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Looking for the perfect blend of giving back, cultural immersion, and adventure without breaking the bank? The Guatemala program is your ideal choice!
Childcare Volunteer Program in Guatemala - Antigua

Childcare Volunteer Program in Guatemala - Antigua

Purpose
Provide a safe space for children to learn
Start dates
Programs start every Monday
Duration
Choose from 1-24 weeks
Volunteer hours
Up to 4 hours a day
Age
Volunteers aged 16+ and families
Accommodation
Homestay or volunteer house
Program fees
From £300 for 1 week
What's included
Find out here
Apply for free
'Who is going' users image
Who is going?
Group video calls

Once you have secured your place, join regular video calls to meet your Program Manager and other volunteers before your trip.

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This program is ideal for:

Volunteers with a warm, caring nature and a passion for working with children. You will play an important role in working alongside local staff to improve children’s educational and emotional needs, so no experience is necessary.

Project details

Excited to be a Childcare volunteer in Guatemala? International Volunteer HQ’s Childcare project enables volunteers to gain experience assisting in schools and early childhood centres in Antigua. By providing a safe space for children from disadvantaged neighborhoods, volunteers can help to nurture them with access to education, fun and support.

What to expect and how you'll make an impact

Children from disadvantaged neighborhoods in Guatemala often have a poor home life, little to no schooling and alcohol or drug abuse among their families. With the help of volunteers, schools and childcare centres are better equipped to provide safe places where children have access to education and strong support networks that can help them build healthy, fulfilling lives and be more likely to break the cycle of poverty.

Childcare volunteer work varies according to your specific placement, but generally consists of:

  • Playing with and caring for children
  • Setting up games and activities
  • Helping with lessons
  • Assisting with homework
  • Informal English teaching
Contributes to United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal #4: Quality Education

Contributes to United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal #4: Quality Education

More than half of all children and teens do not meet minimum proficiency standards in reading and mathematics. Quality education provides an opportunity to learn and grow in a safe environment and is key to preventing poverty, securing long-term employment and improving quality of life.

Why do Childcare volunteering in Antigua with IVHQ?

When you volunteer with children in Guatemala you’ll be adding value to the local community, while also developing personally and professionally by:

  • Improving access to education for disadvantaged children
  • Helping students develop life skills in a safe place
  • Practicing your Spanish
  • Developing your communication skills
  • Gaining childcare experience
  • Immersing yourself in Guatemalan culture
  • Exploring Guatemala’s Mayan ruins in your spare time

Volunteer requirements

  • Volunteers under the age of 16 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian to participate in this program
  • Volunteers aged 16 or 17 on their program start date are required to provide IVHQ with parental consent in order to participate on the program, and may be asked to provide additional document to the local team.
  • All volunteers aged 13+ are required to provide a criminal background check to IVHQ prior to departure. Those aged 13-17, if unable to obtain a criminal background check, can provide two character reference letters instead
  • All volunteers are required to have adequate volunteer travel insurance
  • All volunteers must speak fluent English.
Are you eligible to volunteer?

Submit a free application so we can confirm your eligibility and check availability for your preferred dates.

Apply for free

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'Who is going' users image
Who is going?
Group video calls

Once you have secured your place, join regular video calls to meet your Program Manager and other volunteers before your trip.

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What recent volunteers said about their IVHQ experience

CT
Charlie Thomlinson
13 Jun 2024

As a minor and first-time volunteer, I felt very safe and guided the entire time. Both before, during, and after my trip IVHQ provided me with easy access to help when it was needed, and they always provided clear and necessary instructions and well as information.

...
WA
Waed Al-Khuzai
23 Nov 2023

This was one of the best experiences so far and am looking forward to more opportunities like this in the future. Overall, everything was beyond my expectations and working with the kids for 2 weeks was an absolute pleasure.

...
KT
Kera Tasker
24 Jul 2023

Antigua is very safe, please go - it's amazing! I am already planning my next trip with IVHQ for next summer. They do a great job researching the programs in other countries before hand.

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AM
Avery Munn
27 Apr 2023

I had the chance of learning how another culture approaches caring for and teaching special needs children, and being given the opportunity to practice this in real-time. Seeing the kids every day and watching them grow, progress, laugh, and just have fun had a serious impact on me.

