Green Building

founded in 2004
Long Way Home
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Coordinator | Katie
Coordinator | Katie
Book with Flex Option! Choose new departure dates or change to a different volunteer program at no extra costs.


Turn trash, old tires, plastic bottles, and glass bottles into beautiful and resilient buildings.
Learn about the complex history of Guatemala and the rich culture of the Kaqchikel Maya people.
Contribute to an organization practicing innovative formal and informal education.
Immerse in a Spanish speaking environment.
Visit top Guatemalan sites of Antigua and Lake Atitlan on the weekends!
Long Way Home is currently constructing a self suficient 18-building school campus using sustainable design and materials in the Western Highlands of Guatemala. This volunteer program is especially suitable for:
Age 18+
We practice several methods of alternative construction including: earth rammed tires, earth bags, trash bottles, and aluminum! We also boast a rain water catchment system with the capacity to store 45,000 gallons of water. As a volunteer you will join our  local construction crew and other volunteers that participate in the construction of the school. Most of the campus is finished and operating a school of grades K-11 with 150 students and 35 local staff, while we continue construction. In Guatemala there is a dry season (Nov-April) and rainy season (May-Oct), and we work throughout the whole year. We accept volunteers of all skills and experience levels! It is important to have a good attitude, team player, motivation to help out and be flexible. Must be able to walk up and down hills at high elevation (7,000 ft). On site we have a communal kitchen. All the water we collect from rain water, some of which is filtered for drinking water on site and at the volunteer house. 

Long Way Home's mission is to use sustainable design to construct self-sufficient buildings that promote education, employment and environmental stewardship. We've used more than 400 tons of trash and over 15500 tires in our construction so far. We aim to end the cycle of poverty through innovation that is relevant to context. 

Typical day

There is no such thing as a typical day! You may be packing tires, painting, gardening, digging or many other green building techniques! We work Monday-Friday from 730am- 4pm, and projects vary throughout the year.

Free-time activities

There are many hiking areas right here in Comalapa, and we offer different types of activities to do here during your free time. Tortilla making, weaving demonstrations, dance demonstrations are a few things available here. We also offer painting lessons with a local artist. There are many areas to visit in Guatemala as well, including Antigua, Lake Atitlan, Tecpan and Tikal. We can help you book weekend excursions as well.



In order to join the program you need to be at least 18 years old on the program start date. There might be exemptions if you can provide the permission of your legal guardian(s) or if your are accompanied by your parents.
Language Skills
You need to speak English (basic level) or Spanish (basic level)
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 07:30 - 16:00

What's Included

Services by Long Way Home

Approximately 50% of the volunteer goes towards accommodation expenses and 50% towards building materials, builder and teacher salaries, and school operations.


  • Volunteer House - this accommodation is in one of our newly constructed green-designed houses (bamboo framing, glass bottle lighting, and adobe plastered walls). The toilets are dry compost, separating the liquids (diluted and used in gardens) from solids. It has a communal kitchen, stocked with all basic staples (salt, oil, propane for cooking, dish/hand soap). Rooms are shared, with a total of 8 beds (blankets and sheets provided). Bedding  Also included -  toilet paper, house laundry, and drinking water. There is running water but it is not heated. Some volunteers chose to do "bucket baths" and heat water from the stove for showers. Typically volunteers in the house tend to share meals. Food is a minimal cost here, $10-15 per week. We allow for time to go to the market during the week for shopping. The local market here has plenty of locally grown vegetables and fruits, as well as local supermarkets with meat and limited packaged items. There is a snack lady that comes to the school daily with local delicacies. You will also have a 1 hr lunch break. There is a kitchen on site to prepare or bring food.
    • = $86/week. This includes rent at the volunteer house, . Approximately half of the fee goes directly towards project construction costs of materials and labor. Food is usually shared communally among volunteers, costs about $10-15 per week per person. 
  • HomestaysLWH has a great relationship with two local families that can offer you a bedroom in their homes in Comalapa. Wifi and meals are an extra cost which is paid to the family. You will be allowed to use the house kitchen and amenities to cook and store food.
    • $97/week. Food is not included. Approximately half of the fee goes directly towards project construction costs of materials and labor.
  • Local Hotel - Our partner hotel is Comalapa Sol. You will have your own room, hot shower, Wifi and a private kitchen (with refrigerator and propane stove-top) to cook your own meals. The family who owns the hotel lives in the house across the courtyard, so it is a great option to have both privacy and a window into local life.
    • $109/week. Food is not included. Approximately half of the fee goes directly towards project construction costs of materials and labor.

Dorm Room Guest Family Hotel
Internet Access
Good access at the project site
What's NOT included?
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees. An airport pickup isn't included within the program fees either. Food, snacks or beverages are at extra costs.
Flight Tickets
The nearest airport is La Aurora International Airport (GUA) in Guatemala City. We assist you to find cheap flights to Guatemala.
Travel Insurance
Going abroad is an adventure and it is always best to be prepared. Sudden illness or injury, cancellation or theft - a travel insurance for Guatemala provides security and is a plus to have.
If you are intending to volunteer in Guatemala you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Guatemala.

Dates & Fees


Details on arrival

We have availability throughout the year!

This program is paused due to COVID-19

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
1 - 12 weeks

Program fees

Costs: Prices in USD
1 week (min. stay)
2 weeks
3 weeks
4 weeks
6 weeks
8 weeks
12 weeks (max. stay)
Average fees
$86 /week

Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated. Long Way Home will let you know about the final price during your application process.
Deposit (15%)
The deposit is simply to reserve your volunteer placement. Payments are handled by PayPal, our trusted global payment provider. If you don't have a PayPal account, you can also pay using a credit card.
Final Payment (85%)
Your final payment will be agreed with Long Way Home during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.

Why book with Volunteer World

Extra security layer by Volunteer World
Volunteer World is the world's leading comparison platform for international volunteer opportunities. We guide you through a safe and easy application process - including all necessary payments. Planning your next meaningful trip with Volunteer World gives you free access to our:
Quality Assurance
High ethical standards & transparent social impact
Flex Option
Change your reservation at no extra costs
Refund Guarantee
We refund your fees if Long Way Home cancels your trip
Support & Mediation
We cover your back no matter what happens
Our services are free of charge!
All program fees are charged directly by Long Way Home.

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Green Building

Long Way Home is currently constructing a self suficient 18-building school campus using sustainable design and materials in the Western Highlands of Guatemala.



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