Common Hope’s short-term volunteer program is for people interested in traveling to Guatemala independently to offer their time and talents to serve others. The typical short-term volunteer experience combines elements of service and education. We encourage short-term volunteers to become ambassadors for Common Hope upon returning home.
Common Hope short-term volunteers …
- make a commitment anywhere from 1-6 weeks
- travel independently and make their own arrangements for transportation and accommodation
- participate in volunteer openings depending on Common Hope’s needs during their dates of travel
- work in one of a variety of areas (construction, education, health care, technology support, family development) depending on their dates of travel, interests, work experience, and level of Spanish
- become multipliers of Common Hope’s work by sharing their experience with friends and family upon returning home and often become the sponsor of an affiliated child
Typical experience includes …
- work during regular business hours: Monday – Friday, 8am – 5pm (full or part time, volunteers often spend half of their day volunteering and the other half studying spanish in one of the many language schools in Antigua)
- a tour of Common Hope facilities, a neighboring village, public school and a visit to the home of an affiliated family
- the chance to accompany a social worker on their routine visits to affiliated families
- volunteer work that attempts to match Common Hope’s needs with volunteer’s interests and skills
- Flexibility and open-mindedness
- Willingness to work where there is a need
- Attitude of learning
- Age of 21+ if traveling independently, 14 if accompanied by a parent
- Ability to speak a minimum of basic spanish
- No volunteer fee (though volunteers are more than welcome to fundraise pre-post trip and will be supported in any efforts to do so)
- Living expenses will be dependent on individual travel and housing arrangements
What our volunteers say:
Thank you very much for giving us the opportunity to get to know your program and volunteer. We feel we received so much more than we gave and were very touched by all that we learned and saw. As a social worker, I was very impressed with the quality and professionalism of your social workers during the home visits. It was very moving to witness the families’ struggles, hopes, and dreams and the chance to make them a reality with the support of your program. Thank you very much. Keep up the good work. It is inspiring! Sonia and Alex, volunteers, August 2012
On my first visit to Guatemala (March 2011) I was convinced that I would feel uncomfortable meeting families that were affiliated with Common Hope… I guess I pictured I would sense some level of hostility from the families because after the trip was over they knew I would return to my cushy life in college in the US. I couldn’t have been more incorrect. Based on the level of gratitude that the people express, I actually feel like I CAN make a difference in Guatemala. Caroline, returning volunteer in January 2013. Caroline and her family sponsor a little boy, Sergio, in the village of New Hope.
Volunteering at Common Hope can be very fulfilling and rewarding. Remember that with any volunteer experience, what you get out of it is what you put into it. Be flexible. Offer help where it is needed. You will find the organization very impactful and the Guatemalan families affiliated with Common Hope extremely kind and appreciative. Sara, volunteer, October 2012. To read more about Sara’s volunteer experience, click here.
- Read through short-term volunteer handbook.
- Complete application and send resumé. (Please have specific travel dates in mind.)
- Submit application online a minimum of six weeks prior to travel to ensure availability.
- Expect an email response from our Volunteer Coordinator within two weeks of submitting your application.
- Consular information sheet
- Lonely Planet guide to Guatemala
- Rough Guide to Guatemala
- Trip Advisor
- Enjoy Guatemala