There are many interesting projects available in the categories listed below. The projects given here are an example of the projects in each category. Our goal is to match the skills and expectations of the participants with the needs of the local projects. Our volunteer coordinator in the field will suggest a project for you once they have your application. They are well placed to match your skills and interests to the right placements.
On of our project is a Permaculture Institute, a non-profit organization based in the highlands ofGuatemala. It was founded in 2000 by a group of local people concerned by the serious environmental, social and cultural problems affecting the nation. They established an ecological education center to promote permaculture techniques, local biodiversity conservation, production of organic food, and a seed bank that strives to reconstruct the Mayan seed heritage. Volunteers are needed to offer a helping hand for the ongoing projects on-site and within the communities while learning and sharing experiences about permaculture. Generally, volunteers’ time is shared between daily activities geared toward maintenance and improvement of the permaculture centre, and IMAP’s ongoing projects.
On-site tasks include
- Maintenance and improvement of gardens, nurseries and gardens
- Construction of new infrastructure, bio-construction and construction using recycled materials (buildings, solar showers, terraces, paths)
- Sustainable technology projects (eg. solar ovens)
- Documentation (inventory and labeling of plant species)
- Seed bank support (germination tests, seed catalogue, packing of seeds for sale, selection and preparation of seeds)
Playing after schoolFrances LeahyDublinGuatemala
Many of the poorest people in Guatemala are unable to afford medical care, and it falls to charitable organisations to provide basic and emergency services. There are health placements in Santiago Atitlán, in the southwest of Guatemala. This project is aimed to provide medical assistance to poor people who are unable to afford medical care. Volunteers with a medical background are especially needed but non-trained volunteers can assist in a range of daily duties. Volunteers can also work with rural health posts from the Ministry of Health however intermediate to fluent Spanish is needed on all health projects. Watch our new video on nursing projects.
Guatemala is a beautiful and fertile country, with dense rainforests, dramatic volcanoes and exotic wildlife. However, the natural environment has come under threat from population growth, deforestation, industrial development, lack of environmental consciousness and education, and an absence of environmental protection laws. Volunteers can assist in conservation projects that have been set up to combat these trends.
Corazón del Bosque is a local association in Santa Lucia Utatlán, Sololá. Their work is based on three objectives:
To maintain a project that benefits the community by promoting equal participation among its inhabitants, sustainable management of the natural resources, along with an effort to conserve and preserve the Mayan K'iché culture
To promote sustainable forestry by taking care of the regional flora and fauna in order to mitigate the deforestation that had been damaging Guatemala's environment
To promote a culture of protection and environmental conservation
The volunteer can provide assistance for the administration of the project by providing: general advise as well as ideas for marketing (improvement of marketing materials: webpage, pamphlets, signs, etc). The volunteer can also participate in environmental activities such as maintaining the trails and helping in the tree nursery for reforestation purposes.
Small Business Development
Watch our new video on microfinance projects.
27% of the Guatemalan population lives in extreme poverty, especially in rural areas. Unemployment in these areas is high, particularly for women and youth. NGOs in this sector provide micro-credits, training and business advice to small entrepreneurs to better manage their businesses. Volunteers can bring a new perspective and knowledge to the beneficiaries of these programs.
We are placing our volunteers in women's co-operatives. These are co-operatives of indigenous women formed mainly by widows from the civil war. They use the traditional back strap loom to produce typical textiles. Volunteers can assist them on marketing strategies, advertisement, design, and business administration.