from 82€

Excellent 4.8rating (10)

Green Building

location
1 - 12 weeks  ·  Age 18 - 50+

rating  Excellent 4.8  · 
  Verified by Volunteer World
  Very high response rate

Highlights

  • 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!

Especially suitable

Age 18+
Singles
Couples
Families
Groups
50+

About the program

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

Looking to participate in a radically green develoment project? Long Way Home is constructing a self-sustainable 18-building green campus in the western Highlands of Guatemala. Using alternative methods and materials, we are empowering the youth of this community, the majority of whom are Kaqchikel ...

About the program

Looking to participate in a radically green develoment project? Long Way Home is constructing a self-sustainable 18-building green campus in the western Highlands of Guatemala. Using alternative methods and materials, we are empowering the youth of this community, the majority of whom are Kaqchikel Maya, to be the architects of their own futures.

We practice several methods of alternative construction including earth rammed tires, earthbags, trash bottles, and aluminum! We also boast a rainwater 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 a 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 rainwater, 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 the 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 7:30am- 4pm, and projects vary throughout the year.

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 7:30am- 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, cooking classes, dance demonstrations are a few things available here. We also offer painting lessons with a local artist. There ...

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, cooking classes, 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.


Requirements

Requirements

Minimum Age: 18 years

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

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.

Accommodation

  • Volunteer House - this accommodation is in one of our green-designed houses (bamboo framing, glass bottle lighting, and adobe/cob plastered walls). The toilets are dry compost with toilet paper provided. It has a communal kitchen, stocked with all basic staples (drinking water, pots & pans, dishes, a sink, salt, oil, propane for cooking, dish/hand soap). Rooms are shared various room sizes ranging from 2 beds to 8 beds, we share as needed but if we're able to give you your own room of course we will do that. Bedding provided. There is running water for showers but it is not heated with electricity or gas. Typically volunteers in the house tend to share meals but that is as pleased by everyone on site. Food is a minimal cost here, $10-30 per week depending how you chose to cook or eat out. We allow for time to go to the market during the week for shopping. The local market here has plenty of locally grown vegetables, fruits, juices, cured meats/fish, and candies. There are also local tiendas and supermarkets with raw meat and packaged items. You will also have a 1 hr lunch break. There is a kitchen on site to prepare or bring food.

  • LWH has other options please consult with the volunteer coordinator:
    • Homestay
    • Hostel

Internet Access

Good access at the project site

What's NOT included?

What's NOT included?

Airport Pickup at La Aurora International Airport

An airport pickup isn't included within the program fees either.

Food & Beverages

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. FIND CHEAP FLIGHTS

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. GET A QUOTE

Vaccines

If you are intending to volunteer in Guatemala you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Guatemala. VACCINE CHECKER

Details on arrival

We have availability throughout the year!

Requirements of Volunteers

We ask volunteers to stay 1 week minimum (we prefer from monday to sunday).

Availability
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

Program fees

1 week (min. stay) 82€
3 weeks 247€
4 weeks 330€
5 weeks 412€
6 weeks 495€
8 weeks 660€
12 weeks (max. stay) 989€
Average fees 82€/week

Program fees

82€ per week 1 - 12 weeks Age 18 - 50+

Payment methods

Visa Master Card Maestro American Express PayPal

NO CREDIT CARD FEES


Duration

1 - 12 weeks

Deposit

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

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.


Meet your organization

Long Way Home

Excellent 4.8 rating (10 reviews)

Non-profit - founded in 2004

Verified by Volunteer World

  Very high response rate

Coordinated by

Amanda

Spoken languages: English, Spanish

About the project

Long Way Home is constructing a self-sufficient school in rural Guatemala. We are using alternative building techniques with tires and waste.

Meet your organization

Long Way Home's mission as a registered US 501(c)3 is to use sustainable design and materials to construct self-sufficient schools that promote education, employment and environmental stewardship. Our vision is to empower communities to break the cycle of poverty through innovative solutions to local challenges. Long Way Home is currently constructing a self sustainable 18-building green academy in the Western Highlands of Guatemala. Using radically green alternative methods and materials, we are empowering the youth of this community, the majority of whom are Kaqchikel Maya, to be the architects of their own futures. To date we’ve used over 400 tons of garbage in our construction projects and we currently serve 115 students in grades K-8. Volunteers with Long Way Home will experience a variety of tasks which may include pounding tires with rammed earth, using bottles stuffed with trash to form fences, creating and placing glass bottle bricks for natural lighting, or harvesting cactus pads for a natural sealant.

10 reviews · rating4.8

Richard Campeau rating4.4

2024 at Green Building

Very interesting group and wonderful project. Good for education while environnemental at the same time. I had a wonderful time in Comalapa with the guatemalan employees, with the project managers. The volunteers really make a difference in the life of the students and their families. ..
Dawn Young rating5

2024 at Green Building

Want to learn about green building, living off grid and doing construction…oh and don’t forget the welcoming community of Comalapa! This is the perfect place to learn and do. The staff of Long Way Home is very supportive to all people. While completing my 7 weeks, I worked along side people from ...
Nina Ahrendt rating5

2023 at Green Building

Overall this was a meaningful experience, well organized and in an environment where we felt safe both on and off site. I volunteered with my son (18 years old) for two weeks at Long Way Home in Guatemala. We stayed in a small hostel in town and ate at a local restaurant, this allowed us to be ...
Travis Horn rating5

2023 at Green Building

Words can not describe how powerful that was!!! I AM GOING BACK!! They work so hard for those kids! we need help and anything you can bring for the kids is much ...
Jessica Griffiths rating5

2022 at Green Building

Long Way Home was the perfect place to spend the week with our three teenaged kids. We learned about green construction, about the rich culinary and artistic culture of Comalapa, and about how to build our own recycled bricks! There were many jobs and so much to learn that we were never bored. ..
Lyla Hoon rating4.4

2019 at Green Building

I learned so much by volunteering with Long Way Home. I was submerged in Guatemala’s intimate cultural life while making friends that I miss to this day. Unforgettable experience! ...

Location

Americas > Central America > Guatemala > San Juan Comalapa

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Contact Amanda
  Very high response rate
English, Spanish

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