Guatemala

Rustic Volunteer and Travel

I absolutely loved my spring break in Xela, helping local Maya families. Through Oscar, one of the most hard-working men I have ever met, this experience was possible. It was so reinforcing to my life and overall was amazing. I hope Umass Boston can forge a lasting partnership with Xela and Rural Volunteers, so many other students and families can learn cross-culturally.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Guatemala
Posted: Mar 24, 2015
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

A Broader View Volunteers Corp

I had a great time in the program. I had never been to Guatemala (Xela) and did not know what to expect, even we got an orientation guide prior traveling and did my own research of the country and city. I went in with an open mind and grew to love the country, people and culture. Our host family was great and fed us very tasty and delicious meals. I got hands on experience in the medical field that I never could get back in the United States, the amount of babies/children at the clinic was incredible. The pace of the clinic was very fast. We saw over 100 babies/children every day. You have to be on your toes to work there.. This trip was both informative and fun. I found myself wishing the week wouldn´t end. I highly recommend this program to med students and pre-meds.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Guatemala
Posted: Mar 20, 2015
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Institute for Field Research Expeditions - IFRE

I volunteered in Xela, Guatemala for a week at a school for 'street children', and it was a really good experience. I did not know Spanish, which I would highly recommend for this program, as none of the staff knew English. I stayed with a host family who had 3 other travelers with them. IFRE offers other volunteer opportunities as well.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Guatemala
Posted: Mar 12, 2015
Overall:
9
Support:
9
Value:
8

A Broader View Volunteers Corp

Volunteering at a health clinic in Xela Guatemala for past two weeks was a revitalizing experience. During the past semester in college, I went through some emotional troubles and thankfully, this trip helped me get my life back on track. It inspired, within me, motivation to continue pursuing a career in the health field and self confidence that I saw disappearing in the past few years. During my time here in Xela, I had the opportunity to give vaccinations to babies, learn and practice Spanish, visit Fuentes Georginas, hike up a hill to see all of Xela, celebrate Christmas and New Year´s with my family, and many other things. I am extremely grateful for the time I spent volunteering in Xela, and I hope I can come back soon to work in the clinic again.
My host family was very welcoming. I really enjoyed eating their home-cooked meals. I had the chance to celebrate some festivities with my host family, and I had a lot of fun spending time with everyone. Tamales are a traditional food served during the holidays and I loved eating them! My host family made sure I was safe, but they also gave me a lot of freedom to explore Xela.
My main task at the health clinic was to give oral vaccinations to babies, and a lot of them cried afterwards because of the bitter taste. However, there was one baby boy who actually smiled after I gave him his vaccinations, and he also gave me a kiss on the cheek afterwards. It was the cutest gesture!
The ABV in the USA prepared me well for the trip. They sent me a program summary that outlined my daily schedule and explained how I would get to Xela from Guatemala City. The staff members answered my questions promptly and made sure I went over all of the important information.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Guatemala
Posted: Feb 15, 2015
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

RCDP Nepal

This was the first time I traveled abroad to volunteer, and overall, it was a great experience.
Because our flight landed quite late in Guatemala City, the in-country coordinator arranged for us a night with a host family in Guatemala City before actually taking the bus the next day to Xela, where the project was located. The service with the host family in Guatemala City was excellent. The meals were great, the shelter was also great, and the family was very welcoming.
Our host family in Xela also provided us with amazing service. They made me feel very comfortable at their house.
As for the volunteering project itself, it was a little hard at the beginning to interact with the children at the orphanage because there was no staff to guide us through our volunteer work, and also the language barrier made it more difficult. However, after a few days, we started feeling more comfortable at the orphanage. The children there were very nice to us the volunteers and they were also happy to see us.
Because the volunteering project only lasted a couple hours per day, we had time to visit Xela.
The only thing I have to reproach was the slow communication before the departure, but I still received all the information I needed in time.
I recommend RCDP-Nepal to other future volunteers!

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Guatemala
Posted: Feb 1, 2015
Overall:
9
Support:
8
Value:
8

RCDP Nepal

It was my first experience of volunteering abroad. At first, the communication with the organization was a little slow, but I got all the necessary information on time.

