- Category: For volunteers
EntreMundos wants to help you make a difference and we offer personal and professional consulting so that you can find the best volunteering opportunities in Guatemala, where you will be able to actively and constructively contribute to community projects based on your availability, Spanish level, experience, knowledge, skills, and interests…..
The purpose of our Volunteer Program is to connect the expressed needs of national and international volunteers who have specific skills with local organizations that have concrete needs and are interested in receiving volunteers. This is a collaboration that reflects our name, “Entre Mundos,” “Between Worlds,” and allows for personal and professional growth and development for both parties while bringing together two different realities on a shared path toward knowledge, connection, exchange on several levels, and friendship.
EntreMundos offers interested people the opportunity to volunteer with more than 100 organizations in the country, the majority of them in the western highlands. These entities work in fields such as education, health, nutrition and food security, hygiene, environment, renewable energy, agriculture, comprehensive rural development, community tourism, defense of the rights of indigenous peoples, of women, of children, and of youth, among many others. We cooperate directly with each one of these organizations to identify what kind of volunteers they need and to make sure that our potential volunteers do not only have an excellent experience, but that they also offer a useful service to the organization with which they work.
In this section of our webpage, we offer a free database in Spanish and English for people who are interested in a volunteer experience, with detailed information about local organizations that are interested in receiving this type of support. Take a look at this table and you’re sure to find the volunteer opportunity that you’re looking for!!!!! We take care of facilitating contact between the volunteer and the local organization, of placement, of working out the terms of service and a detailed outline of the duties of the volunteer, and of preparing all paperwork. We also offer a constant service of orientation, support, follow-up, and evaluation.
There are four different ways of establishing contacts through our Volunteer Program:
The free Database for independent volunteers, which contains a detailed and up-to-date list of opportunities, along with the location and contact information for each organization.
The Community Service Learning for Groups, aimed at groups of volunteers (usually from universities) who want to carry out short-term volunteer work in Guatemala and at the same time learn about the culture, history, language, politics, and current topics of the country. We organize the complete trip and stay for these groups, requesting a donation that is shared with the local organizations with whom the volunteers work.
** Please keep in mind that any volunteer who makes use of one of these services must read, understand, and respect our CODE OF CONDUCT FOR VOLUNTEERS INTERACTING WITH CHILDREN (click here) as well as the GUIDE FOR VOLUNTEER BEHAVIOR (click here).
- Category: For volunteers
Through our Coordination Service, we offer volunteer positions with over 100 local organizations, depending on your experience, abilities, interests, Spanish level, commitment, and time commitment.
Are you already in Quetzaltenango?
In this case, you can come to the EntreMundos office to speak with our Volunteer Program Coordinator, who – gladly and professionally – will provide you with the necessary specific assistance so that you can choose the best option for completing your volunteer experience in Guatemala. The coordinator meets with interested people from Monday to Thursday between the hours of 02:00/04:00 PM. This service costs 25.00 Qtz., approximately US$ 3.
Are you still in your country of residence and want to plan your volunteer experience in Guatemala?
In this case, EntreMundos offers a consulting service before your visit, for those people interested in having everything ready and organized before arriving in Guatemala.
The EntreMundos Volunteer Program coordinator is completely willing to support you and to prepare – according to your academic or professional profile, your competencies, requests, interests, and preferences – a detailed program, creating it in collaboration with the host organization you have chosen to volunteer with.
In exchange for this service - which also includes an information packet and advice for your stay in Guatemala, as well as useful information about lodging, medical attention, immigrations, trips, and tourist attractions in the country, etc… - we ask for a donation of US$ 40.00/35 Euro.
We recommend waiting for our response before making the aforementioned payment.
For our Coordination Service, whether it be in person or in advance/online, EntreMundos requests a small donation, through which we can cover part of our administrative costs, as well as the publication of our magazine and the implementation of our Volunteer, Community Tourism, and Community Strengthening Programs. Your donation contributes to and fortifies our work in support of the local community and grassroots organizations, helping us to continue encouraging, promoting, and defending the human rights of the most marginalized and vulnerable populations of Guatemala.
