Caras Alegres is comprised of a team of local knowledge and expertise as well as foreign experts and volunteers. On our staff we have our Guatemalan director, an assistant director/volunteer coordinator, two teachers, two day care staff, an assistant teacher, a security guard, a cook, and a cleaner
Caras Alegres began as a passion project for Dutch founders Judith Bank and Marcel van der Geest. Both had an interest in Guatemala, and saw great need. In 2004 they founded the non-governmental organization Caras Alegres. For their first year, they operated out of a small rented house in the neighbourhood, moving in 2006 to one classroom rented from EDELAC (la Escuela de la Calle, another NGO in Las Rosas). Eventually in 2010, the project moved to it’s own building next door to EDELAC. From small beginnings, the organization now houses and supports a variety of projects and people in the community.
Classroom: You can work as a classroom assistant, supporting the Guatemalan teacher(s) with the various lessons and activities throughout the morning. Think of typical activities of a kindergarten classroom, including outings, free time to play, and snack time.
Daycare: You can work as a daycare assistant, helping with the young children (most of whom are babies, so experience with very young children is useful). Part-time hours are possible. Generally you will be playing with the kids, but also assisting with any outings, free time to play outside, and feeding (we give the kids breakfast, lunch, and two snacks).
Afterschool program: We are always looking for people to help with the after school program - playing with and supervising the children, organizing games or crafts, helping with set-up and clean-up. You are welcome to come with your own ideas, and be prepared to get right into the games and crafts with them! Once a month we do a week-long workshop that we are always looking for inspiration for; we also take them on outings into Las Rosas; give them a snack; and celebrate birthdays at the end of every month with cake and presents.
Office Assistant: Your work in the office may include, among other things - maintaining our website and Facebook and Instagram page; communicating with external organizations to solicit volunteers and/or donations; keeping our profiles up-to-date on the various volunteering websites we are on, and posting new information as necessary; creating new media such as brochures, videos, posters, etc; writing our newsletter; various other tasks as required, or other projects you believe may benefit Caras Alegres.
Manual Work: Past jobs have included: painting the walls and stairs; fixing leaks in the roof, reorganizing and cleaning our storage areas; building shelving and maintenance work for the CALI project; decorating class rooms and walls with murals; other tasks as they’ve come up. If you’re comfortable with the city you can also run errands and various other tasks around the city.
Age: 18 years minimum
Availability: 3 week minimum time commitment
Time: From January to November
Qualities: We are looking for someone who is responsible, committed to our mission and vision, open-minded, is a good team member and can follow direction well, ready to have a lot of fun and maybe get a little messy!
Experience: Past experience not required, but that could be useful – working with children in leadership roles, working in diverse settings, marketing, administration, social media, business experience, coaching or mentoring roles
Spanish Level: We only require a basic level of Spanish for participating in our afterschool programs, but you will benefit from an Intermediate or Advanced level if you wish to participate in the classrooms, daycare, and especially if working with the women of CALI
Volunteering with Caras Alegres can be a rich and very rewarding experience.