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Construction and Renovation Volunteer Project in Guatemala - Antigua

Construction and Renovation Volunteer Project in Guatemala - Antigua

Want to build a better future as a Construction and Renovation volunteer in Guatemala? With International Volunteer HQ’s Construction project volunteers gain building experience by assisting with a range of tasks designed to improve the infrastructure around Antigua. Volunteers will be able to see the physical results of their efforts and make a lasting impact for the community for years to come.

Highlights:
  • Programs start every Monday
  • Affordable fees from £389 for 1 week
  • Includes accommodation, breakfast and dinner, airport pick up, orientation and 24/7 support
  • Build, paint and landscape to upgrade and improve community spaces

  • Explore Guatemala’s incredible natural environment

  • Stay with a local family or other volunteers in charming Antigua

### Surf School (7 days/6 nights) - £1031 The Surf program is either in El Paredon in Guatemala or in El Zonte, El Salvador. Transportation to/from Antigua/El Zonte + housing for 6 nights in family-stay in Antigua and in dormitory-style housing at Surf School. Meals are NOT included, except with family-stay nights in Antigua, but there are various restaurants participants can choose from. Participants are led by expert instructors 2-3 hours/day. The surfboard is provided.

Key information

Improve infrastructure for the local community
Based in Antigua
Homestay or volunteer house
Volunteers aged 16+ and families
Fully hosted experience from £389 for 1 week
Durations from 1 - 24 weeks
Spanish language lessons available
Up to 6 hours volunteering a day

This program is ideal for:

Volunteers who are ready to roll up their sleeves and help make tangible improvements to the local neighborhoods. Volunteers are supervised by a local foreman, so you’re not required to have previous construction or building experience.
Who is this program suited to?

What to expect and how you'll make an impact

Helping with building and renovation projects abroad is an impactful way of making a contribution for the people who live there. Volunteers can help build or improve buildings so they are safe, healthy, functional and attractive for the people who live in and use them.

As a volunteer, you’ll contribute to projects focused on home building and school renovation, as well as building playground and bathroom facilities. You’ll do your volunteer work alongside a local foreman and tasks may include:

  • Laying bricks
  • Carpentry
  • Painting
  • Laying tiles
  • Landscaping
Contributes to United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal #11: Sustainable Cities and Communities

Contributes to United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal #11: Sustainable Cities and Communities

Cities account for approximately 70% of global carbon emissions and over 60% of resource use, with low-socioeconomic areas hit hardest by overburdened infrastructure and worsening pollution. Cities must evolve to provide better access to basic services for all, including housing, transportation and clean air.

Why do Construction and Renovation volunteering in Antigua with IVHQ?

As a volunteer builder in Guatemala you’ll be adding value to the local community, while also developing personally and professionally by:

  • Making physical improvements to community structures
  • Practicing your Spanish
  • Developing your communication skills
  • Gaining construction experience
  • Immersing yourself in Guatemalan culture
  • Exploring Guatemala’s Mayan ruins

Volunteer requirements

  • Volunteers under the age of 16 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian to participate in this program
  • Volunteers aged 16-18 are required to provide IVHQ with parental consent in order to participate on the program, and may be asked to provide additional documentation 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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What recent volunteers said about their IVHQ experience

AD
Anneliese Delgado-Cate
14 Feb 2024

There are always a million reasons not to go abroad – finances, time restraints, the unknown. But I would encourage anyone who is considering it to take the plunge and just say “yes.” Not only do I feel like I made a positive impact volunteering on an eco-farm in Guatemala, I also improved my Spanish, made new friends, played various sports in the evenings and experienced the rejuvenating tranquility that comes with traveling to a new part of the world.

...
DU
Daniela Utrera
23 Mar 2023

I knew this volunteer trip was going to be a rewarding experience but it has exceeded my expectations. I’m looking forward to continue to volunteer abroad in the future. This experience will change your life for the better. You will meet wonderful people along the way that will become your friends for life while also making a huge impact in the community and that’s so rewarding.

