Maximo Nivel > Volunteer Abroad > Conservation Projects > Lake Atitlan Conservation

Volunteer in Lake Conservation in Guatemala

Help preserve Lake Atitlan’s natural resources by raising awareness and educating the local population on the proper use of the lake and surrounding water basin.

Maximo Nivel offers a very special hands-on volunteer project focused on environmental awareness and education based at majestic Lake Atitlan in Guatemala. Lake Atitlan is a very unique Lake—it is the deepest lake in Central America and it’s often compared a “closed sea.” Lake Atitlan is surrounded by 3 volcanoes and was formed by volcanic eruptions over 87,000 years ago. The surrounding villages descend directly from the ancient Mayan culture. Unfortunately, the effects of tourism and daily life have increased pollution, reduced oxygen levels, and contaminated drinking water. Volunteers work with a local NGO to help raise environmental awareness on the proper use and environmental management of Lake Atitlan—improving waste management, and improving the ecological conditions surrounding the lake and the social conditions of the local population.

What will you do as a volunteer?

Depending on the project’s needs, field conditions, and your Spanish language skills, volunteers support the NGO in 3 ways:

1) Environmental education—volunteers teach local communities about recycling, trash disposal, water conservation, and pollution.

2) Management of natural resources—volunteers help restore the surrounding hillsides via reforestation and increased soil fertilization.

3) Environmental cleanup—volunteers work in multiple areas including water filtration, recycling, waste management, and seasonal clean-up.

Countries Guatemala
Program Duration Minimum 1 week
Work Schedule 4-6 hours/day Monday-Friday; Working hours are split into morning and afternoon shifts; schedules vary according to the project’s needs.
Volunteer Requirements – At least 17 years of age
– Flexible; Willing to do various tasks based on season and project needs
– Healthy and physically prepared to do manual labor in a rural setting
– Hard working, ready to do anything!
– Spanish language skills are not required

What our Volunteers are saying…

“My name is Theo and I worked on Lake Atitlan for two weeks, both in the dump and at the Central School. Santiago is a beautiful city and one much worth exploring. The food is delicious, the air is clean and the people are friendly and talkative – provided that you can speak Spanish. I spoke very minimal Spanish but did not have a hard time communicating or getting around the small city. Placement was great, the dump was enjoyable for the 4 days I worked there and not as smelly as I expected. My 4 hour work day consisted of separating glass, plastic and metal from the ordinary garbage and shooting the breeze with some of the workers trying to improve my Spanish. When I got down on the work I just thought about how much help I was bringing to the community and the environment. I highly suggest choosing this program and getting to experience life in Santiago, it’s an amazing, picturesque city and the people are great.”
Theo, Environmental Awareness Volunteer (Guatemala)

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