A review of a volunteer service I used to get my placement with PIES de Occidente, a public health group that focuses on midwifery, traditional medicine, and public access to healthcare in Guatemala.
I currently volunteer for an organization called PIES de Occidente, here in Quetzaltenango, giving workshops on reproductive health in rural areas of the highlands. The position is great but I have to thank EntreMundos for the experience.
EntreMundos is a non-profit, local NGO that works with over 200 projects and NGOs here in the Guatemalan highlands doing capacity building workshops and support. One of their programmes is also a volunteer service - they provide placements with over 130 different projects of a wide variety of themes (women, education, health/medicine, human rights, agriculture, the environment, construction, children, etc.). The placements range from 1 day onwards, and from virtually no Spanish to Advanced - there are opportunities for everyone.
All this information is available in a FREE online database, complete with contact information, so independent travellers can set up their placement on their own. They also offer an in-person consulation and placement service, for a 25Q donation ($3), at their office in Xela. Finally, they now offer guaranteed placements at organizations before you leave your home-country for a $40 donation. I used this last service and was very happy with the arrangements they made for me.
Anyone looking to volunteer in Guatemala should really check out their work and services at http://www.entremundos.org, or drop by and say hi at their office at 6a Calle 7-31, Zona 1, below Parque Central.
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