Veterinary Care internships in Guatemala

Veterinary Care internships in Guatemala are ideal for participants currently studying animal care (or a related field), who have a strong love and compassion for animals. As a veterinary intern, you will be working alongside a trained professional to treat and cure various conditions in animals as well as assisting in various tasks in the clinics.

Interns can expect to assist with activities such as animal rehabilitation, emergency care, aid during animal surgeries, and helping to diagnose animals. It’s important to note that basic animal care tasks are also included in expected activities, such as feeding, bathing, brushing, obedience training, medicating animals and helping to clean.

“While in Guatemala for 6 weeks, Intern Abroad HQ allowed me to combine my program work with their experiential learning program. The guidance provided through the Intern Abroad HQ program provided fresh structure and insight and the reflections on things like culture, communication, problem-solving and expectations really helped with my adjustment period and ability to think outside the box. I’d definitely recommend this approach to anyone else looking to intern abroad!” - Samuel John, New Zealand
Want to get started?

Taking the first step is easy! Our team is here to provide friendly assistance, from your initial research and planning phases, right through until your internship completion. To get started, submit an application. It is free to apply and takes just 5 minutes.

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Minimum Duration

4 weeks

Language Requirement

Interns must be confident enough to verbally communicate in basic Spanish

Eligibility Requirement

Interns must show academic proof that they are enrolled or have completed a degree related to animal care.

Associated career paths

Dog Trainer/Handler, Animal Behaviourist, Veterinarian, Veterinary Nurse, Pet Groomer

How to intern

Programs begin on the first and third Monday of each month and participants may choose to spend a minimum of 2 weeks, up to a maximum of 24 week. All participants fly into the La Aurora International Airport (GUA) in order to be picked up and transported to the accommodation, unless alternative arrangements for an overland arrival have been made. Orientation is given by our local hosts at their offices in Santa Lucia Milpas Altas and covers important details concerning introductions, support, culture, customs, safety, rules and expectations, things to see and do, and more.

All interns in Guatemala are accommodated in various homestay accommodations. Interns are matched to an appropriate host family, taking into consideration convenient proximity to their internship placement. Typical host families in Guatemala usually comprise of two parents and children or a single parent with children (the ages of a host family’s children can range from young and still living at home, to adults living independently). There are usually 1 - 2 bedrooms in most home-stays and everyone has their own bedroom (unless special requests are made in advance to share with a friend or partner). Bathrooms are shared. Living is comfortable and home-stays offer electricity, running water and western bathrooms. However, showers can be low pressure and unheated/tepid. WiFi is provided in most of the home-stays but it is important to note that it is not guaranteed.

Accommodation upgrades are available at an additional cost, for those who would prefer more independent accommodation and social interaction with other travelers. Interns who have confirmed their participation may opt to arrange hostel accommodation, in either a dorm (sharing a room with 4-8 beds) or a private room. Dormitories provide lockers, so that guests may securely store their personal items. Bathrooms are typically shared. Amenities include WiFi and a common area for guest use. Please note that hostel accommodation is subject to availability (depending on the location of your internship) and includes daily breakfast only. Interns who are interested in arranging an accommodation upgrade are welcome to speak with their Internship Program Manager for more information.

Internships in Guatemala include two meals per day, served at the home stay. A typical Guatemalan breakfast is provided and consists of bread, spreads, fruit and eggs accompanied with tea or coffee. Dinner commonly consists of meat (often chicken), soups, pastas, starches and vegetables. Please be sure to let us know of any specific dietary requirements that you have in advance, so that we may ensure your hosts are aware and make recommendations accordingly.

I highly recommend interning in Guatemala. The people there are so kind, and the support staff is always there if and when you need them. The entire time I felt welcome, which made the adjustment from my home to there a lot smoother. Additionally, this opportunity taught me a lot. Leaving Guatemala, I felt that I gained knowledge in their culture, language, and way of living. I also felt more confident in adapting in an unknown setting and that I can be independent in a foreign country. Ultimately, this trip is worth every cent because what you can gain from it you can’t gain any other way.
Ashleigh Garrett
Nationality: South Carolina, USA
Age: 20
Destination: Guatemala

Internship Duration Program Fee (USD)
4 weeks $1070
5 weeks $1188
6 weeks $1307
8 weeks $1543
10 weeks $1764
12 weeks $1937
16 weeks $2330
20 weeks $2690
24 weeks $3018
  • To convert these prices to your local currency visit the XE currency converter.
  • All Intern Abroad programs attract a Registration Fee of US$299 in addition to the Program Fee.
  • All payments attract a 5% transaction fee to cover international banking fees and currency charges. International wire transfer payments attract a minimum fee of US$75.
  • * Terms and Conditions do apply

What extra costs will I have?

  • Visa, flights, travel insurance (mandatory), vaccinations, criminal background check.
  • Transfer back to the airport at conclusion of the program.
  • Language lessons.
  • Souvenirs + tourism/leisure activities during free time.
  • Personal spending money to cover basic expenses such as drinks, snacks, laundry, and public transportation. Interns generally find US$40 per week to be sufficient.

