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Medical Volunteer Campaign in Guatemala - Antigua

Medical Volunteer Campaign in Guatemala - Antigua

Want to volunteer as a group on a Medical Campaign in Guatemala? International Volunteer HQ’s Medical Campaign enables groups of eight or more to do specific outreach work in and around Antigua. Campaigns involve visiting a number of different communities to provide basic health services, treatment and education and improving access to healthcare by taking it to people in their own neighbourhoods.

Highlights:
  • Programs start every Monday
  • Affordable set fee of £489 for 1 week
  • Includes accommodation, breakfast and dinner, airport pick up, orientation and 24/7 support
  • Take health services into local communities

  • Visit parts of Antigua you wouldn’t otherwise see

  • Enjoy Guatemala’s incredible culture, history and natural environment

'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.

### 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 access to quality healthcare
Different communities around Antigua
Homestay or volunteer house
Volunteers aged 18+
Affordable set fee of £489 for 1 week
Set duration of 1 week
Spanish language lessons available
Up to 4 hours volunteering a day

This program is ideal for:

All volunteers from pre-med, pre-nursing, nursing and medical students to qualified professionals. Campaigns can be customised to suit the qualifications, experience and specialties of your group.
Who is this program suited to?

What to expect and how you'll make an impact

Being underfunded and lacking resources, Guatemala’s medical system struggles to provide quality healthcare to many of the country’s people, especially those who live outside of the main centres. Volunteers can make an important contribution by visiting these disadvantaged communities and providing them with care and education that can help improve their health and wellbeing.

Groups can volunteer on week-long campaigns designed to improve access to healthcare by taking it to people who may otherwise have to travel great distances and at great expense. Throughout the week you will visit five different communities where you can help treat patients, provide check-ups and assist with health education. Campaigns can be tailored to your group’s experience and specialities.

Contributes to United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal #3: Good Health and Well-Being

Contributes to United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal #3: Good Health and Well-Being

Good mental and physical health is key to sustainable development and building healthy and happy communities. Now more than ever, we must increase access to free healthcare and health education across the globe to achieve an acceptable standard of living and wellbeing for all.

Why do Medical Campaign volunteering in Antigua with IVHQ?

When you take part in a Medical Campaign in Guatemala you’ll be adding value to the local community, while also developing personally and professionally by:

  • Improving access to quality healthcare for local communities
  • Volunteering with friends, classmates or colleagues
  • Growing as a team
  • Practicing your Spanish
  • Developing your communication skills
  • Gaining healthcare experience
  • Immersing yourself in Guatemalan culture
  • Exploring Antigua’s neighbourhoods

Volunteer requirements

  • To join the Medical project in Guatemala you will need to be travelling with a group of 8 or more and be either a qualified medical professional or a student at pre-medical, pre-nursing level or higher.
  • Volunteers need to be 18 years or over to participate in this program. If you are under the age of 18, IVHQ offers alternative volunteer opportunities for teens. Visit our High School Volunteer Abroad page to learn more.
  • All volunteers are required to speak fluent English, have adequate volunteer travel insurance and provide a criminal background check to IVHQ before departure.
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.

What recent volunteers said about their IVHQ experience

KR
Kylie Raynor
16 May 2024

I feel like I gained a more well-rounded perspective on the medical standards of third world countries. This was an amazing experience that I would 100% do again. Not only was I able to help individuals in various communities throughout the week, I was able to interact with different age groups and provide much needed and much appreciated medical support. I could tell that our service meant the world to them and I wish I could express how much of an impact that they made on me as well. I would recommend this trip to anyone and everyone. I feel like everyone could pull something valuable out of this trip.

...
OK
Olivia Keller
09 Aug 2023

This program is something that you spend money on but it makes you feel richer. The local team gave us the experience of a lifetime. The clinical experience was more than we ever could have imagined and the perspective gained was life changing. Amazing experience!

...
SD
Sophia Dietz
30 Apr 2023

My favorite moment volunteering was when the doctor asked me what my guess at the diagnosis of a patient was. Being able to apply what I have learned about health back in America (in class and at work) and apply it to an international clinical setting was surreal. It was so exciting to be able to help put together the pieces of the puzzle.

The main thing I learned was how important language is! Being able to meet someone in their culture and communicate with them in their own language is so important, and it establishes a sense of universal humanity that I completely undervalued. It opened my eyes to what cross-cultural communication really means, and I am excited to open my mind to learning new languages. DO IT! It's good to be nervous because it gives you respect for what you're about to do. But ultimately, the only way to grow is to push past your comfort zone, and you'll undoubtedly complete something you never thought capable of.

...
AA
Allie Ahn
20 Apr 2023

You’re bound to come out of this experience with something valuable. My favorite moment was being able to consult with the patients one on one - I was hesitant about taking the pre-med track beforehand, but this trip solidified the idea of pre-med for me.

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ML
Margaret Love
20 Apr 2023

While I was nervous, deciding to go on this trip was one of the best decisions I've ever made and I wouldn't trade it for anything. I would 100% drop everything and go again. Seeing how grateful these people are for our presence just makes me so happy because I know I am making a difference in their lives. My favorite moment was when we went to our last community on Friday and got to play soccer with some of the local kids.

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Andrew Nam
20 Apr 2023

The amount of clinical care in clinic rooms with the doctor gave me lots of experience in talking with a doctor who recommended I do more (such as checking the throat of a patient who says their throat hurts) or encouraged me to see the patient as a human being first. There are lots of difficulties you may encounter with traveling abroad to a country where you may not be used to, but it is a rewarding trip at the end and will impact you positively.

...

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.

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

The Medical Campaign program fee is £489 per person for the week, and includes 24/7 support, accommodation, meals, airport transfers, Medical Campaign, private transportation to placement daily, program orientation and discounts on language lessons. All programs attract a Registration Fee (from US$329) on top of the Program Fee. A 5% international banking fee is added at point of payment.

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

£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

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 £66 per week
  • 2-hour Private Classes: from £124 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

Pick a destination + project and apply for free
Meet your personal volunteer travel expert
Pay the Registration Fee to secure your place and upgrade your MyIVHQ account
Get ready to volunteer abroad, we’ll support you every step of the way!