...
BO
Brian O'neill
24 Nov 2022

I was in contact with Kaila and Lina and I was very satisfied with their knowledge and quick response to my questions and returning my phone calls or messages, I thought the preparation resources were in-depth and very helpful, and I was impressed with the safety tips, and information available for the country I was visiting and working in.

I think I received more from this experience than what I gave, I only stayed a week and I strongly suggest to all reading this to book 2 weeks as most projects won't get completed in a week, and there is so much to see, so I had no time to see what I wanted, my fault, next time I will book 2 weeks!

Among my favorite moments of this experience are working with my fellow mates and watching the project come together, sharing stories of our lives and countries while working or on break or traveling to the job site, plus meeting all my new friends.

This experience made me understand that I am spoiled with what I have in my own country and surroundings, and I should never complain about anything regarding material or economic situations, I saw a new culture and realized that people in different parts of the world do not have the resources or tools that we have, we have to share our wealth and goods and time to make this world equal.

If you're still considering volunteering, DO IT, if you have thought about it, then understand that God put that thought in your brain to go and help others, that is what we are called to do, it is not by happenstance that you are thinking about it, I guarantee when you have completed your mission and are home again you will wish you were still there or you are ready to plan your next volunteer adventure, do not let regrets ruin your future, do it while you still have your health.

...
RB
Rainier Baldini
08 Aug 2022

Just go for it! It it super rewarding and fun! My favorite moment was being able to go back to my home country Guatemala and make a difference! The biggest impact on me was seeing the poverty people lived in.

...
KY
Kaylee Young
08 Aug 2022

I enjoyed meeting the people in the area, and the other volunteers. I enjoyed being immersed. It was a beautiful country and a great experience.

...
AB
Allison Boyer
21 Jul 2021

IVHQ is an amazing program in which you can make small differences in the world around you!

...

To read all reviews, visit our reviews page.

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
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. Tap water in Guatemala is not potable and drinking water is not provided for you in your accommodation, however bottled water is easy to purchase and inexpensive throughout Guatemala. Tap water can be used for showers and brushing your teeth.

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
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 £390 Equivalent to £56/day
2 weeks £668 Equivalent to £48/day
3 weeks £896 Equivalent to £43/day
4 weeks £1120 Equivalent to £40/day
5 weeks £1345 Equivalent to £38/day
6 weeks £1569 Equivalent to £37/day
8 weeks £2017 Equivalent to £36/day
10 weeks £2466 Equivalent to £35/day
12 weeks £2914 Equivalent to £35/day
16 weeks £3811 Equivalent to £34/day
20 weeks £4708 Equivalent to £34/day
24 weeks £5604 Equivalent to £33/day
  • Accommodation
  • Breakfast and dinner
  • 24/7 in-country support
  • In-country program orientation
  • Pre-departure support from your Program Manager
  • Airport pick-up
  • 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.

  • All programs attract a Registration Fee of US$329 (approximately £272) in addition to the Program Fee. This covers all pre-departure support services. IVHQ fees are priced in USD but you may elect to pay in GBP.
  • A 5% international banking fee is added at point of payment.
  • Additional things to budget for include: Visa, flights, travel insurance (mandatory), vaccinations, criminal background check, public transportation to and from your placement each day and return to the airport when your program finishes.
  • Recommended spending money: Volunteers in Guatemala generally find US$100 per week to be sufficient for expenses, such as lunches (except for Beach and Turtle Conservation and Mayan Cultural Immersion volunteers), in-country tours, and Spanish language lessons.

Free-time experiences & tours in Guatemala

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

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

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

£65
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.

£920
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.

£40
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.

£920
Coffee Farm Tour (Half Day)
Coffee Farm Tour (Half Day)

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

£65
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.

£40

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 £53 per week
  • 1-hour Private Classes: from £58 per week
  • 2-hour Private Classes: from £116 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 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

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.

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How to get started

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