Volunteering in Guatemala FAQs

INDIVIDUAL VOLUNTEERING

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?

Individual Volunteering:
NDG generally requires a minimum commitment of four weeks from individual volunteers. If you choose to design your own program (e.g. for Expresión Artística), however, we ask that you stay for at least two months.

Group Volunteering:
Groups can volunteer for a long as they wish however most commit to a week or two on average. We have some wonderful all-inclusive packages for groups which we can tailor according to your group’s needs and preferences.

What would make me a good volunteer?

A positive attitude that you can bring to the classroom; an appreciation of new cultures that will help you settle in Guatemala and enjoy all of the new experiences; a commitment to helping others so you can give our students the support and love they need to succeed.

How much does it cost to volunteer?

Individual Volunteering:
We ask individual volunteers to fundraise a minimum of $250 in order to volunteer with us. This covers all administrative costs associated with our volunteer program. We will offer you support, coaching, and guidance in order to assist you in reaching your goal.

Group Volunteering
Groups generally need more logisitcal support than individual volunteers due to the packages being more time intensive for our staff. As a result NDG typically asks groups to fundraise between $250 and $750 per person depending on what package is required. Contact us for more information.

What support and benefits will I receive?

Individual Volunteering:
The Volunteer and Groups Department is on hand at every stage of your volunteer journey. They will guide you and provide all the information you need about NDG, Guatemala and your volunteer activities.
All volunteers receive the following benefits:
– Free- T-shirt
– Free Experience Guatemala half-day tour (retail price $35)
– Organized weekly Social events for volunteers
– Volunteer References
– Invaluable skills and experience useful for career development
– NDG through their Social Business partner, Cambio Spanish School can also provide with private spanish classes, airport transfers and homestays at preferential volunteer rates.

Group Volunteering:
In addition to the above benefits for individuals, NDG can make a detailled weekly itinerary for your group which can include:
– Transport and Airport Shuttles
– Spanish Classes
– Cultural and Social Activities (eg Coffee Farm tour, Salsa classes etc)
– Accomodation and all meals
– Volunteering in our schools
– Staff support and guidance at all times during your stay.

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 Language 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 10% discount on the normal hourly price.
To learn more, please visit the Cambio Website: http://cambiolanguageschool.com/

Volunteer Roles

Where feasible, volunteers are more than welcome to combine programs from the list below:
Teacher’s Aid: Morning Program
Level of Spanish Required: Basic
The Morning Program at our schools is based on the national curriculum (Curiculo Nacionál Base) designed and approved by the Guatemalan Ministry of Education. This includes classes in mathematics, language, history, science, art, and physical education. Following this curriculum ensures that our students will ultimately receive a diploma accepted throughout Guatemala.
Each volunteer is assigned to a particular teacher and grade throughout their stay. As teachers’ aids, volunteers are responsible for:

  • Helping individual students
  • Creating educational materials
  • Keeping the children on task

English Teacher’s Assistant: Morning Program
Level of Spanish Required: Basic
English is a critical skill for our students; even a basic grasp of the language can dramatically improve their chances of finding a stable job in the future. With that in mind, every class in our schools receives ten hours of English instruction a week.
Tutor: Morning Program
Level of Spanish Required: Advanced
Our tutors work one-on-one with children with learning disabilities, focusing on areas in which they are having problems. The ideal situation is for each volunteer to work with a particular student throughout his or her time with NDG. In general, we ask that volunteers interested in this position have a background in working with children with special needs.
Teacher’s Aid: Refuerzo – Afternoon
Level of Spanish Required: Advanced
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.
Activity Coordinator: Expresión Artística – Afternoon
Level of Spanish Required: Advanced
Each grade in our schools participates in Expresión Artística once a week. This program is designed to let children express themselves through art, music, and sport. A further goal is to keep them off the streets and away from negative influences.
Activity Coordinators have a lot of flexibility in Expresión Artística. All volunteers have the chance to suggest projects. If approved, they are able to lead their own classes while our teachers supervise.
To get more information about volunteering send an email to volunteer@ninosdeguatemala.org

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 who wish to work as classroom assistants are assigned to either one of our three schools depending on both the needs of the school, and the preference of the volunteer.

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.
Email us at volunteer@ninosdeguatemala.org today to help us create a better future for our students!

What if I don’t want to volunteer in the schools?

We welcome volunteers who wish to support us in any way they can. If you have any skills that you think would be valuable to the organization then please email volunteer@ninosdeguatemala.org or fill in the form at the bottom of the page.

