Guatemala - Xela, Nebaj

Population facets: 

Partner Organization:  Social Entrepreneur Corps – ProjectX

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:  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) is a program of ProjectX that 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.   

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.

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 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.

ISSLP students in 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. ISSLP 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.) ​

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:


Former ISSLP Participants:


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

February 2019

Postgraduate Service Organization Campus Visit: Precious Blood Volunteers
Wednesday, February 20, 2019 - 1:00pm to 4:00pm
Pizza, Pop, & Politics: Politics of Sport
Wednesday, February 20, 2019 - 5:00pm
Postgraduate Service Organization Campus Visit: L'Arche Seattle
Wednesday, February 20, 2019 - 5:00pm to 6:00pm
Show Some Skin: Drop the Wall
Wednesday, February 20, 2019 - 7:00pm to Saturday, February 23, 2019 - 7:00pm
Workshop: Ethics, Community Engagement, and Higher Education
Thursday, February 21, 2019 - 3:30pm to 5:00pm
2019 Human Development Conference
Friday, February 22, 2019 (All day) to Saturday, February 23, 2019 (All day)
Labor Café
Friday, February 22, 2019 - 5:00pm to 6:00pm

March 2019

Higgins Lunchtime Labor RAPS
Friday, March 1, 2019 - 12:30pm to 1:30pm
Information Session: McNeill Leadership Fellows Program
Monday, March 4, 2019 - 3:30pm to 4:30pm
Pizza, Pop, & Politics: Politics of Place
Wednesday, March 6, 2019 - 5:00pm
Pre-Conference Workshop: Restorative Justice on Catholic Campuses
Thursday, March 21, 2019 - 12:30pm to 4:00pm
2019 Catholic Social Tradition Conference
Thursday, March 21, 2019 - 7:00pm to 9:00pm
2019 Catholic Social Tradition Conference
Friday, March 22, 2019 - 7:30am to 9:30pm
2019 Catholic Social Tradition Conference
Saturday, March 23, 2019 - 8:00am to 4:30pm
Labor Café
Friday, March 29, 2019 - 5:00pm to 6:00pm

April 2019

Been & Seen Series
Friday, April 5, 2019 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm
Higgins Lunchtime Labor RAPS
Friday, April 12, 2019 - 12:30pm to 1:30pm
Labor Café
Friday, April 26, 2019 - 5:00pm to 6:00pm

June 2019

Community Engagement Faculty Institute
Tuesday, June 4, 2019 (All day) to Thursday, June 6, 2019 (All day)