Join us for an unforgettable experience working to make a meaningful difference in the lives of families living in poverty. Volunteers travel to some of the most remote parts of Guatemala to provide life-saving medical care, make homes safe and healthy for families, and train rural schoolteachers.

Every trip is a different adventure, but volunteers can expect long days, hard work, simple accommodations, welcoming hosts, and the chance to build lasting friendships with a community of people dedicated to service. 

As a volunteer, you'll have an opportunity to help people living in extreme poverty change their lives immediately--and for years to come. With HELPS' strong local infrastructure and proven programs, you can be certain you are having a lasting, positive impact on the people you meet in Guatemala.

The life you change most, though, may be your own.   As one of our veteran volunteers put it,  "[At the end of each day on a HELPS trip] you are so tired; everything in your body hurts. But the help we give people truly changes you and your perspective about what is important in life."


"It is an honor to have this opportunity to share my skills, especially globally to people who are in need. Very gratifying and rewarding!"

-Health Care Volunteer


Education volunteers led six teacher trainings, benefiting 199 children.

Health care volunteers provided surgery and preventive care to 14,732 patients.

Community development volunteers installed ONIL stoves and water filters in over 3,000 homes and schools.


Find the right trip.

Volunteer teams travel to Guatemala throughout the year for 7-11 days, at a time to work in one of three programs: community development, health care, and education. Learn about each type of team and find one that's right for you. Community Development Community development teams are made up of 10 volunteers who work alongside local families to install ONIL cook stoves and water filters in their homes, dramatically improving health and safety. Community development teams travel to rural areas across Guatemala and may stay in hotels or dorm facilities. Some community development teams are embedded with health care volunteer groups; others are standalone teams. Take a look behind the scenes of the Cascade Community Development Team. Stove installation can be physically demanding, so volunteers should be able to lift 30 lbs easily, walk 2 miles up and down hills, and generally be in good health. Applicants must be 18 , or 16 if accompanied by a parent or guardian. If you have a corporate, family, or church group of 10 volunteers and wish to start your own community development team, we can help. Contact us at info@helpsintl.org for more information. Health Care Medical teams are made up of 50 to 100 health care professionals who provide surgery, preventive care and health education to people in remote areas who often have no other no other way to access quality healthcare. Medical teams travel to one of the ten destinations in Guatemala, where temporary hospital facilities are located to provide care for hundreds of people over the course of a week. During this time, they stay in dorm-style accommodations. Take a look at one of the Michigan medical team trips. Volunteers in the medical program must be over 18 years of age and may include surgeons, anesthesiologists, internists, general practitioners, nurses (OR, CRNA, PACU, recovery, etc.), pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, surgical technicians, scrubs techs, translators and other support staff. The focus areas and needs of each team may vary. Education Education teams are small groups of certified teachers who travel to HELPS school in the remote village of Santa Avelina several times a year. There, they spend a week training school teachers in workshops covering reading, math, science, and book creation. Because space on education teams is very limited, all volunteers must be certified teachers. For more information, contact info@helpsintl.org.

Check the travel calendar and select your team.

Visita la página de Fechas de Viajes de Servicio para encontrar el equipo al que te gustaría unirte. Tome nota del nombre y número del equipo, ya que deberá tenerlos a mano cuando complete su solicitud de voluntariado. Si tiene alguna pregunta sobre un equipo o viaje específico, contáctenos en info@helpsintl.org ** Tenga en cuenta que puede solicitar unirse a cualquiera de los equipos de HELPS que figuran en el calendario, independientemente de la ciudad en la que se encuentre el equipo.

Complete the volunteer application.

Complete the online volunteer application. El líder del equipo al que se postula recibirá una copia de su solicitud y se comunicará con usted pronto. Solicitar unirse a un viaje de servicio es gratis. Si lo aceptan para unirse a un equipo voluntario, el líder de su equipo se comunicará con usted con respecto a su itinerario, calendario de pagos del viaje y otros detalles. Si tiene alguna pregunta sobre el proceso de solicitud o seguimiento, contáctenos en info@helpsintl.org o 469 779 7101.