- Category: For volunteers
Some Guatemalan organizations are looking for national and international volunteers with specific skills so that they can complete more definite and timely tasks within their institution.
On the other hand, there are people (students and professionals) who have specific training and experience and want to carry out a formal and well-structured working experience, which will allow them to build on their studies and knowledge and put them into practice in different fields. The principal purpose of our Internship Service is exactly this: to facilitate collaboration between individual volunteers with specific skills who are willing to stay for a minimum of three months in Guatemala and local organizations that seek well-defined volunteer profiles to incorporate them into their teams.
The volunteers, therefore, carry out professional work within the organizations that are interested in their profiles and skills. The latter offer in exchange the possibility to complete a supervised and well-organized internship: a valuable learning tool, real working experience and an exchange of competencies, abilities, knowledge, techniques, processes, and working methodologies, not to mention the opportunity to live in and learn about Guatemala, a country with profound and extraordinary cultures that are thousands of years old.
The internships differ from classic volunteering in that they imply:
1) an independent and different plan of work, depending on the organization chosen;
2) a major leadership role, responsibility, and strong commitment;
3) direct, active, and meaningful work with the local population;
4) a longer time commitment of no less than 90 days.
The Internship Service requires a donation of between US$ 50.00 and US$ 100.00 per month (depending on the chosen host organization), which is divided between the local organization where the volunteer does their internship and EntreMundos.
Coordination of the internship;
- All information and contacts before arrival to Guatemala (in English or Spanish);
- Total and permanent support during your stay in Guatemala;
- Monthly and final evaluations of the Internship by the local supervisor and EntreMundos;
- A certificate that confirms completion of the internship;
- A continued relationship with EntreMundos and the organization once the Internship is over;
- Packets of useful information and data about lodging, food, medical attention, immigrations, trips, and tourist attractions on the country, etc…;
Any administrative task that you require of EntreMundos, for example completing university paperwork (in English / Spanish), letters of recommendation, references for CV/resume, etc...
- Ong ATZ'ANEM K'OJ - Strategic Development for Defense of Human Rights
- Category: For volunteers
Community Tourism refers to a process through which certain communities manage and administrate their own tourism projects, which means that more benefits go directly to them and not to external businesses and/or tour operators. It is an excellent way to make sure that a trip will benefit local families and economies, and ensure conservation of social, cultural, and ecological heritage. At the same time, it allows travelers to see a different side of the country, far from traditional tourist destinations and allows for authentic contact with the most important and valuable part of Guatemala: its people.
LA FLORIDA COMMUNITY FARM, Colomba Costa Cuca - Quetzaltenango
This community farm is located in a region known for its abundant natural resources and its perfect climate for agriculture, but also for a great deal of poverty. During the internal armed conflict, the families of this community fought for labor rights, social justice, equality, and environmental sustainability, and they eventually won ownership of the La Florida community farm. The farm is organized as a cooperative; its members work there in the mornings, but in the afternoons they take care of their own crops, primarily producing organic coffee, bananas, and macadamia nuts.
There are different volunteer opportunities for learning about these forms of agriculture, as well as other activities related to health, education, ecotourism, women’s and youths’ rights, all whlie learning about the fascinating history of this community.
Visitors can stay in the “community house” (built thanks to financial support from EntreMundos) and eat with the different families, getting to know the local diet.
To get to La Florida, you will need to take a bus to Colomba Costa Cuca (two hours from Quetzaltenango) and then another bus to El Paraíso (approximately one hour), and from there you will be able to walk two km. to the community.