When I first arrived at the airport, the pick-up service and overnight in Guatemala City, which were organized by RCDP, were really satisfying.
At my arrival in Xela, the in-country coordinator was waiting for me, and the host family also came to pick me up.
That same day, I went to the orphanage to visit the children. The children at the orphanage were really welcoming and happy to see me.
The language barrier was hard sometimes, but the children are very understanding and patient.
As for the host family, they were really caring and wanted to make me as confortable as possible.
I only spend two weeks at the orphanage, but I would recommend it to others.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Guatemala
Posted: Jan 8, 2015
Overall:
8
Support:
8
Value:
9

A Broader View Volunteers Corp

I wasn´t sure what to expect when I went to Xela and was a little nervous about going to a foreign place for three months, but now I am so glad that I did it! It was a wonderful experience to serve the people of Guatemala and to become integrated into the culture here as well. I made many great friends. I also got to participate in many activities and see many places around Guatemala which were all great experiences. I will miss it here very much and I hope to return someday soon!
Bring warm clothing if you come during the winter months because it was colder than I had anticipated, and there was more rain than I had expected. Other than that, don´t worry about bringing EVERYTHING because you can find most of what you need at the local mall.
The accommodations were great. I love my host family and will miss them greatly. They were always so hospitable and I was taken very good care of the whole time. I never felt like I was lacking anything I needed while in country at the house. They are my second family.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Guatemala
Posted: Nov 27, 2014
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Global Crossroad

I volunteered through Global Crossroad for the sole purpose of learning about medicine in an underdeveloped country. GC set up for me and a group of pre-med students to volunteer at a public hospital in the mountains. It was a very rememberable experience, I learned much in the 10 days I was there. I also took spanish lessons from my host mom, who was a great teacher. Overall, the hospital arrangement could have been more organized/standardized, but since I was assertive and unafraid to jump right in and ask to do things, I had a great experience. The students that weren't assertive, were left in the dust. However, in GC's defense, medicine in other countries is not run like in the US and without speaking Spanish it was difficult to really immerse oneself in the hospital. Again my experience in the ER was pretty amazing.

I felt safe and supported the whole time, despite being a girl and traveling alone. Xela is a pretty safe city, and GC helped me out if I needed anything. My host mom was fantastic and I enjoyed my experience.

I would recommend GC as a organization to travel abroad, especially for first time international travelers. Have fun and hope this helps!

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Guatemala
Posted: Nov 9, 2014
Overall:
8
Support:
9
Value:
7

A Broader View Volunteers Corp

This was one of the most amazing 10 weeks I have been through. Every person I met, every experience, every day brought something new. I can’t stress how much this experience honestly changed my life. I’ve always wanted to travel and I finally got the chance and took it through ABV. It was well worth it.
The Host Family and the students (both local and otherwise) who were living with were all incredible. As far as actual security in the city, I was blown away. I never really felt threatened or in danger. I was certainly smart, kept to main streets and where people were, but not overly scared to walk alone or anything like that.
Don’t be afraid to open up. This may mean to the clinical staff or to yourself. I forged what I think could easily be lifelong friendships with many of the staff in the clinic. They will always have a place in my  heart and its almost certainly likewise for them. In terms of yourself, be willing to go and travel, even if on your own, and meet new people. Everyone in Guatemala, locals, travelers, and transplants, are some of the most amazing people I have ever met and will likely meet. With a simple conversation with someone and your almost guaranteed to learn something new or find something in common.
Going out dancing with all of the nurses and my friend volunteer Patricia. It was always just sooooo much fun to hang out with the staff and the fellow volunteers and dancing La Paranda with them was jut that much more fun.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Guatemala
Posted: Nov 6, 2014
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Institute for Field Research Expeditions - IFRE

I thoroughly enjoyed my time living and volunteering in Quetzaltenango (Xela) Guatemala with IFRE. I went by myself and had a few fears because of that, but since day 1, the IFRE staff has been extremely helpful. I am thankful to the US staff and David Ramsey for recommending Xela, it has been the project fit. Oscar was in contact with me for months prior to my arrival and kept checking on me while here. There were a few minor issues w/ space at one of my volunteer projects but Oscar very quickly found me another (AWESOME) one and remained apologetic and understanding through it all. Kyle was also of great help on my first day, showing me around and giving me tips for life in Xela. Both volunteer projects were in clinics and were absolutely fantastic. I LOVED all the people and patients I met and worked with. Very sad to leave them. Everyone always welcomed me with open arms and taught me so much about Guatemalan culture and healthcare. Lastly, my host family was amazing!! Doña Lilly and her family and other housemates really made me feel at home. They are such a sweet and funny group. The whole experience would have been lacking with them. Doña Lilly is a great and generous woman. I admire her. To top it off, the food was ALWAYS delicious. I always finished everything. Thank you IFRE and everyone involved for a wonderful and live-changing experience in Xela. I hope to be back one day!!

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Guatemala
Posted: Apr 28, 2014
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Comments

Can you tell me if you saw any volunteers from the organization Cross Cultural Solutions? Debbie

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