Guatemala

Director's Welcome

Welcome to the website of Peace Corps Guatemala. This site was developed to provide you with information, advice, and resources concerning life as a Peace Corps Volunteer and our programs in this country. 

Country Director, Guatemala
Geralyn Sheehan, Country Director for Peace Corps Guatemala

Dear Friends,

On behalf of our Peace Corps staff and Volunteers here in Guatemala, let me wish you a warm  “Bienvenidos” to our website.  I hope you will enjoy reviewing the website to get a sense of the work being done here in Guatemala by Americans who have committed 2 years of their lives to working for the people of Guatemala.

Peace Corps has been a partner in the development of Guatemala since 1963.  More than 5,200 volunteers have served since we arrived in ’63.  Our Peace Corps main office is located in Santa Lucía Milpas Altas, a small town about 34 kilometers from the capitol city of Guatemala.  We are a rural program meaning all our Volunteers serve in rural communities throughout the Western Highlands.  Volunteers serve in small towns and villages throughout 8 departments (states) of El Quiche, Totonicapán, Sacatepéquez, San Marcos, Huehuetenango, Sololá, Quetzaltenango and Chimaltenango.  We also have a regional office in Quetzaltenango providing support to Volunteers in the Highlands.  Volunteers serve in one of our four program areas: Rural Extension, Maternal & Child Health, Healthy Schools and Youth in Development.  I hope you will enjoy the stories and experiences of our Volunteers reflected in this website to give you a sense of the life of a Peace Corps Volunteer in Guatemala.

Our post staff are Guatemalans that are highly skilled and experienced in their fields.  Our team consists of development professionals, planners, administrators, programmers, finance experts, culture and language facilitators, security, trainers, medical professionals, coaches, drivers and more.  Each of them are committed to Peace Corps’ mission and to support the work of our Volunteers.  

The success of our post depends on the commitment and dedication of our Volunteers. Peace Corps partners with the Guatemalan Ministries of Education, Agriculture and Health to identify communities and local institutions where a Volunteer will be placed to serve for 2 years.  Each Peace Corps Volunteer is assigned one or more local organization or institution where they will commit to building the capacity and knowledge of their partner’s staff and contribute to the mission of that organization. Here’s a brief summary of each programs’ foci:

·         Maternal and Child Health Program: Volunteers work through the Ministry of Health and are assigned to health centers, clinics and hospitals focusing on improving health education and promotion to improve child nutrition and women’s and family health.

·         Youth in Development: Working through middle schools, parent groups, youth groups and mayor’s offices; Volunteers co-teach in the classroom and promote involvement of parents, teachers and local leaders in addressing issues of: youth leadership, decision-making, communication among family members to assure youth are surrounded by caring adults and have the life skills to assume positive roles in their community and country.

·         Healthy Schools:  Working in coordination with the Ministry of Education and community based organizations, Volunteers work with community actors to improve the implementation of the National Healthy Schools Strategy; to advance improvements in schools to support the practice of healthy habits and to conduct health promotion and health education activities in schools and surrounding communities. 

·         Rural Extension: Working through the Ministry of Agriculture, Volunteers are assigned to support extension agents at the municipal level in the Highlands, focusing on improving extension methodology via non-formal, participatory and adult education principles as agents work with community promoters and rural families in nutrition, agriculture and small business basics. 

Volunteers in Guatemala live with local families for the duration of their service. These families open their homes and hearts to the Volunteers, serving as guides and support to the Volunteer as they get accustomed to their new culture and community. Our Volunteers come from throughout the United States and represent the diversity of our great nation.   We are very proud of our staff and Volunteers who together, make up the Peace Corps Guatemala family.  Enjoy our website and I hope you get a sense of the work and life here in Guatemala.  Please feel free to contact us with any questions or comments.

Sending you our very best regards, 

Geralyn Sheehan  

Country Director

Peace Corps Guatemala