We are a children's village providing a safe home, education, nutrition, and health care for the vulnerable children of the remote and impoverished region of Rio Dulce, Guatemala.
Casa Guatemala’s Children’s Village has been providing a safe space for children to live and receive quality education since 1977. Casa Guatemala provides the opportunity for children from Mayan families in the surrounding area to receive quality care and education from teachers and volunteers from all over the world! Around 250 children attend school at casa Guatemala, with over 100 of these children living on site during term time.
Situated in 100 acres of tropical jungle in Rio Dulce, Izabal, Guatemala, it provides a unique and rich volunteer opportunity for those interested in providing well-rounded child care and education. In addition to having a school, Casa Guatemala’s Clinic serves to provide free healthcare to the children as well as the neighboring indigenous communities who often lack health services.
Childcare: We have positions for orientadors (house supervisors), who care for the children outside of school hours. There are four children's houses; big boys (9-16 years old), big girls (9-16 years old), little boys (4-8 years old) and little girls (4-8 years old), and orientadors are allocated to a house. They work daily and closely with the children getting them up on time in the morning, supporting them in completing chores, supervising them during breakfast, lunch and dinner, helping them study for school, and arranging and supervising general play/down time. Volunteers also plan and undertake fun activities e.g. sports, arts and crafts, baking etc, with the children during the weekends and evenings. These volunteers work closest with the children and perform quasi parental duties to ensure the children are safe and receiving the best care. One volunteer from each group sleeps over with their group (on a rotational basis) of children to make sure they are OK during the night.
Teaching: we have positions for English and Library Science teachers. English teachers must be fluent in English, and a qualification in teaching English is preferred but not essential. Library teachers must have an advanced level of Spanish, teaching experience is preferred but not essential.
Administration: We are currently looking for a Volunteer Coordinator. The coordinator will be in charge of administrating volunteer placements, organizing breaks, scheduling weekend activities and acting as a channel of communication between teachers, management, and volunteers. The volunteer coordinator acts as an on site manager, ensuring that the daily duties of the volunteers are met. In addition they perform office based admin duties such as replying to applications, comunicating with volunteers before they arrive and advertising for new volunteers. Must stay a minimum of 3 months. Intermediate or a higher level of Spanish is essential.
Healthcare: Casa Guatemala has an onsite clinic which tends to the needs of the children in our care as well as the people of the surrounding Mayan communities. We welcome doctors and nurses to volunteer in our clinic alongside our full time Guatemalan Nurse.
For the long term program, basic accommodation is provided on site at Casa Guatemala. We have two volunteer houses, one of which is reserved for couples and families, the other house has rooms with bunk beds catering for 4 to 6 people per room during busy periods. It is likely that volunteers in the main house will have to share with at least one other volunteer during their stay. Please be aware that there is no hot water or electricity in the volunteer houses.
3 basic meals per day are provided on site. Meals often consist of rice, beans and corn tortillas. A gas stove is provided in the volunteer houses (volunteers split the cost of gas), so volunteers may chose to cook their own meals from time to time.
For our short term volunteers accommodation, breakfast and dinner is provided at Hotel Backpackers. Accomodation is in a dormitory specifically allocated to short term volunteers, however you may upgrade to a private room for an extra fee. Lunch is provided at Casa Guatemala. The boat back and forth to the Children's Village each day is also included in the cost.
Long term program - $300. This includes basic accommodation on site at Casa Guatemala, as well as 3 basic meals per day. This is a one time payment and volunteers staying longer than 3 months do not need to pay again.
Short term - $300 per week. This includes accommodation, breakfast and dinner at Hotel Backpackers, lunch at Casa Guatemala and the boat back and forth to the Children's Village each day.
Long term volunteers work for 22 days and then receive 8 days off to travel (this may be a few days early or late depending on the needs of the house).
Short term volunteers may chose to take time off to explore the local area, and can arrange this with the volunteer coordinator or director.