Guatemala is known for its spectacular volcanoes, lakes, and mountains, as well as for its strong Maya and Spanish influences. Indigenous Maya culture is very visible in Guatemala, due both to the numerous ancient ruins dotting the countryside and to the fact that Maya communities have kept many of their traditions and customs alive, even as the country modernizes.

Guatemala has had a difficult political history, but after being torn apart by a decades-long civil war during the second half of the 20th century, it is proudly emerging as a strong economic and political power in Central America. More than half of Guatemalans still live below the poverty line, however; and World Endeavors volunteers in Guatemala help with projects that contribute to this country’s future.


Volunteers must be 18 years of age or older. Successful volunteers are hardworking, flexible, and open to truly immersing themselves in Guatemalan culture.



World Endeavors volunteers in Guatemala live and work in the city of Quetzaltenango, or Xela for short, which is located in a mountain valley in the southwest of region of the country. In the evenings and on weekends, volunteers can explore the city of Quetzaltenango or take an affordable bus ride to visit other parts of Guatemala. Quetzaltenango makes a great base for getting to know Guatemala: it is big enough to offer plenty of activities, restaurants, and services for visitors, but it is less touristy than many other cities, offering volunteers an authentic Guatemalan experience. Quetzaltenango is also known for having retained a strong Maya influence, and volunteers have the opportunity to learn about Maya culture and traditions firsthand. Volunteers with an adventurous spirit will enjoy hiking and exploring several nearby volcanoes and hiking trails.



Maddy is a Boston, Massachusetts native who studies Sociology. She volunteered abroad with two of her friends at a children's home in Guatemala through World Endeavors.

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“I for sure want to go back to Guatemala. It has made me think about the way that I live here in the States—I’m trying to simplify my life and better myself as a person. Everybody I met was absolutely wonderful.”

- Samantha, Volunteer in Guatemala

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Volunteers in Guatemala will live and work in the city of Quetzaltenango, also known as Xela, located in a mountain valley in southwestern Guatemala.

World Endeavors volunteers in Guatemala can contribute to the following projects:



Volunteers stay with host families, where they share space, build relationships, practice language, and learn about traditional culture, food, home rituals, and customs. Host families are welcoming and friendly, usually middle class, and are hand-picked by the World Endeavors team to ensure that placements provide a safe and positive environment for the volunteer. Housing accommodations are modest, safe, and clean, but may differ from Western norms in terms of space or amenities.

Dates And Costs

The World Endeavors Volunteer in Guatemala program is flexible in duration and can be tailored to last between 2 to 12 weeks. If you have the time, we recommend a stay of at least 4 weeks. Admissions are rolling, and World Endeavors volunteers can choose when they would like to start their program. Due to holidays, traditional vacation schedules, and seasonal work availability, there might be better times than others to volunteer at a specific location or in a specific project.

When you are ready to start planning your volunteer trip to Guatemala, contact us. Our experienced advisors will help you sort through any timing considerations unique to your destination or your volunteer project.

Please wait until after you are accepted into the program and you have received the confirmed arrival and departure dates before you book your flight.


Program Name First Week Each Additional Week
Volunteer In Guatemala $1,390 $390


  • Program Advisor: dedicated, experienced, and accessible for one-on-one guidance
  • Volunteer program placement: individualized for your goals and experience
  • Flexible durations from 2 to 12 weeks with year-round start dates
  • Academic credit facilitation
  • Local Onsite Coordinator with 24/7 availability; pre and post arrival orientation
  • Personalized Program Success Plan with ongoing support
  • Re-entry Handbook: to help you reflect on and integrate your experience abroad into your daily life and future career, deal with reverse culture shock, stay connected to the culture of your host country, and get involved in future service and travel opportunities
  • Spanish instruction: 10 hours per week
  • Airport reception and welcome
  • Home stay accommodations with 3 meals per day included
  • Comprehensive travel medical insurance
  • Travel visa guidance and support
  • Advice on how to get a local phone number
  • 24/7 Emergency Travel Assistance
  • Travel protection
  • Discounts: to stores, restaurants, and entertainment located near your home and/or university!



  • Round-trip transportation to the project site in Guatemala
  • Visa expenses
  • Optional trips and excursions
  • Daily transportation
  • Personal expenses


How To Apply

Congratulations on your decision to embark on a life-changing experience abroad! We look forward to working with you to make your trip a memorable, meaningful one.

For most applicants, the first step is to contact a World Endeavors advisor. Our advisors are available to answer questions and offer guidance along the way.  With our help, you may be surprised at how easily your dream of going abroad can become a reality.

Enrollment in the World Endeavors program begins formally with an application. We can accommodate applications received 12 weeks prior to the intended start date up to a year in advance. Due to visa requirements and other processes involved in coordinating international programs, participants are encouraged to submit their applications as far in advance as possible. If your intended start date is less than 12 weeks away, contact World Endeavors for more information.