- Official Language(s)
- 15.5 million
- % of Population Below Poverty
- 54% (8.4 million people)
- GDP per CAPITA (PPP US$) (?)
- $5,300 (Canada = $43,100)
- UN's Human Development Index (?)
Why volunteer in Guatemala?
Literacy rates in Guatemala are among the lowest in Latin America. The government runs public schools that are free to attend but the cost of uniforms, books, supplies and transportation makes them less accessible to the poorer segments of society. This is why we have the destination of Guatemala. We want you to volunteer to help these people.
Our volunteer projects are based in and around the town of San Miguel Dueñas, a traditional Guatemalan community surrounded by rural countryside. It is an agricultural town of 9,000 people, many of whom are subsistence farm labourers. Although Dueñas is situated just 15 kilometres from the tourist centre of Antigua, it has a substantially lower standard of living. Many homes do not have running water or electricity. In 2012, tropical storm Agatha destroyed homes and crops. Many homes are still in disrepair.
Volunteers help with various community driven projects from our in-country partner, the Open Windows Foundation, an organization that works to provide free education to disadvantaged members of the community. Volunteers with some knowledge of Spanish can assist younger children with their reading skills. Other volunteers may be asked to help small groups of children with computer skills, numbers and crafts. Volunteers will also assist in the construction of needed infrastructure projects, such as the construction of homes for families in need. Developing World Connections has a long-term commitment to help improve community members’ lives and increase their self-sufficiency. No special skills are required.
Choose your trip
HIGH SCHOOL, ADULT AND FAMILY, CUSTOM OR CORPORATE TRIPS: These are typically two weeks in length and include in-country food, ground transportation and accommodation, program costs and a substantial direct donation to the project with partner Open Windows Foundation. It does not include airfare. However, the entire cost, including airfare if paid through DWC, is 100% eligible for a charitable tax receipt.
YOUTH AND UNIVERSITY TRIPS: A two- to four-week Youth and University trip varies in price and is often based on the number of participants and location. You can fundraise for your trip and DWC will issue charitable receipts to your donors.
Trips may be cancelled if not enough people are registered so please sign up early to avoid disappointment. A $500 deposit is required to hold your spot on the trip; the remaining balance is due 60 days before departure.
When can I go?
How much does it cost?
A two-week high school trip will vary depending on the number of participants. A four-week Youth and University trip varies in price from $2,200 to $2,600 (flights not included) depending on the number of participants. You can fundraise for your trip and DWC will issue charitable receipts to your donors.
We invite people who cannot give the gift of time to donate to Guatemalan projects and programs through Developing World Connections.
After you’re done volunteering, we suggest you explore the center of Mayan civilization, including its ancient archaeology, rich culture and diverse landscapes. While the natural landscape of lush jungles, rainforests and highlands has earned Guatemala the title Land of Eternal Spring, its indigenous villages and markets capture the blend of ancient Mayan culture with the aristocratic architecture of its colonial past. In Antigua, visit museums and art galleries including the famous Casa Santo Domingo, learn about Mayan chocolate making or take a guided tour of the Finca Filadelfia coffee plantation. Spend the morning or afternoon hiking up Pacayo Volcano, one of Guatemala’s 33 active volcanoes.
For adventures outside of Antigua, you can spend time shopping at traditional Mayan markets in the various communities around Lake Atitlan. Or visit Lake Izabal and the 400-year-old Spanish fortress, Castillo de San Felipe. Travel by boat down the Rio Dulce, meandering past coastal fishing villages and through mangrove forests inhabited by manatee and crocodiles. Visit the 2,000-year-old Mayan ruins in the Tikal National Park and take a guided tour through a coffee plantation.