Fundraise for your service trip

Between airfare, lodging, meals, and in-country transportation, service travel can be expensive. Our volunteers have come up with some creative ways to raise funds to cover the cost of their service trips, from hosting a Guatemalan-themed dinner to beekeeping and selling honey at the farmers market. If you have a very creative fundraiser, please let us know so we can help spread the word! For help getting started with your online fundraising, here are six steps for a successful service trip fundraiser. If you have questions or need assistance with your online fundraising efforts, please contact us at info@helpsintl.org.



How much does it cost to join a service trip?

The cost to participate on service teams ranges from $1,500 to $2,500 depending on a variety of factors including whether. HELPS arranges your airfare and insurance, time of year, length and destination of trip, etc. This cost includes in-country transportation, lodging, most meals, and a security team. A small portion of the cost also helps support the local leadership, field staff and program infrastructure in Guatemala to support the communities where teams work and ensure the long-term success of volunteers' efforts.

Does HELPS provide scholarships for service trips?

HELPS International does not currently have funding to provide stipends or scholarships, but some teams do. If you are interested in finding out if stipends are available, please fill out an application and in the comments field please write “Can only go if financial assistance is provided." That way, the team leaders will be alerted and proceed accordingly. Many volunteers also opt to seek sponsorship through their companies or raise funds among friends and family.

Where are HELPS' teams from?

While teams are often primarily made up of volunteers from a specific city, volunteers do not need to be from that region to join a team. All the teams listed in the service trip dates page may accept volunteers from across the United States and beyond.

Where do teams go in Guatemala?

Teams travel to various destinations across Guatemala, primarily in rural areas where poverty rates are extremely high and there are few aid organizations. Medical teams typically travel to one of eight different locations where we have adequate facilities to establish temporary hospitals. Most community development teams travel to the Western Highlands of Guatemala, though they may travel anywhere in the country.

How long do service trips last?

The number of days varies by team, but usually 10-12 days. Typically, teams arrive in Guatemala on a Saturday and travel to the mission location on Sunday. There, they work Monday through Friday (sometimes Saturday), and then they travel to the beautiful, colonial city of Antigua for a few days of R&R before returning to the U.S.

How many volunteers are on teams?

Community development teams may have as few as 10 volunteers, while teams that perform both medical and community development services may have up to 120 volunteers.

Can I join multiple teams each year?

Absolutely, yes! We do not limit the amount of times that volunteers serve, so you are always welcome to join more than one team every year.

If I apply, will I be automatically accepted?

No. Recruitment is done by team leaders on a specific needs basis, and there is no guarantee that they will have room for everyone that applies. However, careful consideration is given to every applicant, and usually most are accepted.

If I apply, will I be required to go no matter what?

No. Volunteers excuse themselves after applying and/or being accepted for a variety of reasons including medical, financial, and/or time availability. If you are accepted and cannot travel, we simply ask that you please alert your team leader as soon as possible so that they may act accordingly. If a volunteer has paid service trip fees and cannot go on the trip, HELPS may offer a full or partial refund of fees. If you cannot go after your fees are paid, please contact your team leader immediately to discuss the best option to manage your funds.

How do I pay for my service trip?

You can pay for your trip by check or credit card. To pay online, simply click the orange "Donate" button, or visit donate.helpsintl.org. Make sure to indicate the volunteer's name and team number in the notes section. If you are paying with a check, please indicate the volunteer's name and team number on the memo line. You may send your payment to: Attn Chase McMillan HELPS International 15301 Dallas Parkway, Suite 200 Addison, TX 75001-4668 If you would like to make a credit card payment over the phone, please call us at 469-779-7101, and select option 2.

Can I start my own team?

Yes! If you are interested in starting a new community development or medical team, please contact our Operations + Logistics Manager, Wendy Pedrero-Williams at wpedrero@helpsintl.org. She will answer any questions you have and guide you through the process from start to finish.

Have more questions? Email us at info@helpsintl.org





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