Guatemala - Antigua


Partner Organization:  Common Hope

Location:  Antigua, Guatemala

Number of Students:  2 students

Dates:  Flexible

Participation Requirements:

  • Language & Proficiency Requirement:  Strong proficiency in Spanish required
  • Gender Requirement:  None
  • Required Experience:  None
  • Major Requirement:  None 
  • Student Minimum Age:  None
  • Special Requirements:  This site is suited for students interested in public health, dentistry, education, and/or housing.  Experience in basic medical skills (i.e. EMT certified, blood pressures, vital signs, etc.) and exposure to Spanish medical vocabulary is desired if students wish to work in healthcare.  Students need to be able to take initiative and must be highly flexible and adaptable.
  • Other:  None

Special Training Required Prior to Summer Deployment:

(The following sessions and workshops will be organized and provided by the ISSLP during the spring semester.)

  • Red Cross Certification
  • Teaching English as a Foreign Language (EFL) Training (optional)
  • Classroom Management Training
  • Self Defense

Site Description:  

See the official Common Hope website:

Common Hope works to promote hope and opportunity in Guatemala by partnering with children, families, and communities who want to participate in a process of development to improve their lives.  Students have the opportunity to work with Common Hope’s comprehensive set of programs that service the poor in 18 villages on the outskirts of Antigua.  Common Hope works within the four areas of education, health care, housing, and family and community development.  Its diverse and growing staff includes Guatemalans and volunteers from around the world. 

Scope of Work & Responsibilities:

Notice: Scope of work may have some changes based on the needs of the partner organizations at the time of student arrival.   

Students are able to perform a variety of tasks within the four focus areas of Common Hope (education, health care, housing, and family and community development). In previous years the students interested in healthcare and public health had the opportunity to assist in the dental clinic, medical clinic and pharmacy in tasks such as reception, filing, calling patients, pharmacy, counting pills, washing pill bottles, translating for dentists, and assisting doctors and nurses with their tasks.  At times, students also participate in mobile clinics and community health fairs. During the summer of 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016, ISSLP students were involved in the Partner School program, where they assisted Common Hope’s educational promoters by tutoring and teaching at the Public Schools.

Common Hope has a variety of opportunities related to youth and education that includes but is not limited to: Study Club, Boys and Girls Club type programs, and programs run by their psychology department and others.

During the summer of 2017, the ISSLP students are expected to continue assisting in the in the health clinic and in the educational program. They are also expected, where necessary, to aid Common Hope in other areas of need. This could include accompanying social workers to do home visits, translating, working in the housing/construction department, preparing materials for schools, etc. 

Housing & Lodging Information:

Students either share a room or have separate rooms while living with a host family.  Students are expected to be a respectful guest, to obey house rules, and to conduct themselves appropriately as one would living with any family. 

Breakfast and dinner, Monday through Friday, are provided by the host family.  Lunch is provided by Common Hope during workdays. It may be possible for the home stay to accommodate a vegetarian diet; however, lunch provided by Common Hope frequently includes meat.  Students are responsible for their own meals on weekends and eat out in various cafes and restaurants that populate Antigua. 

Access to internet is limited in the home stay, but there is a good number of Café Internets in Antigua where the students can easily get connected.

For More Information:

Visit the official Common Hope website:

Former ISSLP Participants:

Brooke Gensler’17 (ISSLP 2016),
Leigh Ann Tang’18 (ISSLP 2016), – Abroad during the Fall 2016
Robert Myak’ 17 (ISSLP 2015),

Notice: Certain sites may be canceled and other sites added at any point during the selection and orientation process.