Community Healthcare

Work at assisted living-facilities, helping with people who are physically or mentally disabled, elderly patients, and children infected with HIV. Get involved in all aspects of the patients care, including conversation and speech therapy, plus general care.

we need you in Guatemala

  • Guatemala has an extremely high poverty rate, estimated at 59.5% (23% of those live in extreme poverty).
  • 8 out of 10 indigenous children are said to be suffering from chronic malnutrition.
  • Income equality is very high in Guatemala, with a huge difference between rich and poor families.
  • Guatemala is prone to natural disasters, such as hurricanes, flooding, earthquakes and landslides. This leaves the landscape and homes ruined and many people struggling.
  • Deforestation and other environmental issues have become a big problem in the county.


Ready to volunteer abroad? Complete your application online in about 5 min.

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Not sure which program is right for you? Contact us for more info

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Let’s talk about it! Schedule your preferred time and date to chat

can you help?

  • Volunteer at hospitals, clinics, assisted living, and other healthcare facilities
  • Help with some of the most vulnerable groups in the community
  • Be an extra pair of hands for understaffed centres
  • Bring along a caring, kind and understanding nature to help those in need

can you do?

  • Work on medical campaigns and vaccination programs
  • Help distribute medicines
  • Assist with the disabled, children with HIV and special needs patients
  • Help with physical therapy, speech therapy, arts and crafts, as well as interacting with patients  

Why Involvement Volunteers International?

  • Non Profit Organisation & Charity
  • Over 30 Years Expertise Globally
  • Low Program Fees - From US$295
  • Excellent Safety Record, In-Country 24/7 Support & Emergency Assistance
  • 1 Application Fee - Multiple Countries
group with kindergarten kids






  MIN AGE: 18+


  PROJECT COSTS: (Please enquire)


In developing countries such as Guatemala, those with special needs, like the elderly and disabled, can face a significant disadvantage. On this project you will work at assisted living-facilities, helping with people who are physically or mentally disabled, elderly patients, and children infected with HIV.

You will be able to get involved in all aspects of the patients care, including conversation and speech therapy, feeding, bathing, physical therapy, workshops (e.g. exercise, dental care), sorting and distributing medication, arts and craft activities. You can help with some of the most vulnerable groups in the country and help them to be as independent as possible and to provide comfort and stimulation.


Projects are located in and around  the city of Antigua, which was declared an UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979. This is a popular tourist spot due to the pretty colonial buildings and ancient ruins. From the streets and rooftops, you can even see volcanoes towering over the city. Antigua’s Central Plaza has plenty of restaurants, shops, markets, and regular cultural events, making it an exciting city to call home.

Project Tasks

  • Work on specialised living facilities
  • Help to care for patients
  • Health checks, taking blood pressure, handing out medications
  • Shadow local doctors and nurses
  • Talk to patients and interact with them

Food & Accommodation

The majority of volunteers stay with a pre-approved middle-class Guatemalan host family. You may choose from a shared or a private room. Shared rooms are between 1-3 other people (same gender & age group). You are provided with a key to the house and are free to come and go as you please, we ask you to respect the rules of the family. Our host families live in and around Antigua and are 10-25 minutes walking or by bus from the volunteer centre.

You can also choose to stay in a student residence room, hostel, hotel or apartment, all of which can be private or shared between single genders. Please note, for hostels, hotels and apartments, meals are not included. 

Breakfast and dinner are provided 7 days a week* and will generally be of local cuisine. Corn, rice, beans, beef, pork, chicken, cheese, and tortillas form the basis of the typical local foods. Meat stews and soups are very popular also.

Photos below are of the volunteer centre (not homestays)



If you have a desire to help those in need, love talking and communicating with people, putting a smile on their faces and getting stuck in what whatever work is required, this could be the project for you. Spanish language skills are recommended, and tasks will depend on how you communicate in Spanish and how you take initiative. Medical students are encouraged to apply. 

  • Airport pick-up
  • Host family accommodations
  • Breakfast and dinner, 7 days/week
  • 3-4 hours/day practical work, Monday-Friday
  • Program and safety orientation
  • Walking tour
  • Official certificate of volunteer service
  • Letter of recommendation
  • Spanish language tutoring table
  • Tandem Conversation Program
  • Office-wide WiFi and computer lab
  • Salsa dance classes
  • Cooking classes
  • Free coffee and tea and on-site snack bar
  • Institute is open 7 days/week
  • Emergency contact number 24/7
  • Flights
  • Medical insurance
  • Daily transportation
  • Travel and tours
  • Transfer back to the airport
  • Personal spending money

Each project will include a 1-day orientation to familiarise yourself with the local area, rules, safety advice and general information. Your host family will show you the best way to get to/from your accommodation to the volunteer centre. Orientation will include health and safety advice, do’s and don’ts, cultural norms, activities and tours you can do on weekends, and a short walking tour, showing you the local area. You are also able to take a free Spanish placement exam. On your first day the local coordinator will take you to the placement, where you will be introduced to everyone and shown around the project.