Telephone: (+502) 7772-3213 / (+502) 3090-8207
CHAJIL SIWAN PARK- Totonicapán
Located eight km. from the departmental capital of Totonicapán, in the community of Chuamazán (km. 199 of the paved Totonicapán/Quiché highway), the purpose of Chajil Siwan Park is to oversee the conservation of local forests and springs, while sharing these native riches with national and foreign visitors. Activities are focused on the conservation of the location’s natural resources and in sustainable ecotourism management: the fundamental goal of the latter is appreciation for biodiversity and natural patrimony.
The Chajil Siwan Community Reserve was born in 2003, after area inhabitants became aware of the need to conserve natural resources and change their reliance on the harvest and sale of wood that damaged a large part of the local forest.
In this park, there are zip-lines, trails, overlooks, camping areas, orchids, other special plants, and local birds such as quetzalillos and guardabarrancos (also known as “chajil siwan” in the local language, providing the park’s name), children’s games, a restaurant with typical food, and the sale of local handicrafts.
Telephone: (+ 502) 5375-7051
MAYA TRADITION FOUNDATION - Sololá y Quiché
This is a project located in Panajachel and works with around 13 cooperatives of artisans who weave and make natural dyes, as well as Maya doctors from different communities in the departments of Solola and Quiché. The Maya Foundation is dedicated to facilitating access to national and international markets, with the goal of contributing to the development of the indigenous artisan women and their families. Following the Fair Trade model, they seek to support the artisans, their families, and their communities through social programs that promote techniques and knowledge, preserve local cultures, and motivate indigenous women to bolster their business systems.
You can visit the cooperatives and get to know the ancestral processes of making textiles and dying threads with natural plants from the region, as well as visiting the Maya doctors to learn about and participate in healings using Maya techniques and medicinal plants that are grown in the Foundation’s organic garden. It is also possible to learn about local artisanal production with weaving classes and basket-making and to participate in a Maya ceremony.
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/MayaTraditionsFoundation/?fref=ts
XE’KUKU’ A’AB’AJ COMMUNITY TOURISM, San Juan la Laguna - Sololá
Xe’KuKu’aab’aj is an association in San Juan la Laguna, on the bank of Lake Atitlán. It is a famous place, known for the weavings of its women, the nature, the production of coffee, avocados, and vegetables, and there are two ways to arrive: 1) by land, traveling through 148 km. of the Interamerican Highway and passing the villages of Santa Clara and San Pablo; 2) by water, from Panajachel, on a boat that crosses the lake in 30 minutes.
The community tourism group Xe’KuKu’a'ab’aj offers excellent tours, so that a visitor can learn about the culture and history of the Maya Tzutujil ethnic group. Specifically, they offer the following 3 excursions:
The CULTURAL TOUR, to get to know the history and the life of the ancestors through the murals that are found spread out in different parts of the village. They also visit 5 brotherhoods, the Catholic church, the cemetery, the process for naturally dyeing cotton and its transformation on backstrap looms, to turn it into beautiful weavings.
The COFFEE TOUR, a walk that visits a coffee-growing cooperative, where visitors get an explanation of the whole process of producing organic coffee, from growing it, drying it, and grinding it, to the tasting of a delicious cup of coffee.
The MEDICINAL PLANT TOUR, where you will learn about the nursery of medicinal plants. The benefits of each one are explained by healers and midwives, who heal the inhabitants of the village with their inherited knowledge. You can also try and purchase the plant essences, ointments, soaps, shampoo, teas, and other products that have restorative and healing properties.
ARTESANAL FISHING, a hereditary practice among the Maya Tzutujil population, which has for centuries been the greatest source of income for the families of San Juan La Laguna. A local fisherman shares a few ancestral techniques for fishing on board a cayuco, handmade by the same fisherman. On this journey, you will be able to appreciate the majesty of Lake Atitlán, and its flora and fauna.