On the last day of our trip, we had a "summer day" at the school we were working at where the kids got to play in pools, have water balloon fights, and eat popsicles. Getting to hang out with the kids and teachers who we had built such strong relationships within such a short time was so special, and while the goodbye was hard, it was my favorite day. I also loved eating meals with the other volunteers staying in the house and debriefing our days.

For others considering on volunteering abroad, I'd say to just go for it, even if it feels totally out of your comfort zone. I had never done anything like this in my life, and was so scared even on the first night when we arrived, but by the next morning, I felt so safe and excited to get started. It was genuinely a life-changing experience and I would do it all over again if I could.

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EG
Elena Gatti
23 Mar 2023

If you're thinking about doing a volunteer experience probably is the time for you to do it. Don't self-sabotage yourself! This is probably the best experience of your life. This trip really changed my mindset and gave me a new and simpler perspective about life. I realized how much connecting with people mean to me and how many mental barriers and prejudices I had to let go of.

My favorite moment of this experience was the day the kids asked me to teach them Italian. We spend the whole afternoon learning colors and the days of the week. We had a lot of fun singing a song all together. And they asked me a lot questions about my culture and my country. Their curiosity and openness to others was incredible. The following they all gave me letters where they thanked me for the Italian class. As you can imagine was very emotional and touching.

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AB
Amritpal Bains
11 Oct 2021

I absolutely loved my childcare program even though it was ridiculously short. I wish I signed up for at least 2 weeks. However, that’s a lesson for next time. The kids were such sweethearts; they welcomed me with open arms. I cannot appreciate them enough. Also, my host mother her husband embraced me like I was one of their own. The host family provided all of the volunteers with amazing food and we all experienced different food every single day. Our hosts also gave great recommendations of what to visit and try in La Antigua Guatemala. Overall, my first solo trip was an amazing one thanks to all the people involved with IVHQ and the local team.

...

To read all reviews, visit our reviews page.

Academic course credit

Academic course credit through International Volunteer HQ and Intern Abroad HQ.

Academic course credit

Gain course credit from your college or university and meet your academic requirements when completing a volunteer abroad program with International Volunteer HQ!

Learn about course credit

Location

Volunteer Abroad in Guatemala with IVHQ

Location

When you walk the cobblestone streets of Antigua it is easy to see why it has been made a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Baroque architecture, Spanish colonial churches and brightly painted buildings can be admired on nearly every corner. The urban environment speaks to the rich history of the city which dates back to the 1500s and includes a number of destructive earthquakes which have seen it repaired and rebuilt over a long period of time.

IVHQ’s Guatemala program is based in Antigua with placements in the city and surrounding areas. At these placements you’re likely to see the struggle faced by many Guatemalans living with limited resources. Despite the beauty of the place and its busy tourism industry, Guatemala is one of the poorest countries in Latin America. Its citizens can benefit greatly from the support volunteers can give local initiatives which strive to improve their lives.

Antigua is located approximately 30 minutes from Guatemala City.

Arrival and orientation

The program orientation begins every Monday and volunteers need to arrive in Guatemala City on the day before orientation.

After you have registered for the program, please book your flights to arrive at the La Aurora International Airport (GUA) in Guatemala City. Your airport pick-up is included in your Program Fee. We recommend that volunteers under the age of 18 travel internationally with a notarized letter from their parents to support their documentation.

When you arrive, you will be greeted at the airport by a member of the local team and transported to the volunteer accommodation in Antigua. Your accommodation is covered by your Program Fee and includes the night before your program orientation.

If you are travelling in Guatemala prior to your volunteer program, we can arrange for you to be picked up in Antigua on the day before your program orientation.

Orientation is hosted by our local team at their office in Antigua. Orientation begins on Monday morning and covers everything you need to know for your volunteer program in Guatemala – an introduction to Guatemala, Guatemalan customs, language training details, rules and expectations, safety, travel opportunities in Guatemala, and an introduction to your project and placement. The orientation will also give you a chance to meet other volunteers and swap contact details for weekend travel and socialising.

Volunteer schedule example

First Day

On your first day of volunteering, you will be escorted to your placement by a local coordinator and introduced to the placement staff you will be working with.

