A man on top of a mountain A man on top of a mountain

Volunteer in Guatemala

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience


  • Program Administration


  • Living Situation


  • Community Impact


  • Health and Safety


  • Social Life


API Guatemala - Learning the ways of the panza verdes!

Why API?
In 2014, following my college graduation I was looking for opportunities to travel abroad to continue to utilize my Spanish skills. Having previously participated in an API semester program in Spain, I was confident in choosing API as a provider for a short-term volunteer opportunity abroad, knowing the quality of the program would be great!

Why Guatemala?
I chose to go to Guatemala because I was looking for a different experience from my time in Spain. I had spent time in Latin America before, having done a short-term study program in Costa Rica, so I was really looking to explore a new location and a new culture. Antigua looked so beautiful in the pictures that I had seen and they had teacher volunteer placements working, which was my area of interest!

The day to day:
My time in Guatemala was wonderful! I lived with an amazing host family that was very centrally located in Antigua. I took the bus to my teaching placement a few towns over and the onsite staff were kind enough to travel with me to my placement for the first three days, until I was sure of the route! I volunteered in a second grade classroom, which was so interesting for me since my mom is a second grade teacher in the states. I was a teacher's assistant for the two-week period I was in Guatemala and the teacher really let me get involved in the work, which I loved. He was a very hands on teacher and always had fun activities that students were enthusiastic about.
In the afternoons I had one-on-one Spanish lessons. I absolutely loved these lessons because although I was highly proficient in Spanish upon arrival, it was the first time I was really able to take a class catering to exactly what I needed review on. I am so grateful for the one-on-one courses and my teacher was close in age and simply the nicest!

I am so glad I chose to volunteer abroad. I am so glad I chose to go abroad again with API. And most of all, I am so glad I chose Guatemala and was able to learn the ways of the panza verdes (the name for those living in Antigua, meaning green stomachs - because they eat so many veggies in Antigua!) I can't believe it has been two years since my volunteer experience abroad. I guess that means that it is time for the next!!