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My name is Jacobine and I am living in The Netherlands.
Between February and April 2008, I lived and worked Quetzaltenango (Xela) in Guatemala for a charity project run by our school. I got excited about this opportunity to help others during various presentations on this subject while I was finishing my studies at the school.

After a long journey I started my work in Xela with a thorough Spanish language course at language school Sol Latino. The language course took almost a month and it gave me the opportunity to communicate with people living in the local communities.

After that first month, I started doing volunteer work at a small local school with 50 students. The school is located on the top of a mountain in the village San Jose Chicilaja. Every day I travelled by bus from my host family to San Jose Chicilaja, followed by a walk up to the mountain top.

I was working with the youngest children, between the ages of four to eight. The daily activities I was involved in were singing, teaching writing, playing games, making puzzles and outdoor activities including gymnastics. The children seemed to like it and so did I! And the language course during the first month made this all possible!

The children only have lessons during part of the day. One reason for that are the relatively long traveling distances for the kids. The other reason is that children often also need to work at home or on the street in order to earn some money for the family.

In this manner, it has been very fulfilling for me to help these kids build a better future by educating them. I hope I have been able to make a little contribution to that better outlook for their futures!

Jacobine van de Kamp
The Netherlands


I went to Guatemala for 3 months to do volunteer work with 15 other students. I worked at Hogar Temporal, a place where all kind of children come: from the working children, kids from the streets, and kids who can no longer live at home because of money problems. In the mornings I visited the families to see if they could take in children and in the afternoons I gave classes to disabled children. I gave them as much love as I could, because they need it so much! Nice activities and small presents. Together with the children I enjoyed my precious 3 months in Guatemala! Love, Melanie Schriever


When I graduated, I immediately knew that I didn't want to start a fulltime job right away. That's why I decided to go to Guatemala for three months, participate in a voluntary project and study Spanish. During the first month I lived with a Guatemalan host-family. In the mornings I attended Spanish classes from 8.00 until 13.00 and I spent the afternoons at the project: Caras Alegres, (Spanish for “happy faces”), that supports women and children in an extremely poor neighborhood called 'Las Rosas'. With a team of volunteers we offered the children an activity program every afternoon. On top, we organized several special workshops and activities with a theme. The Spanish course enabled me to communicate with the children. Since I was one of the first students there was also plenty of time for some outdoor classes. I learned most of my vocabulary by walking around the market with Irwin and Miguel and by playing games of UNO. The combination of learning Spanish in the mornings and working at the project was great. Never a dull moment! Staying in Guatemala was an amazing experience which I will never forget...
Debbie Bakker


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