Maximo volunteering is for volunteers who want to make the most of their Buenas Cosas experience and explore, learn and share the many facets of social development. As with all our other offerings, every penny you contribute stays right here in Guatemala supporting our Partner Communities, programs and projects. Your contribution will directly assist credible, nonprofit ecotourism, voluntourism and sustainable Guatemalan social development.
Spanish immersion and volunteering in Guatemala – You’ll be immersed in the culture of Peten Guatemala. Immersion includes Spanish. No worries. Included with your Maximo volunteer participation is our quick and easy Spanish Survival workshop and 6 page workbook. With a little bit of effort on your part, you’ll have all the Spanish you need in a day or three. Or, study Spanish one-on-one with a Spanish Study partner.
The people of Peten (Peteneros) are some of the most friendly, kind, patient people on the planet. Our volunteers are consistently amazed at how welcome they feel being among the happy, peaceful people of Peten. Our volunteers are consistently amazed at how welcome they feel being among the happy, peaceful people of Peten – we feel it’s the due to the rich Maya heritage of our area.
Interesting factoid – when you ask the local indigenous people what’s their native language the answer is ‘Maya’ – not one of the dozens of Maya dialects spoken in Guatemala. Just Maya. You’ll be volunteering in the cradle of the Maya civilization.
Sustainable Social Development – Volunteering with Buenas Cosas is sustainable social development. Your contributions are designed from the ground-up to impact generations. Even still, our projects are continually reassessed to assure we are doing the best we can for the people and environment of our Partner Communities – not taking, always giving and doing it better every year. We succeed when we quit and pass our programs and projects to our Partner Community. We move on down the road to the next community – we’ve got a waiting list.
What to Expect as a Maximo Volunteer
Social Development Workshops
Included with your Maximo volunteering are three weekly social development sessions led by key members of Buenas Cosas.
– social development case studies
– discussions covering aspects of social development
– sharing of Buenas Cosas experiences, failures/successes
– participation in experiential social development exercises
– open Q/A sessions covering Buenas Cosas, what we do and why
Your Social Development Workshops are led by key members of Buenas Cosas. We’re not social development experts – we’ve learned to be wary of those who make such claims. However, we are most certainly passionate, grass-roots social development practitioners. We love what we do. And, we make the best of what little we have in service to community and nature. Suffice it to say, Buenas Cosas is Guerrilla Social Development.
Every day we learn more about social development from our clients in our partner communities, our development projects and, with you, through our lively Maximo volunteers in our social development workshop sessions. Sessions run 1 to 3 hours and are facilitated in English and/or Spanish with English translation. When the workshops get intense – that may extend a bit. Sometimes, we get carried away discussing our passion. We hope you feel the same way – if so, you’re a perfect Maximo volunteer candidate.
Maximo volunteers, same as our Grande volunteers, chose from one of three different volunteer tracks:
2 Day – volunteering two days/week (Tuesday and Thursday), four hours/day.
3 Day – volunteering three days/week (Monday, Wednesday and Friday), four hours/day.
5 Day – volunteering five days/week (Monday-Friday), four hours/day.
Volunteer Orientation / Training
You’ll spend the first day in orientation / training. We respect the culture and tradition of our Partner Communities. You’ll be given all the Do’s and Don’ts of volunteering in our Partner Communities.
Maximo volunteer accommodations
As a Maximo volunteer you’ll homestay with a family in one of our Partner Communities or at our Community Center – the choice is ours. In any case, you’ll have your own private room and three family meals each day. Yes, couples may share the same room/bed and same-sex couples are welcome. But, it’s not the cultural norm in our Partner Communities for couples to engage in PDA.
Meals are included with your Maximo volunteering. These are good, healthy meals – tasty Guatemalan food. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are an important part of Guatemalan culture. Don’t miss meals. As a Maximo volunteer your vegetarian, vegan and/or raw-food diet is easily accommodated. Maximo volunteers are also welcome to our Maya kitchen – it’s always available for your culinary meanderings.
You’ll volunteer 4 hours each day and 2, 3 or 5 days each week. So long as you donate the project fee, you can participate in any project you like. If not, we’ll put you where you’re needed most or choose one of our free volunteer plans. Whatever works best for you.
Make Your Maximo Volunteer Reservation Donation – Quick & Easy…
1 – Read the FAQ
2 – Post your Maximo Volunteer Reservation Donation
3 – Send us a photo of your happy face, your completed SignUp and you’ll have email confirmation the next day.
Orientation and Training
Volunteers respect the culture, traditions and values of our Partner communities. we’re happy to show you the ropes. At arrival, volunteers are provided with orientation and training. As a volunteer you’ll know how to handle yourself in our Partner Communities. Our Volunteer training and orientation manual is full of great little tips and tricks to make your volunteer stay with us easy and enjoyable.
Security in Guatemala
Naysayers like to concentrate on the violence in Guatemala – nonsense. Yes, there’s violence in Guatemala – mostly Guatemalan-on-Guatemalan. Guatemala is safe for foreign travelers and volunteers and the statistics validate it. If you doubt this fact, visit the Thorntree forums at LonelyPlanet.com and do a little research – share what you find with family/friends who may express concern about your desire to volunteer in Guatemala. It’s easy to be safe in Guatemala. All you need to do is follow one simply rule…
don’t do anything stupid and nothing stupid will happen to you
We’ve designed our volunteer orientation and training to completely prepare you to safely experience all that we offer our volunteers in Guatemala. So long as you don’t do anything stupid – absolutely no worries :)
Learning + Service
Our entire approach to volunteering, is based on learning and service. With that in mind, you need to stand on your own two-feet. We’re not baby-sitters and we’re not here to force anything on anyone. We have a wealth of social development experience. We offer a broad selection of volunteer opportunities. We’ve got all the cross-cultural experience and immersion you can handle. We’re happy to share all we have with our volunteers. But, you need to take the initiative. When you’re volunteering with Buenas Cosas in Guatemala: put down your tablet, get off the Internet, pull yourself out of your hammock, get out of your comfort-zone, get out into your Partner Community and be pro-active. You’ll have a better volunteer experience and you’ll do more good things :)