Teach Spanish in a Guatemalan indigenous primary school in the Polochic Valley, near Panzós in Alta Verapaz

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  • Last activity: 22 Jul 2024



 Min stay requested: 1 month or more



  • Description




    We are a nice Belgian-Guatemalan couple of 40-48 years old. We live on a farm in the Polochic Valley, near Panzós in Alta Verapaz (Guatemala). It is an area populated almost exclusively by indigenous Q'eqchis.

    We live from agriculture. Besides, we have a private school that was created so that the children living on the finca or near it can access primary education.
    We employ 2 local teachers on a permanent basis and try to have always 2 volunteers at the same time to teach at the school. There are 45 children divided into 4 classrooms. Each one of the 4 teachers is in charge of a group.
    The classes are given only in the morning and are taught in Spanish, so it is an important requirement to speak and write it correctly. Another important condition is the duration of the stay: usually the volunteers stay for half a cycle, i.e. 5 months; it might be from January to late May or from June to late October. There is a two-week time holiday the first half of June, right in the middle of the cycle.

    The volunteers have their own equipped house, a stone's throw from ours. They have breakfast at theirs and lunch at ours. Twice a week, we also have dinner together and take advantage to have a drink and know each other better. We also like to organize pizza nights with friends or relatives who live nearby.

    The place is really beautiful, very green, in the middle of nature. We produce a large part of our food: rice, coffee, honey, bread, dairy products, goat cheese, eggs... Fruits and vegetables come from the garden or from the local market. Chicken and pork from the neighbours... We eat very healthy and know where the food come from for the most part.

    The region is full of beautiful places such as the Lake Izabal, El Paraíso, Río Dulce, Livingston, Semuc Champey... for those who fancy going out on weekends. But you can either stay at home, having a quiet rest or going for a walk in the mountains and the rice fields.

    Do not hesitate to contact us. Regards!

    Somos una simpática pareja belgo-guatemalteca de 39-47 años. Vivimos en una finca agrícola en el Valle del Polochic, cerca de Panzós en Alta Verapaz (Guatemala). Es una zona poblada casi exclusivamente por indigenas q'eqchis.

    Vivimos de la agricultura. Aparte tenemos una escuelita privada que fue creada para que los niños viviendo en la finca o cerca de ella puedan acceder a la educación primaria.
    Empleamos a 2 maestros locales de forma permanente y tratamos de tener siempre a 2 voluntarios al mismo tiempo para enseñar en la escuela. Hay 45 niños repartidos en 4 aulas. Cada uno de los maestros se encarga de un grupo.
    Las clases son matutinas y se imparten en castellano, por lo que es un requisito importante hablar y escribirlo correctamente. Otra condición importante es la duración de la estadía: en principio, los voluntarios se quedan medio ciclo, es decir 5 meses: de enero a finales de mayo o de junio a finales de octubre. Hay un descanso de 2 semanas la primera quincena de junio.

    Los voluntarios tienen su propia casa equipada, a 50 metros de la nuestra. Desayunan en su casa pero comen en la nuestra al mediodía. Cenamos juntos 2 noches por semana aprovechando para conocernos mejor, A veces organizamos noches de pizzas con amigos o familiares que viven cerca.

    El lugar es realmente hermoso, muy verde, en plena naturaleza. Además producimos gran parte de nuestro alimento: arroz, café, miel, pan, lácteos, queso de cabra, huevos... Las frutas y verduras vienen del jardín o del mercado local. La carne, el maíz de la vecindad... ¡Nos gusta comer rico y sano!

    Para quienes les gusta salir en los fines de semana, la región está llena de lugares hermosos como el lago Izabal, el Paraíso, Río Dulce, Livingston, Semuc Champey, etc. Pero en casa tampoco nos aburrimos pues no hacen falta las actividades y la buena convivencia.

    No dudes en contactarnos. ¡Saludos!

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    What we offer is a real and strong intercultural exchange as we live in a 99% indigenous area, where the people's habits and way of living are very different from ours. Nevertheless the volunteers also have access to our lifestyle, which is simple but more European based. Living in the countryside in the middle of nowhere, eating local, producing its own food... is also part of the life we're offering. At school, the exchange between the pupils and the volunteers is generally very enriching and doesn't focus only on the education of the kids. The volunteers also learn a lot from them and their families: some have learned a bit of Q'eqchi (the local language), others take part in soccer championships with the local men, get invited to their houses to share typical meals, etc.

  • Projects involving children

    Projects involving children

    This project could involve children. For more information see our guidelines and tips here.

  • Help


    The classes are given in the morning from 7:30 to 12:30. Generally, each volunteer takes care of a group of 10 pupils and provide them general classes of primary level, all in Spanish. The afternoon is free, the volunteers just have to prepare their classes for the following day.

  • Languages spoken

    German: Fluent
    English: Fluent
    Spanish: Fluent
    French: Fluent

  • Accommodation


    The volunteers stay in a nice cabin in our garden. They have their own bathroom and private space. They cook themselves breakfast and dinner with the local products we give them, while we have lunch all together in our house. We are a 39/47-year couple formed by a Belgian woman and a German-Guatemalan man. We speak various languages and love receiving people at home. We have 2 young children aged 7 and 5 years.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    Various activities can be done on the weekends: horse-back riding, hiking in the mountain with its breathtaking views over the valley, you can visit beautiful places like Semuc Champey, el Paraíso or el Boquerón, quite close to the finca. We also organize pizza nights and parties with friends living in the area. In short, you won’t get bored!

  • 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

  • Space for parking camper vans

    Space for parking camper vans

    This host can provide space for campervans.

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?


  • ...

    Hours expected

    5 hours a day, 5 days a week

Host ref number: 878189826223

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