Volunteer With GHA
Because all the founders of GHA have been volunteers on other projects in Guatemala and know the satisfaction that comes from actually working on the houses, we have made that option available to others. It is truly a meaningful experience and a fantastic opportunity to work alongside another culture.
The volunteer/donor will be placed on a crew with local masons and a member of the build family. Through the sweating and joking you’ll find you have developed bonds of mutual respect with the family and crew.
You needn't be experienced. There is plenty of unskilled labor to be done with shovels, buckets, machetes and wheelbarrows. Of course if you know how to use a float or a trowel we’ll make room for you on the stucco or slab. Nothing will be expected of you physically that you are not comfortable contributing. Our crews are trained to observe commonsense safety precautions when working with less experienced volunteers. We ask volunteers building a house to donate $300 - all of which will go to the purchase of construction materials. If signing on to lay a floor, we ask a donation of $100, or $75 each if more than one volunteer is working on the job.
GHA will help you with local accommodations while at Lake Atitlán. Lodging ranges from unassuming hostels to modern hotels that offer all the expected amenities at extremely reasonable rates even for Guatemala.
Right: A palapa at a local language school where teacher and student sit for lessons.
After work and on the weekends there will be time to explore the dozen villages surrounding the lake that are accessible by boat or cratered roadway. Boats run from dawn until dusk on a fairly regular basis and tuk-tuks are always available to artfully navigate the roads for a modest fee.
You can take advantage of the several Spanish language schools, coffee tours, kayaking, horseback riding along the slopes of Volcan San Pedro, even hot stone massages.
Kayaks available for rent at Lake Atitlán.
In San Juanyou can find classes offered in weaving and natural dyeing and some of the finest examples of the weavers craft are exhibited and the magical process of making a cotton boll sing will be revealed to you.
Above and right: Guatemalan women and some of their beautiful handwoven fabric and clothing.
Both villages are linked by launch or shuttle to all the other villages surrounding the lake with daily connections to Antigua and to Aurora International Airport in Guatemala City.