Hike Volcanoes, Help Kids: become a Quetzaltrekkers Guide to make an impact while trekking the Western Highlands of Guatemala!

At Quetzaltrekkers, we are all working as volunteer trekking guides. Our office is a tight-knit team of dedicated volunteers who are committed to our mission of providing safe and fun hiking experiences while sustainable supporting EDELAC and local communities. Read more about the work, our requirements, and how to apply!

The Job

As a trekking guide, you will be responsible for leading groups on Quetzaltrekkers hikes. This is more than just getting folks to the summit of a volcano — you are responsible for the groups wellbeing, safety, and education. Alongside trek management, you will be required to develop an awareness of local culture and indigenous communities, history, and natural features to share with your trekkers and co-guides. All of your hard work directly supports the  projects of Escuela de la Calle.

Due to the nature of our work, guides must commit to an absolute minimum of 3 months.

Depending on the trekking schedule and guide availability, time on-hike may make up 3 – 6 days per week. In addition, guides are responsible for trek preparations and office tasks. 

These behind-the-scene tasks are what keep Quetzaltrekkers running and ensure we can offer the best treks possible to our guests. These include:

  • Food and equipment preparation
  • Gear cleaning
  • Promoting and selling treks
  • Shopping and cooking
  • Washing dishes
  • Trek finances
  • Answering phones and questions
  • Washing more dishes
  • Independent research
  • …and plenty more!

It’s a long list of responsibilities, but its an important part of the job. Quetzaltrekkers has many systems to help new guides to learn and adapt quickly to the work, and hey — you might just come up with even better systems! 

QT Guides will also have many opportunities to spend time with the children of EDELAC. Every Wednesday night, we play football with the Hogar residents; Thursdays are reserved for dinner with them, too. Volunteers are welcome and encouraged to visit the school and Hogar if they find time during the week.

What we look for in a QT Guide

One of the most beautiful aspects of Quetzaltrekkers is that anyone can leave their mark after 3+ months of volunteer work. Our office is always full of motivated individuals from a broad range of backgrounds that share an eagerness to learn, work hard, and that enjoy taking initiative. We like to think it’s a pretty fun place to work.

We do have a few requirements for candidates:

  • 3 month, absolute minimum time commitment (not including a 3-day client hike beforehand);
  • Conversational Spanish;
  • A first aid qualification;
  • Experience with multi-day backpacking;
  • Love of the outdoors, trekking, and Type-2 fun;
  • Stellar people-skills, endless patience, an eagerness to learn;
  • Most importantly: the ability to live and work as a member of a team.

We encourage you to contact us if a certain skill is not yet up-to-par for a conversation with our Volunteer Coordinator. 

This isn’t a pay-to-volunteer type deal, however the tangible perks are minimal: this is still volunteer work. Your biggest reward and motivation should be the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of the children we support.

Although you will be expected to cover most of your living expenses when not on trek, these are likely to be minimal. Each guide pays between Q250 – 500 (about $35-65) rent per month to live in one of our rooms located near the office. Quetzaltenango is also generally a cheap place to live: we guestimate guides can get by comfortably on between $150 – $200/month.

As far as volunteering goes, we think this is a pretty good deal!

Orientation Period

Before you become an official guide, you will need to successfully complete a two week orientation period to ensure this is the right fit for both parties.

This will include many things; firstly, you must complete a trek as a paying client. This will be your first introduction to both the job and organization to help to determine if this is something you would like to continue to pursue. 

Following this, you will return to the office and begin learning all aspects of the organization. You will see how the office runs; participate in prepping treks while learning important information about our services; wash dishes; spend time with both your new guide family and the children; and successfully complete at least one hike as a supporting guide.

At the conclusion of your orientation period, there will be a review to determine if this is the right fit for all involves — and more importantly: if this is something you feel ready to commit your time to doing. If all is deemed good for all involved, you will officially become a Quetzaltrekkers Guide!

Sound good to you?

If all of this sounds like music to your years, we invite you to apply today! The only thing you need to do is fill out this application form.

Our coordinator will get back to you ASAP to continue the application process. If you have any questions, please send us an email at quetzaltrekkers.volunteer@gmail.com 

**We are currently taking applications for guides with start date in September 2022 onwards. All treks are still cancelled until then**


Volunteer with EDELAC

Interested in volunteering, but not sure whether hiking is for you? Our parent organization, Escuela de la Calle is always looking for volunteers to help in their Primary School (Las Rosas, Zona 5) and/or Safe Home (Zona 5).

EDELAC volunteers primarily work as teacher aides and are typically placed with a single class of students during their tenure. These volunteers vastly improve the quality of education that we can offer our students. Many aides will assist students who require more individualized attention during learning activities. Once again, volunteers are given a lot of autonomy in their work and are invited to suggest activities (theatre production, art sessions, etc) that may enhance the learning process. 


  • A 1 month minimum time commitment;
  • A conversational Spanish language ability (teachers, staff, and students only speak Spanish);
  • Availability at least 5 days a week from 8am to 1pm;
  • Experience in children’s education and/or social work;
  • A strong desire to work with children.

To apply, contact EDELAC directly at shiner.dianne@gmail.com