After regular school hours, volunteers have the opportunity to offer extra help to those students who have fallen behind in math, reading, or writing.
Please see below for answers to FAQs about our program
How far in advance of my start date do I need to contact NDG?
Ideally, volunteers should contact us at least six weeks before they hope to begin working with us. However, we understand that this is not always possible and try to be as flexible as we can.
How long do I have to commit to volunteering?
NDG generally requires a minimum commitment of four weeks from our volunteers. If you choose to design your own program (e.g. for Expresión Artistica), however, we ask that you stay for at least two months.
What level of Spanish is required to volunteer?
The level of Spanish required differs from program to program. However, all of our volunteers must have at least a basic level of Spanish. If you have never learned Spanish before, you may opt to do classes through our social business, Cambio Spanish School, which reinvests 100% of its profits in NDG. (If you would prefer to begin studying before you come to Guatemala, Cambio also offers Skype lessons!) As a volunteer, you will receive up to a 30% discount on the normal hourly price.
How much supervision will I have?
In general, our volunteers need to be independent and flexible.
Our Volunteer Coordinator will bring you out to the school on your first day to introduce you to the teachers and class(es) that you will be working with. After that, he or she will be with you at the project two days a week. Of course, you are more than welcome to reach out to our Volunteer Coordinator with questions or concerns at any point!
In the classroom, our volunteers are supervised and guided by experienced Guatemalan teachers.
How does NDG decide where to place volunteers?
Volunteers are assigned to either Nuestro Futuro or El Porvenir for the duration of their trip. The decision of where to place volunteers is based on the level of need in our schools at any given time.
Does NDG provide a living stipend?
At the moment, NDG is unable to provide any compensation to our volunteers. They are responsible for the cost of their own flights, accommodation, and living expenses throughout their stay in Guatemala. However, we will help in any way that we can when it comes to arranging your trip and making your stay in Antigua as comfortable as possible. This includes booking Spanish classes, planning airport transfers and locating home stays where necessary.
“Refuerzos” is an after school program that works more hands on with smaller groups of kids and focused on reinforcing certain lesson plans in the afternoon. There is a bit more flexibility with this program as the volunteer can choose which days in the afternoon they would like to come in however it is recommended to do this program simultaneously with the Morning Teacher’s Assistant Program.
As part of our Afternoon Program, NDG offers tutoring and extra help to those students who have fallen behind in math, reading, or writing. This is known as refuerzo, or reinforcement, and takes place from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM several days a week. Usually, between five and ten students will participate in refuerzo.
While teachers do supervise volunteers during refuerzo, volunteers have a greater degree of independence than those working during the Morning Program. NDG’s motto has always been that everyone can do something. Dedicated volunteers are key to our mission of breaking the cycle of poverty through education in Guatemala. Through our program, you can get off the beaten track and experience Antigua’s wonderful, culture, people, and landscapes, all while giving back in our schools.
Our volunteers come from all types of backgrounds and range in age from eighteen to sixty. We have an average of five people volunteering with us at any given time. During high season, however, there may be as many as fifteen volunteers in our programs at once.
The majority of NDG’s volunteers live in the beautiful colonial town of La Antigua. With a population of roughly 40,000 people, Antigua is set in a spectacular valley, surrounded by 3 volcanos and beautiful foothills. Antigua is a destination for tourists from around the world, as it is home to a unique Guatemalan culture, a plethora of Spanish language schools, and a base for continued travel throughout the country. Incredible ruins and churches dating back to colonial times give the town a unique and interesting feeling, as it was (and still is) a place of large historical significance.
Antigua is the perfect place for volunteers to live during their time in Guatemala, as it is a much more developed and comfortable town than the most of the country, yet it is significantly less expensive than the average costs of living in the United States or Europe. During their free time, volunteers can travel to nearby destinations such as Lake Atitlan, the pacific coast, large Guatemalan markets, and beautiful hot springs. Within the city itself, volunteers can expect to enjoy the vast array of cuisine, the diverse traveler scene, the entertaining nightlife, and rich cultural diversity.