Guatemala - Xela, Nebaj

Population facets: 

Partner Organization:  Social Entrepreneur Corps 

Location: Guatemala - Xela, Nebaj

Number of Students:  2
Dates:  Determined by the site.


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:  Between soph/jr or jr/sr year
  • Special Requirements:  None  
  • Other: Some background in business would be helpful

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 innovative and dynamic impact immersion programs in Latin America. As the sister organization to the award-winning Community Enterprise Solutions, SEC works alongside local partners with participants supporting the creation, growth and impact of social innovations focused on intelligently alleviating poverty. Together they create sustainable impact in the field while gaining the skills and knowledge to become the social entrepreneurs of the future.

Social Entrepreneur Corps (SEC) in Guatemala has evolved enormously over time since its early days, when the organization got its start in the sleepy indigenous town of Nebaj in the western highlands.  The program offers an important opportunity to work and learn alongside expert local leadership, leveraging the relationships built over more than 10 years of community engagement to create platforms for deep and sustainable social change.  Working from their regional field site offices, scattered throughout the western highlands, you will travel along twisty mountain roads past cornfields, cows, and spectacular views of volcanos and the Cuchumatanes Mountains.

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.   

ISSLP students work as community consultants for the local social entrepreneur organization “Soluciones Comunitarias” 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 Sololá, Xela, Huehue, and Nebaj.

In the assigned location, students work alongside the “Soluciones Comunitarias” team members and 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.

In 2017, ISSLP students were 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 work 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.

Housing & Lodging Information:

Students live with homestay families throughout the entire time in Guatemala. They will be matched with a homestay family that has been selected and trained by the Social Entrepreneur Corps team.

For More Information:

SEC website:

Former ISSLP Participants:

Christian McGrew'19 (ISSLP 2017)


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