Li Ch'utam

IT & Knowledge Center Facilitator

Nueva Mercedes, Guatemala show on map

Non-profit | Li Ch'utam

Provide hands on support to children and the community to enhance educational opportunities & improve IT literacy!

Our volunteers work together on all our projects and under the supervision of our Local Programme Coordinator.

The standard projects our volunteers plan & implement include providing classroom support to students under the age of 13 and planning & executing extracurricular activities at least four times a week for students of all ages & adults within the community. Oftentimes, we are able to offer new and unique activities based on the skills, interests, and talents of our volunteers!

We are also open to allowing volunteers to work on project management assignments if they have the skills and interest, but these activities would be in addition to standard project implementation.

Our volunteers, even our programme coordinator, spend most of their time on project execution so this is a very hands on assignment! 

Typical day

More than a typical day, a typical week may be more appropriate to describe. The schedule is really left up to the volunteers, under the guidance of the Local Programme Coordinator, to carry out activities that the community needs at the time. Below is an example of how one may spend their day/week:

In the morning, make breakfast with the other volunteers in our modern volunteer lodge. Then, take a short walk to the primary school in town to support the teachers during class. Many of the classes have large student to teacher ratios, so your presence helps increase the amount of time and attention students receive.

After classes have finished, return to the lodge to have lunch with the others.

After lunch, walk to our IT Center to facilitate that day's activity (which has either been planned the day or night before). Maybe today is reading day and the students will break up into small groups to read books from our donated library selection. Or, perhaps we'll work on math skills using one of the fun, yet educational, computer programs. Maybe it's such a beautiful day outside that we'll work on teamwork and communication through active games like soccer! Overall, the afternoon courses & activities will reiterate the information learned in the formal school setting that day or week, but we love using our volunteer's own unique interests and skills to add variety to the schedule.

Once a week the volunteers take a ride on a pick-up to the nearest town to re-stock on groceries, visit a cafe, and have a bit of time to relax in a different environment. This is dependent on our driver so may be during the day or afternoon.

In the evening, volunteers make dinner together and work on lesson plans for the next day or just relax. Sometimes, however, the volunteers will offer specific evening classes for adults and these vary in topic depending on the need and skills of our volunteers. In the past, we've developed vegetable gardens & taught nutritional/agricultural courses, made chocolate, soap or other products that families can sell as extra income, or simply offered regular academic courses or provided job support (resume writing etc.). 

Details on Arrival

We are continuously looking for new volunteers and are happy to have team members start at any time throughout the year. The Guatemalan school system is on holiday from October-January, so while we do not work with the teachers during this time, there are still projects and activities our volunteers can lead from the IT Center.

The closest airport is in Guatemala City, where one of our volunteers will meet you and either put you up for the night (if you arrive too late) or assist in purchasing and directing you on the public transportation needed to get to Nueva Mercedes. They're happy to ensure all your logistical questions are answered and that you're all set before sending you to the pueblo.

Once you arrive in town another volunteer will pick you up and escort you to the volunteer lodge, help you get settled in, and introduce you to other volunteers. 

Free-time activities

Due to the remote nature of the village, it is fairly difficult and time consuming to travel to the more entertaining parts of Guatemala. For volunteers staying more than 6 months, we are flexible with the volunteer taking some "leave" to travel around the area at their own expense. For volunteers staying more than 90 days, Li Ch'utam provides transportation and accommodation for a weekend visit to Belize in order to renew your visitor status.

Within the pueblo, volunteers could work on their Spanish language skills through peer mentorship with other volunteers or Li Ch'utam's scholarship recipients, if needed. If volunteers are interested, they could also work with Li Ch'utam's scholarship recipients to learn the local Maya dialect and thus increase personal language skills and increase your relationship with the local community.

For those interested in writing, we love to have our volunteers write weekly blog posts about their experiences and what Li Ch'utam is accomplishing. If you're interested in improving your social media skills- we would also love to have you create posts to attract attention to our organization (and showcase the great work you're doing!) Based on your own skills and career interests, we also love to have volunteers assist with fundraising, grant writing, and other project management activities such as monitoring & evaluation or data analytics to help increase the efficiencies and influence of our projects.

