Through our internships program in Guatemala, college students gain insight into the social issues and problems facing Guatemala and help to contribute to their solutions, and at the same time gain valuable educational and professional experience. The programs that Casa Xelajú supports through our internship program are in turn enhanced by the abilities, energy, and goodwill that interns bring.
Casa Xelajú participates in a variety of social projects, and uses its contacts with national and international agencies, development projects, and universities to place interns in a variety of specific fields to carry out supervised internships in Guatemala.
“Working with Asociación Mayalan this summer has been one of the most amazing experiences of my life. I have both developed professionally and learned an incredible amount about the situation facing post-civil war developing countries with racially and culturally diverse populations. Through the support of my co-workers and the Casa Xelaju staff, combined with the great resources available in Xela, I feel I have been able to accomplish an amazing amount of work during my internship.”
Ruth DeGolia, Yale University
“I came to Quetzaltenango about seven weeks ago to work as a psychologist and I never imagined that it would be such an uplifting experience. Working all the while dealing with sickness and the stress of the job, made me truly prove my intentions of coming to this country. In having those patients who allowed me into their world to assist them, I could not afford to take my personal distresses into account but instead used the gratitude and relief on their faces as strength to complete my work. Studying can only teach you so much because there comes a point when you must venture out into the world and look for the lessons yourself.”
-Michele Valdez, Student, Miami University
The following points are the basic requirements necessary to graduate from our program:
NOTE: Be aware that chronic tardiness or failure to show up for work without notifying your organization and Casa Xelajú may result in your termination from the program. In this case, there will be no refunds. Final Evaluation For your records, the Volunteer & Internship Coordinator will present you with a letter of recommendation upon completion of the Internship program.
- High season*: US $150 initial placement fee (one-time). If you are taking Spanish classes, there is a $50.00 registration fee.
- Low season**: US $100 initial placement fee (one-time).
- US $50 weekly payment for host family (lodging 7 days per week and 3 meals a day, Monday-Saturday), services of the school (internet, organic coffee, tea, bread, school activities, etc.). Students can stay with the family on Sundays, however, families will not provide any meals.
- US $10 weekly donation to the organization in which you will work.
* High season runs from the 3rd week of May through the 2nd week of August ** Low season runs from the 3rd week of August to the 3rd week of May *** Half of your total bill must be paid to our office in Guatemala within 3 days of your arrival. The remainder must be paid on the Monday of your 4th week. No exceptions will be made to this policy. Programs start any Monday year-round.
Application Process Prior to Arriving (6 week process):
- You must begin your application process at least six weeks ahead of your desired arrival date.
- After first email contact, all further communication must be in Spanish. (6 weeks before)
- Determine timeline and kind of internship/interests. (5-6 weeks before)
- Send Project Proposal in Spanish, resume (CV), and 2 letters of recommendation. (4-5 weeks before)
- Change/Adjust Project Proposal to realistic expectations. (4 weeks before)
- Interview with our Academic Director, Lourdes Xicara, by phone. (3-4 weeks before)
- Confirm internship with NGO. (2-3 weeks before)
- Send your completed application and a $50 deposit to our US office. (2 weeks before)
Please look here for possible areas of interest: Internship positions.
The Combined Spanish & Internship Program For those students wishing to improve their Spanish, Casa Xelajú has developed a new program to help students become fluent in Spanish while doing their internship. Students will be taking Spanish classes for 5 hours a day and working as interns 3 or 4 hours a day for the first 3 weeks. Then, from the 4th week to the 8th week, students will be working in their internship position full time (6-8 hours a day), 5 days a week.
Please contact our Volunteer & Internship Coordinator for information on the additional costs associated with this program.
- Your fee at Casa Xelajú includes the use of our computer room, library and movie room.
- Printing is available at the office at a cost of Q1 per page. Please be aware that our computers will not keep saved material overnight, so it is best to save all your work on a personal storage device.
- Calls within the country as well as international destinations cost Q1 per minute.
You are welcome to take advantage of these services whenever the office is open.
If you have any further questions, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for your interest in our internship program.