“My volunteer work in Guatemala and has made me re-evaluate my priorities and has made me want to affect the world and change it for the better ... my two weeks in Guatemala has helped me expand my horizons and get past the inevitable narrow mindset from living in a developed nation.”
— Jennifer, Volunteer
Welcome to Maya Highlands, Guatemala
High School Volunteer Opportunities in Guatemala
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As a summer high school volunteer in Guatemala, you’ll be warmly welcomed into the safe and quiet Maya Highlands town of Tecpan to join a passionate team of change-makers.
Whether you choose a one, two, or four-week session on any start dates below, you’ll be sharing your experience with a group of your peers, all ages 14-18 -- and like you, they’ve decided that dedicating their summer to serving others abroad while exploring another culture is a pretty cool challenge to take on.
We know you’re unique and that you have your own interests, which is why we offer specialized volunteer paths that you can choose from. Select a focus in Education, Technology, Health, or Sports Leadership.
And that healthy dose of adventure you’re craving? Don’t worry, you’ll get that too! We know it’s your summer and you want to have amazing stories and photos of colorful markets, swims in volcanic lakes, and Maya ceremonies to share with your friends and family back home.
Guatemala Summer 2017 Start Dates: June 17, July 1, July 15
From the colorful textiles on a Maya woman walking down a cobble-stoned street, to the volcanoes that seem to rise straight out of the ground, to the freshly-made tortillas by our CCS chef, Guatemala is a country for the senses. Guatemalans are proud of their land, their culture, and will go out of their way to make sure you’re safe and well-looked after. Guatemala is a unique blend of living European and Mayan culture with one of the largest populations of indigenous citizens in Latin America, many of our volunteers tell us that Guatemala, is a place unlike any they’ve ever visited.
YOUR IMPACT: VOLUNTEER PROJECTS
Once enrolled, you will have the chance to select the volunteer opportunity that's most interesting to you. Volunteers will always receive their first preference. The only exception to this will be when there are national or school holidays, or there are exceptional circumstances.
Education Create a positive learning environment to enable students to find their passion for language and literacy, for a classroom culture where learning is fun. CCS high school volunteers provide hands-on tutoring and instruction, while completing meaningful projects that carve out inspiring learning spaces in libraries and classrooms.
Sports Leadership Sports and recreation not only benefits health, it also provides valuable incentive and leadership skills that keep students engaged in school. Many underserved schools lack basic facilities, equipment, and staffing to make sport an integral part of the education experience. CCS high school volunteers coordinate sports activities for youth, while building and refurbishing recreational equipment and infrastructure.
Health Students in many underserved schools lack the basic health education and services essential to their educational development. CCS high school volunteers will work on healthcare initiatives in a school related to Vision, Dental Hygiene, and Nutrition. Volunteers will conduct screenings, workshops, and support teachers, nurses, and medical professionals in efforts to address public health challenges in the school.
Voices from the Community
"You don’t have to have money to be happy. This is one of the greatest lessons that Sydney took away from her time in Tecpán, Guatemala." -CCS Parent
"CCS volunteers bring a sense of cooperation and much needed support to our classroom and our community. The impact of their work can be seen inside the classroom, and out in the community as well." -School Director
Maya Market Day
At a Mayan market, you’ll be able to purchase many of those bright traditional textiles that you will see on the Maya community throughout Guatemala. Our volunteers love to practice their bargaining skills at the market. With the smells of street food cooking and great people-watching, a visit to a Mayan market is an explosion of color and tradition.
Reserva Natural Atitlan Adventure Park
Hold on tight! Ziplining is sure to get your adrenaline pumping, as you speed over waterfalls and natural forest. Of course, what’s a trip without a little fast-paced adventure? A trip to this gorgeous green area is both peaceful and exhilarating at the very same time.
Visit Maya Ruins
Visit the Maya ruins at Iximche and see stone relics and human sacrifice sites. Learn about the people who stood in your spot over 500 years ago. Engage with an expert on Maya history and then kick back with your new CCS family at nightly Guatemalan campfires where the staff will play guitars and you’ll all play games together.
A visit to the nearby captivating volcanic Lake of Atitlan is a highlight for many visitors to Guatemala. With three volcanoes surrounding the deepest lake in Central America, taking a boat tour to the traditional villages that dot the lakeshore is one of the best ways to soak up the views. Don’t forget your swimsuit! It’s a great place to take a dip.
Practice Your Spanish
In Guatemala, CCS Spanish lessons are divided into levels based on your ability, and tailored to your needs. The first lesson is held in a typical classroom style, but then you'll have a chance to put your knowledge to the test. Your teacher will take you out into the community and challenge you to bargain for fruits, vegetables, and clothing in Spanish at a nearby underground market. Just another awesome adventure to add to your list!
Cook Guatemalan Cuisine
Our CCS cooks will provide all of your meals for you, with one fun exception: each week, you'll have a chance to prepare a veritable Guatemalan feast with your fellow volunteers, under the expert guidance of our cooks. Learn how to prepare a traditional Guatemalan “fusion” meal, combining elements of both Spanish and Mayan cuisine, and don’t forget to take the recipe home to replicate for your friends and family.
Set in a safe and quiet community in the western highlands of Guatemala, the CCS Home-Base in Tecpán is breathtaking with lush gardens and views of the verdant mountain ranges. In this first colonial city and cradle of Maya civilization for the kakchiquels, your comfortable new home is just a short drive from the Maya Iximche ruins.
Join other CCS teen volunteers in an authentic Guatemalan community room, or gather in the dining area for delicious home-cooked meals among colorful Maya fabrics. With plenty of outdoor space, including a basketball court, soccer fields, and a fire pit, there's plenty of opportunity for outdoor fun.
The cuisine in Guatemala will include some old favorites like homemade guacamole and corn tortillas, and some new dishes that are sure to please, like hearty stews, fresh tropical fruits, and frijoles volteados, another local dish.
Your Maya Highlands Staff
When Can I Go?
COSTS & DATES
Reserve your spot today with a deposit of $350! Fees and start dates vary by destination and duration. Make selections below to get started. Did you know your out-of-pocket trip costs might be just a fraction of the below? Click here to find out how.