Indigenous Culture project is located in a small, rural farming community outside of Antigua. This project is designed to assist with activities that provide modest income to local Mayan families, such as the creation of woven handicrafts, while offering unique cultural exchange and experience of their daily life. Volunteers support the community in various activities depending on seasonal needs in the areas of agriculture, textiles, kitchen and household chores, and language education. Village life – and therefore your role there – is often affected by harvest seasons, weather, and family events. Additionally, it is normal there for work to be divided by gender so male and female volunteers should expect to do different tasks. We ask that you approach this with an open mind and participate as much as possible.
In order to join the program, you need to be at least 17 years old on the program start date.
Background checks can be obtained from local police departments or online at websites such as SentryLink.com and BeenVerified.com. We accept background checks that have been made within one calendar year prior to your program start date. In lieu of a background check, we accept 2 reference letters from two different people such as an employer, colleague, or professor, but NOT a family member. Reference letters must include how the reference knows you, how long they have known you (must be longer than 1 year), as well as their contact details and signature.
Please note that the closest airport is in Guatemala city. We can also arrange a pick-up at the bus station or at nearby accommodations instead of the airport.
In Antigua you will stay with a pre-approved middle-class Guatemalan family or in a student residence in a room shared with 1-3 other people of the same gender. At your project site you stay with a local family in their simple farm house at the foot of a scenic volcano.
In Antigua breakfast and dinner are included. In the village breakfast, lunch, and dinner are included in your stay. The meals are of traditional Guatemala food often including meat such as chicken or goat, vegetables, and tortillas. Please note that meals are made from ingredients available locally and it may be very difficult to accommodate dietary restrictions. We recommend taking some small snacks or comfort foods along with you.
The program begins with a mandatory 1-2 day orientation session in Antigua, where you receive vital information about your project and trip to the project site
Indigenous Culture projects are located approximately 30 minutes outside of Antigua.
To get a better deal, please purchase your tickets to Guatemala City well in advance.
We strongly recommend purchasing international travel insurance that covers emergency medical expenses.
Please note that English is not spoken in this village, but it is still possible to have a full and complete experience, even with a language barrier.
The meals are of traditional Guatemalan food often including meat such as chicken or goat, vegetables, and tortillas. Please note that meals are made from ingredients available locally and it may be very difficult to accommodate dietary restrictions. We recommend taking some small snacks or comfort foods along with you.
Local transportation is limited and walking is the best way to get around.
There is no WiFi available at the village. Electricity is available but may be limited.
There are no ATMs in the village. You should take the cash you need with you when you leave Antigua – our local team can help you to budget for the duration of your stay.
Hygiene practices may be different than you are used to. We recommend bringing hand sanitizer, soap, toilet paper and/or baby wipes for your own personal use.
Your host family has a First Aid Kit for minor cuts or injuries. If you require medical attention, the doctors and hospitals in Antigua are very accessible.
Airport pick up, accommodations and basic orientation. You can arrive earlier, and we can help arrange lodging for your stay, but the accommodations included in the price will be available on Sunday.
The indigenous culture program begins with an orientation session in Antigua, where you receive vital information about your project and trip to the project site
You will be traveling to the village where you will meet your host family.
You should expect to work up to 8 hours per day, Monday to Friday. That said, the goal of this project is to participate in the everyday life of your host family and their community. This means that schedules can vary greatly. For instance, some days may require 8 hours of work split between morning and afternoon while others require only 1-2 hours.
Please continue to help out with basic tasks over the weekend.
Books, a journal, cards, games (keep in mind electricity is limited)
Price: $725 / 1 week