Weekdays

Volunteers will have a morning or afternoon shift, which will last around 3 to 5 hours. Work and hours are dependent on the project and location. If a volunteer is taking Spanish language lessons, they will usually volunteer for half the day and spend the other half in lessons. A typical schedule is as follows:

7:30 - 8:00 AM Breakfast with your host family.
8:30 AM Volunteer leaves home and travels to the project. The volunteer meets with the local staff. You will be given a duty roster and a plan for your work.
12:00 PM Lunch at a local restaurant.
1:00 - 5:00 PM Work at the placement usually ends. Volunteers are free to travel back to the accommodation, go sightseeing or do some shopping.
7:00 PM Dinner with your host family.

Weekends

During the weekends, volunteers have spare time and usually just relax or take the opportunity to explore Antigua and other parts of Guatemala. Hop on a chicken bus and discover the beautiful architecture and sights of the charming city of Antigua, or jump on an ATV and go exploring at a coffee plantation, on a volcano or through small countryside villages. You’ll also find a great selection of markets selling everything from fruit and vegetables to locally-made handcrafts and cooking classes that can teach you how to make Guatemala’s tasty national stew - Pepian.

Long weekends can be taken to travel further afield to destinations, such as Tikal, Belize, Mexico, El Salvador and Honduras.

Sunday is a religious day of rest and many shops and restaurants are closed. Most Guatemalans devote the day to spending time with their family. If you wish, you can accompany your host family to their local church, as a Latin American church service is a unique and special experience for many volunteers.

Accommodation and WiFi

Volunteers who are under the age of 27 are accommodated alongside other volunteers in a large, dormitory style volunteer house, and those over the age of 27 are accommodated in smaller local homestays. If you are traveling as a family, the local team will place you in a home-stay.

Living is comfortable with electricity, running water and western bathrooms. Low pressure showers should be expected and the water is not always heated. You will need to bring your own towel and toiletries, but bed linen is provided.

Bedrooms have single beds and bunk beds with bedding provided. You can expect to share a room with 2 - 6 other volunteers of the same gender. Private room upgrades are available in Antigua and cost $62 per person, per week.

WiFi is available at the volunteer houses and homestays. However, the connection may not be as reliable as what you are used to at home. You will also have access to computers and WiFi at the local team’s office in Antigua.

Please note, volunteers under the age of 18 who are traveling solo will be accommodated separately from those over the age of 18, in a homestay. If there are other volunteers under the age of 18 participating at the same time, the local team will do their best to ensure they are accommodated together.

Meals

Volunteers are provided breakfast and dinner at their accommodation. Breakfast will be bread or tortillas, spreads, fruit and eggs with tea or coffee. Dinner commonly consists of meat, beans, starches and vegetables.

Lunches are not provided to Antigua-based volunteers as they are usually away from their accommodation around midday. We recommend budgeting between £2 and £4 per day to buy lunch at local restaurants recommended by staff.

Filtered water will be available at the accommodation, and bottled water is also easy to purchase and inexpensive throughout Guatemala.

When you apply for the program, please be sure to notify us of any special dietary requirements so we can make arrangements for you.

Pricing

  • USD

Spots are limited. For a Registration Fee of just US$329 (approximately £267) you secure your spot and unlock all our preparation and training tools.

You don't need to worry about paying your Program Fee until you get closer to your start date.

Duration
Program Fee
Due 30 days before you start, or within 48 hours if you register inside of 30 days. Covers the cost of hosting you.
  • USD
1 week $370 Equivalent to $53/day
2 weeks $630 Equivalent to $45/day
3 weeks $822 Equivalent to $39/day
4 weeks $998 Equivalent to $36/day
5 weeks $1,193 Equivalent to $34/day
6 weeks $1,388 Equivalent to $33/day
8 weeks $1,778 Equivalent to $32/day
10 weeks $2,168 Equivalent to $31/day
12 weeks $2,558 Equivalent to $30/day
16 weeks $3,338 Equivalent to $30/day
20 weeks $4,118 Equivalent to $29/day
24 weeks $4,898 Equivalent to $29/day
  • All programs attract a Registration Fee of US$329 (approximately £267) in addition to the Program Fee. This covers all pre-departure support services.
  • A 5% international banking fee is added at point of payment.
  • Recommended spending money: Volunteers in Guatemala generally find US$80 - US$100 per week to be sufficient for expenses. Please note this budget is for general expenses and does not include money you will need for any weekend activities you plan to do.
  • Breakfast and dinner
  • Airport pick-up
  • Accommodation
  • 24/7 in-country support
  • In-country program orientation
  • Pre-departure support from your Program Manager
  • Personalised preparation tools, guides and check lists
  • Access to IVHQ’s preferred insurance and flights partners
  • Discounts on language lessons
  • Discounts on travel and tour add-ons
  • Certificate of International Volunteer Service

