TRIP #GMA0320:


Work on projects that improve lives and increase self-sufficiency

Mar 14, 2020
Mar 28, 2020
Approx. $2,400 (approx) based on 10 volunteers
San Miguel Dueñas, Guatemala


You’ll work with Open Windows Foundation in San Miguel Duenas, an agricultural community of about 12,000 people who live 15 kilometres from the tourist city of Antigua. Despite being located so close to the tourism industry, many San Miguel families barely get by. Open Windows is a dynamic, non-profit children’s learning centre that provides 2,600 kids with services and programs so they have more options and independence in their lives.

About The Project:

Many families live in very poor conditions and need a safe and secure home for their children to grow up in.  It is very difficult for them to earn enough money to be able to improve their living conditions without support.

This team project in Guatemala will provide a safe home for a family, protecting them from weather and providing proper sanitation. Further, having a new house will increase their standing within the community, increase their self-esteem, and motivate them to secure a better future for the entire family.

Our in-country partner, Open Windows Foundation has had a long history of working in this region of Guatemala and has been aiding local children with their education and access to resources in the community of San Miguel Duenas.  Beneficiary selection is driven by an awareness of local children most in need.  Families are often subsistence farm workers who struggle to survive.

These modest homes are built of cinderblock. DWC volunteers work with experienced locals who will train them on the construction process. You’ll definitely be doing work that builds a future for people who live off of hope. You’ll work alongside like-minded volunteers who are also passionate about travel and giving others a hand up, not a hand out.

Read day-to-day experiences from our volunteers on the Guatemala Blog »

It’s Not All Work:

You can expect a warm and humid climate during your stay in Guatemala; it’s an excellent time to visit as it is the dry season. Temperatures average around 20°C making it comfortable for indoor or outdoor pursuits.

There’s lots to see and do. Antigua, where our volunteers stay in a hotel, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its Spanish Baroque style of architecture and church ruins. The region was hit by several earthquakes in the 1700s (hence the historic ruins). Not to worry, though, there haven’t been any quakes of note in the past couple of hundred years or so.

Past teams have visited a chocolate maker, open markets, monuments, fountains, plant nurseries and even volcanoes. Some have gone for wilderness hikes or ziplining. There are lots of options for your free time.

Learn more about the Guatemala »


  • Saturday, March 14 to Sunday, March 15 – Team arrives Guatemala City airport; transport to Antigua and check in to hotel
  • Monday, March 16 to Friday, March 20 – PROJECT WORK in San Miguel Dueñas
  • Saturday, March 21 to Sunday, March 22 – Free time for adventure or relaxtion
  • Monday, March 23 to Friday, March 27 – PROJECT WORK in San Miguel Dueñas
  • Saturday, March 28 – Depart Guatemala or continue to travel

View All Trips Schedule »

DWC Team Leader:


Hi there! Thanks for showing some interest in volunteering abroad.  It’s a truly life changing experience and let me take you there.

My name is Corie McRae.  I currently live in the lower mainland in Greater Vancouver.  I am a humanitarian by heart and a secondary school counsellor by day.  I work in a high school within the Surrey school district so it is a position that keeps me hopping most days.  I love it as it is fast paced, stressful, and overwhelming at times but extremely rewarding at the same time and that keeps me hooked.  To counter balance the needs of this job, I maintain self care by spending quality time with loved ones, doing and teaching yoga, playing sports such as hockey and soccer, and maybe dabbling in the occasional glass of red wine.

As indicated earlier, I am a humanitarian by heart.  I have traveled a large part of the globe and have spent time in the richest of countries but also the poorest. I have spent time in countries such as Cambodia, Brazil, Vietnam, China, Turkey, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic (on the Haiti border).  With DWC specifically, I spent the summer (2 months) of 2012 in east Africa.  I worked on three projects: one in Rwanda, another in Uganda, and a third in Tanzania.  All incredibly different and rewarding.  I might have slipped in a climb to the summit of Kilimanjaro too.

But it breaks my heart to see so many people in the world without.  When I was young, and first realized that in the scheme of the world I was fortunate enough to have won the birth lottery to have been born and raised in Canada within an amazing family, I distinctly remember asking my Mom how I got to be so lucky.  I remember this vividly because she made my Dad stop the car and pull over.  I was only about 6 or 7 at the time (she since filled in the details of the conversation to me) but she made a big deal about my coming to this conclusion that I was lucky and that I should never take it for granted.  I then asked her why somebody wasn’t doing something about it to help these ‘unfortunate’ people.  To which she replied, and I will never forget it, “You are somebody!”  So I invite you to be somebody with me and let’s make a small dent in the world for the better with DWC. 🙂


Do I need construction experience and how much will we work?
You don’t need any special skills or training. We hire local skilled labourers who will give training onsite for construction and team leaders. You will work at your own pace five days a week from about 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Your evenings and weekends are free for cultural activities and relaxing..
What are meals and accommodations like?
The team will stay at a hotel in Antigua that is comfortable and clean. The food is prepared hygienically and dishes range from local to standard Western fare.
How much does it cost?
The program cost is about $2,400 and will be finalized closer to the departure date. This includes accommodations, meals, in-country transport, program costs and a donation to Open Windows Foundation. It does not include airfare.

The entire program and flight costs are 100% tax deductible when paid through DWC. You can also fundraise and we will issue charitable receipts for donations $20 CDN or greater.

Why should I volunteer?

Volunteer trips take you to places you otherwise might never go, to do things you otherwise might never do and to meet people you might never otherwise meet.

You’ll make a difference in others’ lives and they will make a difference in yours. Simply put, there is joy and self-discovery that comes with giving to others. And you’ll have fun doing it, too.


Are You Ready To Go?

Got questions? Email us at

Ready to apply? Fill out our online application. You can secure your place on this trip with a $500, non-refundable deposit that goes toward your total trip cost. After you’ve submitted your forms and deposit, our office will contact you and send you a welcome package.

We’re glad to have you join us.

Can’t go on a trip to be a part of the crew but still want to help DWC support families in Guatemala? You can help buy stoves for our Light Up Guatemala Fundraiser. Learn about the immediate benefits of this program.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Still have some questions? We’re here to help, please feel free to contact us now, or fill out the form.

Tell your friends about us!

Donate Now