About Healthcare in Guatemala
World Endeavors Healthcare volunteers in Guatemala donate their energy and knowledge to improve the quality and availability of healthcare in local communities. Many Guatemalans, particularly those living in rural indigenous communities, lack access even to basic health care, and the majority of Guatemalans, according to some statistics, are not able to access quality health care. Volunteers who are doctors, nurses, dentists, midwives, or advanced medical students are needed to provide support for local healthcare providers. Depending on their experience, volunteers will work at a health clinic or hospital, helping with daily tasks, assisting local doctors in patient care, updating records, or working directly with patients.
A Typical Day in the Life of a Volunteer in Guatemala
World Endeavors volunteers in Guatemala can expect their days to be a combination of meaningful volunteer work, cultural experiences, and free time for relaxation and reflection. The sample schedule below represents a typical day for a volunteer in Guatemala. Keep in mind that when volunteering abroad, a typical day can be anything but typical!
7:30 am: Breakfast with your host family. Breakfasts in Guatemala often consist of black beans, fried eggs, bread, tortillas, and a cup of locally grown coffee.
8:00 am: Walk to your volunteer placement.
8:30 am – 12:30 am: Volunteering at placement.
1:00 pm – 2:00 pm: Lunch with your host family. In Guatemala, lunch is the biggest meal of the day and often consists of vegetables, meat, rice, tortillas, and fruit juice.
2:30: Walk to language school for afternoon Spanish classes.
4:00 pm – 5:00 pm: Free time to hang out with other volunteers or new friends, practice Spanish with the locals, or explore Xela’s museums and beautiful cathedrals.
5:00 pm – 7:00 pm: Evening Spanish classes.
7:00 pm – 8:00 pm: Dinner with your host family. Dinners in Guatemala vary from family to family but they often consist of fried platanos, bread, and tea.
8:00 pm – 10:00 pm: Free time to spend with your host family, go to a soccer game, go salsa dancing, catch a show at the Teatro Municipal (Municipal Theater), watch a movie at the Teatro Roma, prepare for the next day’s volunteering, or plan weekend excursions such as swimming in natural hot springs, exploring Los Altos (Guatemala’s Western Highlands), or hiking up the Volcán Santa María.
Project and class schedules, meals, and free time activities may vary depending on the details of your placement.
Volunteers must be 18 years of age or older. Successful volunteers are hardworking, flexible, and open to truly immersing themselves in Guatemalan culture.
Volunteers participating in our Healthcare in Guatemala program must be licensed healthcare professionals, such as doctors, nurses, dentists, midwives, or in some cases advanced medical students. Intermediate proficiency in Spanish is also required for participation in this program.
This program has made me seriously consider living in a Spanish-speaking country in the future to practice medicine. The Guatemalan culture was so open and intimate that it drew me right in. Also, seeing the need really strengthened my resolve for medical missions.
-Katrina, Healthcare Volunteer in Guatemala
Maddy is a Boston, Massachusetts native who studies Sociology. She volunteered abroad with two of her friends at an orphanage in Guatemala through World Endeavors.