Guatemala is a country of natural beauty, rich multi-ethnic diversity, and deep cultural heritage. It is at once both a 21st Century tourist hub and a largely rural-based agricultural society. Deeply rooted in its indigenous tradition, Guatemala is home to some of the most important Mayan architecture and customs. It is an expansive and complex community developing its own path toward modernization while struggling with the challenges of extreme poverty, illiteracy, and gender and ethnic inequality. Guatemalans are proud and happy people, eager to welcome visitors to their land. Volunteering in Guatemala offers the unique opportunity to immerse yourself in this special place while having a real and meaningful impact working with the communities where you will stay.
what you will remember …
Set in the central highlands, just outside the famous city of Antigua, lay the small farming villages of Vuelta Grande and El Hato. Consistently ranked as one of the 10 happiest countries in the world, Guatemala is home to a people known for their warmth, friendliness, and resilience. They will embrace you with their broad smiles and spirited greetings.
Work hard, play hard. There is so much to enjoy – striking natural landscapes, remarkable archeology, and beautiful arts, dance, and music. You may visit one of the most beautiful lakes in the world, learn to Salsa dance, make handmade tortillas, or witness a traditional Mayan wedding ceremony.
These villages have made great strides toward sustainability but are far from realizing their potential. We are partners in their development, helping to provide greater access to schooling, family services, and supporting the transition to sustainable farming, recycling, and entrepreneurship necessary for these villages to thrive.
Projects are based on community needs and vary from trip to trip. Here are examples from recent trips.
In addition to volunteering, you will have time to travel and explore some of the many highlights the country has to offer.
Boat ride across Lake Atitlán
Mayan Cultural Center Visit
Hiking to Hobbitenango above Vuelta Grande
Engaging local children in reading
A calm afternoon at Lake Atitlan
Mayan ruins at Guatemala City
Traveling in pretty painted buses
Beautiful city of Antigua
The trip satisfied and surprised on many levels. I appreciated the concentrated time with my own family, and yet the reflections as part of the group were equally as valuable. The work in the village was meaningful and personal. There was a real opportunity to learn, meet and interact with those we there there to help. I intended this for a growth experience for my young sons, but I came away changed as well.Dara, Family trip participant
This trip was easily one of the best experiences in my entire life and I cannot imagine spending my spring break a better way. I loved being immersed in the culture and being able to learn so much about it first hand. The opportunity to connect and build bonds with the children was priceless. An opportunity like this truly gives new perspective and makes a lasting impact on the life of both the children as well as the volunteer.Michael, Student
This trip exceeded my expectations beyond what I could have ever imagined. Being able to learn about Guatemalan culture through the eyes of indigenous people and local residents was such an amazing experience. Taking part in some of the most breathtaking activities while also giving back to the community was definitely the best way I could have spent my spring break.Calli, Student
This was my fourth time visiting this incredible country with Dream Volunteers. These trips immerse young adults like me in indigenous cultures and inspire us to take initiative and develop passions against racial, gender, and social inequalities. By immersing myself in different cultures and backgrounds it reminds me of the different communities our world is made up of. It is not only important to make a difference in these indigenous communities, but also essential to bring this passion of change to our home communities.Perry, Gap Year Program
Absolutely amazing! Gave me a reality check I didn’t realize I needed. Inspired me to travel more and take on more service opportunities.Anna, Student