Volunteer Information

Giving Hope has several programs which volunteers have the opportunity to take part in. Currently our biggest project is the Comiunity centre which cares for abandoned, abused  children.

Volunteers are the heart of our organization. So many hard-working and selfless youth and families have given their time and efforts to further our programs and change the lives of children and families in the third-world country of Guatemala.

Volunteering truly is hard work. Do not expect this to be an easy experience! But trust us, it is worth it. Dropping into bed every night exhausted is a sign of a day well spent in the service of others. Volunteers will have the chance to visit many amazing places and experience the beauty and culture of the country as well but do not lose sight of the reason you are going: to serve others. Your actions are helping change the world!

Serving as a volunteer is a rewarding and life changing experience for both the volunteers and the children and their families! If you go for the right reasons, have a good attitude and work hard, it will impact you and others more than you ever thought possible.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

How do I apply to become a volunteer?

If you wish to volunteer with us, the application process is simple. Be sure to on the website about the dates of your trip and then download and print out the volunteer packet available on the "volunteer" page of this website. The packet is full of information for you and you only need to fill out the volunteer application and consent form pages, which can then be emailed to this address:

givinghopesociety@gmail.com



What are the available trip dates?

Giving Hope plans two volunteer trips each year. The trip schedule is posted here. If you are interested in staying longer or going on a different date, please contact us.



​​How much is the program fee?

​The program fee is $800 for a 2-week trip and $1000 for a 3-week trip. There is a $100 discount for returning volunteers. 



​How do I pay my program fee?

Please make cheques or money orders out to the name "Giving Hope to Children Society". 

The program fee can be paid at the same time you mail in your application or no later than three months before your departure date.



What does the program fee cover?

The program fee will cover airport pick-up and drop-off, accomodations, food and water​, transportation, fieldtrips and an emergency medical fund.

The fee does not cover any souvenirs you wish to purchase, restaurants you eat at or activities you wish to participate in outside of what is planned by the organization.


Can I fundraise to help pay my program fee?
​​You are more than welcome to look for sponsors or to host a fundraiser to help come up with your program fee. If you plan on doing this, you may contact us and we will do our best to help you in any way we can. We can send information about the organization and our programs, fundraising tools and ideas, photos and more to help with your efforts.

 

What are the required and recommended vaccinations needed for the trip?

Hepatitis A and B vaccinations are recommended. In addition to these, all volunteers should be current on their other immunizations (tetanus, polio, measles, mumps, rubella, etc.). It’s also recommended, though not required, that you have your general immunization records with you during international travel.

Check with your local travel clinic to find out if there are any other vaccinations that are recommended for your trip.

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Once I arrive, how will I get from the airport to the orphanage?

The directors of Giving Hope or a representative will be there to pick you up from the airport upon your arrival.

What will my accomodations be like?

Volunteers stay in the volunteer house/orphanage. The house is located in Chimaltenango, a smaller city in a safe area of town. Accomodations are clean, comfortable and safe.  
On certain trips, volunteers will have the opportunity to serve in the city of Monterrico on the coast. In this case, volunteers will be staying at a ranch on the beach. It is recommended that volunteers bring a mosquito net for this part of the trip.

On any overnight fieldtrips that are taken, such as to Tikal Peten, volunteers will stay in a pre-approved hotel.

Will I have internet access while on my trip?

​There is working internet available in the volunteer house and orphanage. Internet connection is not always perfect (remember you're in a third-world country) but generally works well. Volunteers who wish to use internet outside the house will also have the option to use one of several nearby and inexpensive internet cafe's. Rules for internet usage will be made known to you after your arrival.

Are there any safety precautions I need to take?

Most volunteers have gone the entire trip without any health or safety issues. Any precautions you need to take are outlined in your volunteer packet. Please follow the rules and guidelines included in the packet to avoid any issues.
Giving Hope Directors will also be with you to supervise and give instructions.

If you do get sick, please notify the Project Directors and arrangements will be made to see a doctor, if necessary. Medical expenses for any emergencies are covered by the program fee.

How much spending money should I bring?

There are many unique souvenirs to buy, restaurants to eat in and activities to participate in, etc. The amount you spend varies depending on how much you go out to eat, rent movies, take taxis, participate in “extra” activity options, etc. and how many souvenirs you buy for yourself and/or for others as gifts. You can “get by” on around $200. A recent survey showed that the average volunteer spends around $500. Some volunteers end up spending as much as $600-$700 and some more than that. You’re the only one who can estimate how much to bring.

If there are circumstances that prevent my participating in the trip after I have applied and paid, can I reschedule or cancel my trip?

You can cancel your participation in the trip or defer participation to a later date due to personal circumstances; however, the amount of your refund will depend upon the amount of notice that you give. If you have been accepted into the Giving Hope program and decide to defer or cancel your participation, please let Giving Hope know immediately.



Where can I find more information about Guatemala?

You will find some general information about the country in the volunteer packet. Although if you wish to do some more research, here are some good sites to start with:

http://​travel.nationalgeographic.com/​travel/countries/​guatemala-guide/

http://www.countryreports.org/​country/Guatemala.htm

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/country_profiles/1215758.stm

http://www.heritage.org/index/​country/guatemala

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​If your question has not been answered in this section or you have any concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us.