The following is a list of free or low fee volunteer programs in Central America. If you know of a volunteer work abroad program that is free or has a low fee, please share it in the comments and it will be added to the list.
El Puente – The Bridge – The Bridge is located in Puerto Viejo on the Caribbean coast. They operate microloan, school, and food programs.
Gaia Vista – This organization wants to create the first sustainable eco-resort and community dedicated to environmental and sustainable research, collaboration and education. When it comes to volunteers, they are involved in tasks at the organic farm, sustainability center & Gaia Rainforest Reserve.
La Tortuga Feliz – This organization is dedicated to the protection of sea turtles. They aim to improve the locals’ income so that they don’t need hunt turtle eggs. If you are between 18 and 65 years and are energetic, they want to hear from you.
Monte Verde Butterfly Garden – This volunteering opportunity is for anyone that is interested in insects and arachnids. You will spend 2 months learning about them and sharing what you learn with others.
Homiies Unidos – This organization is working on gang prevention and to rid violence in El Salvador through education and the empowerment of youth and children.
Ak’ Tenamit – The organization’s name means “New Village’ in the Q’eqchi’ language. It is a development project in Eastern Guatemala. The projects include a school, a health care clinic, and a community and gender development program.
Buenas Cosas – This organization serves 11 communities and over 3,000 families in Guatemala. One of their main goals is to convert tourists into eco-tourists with the help of, and to benefit locals. Buenas Cosas means “Good things” that’s why their projects are called: Good Water, Digital 4 Good, Build Good, Good doctors, Good teachers, among others.
Safe Passage – Camino Seguro is a non-profit organization that works in Guatemala City to bring hope, education, and opportunity to the children and families living in extreme poverty around the city’s garbage dump.
Seeds of Knowledge School – Ixtatan Foundation – This organization works to enhance socio-economic development by creating greater access to education and community development programs. They offer opportunities in the United States or in Guatemala on long or short term programs.
Cofradia Bilingual School – CBS provides bilingual education to local children, and they depend on volunteers for the classes in English. Most of their volunteers have some sort of teaching experience but it is not necessary.
Walk Beside me for Knowledge – They are dedicated to break the circle of poverty by providing children with tools that allow personal growth. They need volunteers so their children can practice and learn more English. As a volunteer, you are welcome to stay for as little as 2 weeks or up to a year.
Atelier Favela – This humanitarian organization supports the poverty-stricken children of Ticuantepe. They believe that their goals can be achieved through art of all kinds. The Cultural Centre ‘Atelier Favela’ is ran by volunteers.
La Esperanza – The role of most volunteers is to go to rural schools and assist teachers to provide a better quality education. Other volunteering opportunities include building projects communication, promotion and fundraising.
SONATI – SONATI offers environmental education & nature conservation programs. They are always looking for volunteers to help them with their objectives.
Waves of Hope – Their main goals are to transform local communities into educated, healthy and prosperous. They are more than glad to receive groups of 10 to 20 volunteers from different schools, universities and organizations.
Throughout Central America
VolunteerSouthAmerica.net – This website has an extensive listing of volunteer opportunities in south and central America. It is a great resource.
God’s Child – This organization works in Guatemala and El Salvador as part of their Central American project. They focus on assistance for women, education, health, human rights, nutrition, social work, clothing distribution, emergency relief, field clinics, solar energy and homeless shelters.
Eastern Pacific Hawksbill Initiative – ICAPO promotes recovery and protection of hawksbill sea turtles. Volunteers can choose to work between their Nicaragua and El Salvador projects. To work with them you have to be older than 18 years and be able to live in extremely basic conditions.
Quetzal Trekkers – Their motto is “social change… one step at a time”. This organization works in Guatemala and Nicaragua and sees that tourism dollars directly benefit those that need it most. They provide tourist orientated guided treks through these countries to be able to finance their projects. Volunteers of these organization work as trekking guides.
For more volunteer programs around the world – click here!