Guatemala - Antigua

Partner Organization: Common Hope

Location:  Antigua, Guatemala

Number of Students:  2 students

Dates:  Flexible

In person opportunities summer 2022: Yes

Virtual opportunities summer 2022: To be determined

Additional Information:

Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, if we are unable to deploy students in person, students will not be obligated to complete the ISSLP and may withdraw without penalty. For students wishing to continue with the ISSLP in virtual mode, ISSLP staff will work with them to be placed with a virtual international service option.

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 is an organization that works with children, families, and communities who want to participate in a process of development to improve their lives through education, health care, and housing. Common Hope serves more than 11,000 impoverished children and adults in 26 communities outside of Antigua and Guatemala City.

Common Hope believes that education is the key to unwinding the cycle of poverty. For that reason, the organization provides the necessary resources for thousands of children to attend school each year. At the same time, CH believes that a child’s ability to succeed in school depends in large part on his or her family’s health, safety, and stability. For this reason, in addition to the education program, the organization has integrated services in health care, housing, and family development to provide the stability children need to be successful.

Within this frame, Common Hope’s work is concentrated in four basic areas: education, health care, housing, and family development. In education, CH helps a child to attend school and provides support to schools to enhance the quality of education children receive. The organization understands that education is about more than books and uniforms and for this reason they collaborate with local schools to implement interactive, engaging curriculum and foster more individualized support for students at-risk of dropping out of school. In healthcare, the organization offers access to affordable healthcare and provides preventive health education for the child and his/her family. In housing, CH has a program that offers the opportunity for families to earn new homes, stoves, and utilities like water and electricity. Finally in family development, the organization provides a social worker for each family, helping them define their goals for the future, and also connecting families with counseling, parenting classes, and job placement services.

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/engagement. 

This site will be in person for summer 2022. Virtual opportunities are still being determined.

This section reflects the most recent scope of work for students who deployed in the last few years to Antigua, Guatemala. This scope of work may change based on the needs of the organization at the time of student arrival and/or due to COVID-19 restrictions.

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). Activities always include the Antigua Health Clinic and Youth Programs. In addition, Common Hope tries to provide a new community experience once a week, either in San Rafael or San Miguel Milpas Altas. Additionally, students will likely have the opportunity to participate in Educational Support programs such as Early Childhood Stimulation, Academic Reinforcement for elementary school students, and/or Resiliency Programs for Teenagers. These opportunities vary from year to year depending on the program needs and sometimes on individual student's personal interests.

In 2017, 2018 and 2019 ISSLP students distributed their time among various programs at Common Hope. At the clinic, they were able to assist nurses during pre-consults, administer nebulization to those with respiratory illnesses, help in the pharmacy when medications and other supplies needed to be organized & distributed, and shadow doctors to learn about how they evaluated and treated their patients. In Apoyo Juvenil (after school program), students tutored and worked with children helping them on subjects like  math and English. ISSLP students also had the opportunity to participate in the early stimulation program for children ages 0 to 3 years. This program teaches the mothers techniques to stimulate their children’s development of language, motor skills, cognitive perceptions and social abilities. Within this program, ISSLP students supported Common Hope professionals with developmental evaluations and playing with siblings while mothers and babies were in their sessions. In addition, one of the ISSLP students in 2017 had the opportunity to observe in the Psychology department during their resiliency program for struggling teens, and in the program for 8-9 year olds who were having difficulty adjusting to school. Students also spent two days per week at the indigenous villages of San Rafael or San Miguel Milpa Altas, located outside of Antigua working at the local clinic, and supporting early stimulation and after school programs. ISSLP students also were able to participate in home visits with the social workers. On Saturday mornings, students taught English classes at Common Hope.

During the summer of 2022, the ISSLP students will be able to continue supporting the activities in the health clinic and in the educational program as former students have done in the past in Antigua, San Rafael and San Miguel. They will also have the opportunity to teach English, and get involved in the early stimulation program, observe some of the psychology programs and participate in the home visits with social workers. Students are also expected, when necessary, to aid Common Hope in other areas of need. This could include 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.  It may be possible for the home stay to accommodate a vegetarian diet. Students are responsible for lunch during week days and their their own meals on weekends. 

Access to internet available in the home stay, and there are a good number of Café Internets in Antigua where the students can easily get connected if needed.

For More Information:

Visit the official Common Hope website:

Former ISSLP participants:
Adriana Perez '22 (ISSLP 2020)* (Virtual 2020 Ecuador VSEC)
Kacie Shannon '22 (ISSLP 2021)* (Virtual 2021 CFHI Mexico)
Riley Walsh '23 (ISSLP 2021)* (Virtual 2021 CFHI Mexico)
*Did not deploy due to COVID-19 pandemic


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

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Upcoming Events

May 2022

Graduate Summer Institute for Engaged Research and Teaching
Tuesday, May 31, 2022 - 12:00am to Thursday, June 2, 2022 - 11:45pm

June 2022

ND Explores STEM: Healthcare
Friday, June 3, 2022 - 2:00pm to 3:00pm
Information Session | RISE: Hometown
Thursday, June 9, 2022 - 7:00pm
Preferred Application Deadline | Graduate Fellowship
Wednesday, June 15, 2022 - 12:00am to 11:45pm
Information Session | RISE: South Bend
Thursday, June 16, 2022 - 7:00pm

September 2022

Pathways Out of Poverty: Venture Creation and Contemporary Europe
Wednesday, September 7, 2022 - 11:00am to 1:00pm