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Volunteer Abroad in Guatemala
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Hot Tamale! Volunteer Abroad & Savor Guatemala
A volunteer abroad trip isn't complete without feasting on local delicacies — and this is as true in Guatemala as anywhere else in the world. Foreigners who are living in Guatemala and staying with a host family are lucky; they get to sample uniquely Guatemalan cuisine from day 1. Those who aren’t living with locals are advised to go out and explore Guatemala’s food culture before returning to the land of fast food and take-out.
Mouth watering Pache.
Photo courtesy Luisfi on Wikimedia
Maya cuisine plays a big part in traditional Guatemalan food. Expect a lot of beans, corn, and chile. What is perhaps the most prominent local food is the tamale: pockets of starchy dough, stuffed with a variety of fillings. Do you know Guatemalans have more than a hundred ways of preparing tamale and just as many variations? Here are a few types of tamales that you will want to sink your teeth into if you’re volunteering abroad in Guatemala:
Paches: Also known as also known as tamales de arroz, paches are just like any tamale, filled with mouth-watering meat, olives, plums and raisins. What distinguishes it from other tamales is skin deep: instead of the more familiar maize masa (corn dough), the dough of the paches is made from potatoes. It is customarily prepared and eaten on Thursdays, especially in the Christmas season.
Tamales Colorados: They’re also known as red tamale because of the red tinge from tomatoes and annato seeds. Wrapped in the traditional corn dough, the appropriately colorful tamales colorados are stuffed with chicken, pork or beef, bell pepper and olives in thick tomato sauce.
Tamales Negros: As the name suggests, tamales negros are dark and sweet, thanks to the combination of chocolate, almonds, prunes and raisins as stuffing. Adding to the dark color is the dough made from blue corn or black corn. These make an ideal dessert.
Tamales de Elote: Like the paches, the dough of tamales de elote deviates from the norm. Instead of maize, or non-sweet corn, the dough of this type of tamales is made from sweet corn. Yes, that corn on the cob that you are used to eating is an elote. The stuffing of tamales de elote is also different; there's no meat!
Tamalitos de Masa: Guatemalans are also big on chips and dips! The only difference between your corn chips-and-cheese dip snack and tamalitos de masa is that the latter is lacking in flavor, making it perfect for dipping in hearty soups and piquant Guatemalan fare like spicy beans and salsa.
Tamalitos de Chipilin: This is a variant of the tamalitos de masa where the dips are stuffed in bite-sized tamales.
Chuchitos: This is the most typical Guatemalan tamale. Chuchitos, also called small dogs, are smaller tamales seasoned with tomato salsa and traditional salty white cheese and wrapped in dried corn husks known locally as tuzas. Most are wrapped in plantain or banana leaves. Chuchitos are typical because they are commonly served at events.
Besides tamales, there is a wide array of other Guatemalan cuisine you can try while studying in Guatemala.
For an appetizer, go for tostadas, or fried corn tortillas, often served with black beans, tomato sauce, or guacamole. The chicharrones y carnitas, or fried pork skin and pork meat, and yuca con chicharron, or boiled cassava served with fried pork chunks, are also highly recommended.
Looking for something heavier? Check out chiles rellenos, a bell pepper stuffed with meat and vegetables and then covered in fried whipped egg whites; or the estofado, a concoction of stewed beef and carrots.
Exploring the Guatemalan food culture is truly a feast for all the senses. If you’re volunteering abroad in Guatemala, break out the cubiertos and go on an amazing gastronomic adventure.
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Volunteer in Guatemala with International Volunteer HQ today! IVHQ is the most affordable volunteer organization in the world, sending over 5500 volunteers abroad each year. IVHQ Guatemala is located in Antigua, translated as “Ancient” in the local language and approximately 30 minutes from Guatemala City. We have a wide range of volunteering opportunities available including Animal Care/Animal...
The people of Guatemala represent many different cultures, and the country still proudly recognizes its strong indigenous influence. But while Guatemala is considered a middle-income country, its economic divide between cultures is steep and disproportionate, affecting people of indigenous descent more than any other group.
Guatemala volunteer programs can be incredibly rewarding and give participants the chance to complete challenging fieldwork. Placements are in the highlands region of Guatemala, where indigenous peoples have lived for centuries. More than half of the population of Guatemala is Mayan, and participants have a unique opportunity to experience this culture during their programs.
“You are about to discover a new culture, accomplish something unforgettable, and explore the best Guatemala has to offer!” We are excited to get your placement under way where you will: * Make a difference in the lives of under-privileged children and adults by providing education and counselling in schools and orphanages, HIV education, and medical care. * Have the support of a non pro...