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/xekukuaabaj
Telephone: (+502) 4737 7483 / (+502) 5820 9653
CHIABAL, Todos Santos Cuchumatán - Huehuetenango
The village of Chiabal de Todos Santos Cuchumatán, in Huehuetenango, possesses a variety of traditions that make up a grand cultural richness. Its cuisine and oral tradition stand out; at the same time, it is surrounded by natural scenery that is noticeable for its beauty. These are the reasons behind the ecotourism activities that are a source of economic income, which benefit the community and contribute to the diffusion and conservation of location’s cultural and natural variety.
This is a Maya Mam community where the men (and not just the women, as in many other rural areas in Guatemala) also wear the typical traditional outfits, with white pants and red stripes, shirts with intricate embroidery, and straw hats. Weaving is one of the principal activities for women in the community, along with the cultivation of potatoes and the raising of sheep and llamas for their wool. Their community tourism project offers lodging and food with many of the local families, giving you the opportunity to get fully involved in the community and its social life.
Additionally, they offer places with more independence for the visitor, such as cabins of stone and wood, also with the option to eat in the house of a local family. Some of the dishes that are worth trying are characterized by lamb’s meat, prepared in different ways.
You can follow tourist paths through nature, routes in the nearby mountains, and toward the local viewpoint, from where – on a calm and cloudless day – it is possible to see all of the volcanos in the western Guatemalan highlands. It is also possible to learn about the most common practices among the local population: how to use the temascal sweat lodge or steam bath, which offers many health benefits; they describe its construction, as well as the process that requires its use. Lastly, they mention and you can visit a few of the village’s traditions, such as the famous running of the horses, and they mention the rich oral tradition, which includes various tales about famous characters.
Getting to this community is very easy: visitors must take a bus from Huehuetenango (toward Todos Santos Cuchumatán, passing by Chiantla) and get off in the village of Chiabal.
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/chiabalinda/?fref=ts
MAGNOLIA MIRAMAR, Colomba Costa Cuca - Quetzaltenango
The inhabitants of this small community were forced to abandon their homes during the 36 years of the internal armed conflict in Guatemala. They were displaced to Mexico, where they lived for 18 years and created – in 1992 – the Association of Dispersed Refugees of Guatemala – ARIDGUA in Spanish – to plan their return, considering the following determining factors: the functioning of the productive systems in the region where they settled, the nutritional needs of the population, the alimentary habits of the families, the cost of the basic basket of food and vital goods, the organizational level and arrangement of the population, and the alimentary assistance directed toward groups of people who returned.
When the Peace Accords were signed in 1996, the road toward a return to Guatemala for the displaced families became clear and they were able to buy the Magnolia Miramar Farm, in the municipality of Colomba Costa Cuca: a remote and precious place in the mountains, with views over the coastal plains.
The community survives on the sale of coffee and bananas and offers lodging in the former house of the “patrón” (owner) of the coffee plantation, as well as tours regarding coffee, eco-hiking, and excursions through the mountains that surround Magnolia Miramar.
It takes a long bus ride to get there, but it is worth the trouble for those who wish to enjoy a stay in a community that is very friendly and in the middle of plenty of nature. It is possibly to call the families that make up the community farm in order to organize your arrival to and departure from Magnolia Miramar.
Visitors can eat in local homes and perform volunteer work in various community activities if they wish. You can arrive by bus in the direction of Colomba Costa (2 hours from Quetzaltenango), and afterwards another bus toward Magnolia Miramar/La Mina (1 and a half hours)
Facebook page: www.facebook.com/magnolia.miramar
Telephone: (+502) 5034-2007
- Category: For volunteers
This is something that we at EntreMundos firmly believe, and it is for this reason that, for more than ten years, we have been receiving and accompanying groups of volunteers who want to live an unforgettable experience – both personal and professional – in Guatemala.
