Join the Light Up Guatemala Team

Explore village life and leave
a legacy that will make families healthier

Oct 19, 2019
Oct 26, 2019
Approx. $2,300
San Miguel Duenas, Join the Light Up Guatemala Team

Join the Light Up Guatemala Team

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:

You will be installing clean-burning stoves with the guidance of Open Windows Foundation (OW) as part of DWC’s LIGHT UP GUATEMALA program. Most of the people who live in and around San Miguel Duenas are subsistence farm workers living in tin and cindercrete block houses.

These stoves might not seem like much, but families that can’t afford them end up using open fires in their homes for cooking. Those fires fill the houses with smoke throughout the day. Due to this, everyone from babies to elders ends up breathing in the smoke and Guatemala has a high rate of respiratory illnesses as a result. A stove also uses far less firewood than open fires, so that means families can spend less money on bundles of wood or less time collecting it from the forests. This results in the stoves helping to reduce deforestation.

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 with temperatures 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 volcano parks. Some have gone for wilderness hikes or ziplining. There are lots of options for your free time.

Learn more about the Guatemala »

Install eco stoves for healthier families

Draft Itinerary:

  • Saturday, October 19 – Team arrives at Guatemala City airport; transport to Antigua and check in to hotel
  • Sunday, October 20 – R and R and exploring
  • Monday, October 21 to Friday, October 25 – PROJECT WORK in San Miguel Dueñas
  • Saturday, October 26 – departing Guatemala or continue travels

View All Trips Schedule »

DWC Team Leaders:

Marianne Thompson

Marianne went on her first DWC volunteer trip in 2010 to Tanzania. With this kind of trip she found the opportunity to give back – not just to donate the money, but to go and be immersed in the culture and build for the people, as well as an opportunity to see another part of the world. She confides, “That trip and every other one that I’ve gone on since – I firmly believe I come back a better person than when I left. It puts a lot of things in perspective when you’re there, about how lucky we are in the world we live.”

Since then she has traveled with DWC to Rwanda and to Guatemala several times and understands the organization’s philosophy. “I want to support an organization like DWC because I believe they are supporting third-world countries the right way.”

To Marianne, Light Up Guatemala is an exciting program because one stove helps so many.


Doug Wittal

Born in 1908 in Kamloops, British Columbia, Doug’s first experience leading a DWC trip was the Kilimanjaro Challenge where he almost died. Little Dougie has decided to give it another go and lead a Light Up Guatemala team with the solid support of Co-Team Leader, Marianne Thompson.

On a more serious note, Doug has been everywhere there is to go with DWC, building homes in the jungles of Cambodia, improving schools in the barrios of Peru, and building medical clinics on the plains of East Africa.

Doug is passionate about the mission of DWC and the size of his heart is only matched by his generosity, time and service.

When not volunteering he is the founder and president of DW Builders, a custom construction company in Kamloops, BC.



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 $2,300 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 the trip to be a part of the installation crew but still want to help the team achieve their goal? You can help buy stoves for the Light Up Guatemala Fundraiser.

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

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