Internships in Guatemala are available from the first and third Monday of each month. Placements are based in and around Santa Lucia Milpas Altas, just 15 minutes from Antigua. The locations are optimal for combining tourism activities and cultural excursions with a valuable and immersive internship experience.

Our internship programs include a guided reflection course, which combines personal development with professional competency building. Interns receive weekly reflection modules to complete during their program - each introduces a new topic, presents learning objectives, and provides specific prompts to inspire the reflective journaling process.

Short-term internships provides an introductory experience, however longer participation is encouraged in order to take advantage of the reflective process (up to 12 weeks) and gain greater experience. No grades are directly involved and interns can independently arrange academic credit through their home educational provider.

At a glance...

    • Entry level programs from 2 weeks
    • Two start dates per month
    • Intern fees from US$736
    • Reflective learning course
    • 24/7 in-country support
    • 7 diverse internship options
    • Homestay accommodation

Projects

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Teaching English / Education
Teaching English and Education

This program is suitable for people who are outgoing, proactive, and comfortable in an educational setting - be it teachers, assistants or other educational staff. It’s recommended that participants have a knowledge of at least one elementary school subject or English teaching, in order to support local teachers with lessons.

Minimum Duration: 2 weeks
Language Requirement: Basic Spanish
Associated career paths: Early Years teacher, Education Administrator, English as a Foreign Language Teacher, Learning Mentor/Tutor, Primary/Secondary Teacher, Special Educational, Teaching Assistant, Careers Adviser, Child Psychotherapist, Counsellor, Family Support Worker, Play Therapist, Youth/Social Worker

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Environmental Conservation
Environmental Conservation

This program provides an entry-level opportunity for those passionate about nature. A background in environmental conservation or a related field is desirable, but not essential. However, all participants should be fit, proactive, able to work independently, willing to get dirty, and interested eco sustainability.

Minimum Duration: 2 weeks
Language Requirement: Basic Spanish
Associated career paths: Environmental Scientist (Policy/Planning/Law), Horticulturist, Soil and Plant Scientist, Ecologist, Biologist, Climatologist, Geology, Herpetologist, Habitat Specialist, Entomologist, Ranger, Forest Management, Agricultural/​Horticultural Scientist

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Special Needs / Childcare
Special Needs and Childcare

This internship program is suited for participants with a passion for helping others to overcome diversity and disability. Patience, flexibility, and openness are essential. While the nature of this work can be challenging, it may also be deeply rewarding and provide insight into careers related to caring, disability support, therapy and social work.

Minimum Duration: 2 weeks
Language Requirement: Basic Spanish
Associated career paths: Individual Support, Disabled Carer, Special Education Teacher, Early Intervention Specialist, Physiotherapist, Art Therapist, Educational Audiologist, Interpreter for the Hearing Impaired, Music Therapist, Occupational Therapist, Nurse, Counsellor, Psychologist, Social Worker, Speech-Language Pathologist.

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Agriculture
Agriculture

Work closely with partners that provide training to small farmers, helping them to manage their land effectively and sustainably. Participants in the agriculture internship program will help with workshops, field trainings and the development and provision of educational material. Come with a willingness to learn too!

Minimum Duration: 2 weeks
Language Requirement: Basic Spanish
Eligibility Requirement: Experience in agriculture
Associated career paths: Environmental Education, Environmental Scientist (Policy/Planning/Law), Wildlife Management, Ecologist, Biologist, Climatologist, Microfinance, Social Business, Financial Planning/Analysis, Business Analysis, Operations Management

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Physiotherapy
Physiotherapy

This program provides an entry-level opportunity, where a background in social work, occupational therapy, rehabilitation, pre-med, psychology or physiotherapy is preferred - but not essential. There are a number of internship placements available and participants will be matched according to personal level of skill and experience.

Minimum Duration: 4 weeks
Language Requirement: Intermediate Spanish
Eligibility Requirement: Background in social work, psychology or physiotherapy are preferred but not essential
Associated career paths: Individual Support, Disabled Carer, Special Education Teacher, Early Intervention Specialist, Physiotherapist, Art Therapist, Educational Audiologist, Interpreter for the Hearing Impaired, Music Therapist, Occupational Therapist, Nurse, Counsellor, Psychologist, Social Worker, Speech-Language Pathologist.

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Health & Medical
Health and Medical

Shadow and assist alongside local doctors and nurses at rural clinics, that offer free medical services. Typical tasks (depending on skill and experience) can include patient consultation, taking vital signs, health and hygiene workshops in rural schools, vaccinations, and participating in medical outreach campaigns.

Minimum Duration: 4 weeks
Language Requirement: Intermediate to advanced Spanish
Eligibility Requirement: Health/medical background (doctors, medical students, dentists, proven experience in nutrition) - 3rd year of undergraduate completed, at least
Associated career paths: Physician / Physician’s Assistant, Nurse, General Practitioner, Midwife, Pharmacist, Medical Laboratory Scientist, Radiographer, Dentist / Dental Assistant, Dental Hygienist, Dietitian, Paramedic, Anaesthesiologist, Sonographer, Medical Scribe.

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Microfinance
Microfinance

Microfinance provides vital support through the provision of affordable loans and business advice. Interns may assist with advice and education regarding the successful operation of a business, budgeting strategies, IT systems, brainstorming new ideas, promotion and advertising, and helping entrepreneurs to sell their products to buyers.