GROUP VOLUNTEERING

Where feasible, volunteers are more than welcome to combine programs from the list below:

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?

Individual Volunteering:
NDG generally requires a minimum commitment of four weeks from individual volunteers. If you choose to design your own program (e.g. for Expresión Artística), however, we ask that you stay for at least two months.

Group Volunteering:
Groups can volunteer for a long as they wish however most commit to a week or two on average. We have some wonderful all-inclusive packages for groups which we can tailor according to your group’s needs and preferences.

What would make me a good volunteer?

A positive attitude that you can bring to the classroom; an appreciation of new cultures that will help you settle in Guatemala and enjoy all of the new experiences; a commitment to helping others so you can give our students the support and love they need to succeed.

How much does it cost to volunteer?

Individual Volunteering:
We ask individual volunteers to fundraise a minimum of $250 in order to volunteer with us. This covers all administrative costs associated with our volunteer program. We will offer you support, coaching, and guidance in order to assist you in reaching your goal.

Group Volunteering
Groups generally need more logisitcal support than individual volunteers due to the packages being more time intensive for our staff. As a result NDG typically asks groups to fundraise between $250 and $750 per person depending on what package is required. Contact us for more information.

What support and benefits will I receive?

Individual Volunteering:
The Volunteer and Groups Department is on hand at every stage of your volunteer journey. They will guide you and provide all the information you need about NDG, Guatemala and your volunteer activities.
All volunteers receive the following benefits:
– Free- T-shirt
– Free Experience Guatemala half-day tour (retail price $35)
– Organized weekly Social events for volunteers
– Volunteer References
– Invaluable skills and experience useful for career development
– NDG through their Social Business partner, Cambio Spanish School can also provide with private spanish classes, airport transfers and homestays at preferential volunteer rates.

Group Volunteering:
In addition to the above benefits for individuals, NDG can make a detailled weekly itinerary for your group which can include:
– Transport and Airport Shuttles
– Spanish Classes
– Cultural and Social Activities (eg Coffee Farm tour, Salsa classes etc)
– Accomodation and all meals
– Volunteering in our schools
– Staff support and guidance at all times during your stay.

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 Language 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 10% discount on the normal hourly price.
To learn more, please visit the Cambio Website: http://cambiolanguageschool.com/

Volunteer Roles

Where feasible, volunteers are more than welcome to combine programs from the list below:
Teacher’s Aid: Morning Program
Level of Spanish Required: Basic
The Morning Program at our schools is based on the national curriculum (Curiculo Nacionál Base) designed and approved by the Guatemalan Ministry of Education. This includes classes in mathematics, language, history, science, art, and physical education. Following this curriculum ensures that our students will ultimately receive a diploma accepted throughout Guatemala.
Each volunteer is assigned to a particular teacher and grade throughout their stay. As teachers’ aids, volunteers are responsible for:

  • Helping individual students
  • Creating educational materials
  • Keeping the children on task

English Teacher’s Assistant: Morning Program
Level of Spanish Required: Basic
English is a critical skill for our students; even a basic grasp of the language can dramatically improve their chances of finding a stable job in the future. With that in mind, every class in our schools receives ten hours of English instruction a week.
Tutor: Morning Program
Level of Spanish Required: Advanced
Our tutors work one-on-one with children with learning disabilities, focusing on areas in which they are having problems. The ideal situation is for each volunteer to work with a particular student throughout his or her time with NDG. In general, we ask that volunteers interested in this position have a background in working with children with special needs.
Teacher’s Aid: Refuerzo – Afternoon
Level of Spanish Required: Advanced
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.
Activity Coordinator: Expresión Artística – Afternoon
Level of Spanish Required: Advanced
Each grade in our schools participates in Expresión Artística once a week. This program is designed to let children express themselves through art, music, and sport. A further goal is to keep them off the streets and away from negative influences.
Activity Coordinators have a lot of flexibility in Expresión Artística. All volunteers have the chance to suggest projects. If approved, they are able to lead their own classes while our teachers supervise.
To get more information about volunteering send an email to volunteer@ninosdeguatemala.org

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 who wish to work as classroom assistants are assigned to either one of our three schools depending on both the needs of the school, and the preference of the volunteer.

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.
Email us at volunteer@ninosdeguatemala.org today to help us create a better future for our students!

What if I don’t want to volunteer in the schools?

We welcome volunteers who wish to support us in any way they can. If you have any skills that you think would be valuable to the organization then please email volunteer@ninosdeguatemala.org or fill in the form at the bottom of the page.

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