Through our Group Volunteering Service, we offer programs that are personalized according to the requests and interests of each group and that include educational, social, cultural, environmental, and recreational activities that permit volunteers to get to know Guatemala deeply and directly, while also providing small organizations, associations, schools, educational centers, health and social work centers, community establishments, etc… the chance to benefit from the work and knowledge of volunteers. International volunteers and local civil society are given the chance to get to know each other and exchange visions and experiences, bringing together two different realities on a shared path toward knowledge, connection, collaboration, and friendship.
This program is aimed at groups of youths (principally from universities and churches) who wish to carry out short-term volunteer work in Guatemala and at the same time learn about the culture, history, language, politics, and current events of the country. EntreMundos organizes the entire trip, and facilitates connections with different local community actors depending on the preferences and specific interests of the group. The most requested community services include municipal construction, home improvement, reforestation, agriculture, caring for the ecosystem, education, defense and promotion of child and youth rights, nutrition and medical attention, reclaiming of Maya cultural identity, and many others.
EntreMundos also organizes cultural, environmental, and educational activities, which include talks on topics of your choice; excursions to volcanos, community farms, or hot springs; visits to Lakes Atitlán and Chicabal and to the most touristic cities in the country (Antigua Guatemala, Panajachel, Quetzaltenango, Santa Cruz, San Marcos, San Pedro la Laguna, etc….); coffee and chocolate tastings, trekking, typical dances, sewing classes, hand embroidery, stick weaving, traditional cooking, presentations on the history of Guatemala, participation in Maya ceremonies and an explanation of the Maya calendars, of the 20 Nahuales and of the 13 energies that make up the Cholq’ij, etc…
What does EntreMundos do?
We are the principal contact for all foreign groups interested in the Group Volunteering Program and we are committed to:
- Designing agendas, itineraries, and budgets to satisfy the interests and needs of individual groups;
- Directing and coordinating the logistical and administrative tasks related to the program;
- Guaranteeing good lodging, healthy and safe food, and safe, private transportation;
- Organizing in great detail volunteer work and the cultural and educational activities;
- Acting as leader, companion, assistant, and translator for the groups;
- Making available to the group for their entire stay (from the first day at the airport in the capital until the last day) two bilingual professionals from EntreMundos, with proven experience: the Volunteer Program coordinator and the local guide;
- Providing an efficient accompaniment service using the EntreMundos vehicle in the event of unforeseen needs or emergencies (in addition to the private bus for the volunteers);
- Settling finances and providing clear and precise accounts of all costs, presenting whenever requested receipts and bills;
- Providing a fluid and constant communication with the groups before, during, and after their stay in the country;
- Awarding a Certificate of Participation in our Group Volunteering Program to each participant.
In the last three years, EntreMundos has received and accompanied many groups from Canada (from the Universities of Alberta (Edmonton), Saint Paul, and Ottawa (Ontario)) and the United States (James Madison (Virginia), Drexel (Philadelphia), Elon (North Carolina), Clark, and Bridgewater (Massachusetts) Universities), as well as youth groups from churches and religious congregations.
This is why the donation that EntreMundos requires covers only the costs of administration and staff (the program coordinator and the local guide) and is shared with the local organizations with which our international volunteers work.
Through our deep understanding the local context and our regular work with community leaders and our wide network of contacts (more than 700 grassroots organizations in the whole country!!!!!), we collaboratively plan an appropriate agenda based on the objectives, needs, and requests of your group, with special interest in maximizing the community impact and giving volunteers a unique, exciting, and unforgettable experience.
In 2016, we launched a pilot plan called “Open Subscriptions for Group Volunteering” that is projected to be implemented at least once a year.
The purpose of this pilot plan is to allow individuals who are not affiliated with a university, church, or other group, to participate in this program.
EntreMundos will offer a maximum of 14 people the chance to register for an eight-day group volunteering package, which will be offered in the second half of 2016. On our website, as well as on our Facebook and Twitter pages, we will be announcing the exact dates, the detailed costs, the itinerary, and the type of volunteer activities for the pilot plan.
So………. be on the lookout for this information in the course of the next few months……