Volunteering Abroad Shouldn't Cost the Earth

Become A Hiking Guide To Help Local Children Guatemala



Our vision/mission: Hike Volcanoes, Help kids! Social change, one step at a time. Since 1995, we have been the primary fundraiser for the social projects of Asociacion Escuela de la Calle (EDELAC), which provides education, housing, and social support to disadvantaged children in Xela. We achieve this by running safe, fun, and educational trekking experiences around the Western Highlands of Guatemala, led by volunteer guides from around the world. Through our treks, Quetzaltrekkers aims to sustainably support the social projects of EDELAC, as well as the local communities that we hike through.

Job Overview:

Hike Volcanoes and Help Kids! Live and work as a trekking guide at Quetzaltrekkers Xela, leading hikes in the volcanic highlands of Guatemala to help raise sustainable funding for the local education projects of our nonprofit, Escuela de la Calle. This is a full-time volunteer position, with a 10 week minimum time commitment.

Roles and Responsibilities (what it means to be a QT guide):

Who is a QT guide?

Quetzaltrekkers strives to be as inclusive as possible and welcomes anybody who meets the required qualifications for the position to apply. We have also noticed certain qualities and attitudes that serve guides well here, foremost among these being an eagerness to participate, learn, and grow. We hope that you can get excited about hiking, education, volcanoes, guacamole, and even washing dishes. People skills like relationship building and public speaking can be very helpful, as well as an interest in group living. As a guide, flexibility, teamwork, attention to detail, and remembering that all jobs are valuable (including those dishes) can help a lot in our work. QT loves and is loved by people who care about the work that we do, why we do it, and the chance to jump in and take part.

To Apply

What to do next, if this all sounds good to you! Either, send us an email with any questions you have to: quetzaltrekkers.volunteer@gmail.com or submit our online guide application form.


Quetzaltrekkers Xela

Xela, Quetzaltenango

10 week minimum time commitment; availability for 3 hiking days and 2 prep days of each week; availability for 2 days of prep each week; conversational English; basic Spanish; ability to hike 20 km and carry 25 kg; basic math and computer skills.

Dates of program:
Year round

Duration of program:
10 week minimum

Age requirement:
All adult volunteers

Free accommodation, food, and training

Other information:
Benefits (compensation and perks of being a guide): Housing - Free private room provided in Casa Argentina, nice hot showers, fully stocked communal kitchen, office computers and Wi-Fi available. Food - All on-trek food (and other expenses) is covered for guides. Shared tip money pays for communal groceries in the office, and often other basic living expenses. Community - Close communal living with amazing people from all around the world who love to hike and help. In addition, we get to have regular futbol games and dinner with the kids we support. Personal growth - QT is a great place to build new skills and knowledge, especially for guiding treks, practicing wilderness first aid, non-profit management, and learning local geology, ecology, and culture. Supportive environment - All kinds of people are welcome at QT. We aim for a balanced environment that works for everyone, so that people can leave their mark with their own strengths and passions. Meaningful work - Be part of a unique organization that connects incredible hiking experiences with an important educational project for local kids, and see your direct impact in the community. Fun - Being a QT guide can be hard work, but it is incredibly rewarding and unbelievably fun. You will definitely have some unforgettable experiences during your time here.


Do good work and experience yourself grow
"Being a Quetzaltrekker guide is one of the single most rewarding adventures I have participated in. My name is Kris and I love to experience this world and test myself in it. I first discovered the Quetzaltrekkers in 2009 where I did my first trek with the Organisation. This experience left such a fundamental and deep impact on me, so when I in 2019 found myself looking for new experiences, it came to me very clearly, that I had to experience what it meant to be a guide for this organisation. The experience is so unique and far from anything else I tried, that I will probably always come back and visit to get a little feel for the high energy surrounding this place! The amount of goodwill and people who wants to making a difference in the world makes this organisation extremely vibrant and alive. The learning experience is amazing and everyone who enters this experience are bound to learn a lot. I will always be apart of this community and if you have found this review I rush you to jump into it as well :-) ....and don't hesitate to call or write me or Quetzaltrekkers if any questions! It is equally important too you and the organisation that you are both compatible."- Kristoffer Jensen
This place can and will change your life
"I first volunteered with Quetzaltrekkers (QT) in January 2015. I was planning on just doing the three month minimum and then continuing my travels, and somehow ended up spending the next 15 months there instead. I've continued to come back again and again over the last four years. An absolutely incredible organization. Volunteering at QT will allow you to learn and do so much, inevitably growing a ton during your time here. From guiding trekkers through the mountainous and volcanic highlands, to spending time with the kids at the home and school we support, to getting fully invested in any personal projects that peak your interest, anything you dream can be possible here. The best part of QT is hands down the community. You go from not knowing your fellow guides to them being some of the closest people you have in your life in just a matter of days. Almost all of my friends in my life right now can be traced back to QT. I would say if you're looking for a family like community, interested in spending time in beautiful nature while learning and sharing Guatemalan history, and getting to know some of the nicest kids in the world, come down to Quetzaltrekkers in Guatemala."- Ben Utz

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Web links / Other ways to help

If you visit and apply via the website please mention that you saw this project on volunteerlatinamerica.com.