Facilitating personalized and proactive international involvement
Rising Minds offers a variety of volunteer opportunities around Lake Atitlan – ranging from sustainable construction projects to health and nutrition training projects , and beyond. Rising Minds highly values volunteers’ interests, passions, and skills by creating a space for them to personalize their role. Our volunteer program is aimed at providing cross-cultural dialog, supporting local communities, and empowering both Guatemalans and visitors so as to address social, economic, and environmental needs.
The foundation of all of our work is empowerment. It is with our greatest intentions that we have developed a no-cost volunteer program that empowers as well as educates. Rising Minds gives you an opportunity to share as well as experience, and, most importantly, allows you to be valued, proactive, and supported.
Aimed to empower volunteers and personalize their role, Mano y Mano projects are individually designed activities that volunteers share at their service site. Volunteers help in the creation of their Mano y Mano project through a one-on-one meeting with our volunteer coordinator and step-by-step support. You can help create greater employment opportunities by offering a skill-based training and help contextualize learning by facilitating a hands-on activity with students.
Paso y Paso translated in English means “step-by-step” and these projects just that– a step towards a larger project. We provide one page snapshot outlines of projects that volunteers can review, and choose the one that resonates the most with them. Every volunteer comes with their own unique set of skills and interests. Paso y Paso projects provide volunteers with opportunities to help address needs that our partner organizations have presented or that exist within our small grassroots organization. These projects assure that each volunteer is able to find a placement for their unique skills. You can research best practices for composting and seed saving within the Guatemalan highlands, administer a conscious consumer survey to tourists and support fair trade, work alongside community health educators to provide in school health and garden trainings, and more.
While Rising Minds volunteer program, by and large, aims to personalize involvement through our Mano y Mano and Paso y Paso programs, we also recognize that many people are interested in supporting our partner programs by simply being an extra set of hands. Our Apoyo program provides an opportunity for volunteers to help out with already existing programs and activities. You can teach English to English teachers in public schools, help with sustainable construction projects such as building a playground from used tires, plant seeds and tend a community garden to fight malnutrition, and more!
While living in an unfamiliar place with different cultural norms, you’re going to learn, grow and change, and your perception of the world will shift. This is one of the most incredible aspects of traveling, but also the hardest. Upon your return home you will undoubtedly go through a notable transition. For all too many this transition is the hardest part of the international experience. Aimed to help ease that transition as well as provide educational outreach, we ask all volunteers to design a transference project. The extent of these projects vary from volunteer to volunteer. Whether you choose to host a fundraiser or decide to organize an educational event in your home community, the most important part is that you are sharing your experiences, learning, and personal connections with the world. Through this transference project you are not only personalizing areas around the world (in this case Guatemala), but also supporting our growth, sustainability and reach.
Interested in getting involved, but don’t have a ton of time? Organize or participate in a Volunteer Powerhouse Day. A Rising Minds “Volunteer Powerhouse Day” is designed to be a day or half day volunteer session where a group of people gather to achieve a goal within one day. This volunteer structure allows people to get involved without having to make an extensive commitment. Anyone can come and help, even if it’s just for a few hours, and make a huge impact!