Minimum Duration: 4 weeks
Language Requirement: Intermediate to advanced Spanish
Eligibility Requirement: Qualifications/strong interest in finance, business, development, computer skills or related background
Associated career paths: Microfinance, Social Business, Corporate Finance, Commercial Banking, Investment Banking, Private Equity, Venture Capital, Financial Planning/Analysis, Insurance, Public Accounting, Financial Controller, Human Resources Management, Business Analysis, Operations Management.

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Hospitality & Tourism
Hospitality & Tourism

This program offers participants real world insight in the fast moving travel industry. Diverse placements in or nearby Antigua, as well as around Lake Atitlan, provide the opportunity to gain valuable experience in hostels, hotels, tour operators and restaurants. Interns can expect to assist local staff with basic administration, tourist enquiries, marketing, and maintenance.

Minimum Duration: 4 weeks
Language Requirement: Basic Spanish (proficiency in other languages is desired but not required)
Associated career paths: Concierge, Guest Services, Event & Conference Organiser, Management, Sales and Marketing, Travel Agent, Tour Guide / Operator, Travel Writer / Photographer, Brand Management, Marketing & Promotions Management, Public Relations, Media Relations, Hospitality Management

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 program participants are hosted in various homestay accommodations, in close proximity to the project placement. 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). Bathrooms are shared. Living is comfortable and home-stays offer electricity, running water and western bathrooms. However, it’s important to note that showers can be low pressure and unheated/tepid. WiFi is provided in some of the home-stays but it is not available in all accommodation and is not guaranteed.

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.

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!
Sam John
Sam John
Nationality: New Zealand
Age: 30
Destination: Guatemala
Project: Environmental Conservation
Date: June 2017 – 6 weeks
Internship Period Program Fee (USD)
2 weeks $736
3 weeks $859
4 weeks $1045
5 weeks $1163
6 weeks $1282
8 weeks $1518
10 weeks $1739
12 weeks $1912
16 weeks $2305
20 weeks $2665
24 weeks $2993

Please note that the Environmental Conservation project also has an extra cost of US$55 per week for additional supervision, materials and the logistics involved in this project.

  • To convert these prices to your local currency visit the XE currency converter.
  • All programs attract a Registration Fee of US$299 on top of the Program Fee (partially refundable until 60 days before your start date*). A 5% international banking fee is added at point of payment.
  • * 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
  • Pre-departure interview
  • Personal impact assessment
  • 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

Fluency in Spanish is not a prerequisite for all of the Guatemala internship programs, however basic Spanish skills are required. This is in order to encourage maximum engagement and enjoyment of the learning experience. 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.

We strongly recommend that all program participants take advantage of the very affordable language lessons offered exclusively to Intern Abroad HQ participants by our host organization. The price is US$120 per week (20 hours, morning lessons) and is paid directly to the host organization in Guatemala.

These Spanish lessons 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. The program is based in the Santa Lucía Milpas Altas municipality, approximately 9 km / 5.5 mi from Antigua city. 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 tourism attractions throughout the region include:

  • Pacaya National Park and Kawilal Hot Springs: Home to the active Pacaya Volcano, you can take about a 60 minute hike from the San Vicente de Pacaya village to the crater - many tours continue afterward to the Kawilal Hot Springs, where their complex has thermal pools, thermal steam baths and hydrotherapy baths (plus, check out their spa services menu in advance if you want to really treat yourself).

  • Acatenango Volcano: This volcano is joined with the Volcán de Fuego (fire volcano) that you frequently see puffing away from Antigua. Acatenango itself has two peaks - Pico Mayor (the highest peak) and Yepocapa. Although you can’t hike the Volcán de Fuego, you can reach the summit of Acatenango, which is a brilliant vantage point to watch the Fuego peak in action! It’s important to arrange this hike through an established tour operator and recommended to do it over two days. Ensure to seek advance from the tour company in advance about packing considerations to complete this hike safely and comfortably.

  • Lake Atitlan and villages: Tour operators provide boat rides to visit the picturesque villages that are located on the shores of Guatemala’s largest lake. The main villages to check out are San Pedro la Laguna, San Juan la Laguna, and Santiago Atitlan (home of the Cojolya Weaving Center and Museum). San Pedro la Laguna is also located beneath the San Pedro volcano, which is an additional attraction for hiking.

  • Iximché Ruins: These Mayan ruins are accessed via the town of Tecpán, which is about 55 km / 35 mi from Antigua. They are open daily and there’s also a small museum where artefacts are displayed. Many of the sites at this archeological site date back as far as 1400 BC.

  • Valhalla Experimental Station: This interesting farm is located about 10 minutes outside of Antigua, where they focus on eco-tourism, environmental education, and developing self-sustaining agriculture. Visitors mainly spend time at the macadamia farm, where you can sample macadamia nuts, chocolates and purchase macadamia skin care products. There’s also legendary macadamia pancakes on the menu, in addition to other breakfast dishes and sandwiches.

  • Chichicastenango Market: To visit the famous market in Chichicastenango - “Chichi” - there are morning shuttles that depart Antigua on the market days of Thursdays and Sundays. If you want to shop for souvenirs, then this is a great place to do it. They sell handicrafts, woodcarving, traditional masks, textiles, food and condiments, flowers and medicinal plants, pottery, candles, traditional incense, grindstones, and much more.

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.