you will have access to showers, hygienic toilets and electricity. The volunteer project may be walking distance from the accommodation or require public transportation.

Volunteers in Guatemala will be provided with 2 local meals a day (breakfast and dinner). We accommodate vegetarian needs but not special dietary requirements.

For more readings:
Host family
12 tips to enhance cultural experience in host families

Free Time and Weekend Exploration

After all the hard work you’ll be doing as a medical volunteer in Guatemala, you’ll want to have some downtime to enjoy yourself and explore this exciting destination. You’ll be happy to know that you’ll have evenings and weekends free, which will give you plenty of time to sightsee, go on tours, and excursions.

Discover what to do in your free time in Guatemala.

Safety and in Country Support

Your safety is our number one priority. IFRE has been making sure volunteers have safe and meaningful volunteer experiences abroad since 2006, and we use our experience and knowledge to plan a secure and successful volunteering experience in Guatemala. You will have the guidance and support of our passionate in-country staff available to you 24/7.

Read more about our dedication to safety and our amazing in-country team.

Medical Volunteer in Guatemala: FAQs

IFRE takes care of all the details that go into planning an amazing volunteer trip abroad for you. Here are some details you should know when traveling with us:

Arrival and Departure

To participate in our medical volunteer opportunities in Guatemala, you will fly into Aurora International Airport, in Guatemala City. We suggest arriving one day prior to the start of your project (You will be responsible for paying for this extra night of accommodation.) As soon as you book your flight, provide your itinerary to our in-country coordinator. They will be happy to set up your airport pick-up, and our local representative will be waiting with your name on a sign as soon as you land. They will escort you safely to your accommodation.

IFRE does not provide departure transportation, so you’ll need to make your own way to the airport after you are done volunteering in Guatemala. Just have a chat with our local project staff, and they will be happy to offer advice on how to set up a taxi to the airport.


Whether or not you need to apply in advance for a tourist visa will depend on your nationality. If you are a citizen of the United States, Canada, Australia, or the UK, all you need is a passport with a validity of six months in order to gain entry for 90 days.

Before heading off for your medical volunteer Guatemala program, be sure to do your research on the requirements based on your home country. If you will need a tourist visa in advance, be sure to apply at least a few weeks ahead of time. Please visit the Guatemala Immigration website and for more detailed information.


Getting vaccinated is the first step to protecting yourself while traveling abroad. Since you will be joining our Exotic Animal project and working with wild animals, this will be especially important for you.

Please consult your travel doctor who is knowledgeable about current health issues and epidemics in Guatemala. You can also find the information on the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website, Global Health Canada or in Travelers' Health United Kingdom.

Some of the required vaccines for traveling and volunteering in Guatemala are hepatitis A, hepatitis B, typhoid, yellow fever, rabies, meningitis, polio, measles, mumps and rubella (MMR), Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis), chickenpox, shingles, pneumonia and influenza.

For Further readings:
Volunteer Health and Safety
Safety tips for your volunteer abroad trip

Why become a medical volunteer in Guatemala?

Working as a medical volunteer in Guatemala is an incredibly rewarding experience that will change your life through huge amounts of hands-on experience and the chance to discover a fascinating country.

Gain valuable work experience in a hospital

Medical students and aspiring doctors can gain priceless experience working hands-on in a hospital or clinic setting. This will be great for your future career and look fantastic on your resume.

Educate locals by running educational programs about health issues

The medical volunteer Guatemala project gives you the opportunity to educate locals on different health topics such as personal hygiene, nutrition, sanitation, disease prevention, basic care and so on. Doing so will greatly improve the quality of life of Guatemalans in need.

Opportunity to perform basic medical and healthcare procedures

One of the key benefits of doing volunteer work in Guatemala as part of our medical project for students and aspiring doctors, is that it allows you to get a sense of real- life medical situations and the chance to perform basic procedures. You’ll be helping others and getting practical experience at the same time!

Helps expand your professional network

This experience will expand your professional network. You will be working alongside and building relationships with hospital employees, patients, and visitors while volunteering in this project. This will greatly benefit you in securing a good position in the medical field in your future.

Share your expertise with patients in need

For medical experts, you will have the chance to share your expertise and use your skills to aid Guatemalans who desperately need your help. You’ll be exploring your passion and helping others at the same time!

Contact IFRE today to learn more about joining our medical volunteer project in Guatemala.

Other Volunteer Opportunities in Guatemala, Antigua

If you lack the medical experience required for this program, there are still ways for you to contribute in Antigua, Guatemala. You can help by:

Work in an orphanage,

Teach English,

Support special needs children,

Care for the elderly,

help empower girls and young women.

build safe stoves for poor families and much more.

Contact IFRE today to find the project that’s right for you.

Other Volunteer Opportunities in Guatemala, Antigua

Other Volunteer Opportunities in Guatemala, Antigua

Contact IFRE today to learn more!

Take a minute to complete the form and we will be in touch.

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