Registration fee

What it covers
  • Dedicated intern support
  • Comprehensive internship guide
  • Reflection learning course
  • Flight and travel insurance deals

Program fee

What it covers
  • 24/7 in-country support
  • Airport pick-up
  • Program orientation
  • Internship placement
  • Learning support service
  • Accommodation & meals

Spanish lessons

Internships in Guatemala require interns to have varying levels of Spanish language proficiency, from either a confident level of basic Spanish to a more developed grasp of intermediate language skills. The definition of having basic Spanish skills (Level A2) includes the ability to exchange brief information with questions and answers, use and understand simple language in daily situations and cultural aspects.

Keep in mind that despite you level of proficiency, a language barrier can still be encountered to a certain extent. Interns should be prepared for the very natural and normal frustration of not always understanding what is being said around them. Most interns are able to have a successful internship experience and it is essential to come prepared and willing to surmount a language barrier, as opposed to being intimidated by it.

We strongly recommend that all interns take advantage of the affordable language lessons offered exclusively to Intern Abroad HQ participants by our host organization in Guatemala. These can be arranged directly with the local team once registered for the program (ask about online Skype lessons) or at the orientation in-country. Language lessons are tailored to each individual’s current level of Spanish and classes run from Monday through to Friday.

Weekends and travel

During the weekends, free time is available to relax, engage in tourism activities and explore other parts of Guatemala. Most placements are usually based in and around Santa Lucia Milpas Altas, just 15 minutes from Antigua, as well as in and around Antigua. Antigua is a fantastic weekend hub for excellent cuisine, sightseeing, colonial churches, coffee tours, chocolate-making classes, museums, shopping, and transportation. Public buses are available from Antigua to other parts of the country and many travel agencies also offer shuttles to key touristic places such as Monterrico beach, Lake Atitlan, Coban, Lanquín (Semuc Champey), or Tikal. Popular tourist attractions throughout the region include Pacaya National Park and Kawilal Hot Springs, Acatenango Volcano, Lake Atitlan and villages, Iximché Ruins, Valhalla Station and more.

Our local team in Guatemala are also able to assist interns with trip bookings, to experience more of the country. These can be coordinated directly once you’ve registered to confirm your internship program. Options include:

  • Pacaya Volcano: This trip is great for hiking and sightseeing within the Pacaya National Park. It’s a full day tour, with transportation and guides, but you’ll need to ensure you bring your own packed snacks for the day. The departure for the trip is about 8 a.m. and returns at about 4 p.m. The hiking time itself is four hours, so you’ll need to have proper walking shoes and clothing for the excursion.

  • Coffee Tour: A trip to Guatemala is never complete without a coffee tour. You can learn about how some of the world’s most delicious coffee is grown, processed, and exported. Also learn about sustainable practices and different varieties of coffee - no doubt, working up a thirst for a hot cup of coffee in the meantime!

  • Traditional Cooking Class: One of the best things about traveling is being able to try different cuisines of the world. Our team in Guatemala can arrange cooking lessons for interns, so that when you go home you’ll have the skills to keep preparing your favorite meals! Learn how to cook Guatemala’s yummiest meals from scratch. Local experts run the four-hour classes, giving tips on ingredients and cultural insight.

  • Acatenango Volcano overnight trip: This hiking and camping trip takes two days, so it’s a perfect weekend excursion if you’re looking for something more adventurous. The hike itself is demanding, so a reasonable level of fitness is required and you’ll need to ensure you pack appropriate clothing and footwear. Stunning views from the top of the volcano are certainly worth the effort!

  • Lake Atitlan and Chichicastenango market: This guided tour includes an overnight stay, enabling you to take advantage of a weekend and see more of Guatemala. Lake Atitlan is considered one of the world’s most beautiful lakes, so it’s not to be missed during your internship. The Chichiscastenango market is the largest open-air market in Central America, so it’s a “must do” cultural experience and perfect for sourcing gorgeous artisan gifts and souvenirs.

  • Semuc Champey and caving: Located in the middle of the jungle, a guided trip to Semuc Champey requires three days. It’s an incredible place to behold, where naturally formed pools of turquoise waters and cave formations contrast beautifully against the lush green jungle backdrop. After having the opportunity to swim, the tour includes guided entrance to some of the caves and tubing along the Cahabon river.

  • Tikal Ruins: You’ll have the option to reach the Tikal Ruins over one or two days, depending on if you opt to travel there via plane journey or bus. These impressive Mayan Ruins are considered to be the “crown jewel” of Guatemala. There are more than 3,000 archaeological elements to the site, offering insight into an area which was one of the largest of the Mayan cities. Arrival into the archaeological site itself is easily accessible and there is ample opportunity to spot wildlife within.

Capital Guatemala City
Population 15.08 million
Languages Spanish
Currency Guatemalan Quetzal (GTQ)
Time zone UTC−06:00

Weather and climate: Guatemala has a range of micro climates and the high altitude of Guatemala City results in a subtropical highland climate (Köppen Cwb) in this region. There aren’t distinct seasons in Guatemala and the temperature is typically mild year round. Temperatures range from 22°C to 28°C (72°F to 82°F) during the day, and 12°C to 17°C (54°F to 63°F) at night. The country attracts winds and rain during the months of May to October with the hottest month being April.