Guatemala - Nebaj, Xela

Population facets: 

Partner Organization:  Social Entrepreneur Corps – Social EntrepreneurU

Location: Guatemala - Nebaj, Xela

Number of Students: 2

Dates: Determined by the site.

In person opportunities summer 2021: No

Virtual opportunities summer 2021: Yes

Participation Requirements:

  • Language & Proficiency Requirement:  Basic knowledge of Spanish is preferred. Spanish language classes are a part of the program while in Guatemala.
  • Gender Requirement:  None
  • Required Experience:  None other than a positive outlook on the prospects for assisting local people to solve local problems; be hard-working, open-minded, collaborative; take initiative and demonstrate resourcefulness
  • Major Requirement:  None
  • Student Minimum Age:  None
  • Special Requirements:  None  
  • 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. Additional training sessions may be added as needed.)

  • Self-Defense Session

Site Description:  

Social Entrepreneur Corps (SEC) leads dynamic impact and immersion programs in Latin America. The mission of Social Entrepreneur Corps is to provide students with the knowledge, skills and support necessary to empower marginalized individuals, families and communities. Students will gain leadership and professional development experience through foundational training on social entrepreneurship and community consulting, working on high impact social innovation projects and experiencing deep cultural immersion in local communities

SEC currently partners in Guatemala with four three organizations: Soluciones Comunitarias,  Centro Explorativo, and Turismo Ixil.

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 virtual for summer 2021.

ISSLP students work as community consultants in a variety of projects. During the first two weeks of the summer, students are based in Antigua for an orientation to the program where they have the opportunity to meet the other members of the team, learn about the projects they will be working on, and taking Spanish classes. Upon conclusion of the orientation segment in Antigua, interns work in small teams and each team travels to the field sites of Nebaj and Xela. ​

In the assigned location, students work alongside the community partners in the assigned projects. Through hands-on fieldwork, meetings, and work sessions with each team, participants will be able to create solutions, deliverables, and strategic recommendations to help the local partners to decide the next steps forward. 

During the summer 2020, fourteen students participated in the Virtual Social Entrepreneur Corps (VSEC). Students worked a consultants for social enterprises, education organizations, artisan associations, and community tourism organizations in both Guatemala and Ecuador. The program included training in culture, language, and the foundational components of practical social entrepreneurship. 

ISSLP students in 2019 and 2018 worked in Nebaj in two main projects with two local organizations. One of them was El Centro Explorativo, an after school program that gives children the opportunity to reinforce skills they learn at public schools. In 2019, ISSLP students developed a rain-water harvesting & composting project, and also created a project in the local library: 1) systematize the library to make it more accessible for all the community outside Nebaj, and 2) created a space for people to write their own books in Ixil (the local language) to exchange it with other communities and/or sell them. 

ISSLP 2018 students created an “Institutional Overview” of the Center’s operations, with the main objective of having a comprehensive description of its structure and best practices that can be replicated in other schools in Guatemala  Students also created promotional materials and marketing strategies for this organization to strengthen their fundraising efforts in Guatemala and the US. ISSLP students also worked with Turismo Ixili, an organization that provides tourism services in Nebaj. In this project, students were responsible for developing plans of operations, marketing strategies and recommendations for a pilot program for children who work in the streets of Nebaj. In addition, students developed strategic plans and recommendations for two ongoing projects that SEC is working on: BoxedImpact (a box to sell to travelers to bring eyeglasses and solar lights to local communities in Guatemala,) and El Colaborativo (an initiative to connect the work that nonprofits and local organizations do and promote collaboration among them.)  

In 2017, ISSLP students were also based in Nebaj consulting for the local government on the topic of solid waste management. In this process, they interviewed community stakeholders, designed a strategic waste management plan, and developed a best-practices document for a social enterprises in the community to efficiently partnering with local governments. Additionally, students worked in short term projects in the community: campaign marketing, administering eye exams, interviewing teachers at a special needs school, and leading peace-building activities at an educational reinforcement center.

Students in 2021 will continue working within a similar virtual structure than in 2020.

For More Information:


Former ISSLP Participants:


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


upd 3.19.21
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Upcoming Events

April 2021

Application Deadline | McNeill Leadership Fellows Program
Friday, April 30, 2021 - 12:00am to 11:45pm

May 2021

CST Research Seminar
Friday, May 7, 2021 - 9:00am to Saturday, May 8, 2021 - 9:45am
Labor Café | The Paid Leave Priority
Friday, May 7, 2021 - 5:00pm to 6:00pm

June 2021

July 2021

Just Wage Forum 2021 | Series Conclusion (Virtual)
Friday, July 23, 2021 - 1:00pm to 2:30pm

September 2021