Mayan Cultural Immersion

Non-profit
·
founded in 1989
Lauren
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Coordinator | Lauren
Coordinator | Lauren
Book with Flex Option! Choose new departure dates or change to a different volunteer program at no extra costs.

High­lights

Live and stay with a local family!
Working on the local farms
Learning to weave textiles
Learn to cook traditional food
Learn the language, interact with locals, and become part of the family
Live with a Mayan Kakchikel-speaking family and assist with everyday life. Work includes helping in the fields, cooking traditional Guatemalan dishes, caring for animals. This volunteer program is especially suitable for:
Age 16+
Singles
Couples
Families
50+
This project will let you experience a true Mayan hospitality and in-depth overview of local life. The project in based in a traditional farming community, around 33 minutes outside of Antigua, in a rural and ‘off the bean path’ location. You will live with a local Mayan Kakchikel-speaking family and assist within everyday life. Work includes helping in the fields, cooking traditional Guatemalan dishes, caring for animals, assisting with local construction projects, agricultural work and making handwoven textiles and crafts. Work will vary based on seasonal needs, weather conditions, and location.

Within the indigenous community and culture, some of the work is gender specific, so please be aware that your daily tasks could vary accordingly. We ask that you respect the community’s way of life and customs with sensitivity. Please note- the local people on this project do not speak English, so it is helpful if you have some understanding of Spanish. During the project, you also have the chance to learn Kakchikel, one of the main Mayan languages.

Location
This project is situated offsite from the volunteer centre, in a traditional farming community, around 33 to 60 minutes outside of Antigua. This location may not have reliable internet, but a phone is available in case of emergencies. Our local coordinators will check in with you by phone and in-person throughout your project.

Typical day

Sunday – Arrival / Welcome and Home Stay Introduction
Monday – Orientation day
Tuesday to Friday
Here is a rough guide on what to expect:
  • Breakfast 
  • 4-6 hours of volunteer work either in the morning or afternoon
  • Your own lunch at the accommodation or project site
  • Free time
  • Dinner 

Free-time activities

There is so much to see and do around Antigua, including cultural events, tours and treks, and exploring the various markets. The local coordinators regularly post a monthly events calendar to let you know of the activities going on nearby. For more ideas on things to do in Guatemala…

Tikal Ruins
These Mayan ruins are set amidst the jungle of northern Guatemala and close to the borders between Belize and Mexico. The incredible ruins are a little hard to get to but have a spectacular backdrop. The ruins used to be one of the most influential cities in the Mayan empire.

Semuc Champey Pools
Another destination a little hard to get to (think long and windy bus ride) but definitely worth it for the incredibly blue pools of water you will find here, all surrounded by Guatemalan jungle. You can go swimming in the pools too!

Acitve Volcanoes
Pacaya, Santiaguito and Fuego are active volcanoes which visitors can climb up. These 3 are still active but Guatemala also has 37 volcanoes dotted around the country. If you love hiking, then make sure to try one of these treks for spectacular views.

Lake Atitlan
Lake Atitlan is a place where you can easily spend several days. This pretty lake has the backdrop of volcanoes and pretty wildflowers around the edge of the water. There are lots of small towns around the lake to explore, or you could simply relax by the sparling water or try SUP and kayaking.

Indian Nose Hike
This is a spectacular viewpoint which will only take around a 45 minutes climb. Situated close to San Pedro, this mountain is known for incredible sunrises, but we would recommend going with a tour group for this, for safety reasons. 
Swimming
Sightseeing
Shopping/
Souvenirs
Climbing
Hiking
Museum/
Opera

Require­ments

In order to join the program you need to be at least 16 years old on the program start date.
Language Skills
You need to speak English (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

What's Included

Services by Involvement Volunteers IVI
Airport pick-up
Host family accommodations
Breakfast and dinner, 7 days/week
3-4 hours/day practical work, Monday-Friday
Program and safety orientation
Walking tour
Official certificate of volunteer service
Letter of recommendation
Spanish language tutoring table
Tandem Conversation Program
Office-wide WiFi and computer lab
Salsa dance classes
Cooking classes
Free coffee and tea and on-site snack bar
Institute is open 7 days/week
Emergency contact number 24/7
Airport Pickup at La Aurora International Airport

Airport pickup is provided. If arriving Sat an extra night will be charged. Full information in the welcome pack or feel free to contact us. 

Accommodation
You will work and live with an indigenous family inside their home, in a small town approximately 33 minutes to 1 hour from the volunteer centre.

Guest Family
Food & Beverages
Breakfast and dinner are provided 7 days a week* and will be of local cuisine (which you may be asked to help prepare). Corn, rice, beans, beef, pork, chicken, cheese, and tortillas form the basis of the typical local foods. Meat stews and soups are very popular also.

Internet Access
Limited access at the project site
What's NOT included?
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees.
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.
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.

Dates & Fees

NO CREDIT CARD FEES

Details on arrival

Program starts every Monday. Arrivals on Sat/ Sun. If arriving on Sat, an extra night is charged.

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

Program fees

Costs: Prices in USD
1 week (min. stay)
$635
2 weeks
$870
3 weeks
$1,060
4 weeks
$1,250
8 weeks
$1,865
12 weeks (max. stay)
$2,525
Average fees
$423 /week

Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated. Involvement Volunteers IVI 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 Involvement Volunteers IVI during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.

Why book with Volunteer World

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We refund your fees if Involvement Volunteers IVI cancels your trip
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All program fees are charged directly by Involvement Volunteers IVI.

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Mayan Cultural Immersion

Live with a Mayan Kakchikel-speaking family and assist with everyday life. Work includes helping in the fields, cooking traditional Guatemalan dishes, caring for animals.

$423/week

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