International Volunteer Headquarters, commonly known as IVHQ, is a New Zealand-based voluntourism program that provides safe, extremely affordable, impactful volunteer opportunities. Offering assistance in 25 countries, some IVHQ international volunteering programs begin as low as $180. For the beginner traveler or international volunteering novice, IVHQ offers an excellent first-time voluntourism opportunity, especially in Guatemala.
Guatemala is a beautiful, yet impoverished nation that lacks basic infrastructures to support the needs of its people, especially among the indigenous Mayan people. Through IVHQ Guatemala, one of the organization’s most popular countries, volunteers have many options in which to help, including teaching English, medical, animal rights, elderly care, eco-agriculture conservation, special need and more.
IVHQ volunteers are initially placed in the popular and safe colonial city of Antigua, which is located 30 miles from Guatemala City. From Antigua, many IVHQ volunteers will assist in the surrounding villages. However, those assisting in the environmental conservation project will be based on Guatemala’s Pacific Coast, two-and-a-half hours away from Antigua. Also, volunteers for the lake conservation project will travel to the project site in Lake Atitlan, roughly three hours from Antigua.
Volunteer projects last from one to 24 weeks in Guatemala, and each project begins every Monday. Although fluency in Spanish is not a pre-requisite for volunteering, many volunteers choose to take Spanish classes in Antigua through IVQH partners. Antigua is world-famous for their affordable and highly effective Spanish classes, and learning basic Spanish will undoubtedly enhance your overall experience.
Although there are many well-respected charitable organizations active in Guatemala, such as Save the Children and faith-based Boca Costa, IVHQ is an affordable and easy-to-navigate organization, making it ideal for first-time international volunteers. Also, up to 50 volunteers begin each month in Guatemala through IVHQ, providing an excellent opportunity to meet people from around the world. By volunteering through IVHQ, you’ll donate your time and talents while having fun doing it.
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