Join our conservation efforts in the jungle, Selva Maya, Guatemala



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 Min stay requested: 1 week or less

  • Description


    We are a conservationists, regen farmers, and engaged youth working to restore and protect the largest jungle in Central America -- the Selva Maya. This area is incredibly biodiverse and home to ancient Maya temples throughout the forest. It feels like something out of Indiana Jones!

    We are looking for help on a permaculture food forest and model regenerative livestock farm, both of which have eco-youth groups of children from the village.

    Both programs are available to you for volunteering and you may switch between them as long as there is clear communication with one week stay required at either project.

    They are located in ecotourist town El Remate, Petén, Guatemala. 30 minutes from Tikal National Park, 40 minutes from Flores Island, and 1.5 hours to the Belize border. These farms are locally owned and serve as educational models and experimental stations to teach other farmers in the area the value in forests and how to farm without cutting it down, using appropriate technologies.

    The permaculture food forest is 8 hectares of native tropical forest of which 40% is dedicated to shade-grown cacao, vanilla, ginger, turmeric, fruit trees, medicinals, rabbits, worm compost, gardens, and a tree nursery.
    Local team: Baltazar, Emanuel, Gonzalo, Pamela, Armando
    Accommodation style: jungle camping in tent.

    The regenerative farm is a family owned model agroforestry farm of 7 hectares with 50% tall native forest, 10% tropical fruit forest, and 40% reforested forage areas for free range chickens and cows. It has hilltop views of the lakes below.
    Local team: Rigo, Walter, Weche, Lilian. Accommodation style: Agroforestry farm camping in rustic 3 wall bungalow or tent.

    We also sponsor local activists in the heart of the Maya Reserve, in Cruce Dos Aguadas village near El Zotz Biotope and the Mirador Pyramids hike. Here projects include a 1 year old 750 native tree reforestation on community land and a forest conservation park with natural springs under new permanent protection for sustainable community use and education. For those interested, there is an option to visit while here.

    All projects have youth groups with activities multiple times per month. The youth groups have kids ages 4-14 and we have 15+ kids in each group. They learn about nature, sustainability, values of learning and self-determination among many other things that often volunteers present. We also seek donations to sponsor the children with school supplies and other basic necessities. If you think you can help with supplies please let us know.

    These 2 projects are owned and operated by local Guatemalan campesinos. They offer accommodation and a once in a lifetime experience. FOOD AND WATER ARE THE RESPONSIBILITY OF EACH VOLUNTEER. There is often food available on the farms for picking, and the local team can call a man who brings 5 gallon water jugs for $1US to the farms. Several restaurants in El Remate serve meals for $1.5-3 USD and two large grocery stores are also found at walking distance in town. Feel free to cook at the farm’s rustic outdoor kitchens.

    The projects were cofounded with the assistance of a US-based environmental group with the mission of restoring and protecting the Selva Maya by helping small and medium scale farmers adopt sustainable alternatives to extensive cattle ranching and slash-and-burn.

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    Charity Work
    Art Projects
    Help with Eco Projects
    DIY and building projects
    Animal Care
    Farmstay help

  • UN sustainablity goals this host is trying to achieve

    UN sustainablity goals this host is trying to achieve

    UN goals
    No poverty
    Zero hunger
    Good health and well-being
    Quality education
    Gender equality
    Clean water and sanitation
    Affordable and clean energy
    Decent work and economic growth
    Industries, innovation and infrastructure
    Reduce inequality
    Sustainable cities and communities
    Responsible consumption and production
    Climate action
    Life below water
    Life on land
    Peace, justice and strong institutions
    Partnerships for the goals
  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    You will be camping at our jungle farms on the edge of the largest forest in Central America. Both farms are family run, so you will experience first hand what it's like to live on the frontier in the Guatemalan jungle along with the settlers who populated the area. Expect your Spanish to improve greatly in the first weeks/months.

  • Help


    Volunteers are expected to help with farm chores: planting, watering, pruning, caring for animals, composting, working with hand tools (including machetes), interacting with and teaching the youth groups, mingling with local Guatemalan farming families.

    NOTE: This is a very local experience. At least beginner Spanish is recommended. Free to volunteer. No fee.

  • Languages

    Languages spoken
    Spanish: Fluent
    English: Intermediate
    French: Beginner

    This host offers a language exchange
    Our local team is learning English, and we want to immerse you in the Spanish language.

  • Accommodation


    Free accommodation on the farms: volunteers camp in tents, in hammock with mosquito net, or in open air bungalow with mattress and mosquito net. You also have the option to pay and stay in a hotel/hostel in town -- a 10 minute walk to both farms.

    We provide accommodation, and an unbelievable educational and authentic experience working side by side with Guatemalan regenerative farmers in the jungle. You are expected to cover the costs of your food and water, which should be about $5USD per day (depending on how/what you eat). Depending on the season, food on the farms is free for you to pick, in particular leafy greens, chiles, herbs, and seasonal tropical fruits (bananas, avocado, mango, jocote, citrus, coconut, etc). Maximum 2-3 hours a day, 5 days a week help only.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    El Remate is a stunning village of about 2000 people on the shores of Lake Peten Itza. El Remate has most everything you'd need though Flores is just 30 minutes away with large supermarkets, hospitals, markets, airport, etc. There are several restaurants in El Remate with meals from $1.50-3 USD and groceries are available in two large stores plus the vegetable/fruit market. We have rustic outdoor kitchens at both farms if you’d like to cook your own meals.

    The lakeshore of El Remate has several public docks and is excellent for swimming. There are many small restaurants, cafes, grocery stores, and hotels in town. Wifi is available at the larger establishments. Cerro Cahui is a 700 hectare protected area overlooking El Remate; it's great for hiking. The river mouths of Ixlu and Ixpop are great for nature tours by boat. Nearby Flores is a beautiful colonial island with restaurants and bars. There is ARCAS animal rescue sanctuary nearby where you can see all the native wildlife including monkeys, macaw, jaguars, etc up close in a rehabilitation center. There is a great place to swim with a big rope swing near Flores.

    El Remate is the perfect jumping off point to visit Mayan ruins such as Tikal via colectivo or private tour. There are also many other ruins in the jungle that you can hike and visit such as Yaxha, El Zotz, Uaxactún, Nakum, Naranjo, Waka Perú, Holmul, and the largest Maya site ever discovered El Mirador! We have many contacts across the area including with the Guatemalan Park Rangers, who on more than one case have brought our volunteers on patrol with them deep into the jungle! That's a once in a lifetime experience. Needless to say, this area has a lot to offer! We hope to work with you soon!

  • A little more information

    A little more information

    • Internet access

    • Limited internet access

      Limited internet access

    • We have pets

    • We are smokers

    • Can host families

  • Can host digital nomads

    Can host digital nomads

    Digital nomads are welcome to volunteer with us. Unlimited free Wifi is available at our good friend's cafe in El Remate near our project.

  • Space for parking camper vans

    Space for parking camper vans

    We have parking on site for vans, trucks, cars, motorcycles, and horses.

  • Can possibly accept pets

    Can possibly accept pets

    Pets are allowed as long as they are well behaved.

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?

    More than two

  • ...

    Hours expected

    Maximum 2-3 hours a day, 5 days a week

Host ref number: 643966825545