At Quetzaltrekkers, we are all working as volunteer guides and we manage most aspects of the organization.
In our office, you will find a tight-knit team of dedicated volunteers committed to the organization and its cause. We can’t think of a place where you’d be given this much autonomy and responsibility working as a volunteer. Life here can be hectic and the days can be long, ultimately though, working as a Quetzaltrekkers guide is an incredibly rewarding experience and, well, a lot of fun.
As a trekking guide, you will be guiding (and soon leading) groups of people on our treks. This entails much more than just showing people the way up a volcano. You are there to make sure the trek runs smoothly, safely, and your group is fed, watered and content. This is not always an easy task. You will also develop an awareness of the people, culture, history, and ecology of the areas through which we trek to in-turn share this knowledge with your group of trekkers (and newer guides).
Trekking days can make up anywhere between 3 – 6 days of your week, all depending on the schedule and number of guides that are here at any given time.
Guiding people on adventurous treks is just part of the job. Some of your week will be spent in the Quetzaltrekkers office, doing behind-the-scenes tasks to keep the whole operation running. These tasks might include:
- Food and equipment prepping
- Cleaning equipment
- Promoting treks
- Signing people up for treks
- Shopping for treks
- Washing dishes
- Doing finances
- Answering phones and emails
- Washing more dishes
- Updating the website;
- And so on and so forth
It’s a long list.
You might also find time to come up with new ideas and new systems to make Quetzaltrekkers a better organization. Who knows what these ideas will be? The more successful we are, the more successful our projects can be therefore the greater impact we can make on the lives of Guatemala’s children in need.
While volunteering with Quetzaltrekkers, you will have plenty of opportunities to spend time with the children from the Hogar. Every Wednesday night, we play football with the kids and every alternating Thursday, we also eat with the children either at the office or at the Hogar. Any other day of the week you’re are not out on trek or have finished office duties, you can easily walk to the Hogar and visit with all twenty children that now reside there.
What we look for in a guide
This is the kind of place where just about anyone with any skill set can come in and make their mark. We like to think we attract energetic and motivated volunteers that arrive with an eagerness to learn, work hard, and take initiative. There are however a few minimum requirements candidates must meet in order to work with us:
- A 3 month, absolute minimum time commitment (not including a 3-day client hike beforehand);
- Intermediate Spanish (need to be able to make phone calls in Spanish (book accommodation and pickups etc) and be comfortable navigating a medical emergency and evacuation);
- A first aid qualification;
- Experience with multi-day backpacking;
- Love of the outdoors, trekking, roughing it, [not] sleeping under the stars, getting wet, cold toes, and lumpy oatmeal.;
- Stellar people-skills, endless patience, an eagerness to learn;
- Most importantly: the ability to work and live as a member of a team.
This isn’t one of those pay-to-volunteer type deals. On the other hand, the tangible perks we offer are minimal– this is still volunteering after all. 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 your own living expenses while you’re here, these costs are likely to be minimal. Each guide pays between Q250 – 500 (or about $30-60) rent per month to live in one of our either shared or private rooms located near the office and Quetzaltenango is a cheap place to live in general. We guestimate guides can get by comfortably on between $100 and $150/month. As far as volunteering goes, we think this is a pretty good deal!
The Orientation Period
Before you are officially a guide, you will need to successfully complete a two week orientation period. This involves:
- First up: Completing a trek with us as a paying client. This allows you to learn a bit more about the guides, the hike, and ultimately determine if this is something you would like to be a
- Learning how the office runs (and doing lots of dishes);
- Prepping and learning information about the hikes, project, etc;
- Meeting the other guides and volunteers;
- Washing dishes
- Spending time with the children;
- Successfully completing at least one hike as a supporting guide.
At the conclusion of your orientation period, there will be a review to make sure this is something you would like to give your time to and that we will all get along in the office! If all is good with both parties, you’ll become an official Quetzaltrekkers Guide!
Sounds good to you?
If all of this sounds like music to your ears, apply to become a guide today!
The only thing you need to do is fill out this application form.
Our volunteer coordinator will get back to you asap to continue the application process and build an email relationship with you!
Volunteer with EDELAC
EDELAC volunteers primarily work as teachers’ aides and are typically placed with a single class of students during their time here. These volunteers vastly improve the quality of education that we can offer the kids. This is especially the case with those students that require more individualized attention when they are studying and learning. Once again, these volunteers are given a lot of autonomy in their jobs and are invited to liven-up the curriculum with activities like theatre productions and art sessions. EDELAC volunteers normally find their own accommodation, but for long term volunteers it is possible to live in the QT Guide House.
We are looking for people with:
- A 1 month minimum time commitment;
- A intermediate-conversational Spanish language ability (teacher’s & staff only speak Spanish);
- Availability at least 5 days a week from 8am to 1pm;
- Experience in children’s education and/or social work; and,
- A strong desire to work with children.
To apply, contact EDELAC directly at firstname.lastname@example.org