Our projects are situated in the Antigua area. The most effective way to get you your project is to walk or take the bus. Travel time can vary between projects, and you should expect to spend 20-60 minutes travelling each way. You may need to change buses, depending on where your accommodation/project is located. Taxis are widely available but much more expensive than the bus.

PLEASE NOTE: You are responsible for your daily transportation to and from your project site. Local bus journeys are very affordable and will typically cost Q8 (about US $1) or less each way but may cost more if your project is further outside Antigua. We recommend budgeting about US $5 per day for transport.

Sunday – Arrival / Welcome and Home Stay Introduction

Monday – Orientation day

Tuesday to Friday

Here is a rough guide on what to expect:

  • Breakfast at the accommodation
  • 3-4 hours of volunteer work either in the morning or afternoon
  • Your own lunch at the accommodation or project site
  • Free time
  • Dinner at the accommodation

There is so much to see and do around Antigua, including cultural events, tours and treks, and exploring the various markets. The local coordinators regularly post a monthly events calendar to let you know of the activities going on nearby. For more ideas on things to do in Guatemala…

Tikal Ruins

These Mayan ruins are set amidst the jungle of northern Guatemala and close to the borders between Belize and Mexico. The incredible ruins are a little hard to get to but have a spectacular backdrop. The ruins used to be one of the most influential cities in the Mayan empire.

Semuc Champey Pools

Another destination a little hard to get to (think long and windy bus ride) but definitely worth it for the incredibly blue pools of water you will find here, all surrounded by Guatemalan jungle. You can go swimming in the pools too!

Acitve Volcanoes

Pacaya, Santiaguito and Fuego are active volcanoes which visitors can climb up. These 3 are still active but Guatemala also has 37 volcanoes dotted around the country. If you love hiking, then make sure to try one of these treks for spectacular views.

Lake Atitlan

Lake Atitlan is a place where you can easily spend several days. This pretty lake has the backdrop of volcanoes and pretty wildflowers around the edge of the water. There are lots of small towns around the lake to explore, or you could simply relax by the sparling water or try SUP and kayaking.

Indian Nose Hike

This is a spectacular viewpoint which will only take around a 45 minutes climb. Situated close to San Pedro, this mountain is known for incredible sunrises, but we would recommend going with a tour group for this, for safety reasons. 

Volunteers must:

  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Provide proof or a certificate to say you are studying medicine or a health-related course
  • Bring your own scrubs, stethoscope, closed-toed shoes

Limited access to education and healthcare, poverty, illness, unemployment and illiteracy continuing problems in Guatemala. Guatemala is bordered by El Salvador and Honduras to the South, Belize to the East, and Mexico to the North. There is plenty for outdoor and nature lovers here, including tropical coastal beaches and lush jungles, mountains, rivers and volcanoes. Guatemala has a population of 14 million people, half of that being indigenous. You will see plenty of ancient Mayan traditions and customs still alive today.

The climate in Guatemala changes somewhat dramatically. In the lowlands there is a hot, tropical and humid climate year-round. The mountain regions are a lot cooler and can even fall below freezing in the cooler months. The climate in the popular tourist destinations in Guatemala, such as Antigua and Guatemala City, is temperate and a comfortable warm temperature.

May to October is the rainy season, which brings short rains usually in the afternoon. This can be a great time to visit, as the landscape are lush and green. The dry season is from March to May.

Guatemala has strong Mayan and Latin influences, with the main language being Spanish, as well as some Mayan languages. The indigenous people are known for their colourful clothing and textiles and Guatemalans love their sport (soccer in particular) and music. The designs of the clothing vary in patterns from which village you come from. Religion in Guatemala varies from Mayan spirituality, Catholicism, and Evangelical Christianity. Muslim and Jewish populations can be seen in Guatemala City as well. A lot of the festivals here are influenced by religion.

30 Years Non Profit Experience

IVI is an Australian charity & non profit organisation founded in 1989 and is one of the pioneers of overseas volunteering successfully placing over 20,000 volunteers globally.

Affordable Volunteer Travel

We’re not motivated by shareholder profits.   Our fees are fully transparent to ensure maximum benefit where it is most needed. 

Safe & Responsible Projects

All projects include a dedicated 24/7 in-country management team, operational & risk assessment & overseas support contact.   All projects are personally inspected to ensure very high quality.

Work Experience & University Credits

We place thousands of Uni students and can assist you with course credits and in-field experience points.   Many of our project coordinators are qualified practitioners in their respective fields allowing unique in-field supervision and Uni accreditation options

Check out this amazing blog with step by step info on how to raise funds for your overseas volunteer experience to help maximize your impact abroad. Guide to Fundraising

Weekends & Extra Tours

Ready to Volunteer in Guatemala?

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Ready to Volunteer abroad? Complete your application in about 5 min

placeholder - Community Healthcare


Not sure which program is right for you? Contact us for more info

placeholder - Community Healthcare


Let's talk about it! Schedule your preferred time and date.

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