International Volunteer Trips
Curamericas Global offers volunteer trips to high-need communities in Guatemala, where volunteers can have a profound impact on the health and well-being of the local population while being immersed in the local culture.
While at the project site, volunteers often work in the following areas:
Community Outreach: Accompany Community Health Workers out into rural communities in the mountains of Guatemala to provide health services and assist with pre-natal checkups. Volunteers work alongside health workers to weigh and measure babies to check for malnutrition, give vaccinations and vitamin supplements, conduct home visits and assist the health workers with recording the information on mother and child health cards.
Construction and Repairs at the Casa Materna: Volunteers work alongside a local foreman to build new Casa Materna maternity houses and renovate the existing structures. They are planning to have completed 3 additional maternity houses in the next few years so there is plenty of work to be done!
Special projects including training local staff, will be arranged for volunteers with special skills, such as medical professionals and engineers.
Curamericas’ Volunteer Program Goals:
- Help our projects meet community needs
- Strengthen our program at the grassroots level
- Offer opportunities for cultural and educational exchange.
It is important to us that our volunteer trips are beneficial for both our volunteers and the mothers and children we serve.
- Who: Trips are open to anyone 16 and older, or 14 and older with a parent. No special skills required!
- When: Year round
- Length: The average trip is 10 days long
- Group size: 6-14 people
- Cost of trip: $1500 plus airfare (includes all other expenses)
- A Curamericas Global coordinator provides two orientations before the trip, organizes all travel logistics and travels with the team to translate and provide on-the-ground support
It is very important to us that our volunteers have the chance to become part of the local community during their stay. Groups will have two orientation meetings before they leave to plan trip details and prepare. While in Guatemala, we will arrange visits to local schools, churches, and community centers, and offer volunteers the opportunity to accompany our health workers on home visits. Volunteers will also visit the local market in San Jose, have a game day with the local children and Casa Materna staff, learn how to make tortillas and see traditional dance presentations. Each night, volunteers will get to participate in presentations from local Mayan women, traditional birth attendants, Guatemalan war veterans and community leaders.
Several cultural excursions will be available for each group to choose from, which will include exploring the Zaculeu Ruins, hiking around Lake Atitlan and visiting Antigua, a historic Guatemalan city.
About the Area
Curamericas works in the isolated mountain region of northwest highlands of Guatemala. This region of overwhelmingly Mayan population exhibits some of the worst health indicators in Latin America. The area’s extraordinarily high child and maternal mortality rates are due primarily to readily preventable conditions, which plague the area as a result of the limited access to healthcare services and education in the region. The population of impoverished subsistence farmers live in dirt-floored, mud-brick homes lacking running water. The nearest hospital is located six hours away and access to health posts is extremely limited.
Planning an Expedition
First, tell us about yourself and what you’re looking for… The planning process begins with an email to our volunteer coordinator at [email protected] or by filling out an Volunteer Trip Interest Form online. This will provide us with information on your goals and travel preferences. Ideally, interested volunteers should be contact Curamericas six months to one year in advance of travel, but last-minute applicants can occasionally still be placed.
Next, we’ll work with you to plan the best experience for you… Our expeditions are planned on a case-by-case basis in order to most effectively match our volunteers’ skills, availability, and interests with the immediate needs of our partners. After speaking with you more about your goals and preferences, a staff member will work with you to set up a potential trip itinerary and budget.
Finally, we’ll confirm and take care of the details… After you have decided on an expedition, we set up all of your in-country arrangements, including lodging, transportation, meals, and cultural activities. With the help of our partners, we create a detailed work plan and trip itinerary, making every effort to accommodate any special needs or requests.
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