VOLUNTEER IN GUATEMALA
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."
WHAT HELPS VOLUNTEERS SAY
"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
2019 VOLUNTEER IMPACT
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.
HOW TO GET STARTED
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 email@example.com. She will answer any questions you have and guide you through the process from start to finish.
Have more questions? Email us at