Cheap or Free Organizations for Volunteering in Central America

Marina K. Villatoro

Central America is one of the richest places when it comes to natural attractions and culture. However, all that richness is under the shadow of lack of proper health care, a high level of illiteracy and poor to none eco-friendly culture.

However a few years ago organizations started being created by locals and foreigners to work towards changing those conditions for Guatemalans. Many of them don't receive enough support so they are constantly looking for volunteers to help them out. 

Following is a list of organizations that are constantly needing volunteers and don't charge a large amount of money. 

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El Salvador

Homies Unidos – Works on gang prevention and to rid violence in El Salvador through education and the empowerment of youth.

Phone: (213) 383 7484

God’s Child – They focus on assistance for women, education, health, human rights, nutrition, social work, clothing distribution, emergency relief, field clinics, solar energy and homeless shelters.

Phone: +1 (612) 351-8020 / +1 (701) 255-7956

Eastern Pacific Hawksbill Initiative – It promotes recovery and protection of hawksbill sea turtles. To work with them you have to be able to live in extremely basic conditions. 

Phone: (619) 818-0041 

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Atelier Favela – Supports the poverty-stricken children of Ticuantepe. They believe that their goals can be achieved through arts of all kinds.


La Esperanza – As a volunteer you will go to rural schools and assist teachers to provide a better quality education.

Phone: (505) 8913-8946

SONATI – This one offers environmental education & nature conservation programs. They are always looking for volunteers to help them with their objectives.

Phone: (505) 2315 4696

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. 

Phone: 011-505-8737 3797

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Photo by Flickr Creative Commons User: hrvargas

Ak’ Tenamit – The organization is a development project in Eastern Guatemala. The projects include a school, a health care clinic, and a community and gender development program.

Phone: (561) 747-9790 

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.

Phone: (502) 4864 2056 

Safe Passage – 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.

Phone: (502) 7832-8428

Seeds of Knowledge School – Ixtatan Foundation – This organization works provide access to education and community development programs.


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Cofradia Bilingual School – They provide bilingual education to local children, and they depend on volunteers for the classes in English.

Phone: (504) 2509 2666

Walk Beside me for Knowledge – They are dedicated to breaking the circle of poverty by providing children with a better education. Volunteers are welcome to stay for as little as 2 weeks or up to a year. 

Phone: (504) 9790 3540

Continue to 5 of 6 below.
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Costa Rica

Gaia Vista – They are slowly building the first sustainable eco-resort and community dedicated to environmental and sustainable research, collaboration and education.

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.


Monte Verde Butterfly Garden – This volunteering opportunity is for anyone that is interested in insects and arachnids. It lasts about two months.

Phone: (506) 2645 5512

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Belize Audubon SocietyThis is an environmental protection organization looking for volunteers that are available for three months. They work on protected areas such as the Blue Hole Natural Monument, Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, and Guanacaste National Park.

Phone: +(501) 223-5004 / 4987 / 4988

If you know of any other organization where travelers can volunteer for free leave it in the comments so we can all benefit from it.

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