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Maximo Nivel

Mayan Immersion

La Antigua, Guatemala show on map

Agency | Maximo Nivel

A unique and authentic cultural immersion experience in Guatemala, where volunteers live and work in a local indigenous community.

Indigenous Culture projects are located in a small, rural farming community outside of Antigua. This project is designed to assist with activities that provide modest income to local Mayan families, such as the creation of woven handicrafts, while offering unique cultural exchange and experience of their daily life. Volunteers support the community in various activities depending on seasonal need in the areas of agriculture, textiles, kitchen and household chores, and language education.

Volunteers at Indigenous Culture projects may be asked to:

  • Plant, harvest, and clean fruits and vegetables.
  • Care for farm animals such as chickens.
  • Collect weaving materials, learn to make different types of cloth.
  • Weave items such as belts, tablecloths, napkins, bags, etc.
  • Assist with cooking and cleaning, learn traditional homemade Guatemalan dishes.
  • Teach small English lessons to family or community members.

Village life is often affected by harvest seasons, weather, and family events. Additionally, it is normal there for work to be divided by gender so male and female volunteers should expect to do different tasks. Volunteers are always supported by Maximo Nivel’s in-country coordinators but they are not on site at your project at all times. The residents speak mainly in Mayan-Kakchikel and Spanish is a second language. Participants should prepare themselves for complete cultural and language immersion.

Typical day

The Indigenous Culture program begins with a mandatory 1-2 day orientation session in Antigua, where volunteers receive vital information about their project and trip to the project site. They should expect to work up to 8 hours per day, Monday to Friday. That said, the goal of this project is to participate in the everyday life of the host family and the community. This means that schedules can vary greatly. For instance, some days may require 8 hours of work split between morning and afternoon while others require only 1-2 hours. 

Details on Arrival

Every Monday, all year round. For the first couple days volunteers stay in Antigua to receive the orientation. The Mayan Cultural Immersion projects are located approximately 30 minutes outside of Antigua. Public bus transportation to and from the project site is included at the beginning and end of the program.

Free-time activities

Just outside of La Antigua, there is a lot to explore including nearby coffee farms, volcanoes, and both Mayan and colonial ruins. Further outside the area, participants can visit beautiful Lake Atitlán, Semuc Champey, and the famous Tikal archaeological site. Our staff are experts on Guatemala and can answer any questions clients have. Tours and trips can also easily be booked through our on-site travel partner.
Sightseeing
Shopping/Souvenirs
Yoga/Meditation

Program Requirements

In order to join the program you need to be at least 17 years old on the program start date.
Language Skills
You need to speak English (basic level)
Health Declaration
required
Criminal Background Check
required
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

Suitable for

Singles
Couples
50+

Included Services

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We refund your fees if Maximo Nivel cancels your trip
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Our services are free of charge!
All program fees are charged directly by Maximo Nivel.

Before your journey

Profound consulting and ongoing support (free)
Maximo Nivel (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

Services by Maximo Nivel

Our program fees include:

  • Airport pick-up
  • Host family accommodations (shared room)
  • Breakfast and dinner in Antigua and full board at the project site, 7 days/week
  • 3-4 hours/day volunteer work
  • Program and safety orientation
  • Walking tour
  • Official certificate of volunteer service
  • Letter of recommendation
  • Emergency contact number 24/7
  • Program management

Airport Pickup at La Aurora International Airport

Airport pick up in Guatemala City and public bus transportation to and from the project and La Antigua at the beginning and end of the program is included. La Antigua is approximately 45 minutes from the airport, while the project is about 30 minutes outside of Antigua.

Accommodation
For the first couple days volunteers stay in La Antigua to receive the orientation. In La Antigua they stay in a traditional family-stay with a shared room and breakfast and dinner included. At the project, they will also stay in a traditional family-stay which includes breakfast, lunch, and dinner seven days a week.
Guest Family
Food & Beverages
The first 2 days in La Antigua volunteers have 2 meals included (breakfast and dinner), while at project they have full board with 3 meals/day. Specific dietary requests can be accommodated.
Internet Access
Sorry, no 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.
Costs (Prices in USD)
1 week (min. stay)
$645.00
2 weeks
$875.00
3 weeks
$1,065.00
4 weeks
$1,255.00
8 weeks
$1,795.00
16 weeks
$2,875.00
50 weeks (max. stay)
$7,465.00
Average fees
$397.00/week

You can volunteer at the project site in La Antigua/Guatemala between 1 week and 50 weeks. Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. Maximo Nivel will let you know about the final price during your application process.
Crowdfunding Service
Generally, volunteering abroad involves certain costs. In case you need financial support, we will assist you to fundraise your volunteer program in Guatemala.
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 Maximo Nivel during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.
  Americas Central America Guatemala  La Antigua, 6ta Avenida Norte #16-16A, Antigua, Guatemala

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