For a locational reference Teleman is the closest town to our pueblo on Google Maps.

Close(ish) to our community is the Dulce River & El Golfete Lake, that is part of a popular lake & river system used for sailboating. The Castle of San Felipe de Lara is also at the other end of Lago Izabel, and is an old Spanish colonial fort that you can visit. The city of Coban is the closest large city in the heart of the coffee growing region. With 16th century buildings in it's town square, this is a great place to visit.

Further afield there are many different cultural experiences to take in. From visiting the historic colonial city of Antigua, shopping in a hectic market in Quetzeltanango, climbing the Maya ruins of Tikal, to relaxing on the beautiful Lake Atitlan, swimming in ancient semuc champey swimming holes, to hiking an active volcano (or seven) there is no end to the adventures you can have.

Guatemala is a beautiful country with a rich history and vibrant indigenous culture that is still alive today. Again, while our location is not conducive to though who want to see many of the country's highlights easily, we are working in a very characteristic, remote part of Guatemala that reflects the everyday lifestyle of thousands of the country's citizens. Ours is an experience that will truly place you in a remote and rural part of Guatemala but that will leave with an enriching experience.
Hiking
Sports
Yoga/Meditation

Program Requirements

In order to join the program you need to be at least 20 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 (fluently) and Spanish (fluently)
Criminal Background Check
required
Education Requirements
pedagogical studies, international development at College/University level
Required Documents
CV and motivation letter
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Other Skills
Fluency in Spanish and English – both written and spoken (REQUIRED)
Ability to work collaboratively as a part of an international, multicultural, multi-ethnic environment and team, utilizing strong intercultural communication skills, but also take responsibility and initiatives independently
"Doer" attitude, eager to fulfill goals in a result-based management
Ability to be flexible and adapt to the challenges of living in a rural environment and a tropical climate
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 09:00 - 17:00

Suitable for

Singles
Couples

Included Services

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 Li Ch'utam 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 Li Ch'utam.

Before your journey

Profound consulting and ongoing support (free)
Li Ch'utam (your host organization) provides consulting and is keen to answer all your questions. Once you reserved your spot, you will receive the contact details of your volunteer project.
Online preparation course (optional, from $49)
Prepare yourself and become a confident and well informed traveler. Global Travel Academy takes you on a journey before you leave home, helping you to become one of the world's greatest travelers. Our trusted partner for online learning offers courses in "International Volunteering", "Travel Health & Safety" and "Travel Safety Abroad".

On-site services

Airport Pickup at La Aurora International Airport

After acceptance to the program, we request the volunteer's arrival information (usually into Guatemala City airport, but we are flexible on meeting you in another location) to coordinate arrival logistics.

Our team will pick you up from the airport and set you on the right course (usually using public transportation) to reach Nueva Mercedes where the team there will meet you and show you around. 

Accommodation

Our Volunteer Lodge is located within a 5 minute walk of our IT Center and a 10 minute walk from the local Primary School.

The house includes:

  • Living room, kitchen, bathroom on the ground floor
  • 2 bedrooms (each with 3 single beds) and a small terrace on the 1st floor
Amenities in the house include:
  • Electricity 
  • Running water (hot water in the shower & sanitized tap water for drinking)
  • Gas (for cooking)
  • Internet service
  • Fridge & freezer
  • Stove & oven
  • Cooking/eating items (pots, pans, plates, utensils, etc.)
  • Bed sheets/linens mosquito nets, & towels
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Basic hygiene items (shampoo, soap, etc.)
  • Note: there is no washing machine so clothes must be washed manually

Dorm Room Guesthouse
Food & Beverages

All food/meals costs are covered for volunteers and the team takes weekly trips to purchase required items from the local market in Teleman (transportation also provided by Li Ch'utam).

Volunteers are responsible for cooking their own meals. 



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.
  Americas Central America Guatemala  Nueva Mercedes, Li Ch'utam
Reservation

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