Hike & Help Guatemala
We are a non-profit hiking outfitter that has existed in Quetzaltenango (Xela), Guatemala since 1995 with the purpose "Hike volcanoes, Help kids". We run affordable 1, 2 and 3 and 6 day treks in and around the volcanoes and mountains of Xela, Guatemala. With the money raised doing this, we financially support a school here in Xela of 170+ kids, as well as a boarding house that is a physical, emotional and educational home to 23 kids. We are consistently in search of hardworking, experienced volunteers to lead hikes throughout the highlands of Guatemala. All volunteers are provided affordable accommodation, free communal meals, and a fun, supportive work environment. All on-trek costs are covered for guides. Please note this is a minimum 3 month commitment.
Requirements for being a guide: a 3 month, absolute minimum time commitment; intermediate Spanish required (need to be able to make phone calls in Spanish (book accommodation and pick-ups etc) and be comfortable navigating a medical emergency and evacuation); a first aid qualification; love of the outdoors, trekking, roughing it, [not] sleeping under the stars, getting wet, cold toes, and lumpy oatmeal; stellar people-skills, endless patience, an eagerness to learn. Most importantly: the ability to work and live as a member of a team. This isn’t one of those pay-to-volunteer type deals. On the other hand, the tangible perks we offer are minimal – this is still volunteering after all. Your biggest reward and motivation should be the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of the children we support.
Dates of program:
Duration of program:
3 months minimum
Adults of both sexes 18+
Project is fee but volunteers are expected to cover their accommodation costs (US$32- US$64 per month).
We are all working as volunteer guides and we manage virtually all aspects of the organization. In our office you will find a tight-knit team of dedicated, volunteers committed to the organization and its cause. We can’t think of a place where you’d be given this much autonomy and responsibility working as a volunteer. Life here can be hectic and the days can be long, ultimately though, working as a guide is an incredibly rewarding experience and, well, a lot of fun. As a trekking guide, you will be guiding (and soon leading) groups of people on our treks. This entails much more than just showing people the way up a volcano. You are there to make sure the trek runs smoothly, safely, and your group is fed, watered and content. This is not always an easy task. You will also develop an awareness of the people, culture, history, and ecology of the areas through which we trek to in-turn share this knowledge with your group of trekkers (and newer guides). Trekking days can make up anywhere between 3 – 6 days of your week, all depending on the schedule and number of guides that are here at any given time.
"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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If you prefer, you can visit the project website directly and apply there. When applying, please mention that you saw this project on volunteerlatinamerica.com.