Volunteering

 

Come to Guatemala and be a volunteer, please contact us! We have six projects in which you can volunteer:

Education:
Working with primary school students in the bilingual Mam-Spanish school in Cabricán, Quetzaltenango. Volunteer work includes: helping with Math, Science, Art, sports, or preparing materials. It is a rural area where volunteers live with an indigenous family. This is not a typical tourist experience!

Working with young girls in the Manuel Ortega Girls’ School in the city of Quetzaltenango or in San José La Viña. Volunteer work includes: helping with Math, History, Geography, Science, Art, sports, or preparing materials.

Health:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Assisting a doctor in a medical clinic in Xela. You may also participate in and organize: medical assistance, consultations, community health discussions, and medical campaigns.

Reforestation:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         If you enjoy nature and working outside, then you can go to the nursery to help collect seeds, prepare soil, fill bags with soil, weed seedlings, transplant trees and/or you can plant trees in our reforestation campaigns.

Women’s Shelter:
The shelter offers support and services to women and their children in situations of personal difficulty and social risk. Is the only shelter in Guatemala for abused women and their children, and offer various other programs focused on the health and overall personal development of Guatemalan women and children.

The activities taught in the shelter are as follows:
Working with the children
Reading and writing
English
Aerobics and yoga
Arts and crafts or other special skills
(Helping) women with other work at the shelter as cleaning, cooking, etc.
 
Artisan Groups:
It is possible to live in the communities with these families. Volunteers work in the following areas:
Promoting woven products
Supervising the quality of products
Helping open up national or international markets
Adult education
Organizing health or reforestation campaigns
 
Requirements for Volunteer Work:
Make a commitment of a minimum of three weeks of work, three to four hours per day.
Have an intermediate or advanced (excellent) level of Spanish.
Free time in the mornings.
Flexibility to work in the communities.
Show respect towards the customs, culture and lifestyle of the people living in the communities where you will be working.
 
Living Options for Volunteers
I.C.A. has the following options for volunteers:

Live with a Guatemalan family. You will have your own room and three meals per day for USD $50 per week.

If you prefer to be more independent, there are many apartments and hostels in Xela where you may rent a room. The price depends on your budget. It is possible to find lodging for anywhere from Q50 to Q150 per night.

*It is very important that you choose a living option when you fill out your application. Please let us know which project you are interested in and we can make arrangements before your arrival. ICAmigos is very eager to have you help with a volunteer project.

·         Projects

  • Reforestation Project– In 1989, the Reforestation Project was initiated by a group of individuals including teachers and Spanish language students from I.C.A. It is financially supported by I.C.A. and helps the Quetzaltenango community. We have worked together with the assistance of public school students, sawmill owners, and the municipality to organize reforestation campaigns.
  • Bilingual Education– In 1992, the villages of Buena Vista, Los Corrales, Cabricán, and Quetzaltenango solicited the financial help of ICAmigos in their bilingual Mam-Spanish primary school. Mam is one of Guatemala’s official Mayan languages, spoken by over 670,000 inhabitants. Due to the number of Guatemalans who speak Mam, the community was determined to offer Mam-Spanish schooling to their children.
  • Urban Education– After various years of working in the Bilingual Education Project, ICAmigos was interested in supporting an education project in Xela.
  • Medical Clinic– The coordinator of the ONG, ICAmigos, along with a general practitioner is in charge of this project. It has the fundamental resources and equipment to provide services to those in and around the Quetzaltenango community.
  • Artisan Development– During the civil war period in Guatemala, many women were left widowed and without the men in their families. As a result, they needed to find work in order to support their families. One of the things they knew how to do was to sell their artisan products… At ICAmigos we believe that artisans should receive a fair price for their beautiful work, without intermediaries. To help, we are contributing to open up international markets.

When you study at I.C.A., you are helping the Guatemalan people while you learn. Twenty percent of your tuition goes directly to support the ICAmigos program.

 ICAmigos is an association of I.C.A. students, former students and teachers, which provides support to various social, environmental and educational programs. ICAmigos is committed to respect for human dignity and self-advocacy.

 ICAmigos benefits essential projects in and around Xela to give Guatemalans an improved standard of living. Our projects include: a Medical clinic; a primary girls´ school; a primary rural school, a bilingual Mam-Spanish school; a Women´s artisan cooperative; and a reforestation project. Many of our students, upon learning about Guatemala’s social and economic problems, want to do something to help. ICAmigos allows you to become personally involved. We invite and encourage our students to participate by doing volunteer work and/or by making donations to be used for scholarships and supplies. You can volunteer for any amount of time, from a few hours to a few weeks. This opportunity to make a valuable contribution is one of the things that makes our school special!
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