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Volunteer Abroad in Guatemala for 1–12 weeks

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Location

Guatemala: Guatemala City

Description

Cross-Cultural Solutions is a nonprofit working to address critical global issues by providing meaningful volunteer service to communities abroad, and contributing responsibly to local economies. As a leader in the field of international volunteer travel since 1995, we know that the best approach to international volunteering—the only approach—is one designed by the community. In every community in which we work, we have long-standing relationships with local organizations who communicate real-time needs and objectives to the CCS team so that our volunteers can work alongside local people and make a sustainable impact. We’ve made the volunteer abroad experience of a lifetime possible over 30,000 international adventurers just like you. And with our staff of 300+ in 10 countries around the globe, along with our 99.5% volunteer satisfaction record, you can rest assured that we'll provide you with the full experience—a safe, immersive, and impactful adventure of a lifetime.

Guatemala is as varied in local culture and ecosystems as it is in neighboring countries. As a volunteer in Guatemala, you'll begin to explore this heart of Mayan civilization and quickly understand why so many people have a special place in their heart for Guatemala. With an opportunity to visit idyllic beach towns, wander Mayan ruins, and climb active volcanoes, you can spend plenty of time as a volunteer in Guatemala and never run out of new adventures.

During its 36 year-long civil war, many Guatemalans migrated to Guatemala City seeking employment. Through the years, this unexpected migration has resulted in the unsustainable expansion of Guatemala City. No matter where you spend your time as a volunteer in Guatemala, you'll have a chance to make a real impact as you connect with members of your new community.

Our impact areas are:
• Improve education for children
• Assist with the care of infants and children
• Improve the quality of care for people with disabilities
• Enhance the quality of healthcare
• Improve health and the sense of dignity among the elderly

Highlights

Here at CCS, we know that a chance to learn about the culture of the community in which you're volunteering is what truly makes the experience unique and complete. This is why we include plenty of immersive Cultural Activities to complement your volunteer efforts. As a volunteer, it isn't only the work that you do that will leave a lasting impact on the local community, but the cultural exchange and understanding in which you openly participate as well. Whether you're engaging in guided discussions on relevant local issues, or find yourself elbow deep in rice flour and learning how to cook a local specialty, every organized Cultural Activity will offer you a deeper understanding of the local community and all of its beautiful complexities.

While staying in CCS Guatemala, the CCS staff will show you useful points of interest as well as examples of the city's staggering economic disparities. Beginning at the “city dump,” which serves as a home for over 200 families who support themselves by scrap picking, you'll travel about 10 minutes to take in a completely different kind of neighborhood filled with towering mansions and gated communities. This powerful lesson lends some serious perspective to your volunteer service, and introduces you to the complex history of your new home away from home. After touring the city, connect with a local family over cups of steaming, frothy hot chocolate and learn their millennia-old family recipe for the traditional Mayan drink. You’ll even have the opportunity to help them roast the cacao beans, peel and clean the seeds, cook the chocolate, and then — and here's the best part — enjoy the fruits of your labors over conversation with the family.

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10 Overall Experience

The best decision of my life!

Cross Cultural Solutions gave me an opportunity of a lifetime! I had always wanted to volunteer abroad for several years and after some research, I decided CCS would be a great start and it was definitely the best decision of my life. The program specialist works closely with you, getting you prepared to the fullest before you depart to your trip. I had many questions as I was beginning my application process and they were all thoroughly answered. Next arriving to your home base can make someone anxious especially if this is something they are doing for the very first time in their life. And that was me. Being that it was my first time doing a volunteer abroad trip, I was a bit nervous about how I would acclimate to the new culture and how I would do at my volunteer placement. However, right when I got to Guatemala, the in-country staff relieved many of my anxieties. They were extremely pleasant and so helpful in making me feel comfortable and right at home. And the volunteer placement was awesome. It was such a rewarding experience. I learned so much from the ladies that I helped at the elderly center there. I will cherish the time spent with them and will never forget this experience. It was an eye-opener for me and I wish everyone gets the opportunity to do something like this in their lifetime. Another thing I loved about CCS was their way of immersing you into the culture. Each day they had a cultural activity planned for us which gave us the chance to learn about the people, the culture, the language and the country we were visiting. CCS seriously over succeeded my expectations. I went in not know this experience would change my life, but it did. And now I can't wait to do my next trip. I want to try all of the locations CCS works with. I highly recommend everyone to look into this program. You won't be disappointed!

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Institution Affiliates:

The International Volunteer Programs Association