Learn more about what's included in your IVHQ Registration Fee and Program Fee.

  • Lunch
  • Transport to and from your placement each day
  • Return to the airport when your program finishes
  • Flights
  • Visa (if required), travel insurance (mandatory), vaccinations, criminal background check.
  • Personal spending money for snacks, laundry, public transportation, drinks and leisure activities during your free time.

Free-time experiences & tours in Antigua

Take your volunteer experience to the next level with IVHQ's affordable activity and tour add-ons in Antigua! Explore your options below and learn how to book them once you've been accepted onto the IVHQ Antigua program.

Coffee Farm Tour (Half Day)
Coffee Farm Tour (Half Day)

Step into the world of coffee excellence in the lush highlands of Guatemala

£64
Mini Adventure (6 days, 7 nights)
Mini Adventure (6 days, 7 nights)

See all of Guatemala’s major hot spots on this 1-week Mini Adventure tour.

£901
Volcano Tour (Half day)
Volcano Tour (Half day)

Trek up Pacaya Volcano, a fully active volcano and national park. Enjoy breathtaking views and learn about Guatemala’s natural history.

£39

Affordable Spanish language lessons

Fluency in Spanish is not a prerequisite for the IVHQ Guatemala program, however on certain projects volunteer work will be restricted with limited language ability. We recommend that volunteers take advantage of the very affordable language lessons offered exclusively to IVHQ volunteers by our partner staff in Guatemala. Past volunteers feel that taking these lessons help immensely with day-to-day volunteer work and communicating with local people. Volunteers interested in taking Spanish lessons can arrange these directly with the IVHQ Program Manager prior to departure. The language lessons are tailored to each volunteer’s current level of Spanish and classes run from Monday through to Friday. The cost is very affordable and offered exclusively to IVHQ volunteers. These lessons are not available for volunteers during the Beach and Turtle Conservation project, Mayan Cultural Immersion project, Eco-Agriculture project or Holiday Experience project due to the remoteness of these project locations. Volunteers on these projects can arrange lessons before or after their projects if they wish to stay longer in Antigua.

  • 2-hour Small Group Classes: from £52 per week
  • 1-hour Private Classes: from £64 per week
  • 2-hour Private Classes: from £121 per week

How to book IVHQ’s language lessons: When you apply for your IVHQ volunteer program, make a note in your application of the language classes you’re interested in.

Once you’ve paid your registration fee, your IVHQ Program Manager will be able to book your place on your chosen language classes.

Check what's required to visit Guatemala

Safety and support

Safety and support with IVHQ

Safety and support

IVHQ follows best practice and industry-leading health and safety procedures, which are regularly reviewed and optimized as part of the B Corporation recertification.

  • All volunteers encouraged to complete our interactive pre-departure training.
  • All local teams trained on best practice volunteer management & First Aid.
  • All IVHQ programs are required to adhere to IVHQ's Risk Management Policy.
  • All volunteers have access to 24/7 in-country support from our local team.
Learn more about IVHQ's safety

Essential country information

Essential country information

Capital Guatemala City
Population 15.08 million
Languages Spanish
Currency Guatemalan Quetzal (GTQ)
Time zone UTC−06:00

Weather and climate: Guatemala has a range of micro climates and the high altitude of Guatemala City results in a subtropical highland climate in this region. There aren’t distinct seasons in Guatemala and the temperature is typically mild year round. Temperatures range from 22°C to 28°C (72°F to 82°F) during the day, and 12°C to 17°C (54°F to 63°F) at night. The country attracts winds and rain during the months of May to October with the hottest month being April.

Apply to check if you're eligible!

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How to get started

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