What our volunteers are saying about volunteering in Guatemala!
“It was a great experience seeing the houses of the less fortunate in Guatemala. We built stoves in the morning and the families we helped were so thankful. It was rewarding to see how happy they were to see the finished products. Also, the host family was excellent. They engaged in conversation, cooked excellent food, and were very hospitable. Volunteering was a great opportunity to both help others and gain a new perspective on life.” – David Michalik, UV Volunteer 2014
Projects in Guatemala
Poverty, abuse, and alcoholism have left many children in Guatemala without families or in family situations without proper parental love and care. One orphanage we partner with cares for more than 140 children, each needing care and attention. By volunteering with this project, you’ll provide much needed affection and play, and a loving cultural exchange for these children.
Street children mentorship
Many children in Guatemala are living and working on the streets in extreme poverty and do not have the protection of organizations like orphanages. These children do not attend schools and do not have the food, medicine, and love all human beings should have. By volunteering with this project, you’ll be able to mentor a child living in extreme hardship and help shape his or her future for success and healthy growth.
English teaching, assisting in schools
Many employers and universities in Guatemala require applicants to be proficient in English, but the country lacks enough teachers to keep up with this growing need. In other subjects, like math and social studies, students can also use the support and assistance from those experienced in these areas. If you have a desire to teach and an attitude of giving and sharing knowledge, selecting a project like this will be a great use of your time and talents by helping to prepare young students for success in today’s world.
In addition to poverty and lack of adequate social and medical programs affecting most Guatemalans, women face unique challenges in this male-dominated society. Because of this, new laws have even been put in place to protect women and children, and many groups are now starting to develop empowerment programs for women across the country. By working on this project, you’ll be able share your ideas and skills for improving the mental, emotional, and physical health of Guatemalan women, and help teach marketing and organizational skills which will help ease the financial burden on so many.
Guatemala has very poor medical services and facilities, and offers almost no preventative care to its citizens despite, in theory, having networks of free public health care for all. While volunteering in a medical project with Utopia Volunteers, qualified individuals can interact with patients and medical professionals in many activities including shadowing or working alongside doctors and nurses, helping with administrative duties, caring for children in the nurseries, or even offering health-related discussions and events for area communities.
Stove building for indigenous families
Globally, nearly three billion people use inefficient stoves or open flames to cook their food. Exposure to this cooking fire smoke is dangerous and kills almost two million people each year! With this project, you’ll help build efficient wood burning stoves that prevent smoke from filling the homes, significantly reducing the health risks associated with this traditional style of cooking. And, because of the increased efficiency, you’ll help reduce the amount of resources needed to prepare food.
Sustainable agriculture support and reforestation
Much of Guatemala’s traditional agriculture methods have been lost to the growing global economy which places a large emphasis on mass production and distribution. In this project, you’ll work with both urban and rural groups to help revive the sustainable farming systems of older Mayan civilizations. You’ll use your willingness to learn, to share, and to work hard as you prepare the ground, plant and maintain crops, assist in harvesting and classification, and get to know two very distinct cultural groups who are participating in the program with you. You also have the chance to work on reforestation projects and creating a sustainable forest nursery.