The success of our work at Maya Traditions is made possible through the constant support of volunteers. Find out how you can become a part of our team by volunteering with us in Guatemala.
Maya Traditions is always seeking motivated, open minded, creative, and committed volunteers to help us achieve our mission. We host a wide variety of programs with numerous ways to get involved. We we ask that volunteers commit to supporting us for at least 3 months and speaking a conversational Spanish is a requirement.
Please contact us if you are interested in supporting us in the following areas:
- Product Design and Development
- Tourism Development and Promotion
- Monitoring and Evaluation
- Marketing, Communications, and Social Media
- Grant Writing and Fundraising
- Translations from English to Spanish
What to Expect
As a volunteer you will most likely be working in our office in Panajachel, which is located on Lake Atitlán in the Department of Sololá, 3 hours northwest of Guatemala City. Volunteers will be traveling to our cooperative communities with our staff members. Most volunteers with Maya Traditions are engaged on a full time basis, however programs are flexible and are structured around each individual’s needs. Many volunteers who work with us are also interested in taking Spanish lessons which we encourage, and we help maintain a balance between Spanish lessons and volunteer work. There are also times where we need support from volunteers in specific areas, so we ask that volunteers be flexible and comfortable helping out as needed. Maya Traditions does not charge for volunteer placements, though there are costs involved including training, flights and accommodations. You can anticipate to pay around $200/month to rent a small apartment, and we recommend budgeting at least $150/month for food, though living expenses can vary based on individual preferences. At times, we are able to offer free housing to volunteers who commit for extended periods of time.
As a volunteer with Maya Traditions, you have the opportunity to be a part of a multicultural team in Guatemala–increasing your cultural understanding and working alongside indigenous Maya artisans and their families. Volunteers learn about traditional Maya culture, including medicinal plants and backstrap weaving, and are encouraged to take a weaving class and a tour to the communities to better understand the traditional art we work to preserve and promote. Volunteers practice their Spanish, as well as help our Guatemalan staff improve their English. Many people who choose to volunteer are able to put into practice an area of interest, and gain invaluable experience.
I had the pleasure to volunteer with Maya Traditions Foundation for four months in 2012. Principally, my work involved developing a methodology and tools for monitoring and evaluation as well as helping the staff to apply these methods in practice. Volunteering with Maya Traditions offered me an invaluable experience to develop new professional skills as well as to gain a more thorough insight of how a well-managed NGO operates. I greatly enjoyed working with the brilliant staff and warmly recommend volunteering with Maya Traditions.
During my internship at Maya Traditions Foundation I had the opportunity to enhance my design skills that I acquired from university by putting them into practice. My project was to design and develop two to three products that were price point appropriate and enabled access to new markets. Maya Traditions did not only give me the opportunity to experience real world designing but also to become more culturally literate through the interaction with the Maya women; a warm experience that is guaranteed for anyone who volunteers or interns.