We share the same passions you have about traveling abroad. We treat you the way that we want to be treated, and provide the service that we hope to get on the road. We will assist you with ALL of your travel needs.
Máximum Level’s volunteer and internship projects in Peru, Costa Rica, and Guatemala provide unique opportunities to live and work internationally while experiencing the countries’ rich cultural diversity and building your proficiency in the Spanish language.
As an AMPED volunteer, you can join in Guatemala’s recovery effort by devoting your time and skills to one of the following projects: Human Rights (Women); Medical Clinic; Orphanage/Day Care; Special Needs Children; Street/At-risk Children and Teaching English in local schools.
Work side-by-side and build relationships with members of our indigenous partner communities in the U.S. and abroad.
If you're looking for a unique travel experience abroad, look no further! A Broader View's programs are the perfect way to meet new people, immerse yourself in new cultures and make a difference abroad.
This project works with a variety of placements focused on improving the lives of impoverished and disadvantaged children in the local communities. Volunteers will have the option to choose their specific placements, with options to work with organizations that contribute to different aspects of child development and community assistance. The project includes placements in day care centers, reh...
Immerse yourself in local culture and language in Quetzaltenango, the heart of the Sierra Madre Mountains, where traditional Mayan dress and customs are still very much a part of daily life. Guatemala has been home to various civilizations dating back to at least 10,000 B.C.E. , the ruins of which can still be seen today. Before the Spanish invaders arrived in 1518, The Mayan Empire spanned the...
Explore remote and spectacular landscapes, work with deprived and deserving communities, or campaign for wildlife care and conservation on a travel adventure you’ll never forget.
Join World Endeavors in the rural communities of Guatemala to help improve the education of local teenagers and children. Make a difference in a child's life by volunteering your time and expertise in a variety of subjects. Volunteers may act as classroom assistants or as independent teachers, depending on their comfort level and local need.
Humanitravels offers volunteer and language programs in Latin America. The programs are tailored to meet your needs and personalized to ensure you reach all your goals for the experience. Not only will you be able to round out your resume but also expand your horizons and gain intimate knowledge of the people and place. All our programs have been personally visited and inspected by Humanitr...
Have you always wanted to serve in the Peace Corps but haven't had the time to make a two year commitment? The National Peace Corps Association, in collaboration with Discover Corps, is offering 1 to 2 week volunteer vacations abroad to Latin America, Africa, and Asia for adults and families. Volunteer side-by-side with local people. Learn first hand about a country, its culture and people from...
Global Leadership Adventures presents a fresh, new approach to service-learning for intellectually curious and socially-oriented teenagers. Programs are offered in 11 countries throughout Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Participants explore historic and natural sites in different countries while they learn the local language and history, and serve the community through meaningful volunteer eff...
Volunteering in Guatemala can be very challenging, but learning first hand about the people of Guatemala and the challenges they face on a daily basis is one of the most rewarding experiences possible. Please note that all volunteer positions require that participants have at least an intermediate level of Spanish proficiency.
Volunteer with a non-profit organization in Guatemala to empower indigenous women and children. Help to break the cycle of poverty through education, construction projects, environmental awareness and health projects. This organization looks at what a community needs and creates it together with the local people. Their mission it to empower the Guatemalans and not have them rely on help from ...
Animal lovers, conservationists and scientific researchers alike are invited to this special sanctuary in the remote northern region of Guatemala. The Wild Animal Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre is situated on 45 hectares of forested land in the Mayan Biosphere Reserve, and is home to a number of species including parrots, macaws, spider and howler monkeys, margays, ocelots, coatimundis, taras...
Learn Spanish while helping the people of Guatemala through a host of Volunteer opportunities in our Community Development Projects.
Miguel Angel Asturias Spanish School provides intensive one-on-one Spanish instruction. In addition, we sponsor half and full-time social volunteer programs for our students in education, health care, agriculture, rural development, journalism, and more. A Medical Spanish program (human and veterinary) is also available for medical students who wish specialized vocabulary and clinical experienc...
Volunteers for International Partnership. The mix of language immersion, homestays, and host project placements with local co-workers and international volunteers, makes VIP distinct among international service programs. Contribute your time, talent and skills while learning about the people and culture of Guatemala!
Central America - a narrow strip of steaming jungles and fiery volcanoes, unites two massive continents and splits the world's largest oceans. Rising out of the sea at a confluence of five tectonic plates, this causeway of cultures and ecological diversity is an explosion of rapid biological and cultural change. Today the countries of Central America continue their historic legacy of adaptatio...
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