Each year we select committed individuals to serve in the clinic and dedicate themselves to the rewarding work we do in Guatemala. We seek thoughtful, diverse, and hard working volunteers. For every application, we consider the applicant’s volunteer and academic history, Spanish level, and enthusiasm. Click here to fill out the Primeros Pasos Volunteer Application!
Physicians, medical students, registered nurses and nurse practitioners work together to attend to patients in the Palajunoj Valley by completing clinical examinations and distributing medications. They attend to infants, children, and adults, with an emphasis on pediatric care. Clinical volunteers work side-by-side with Guatemalan and foreign medical volunteers and work directly with a Guatemalan supervising physician. They must be capable of examining a patient entirely in Spanish and must be able to appropriately answer patients’ questions and prescribe medications. We require all medical volunteers to speak Spanish at an advanced level. We have found that volunteers who speak Spanish at this level may better serve our communities. We also ask that all medical professionals work with Primeros Pasos over a five week period at minimum.
Volunteer laboratory technicians assist our staff laboratory technician in completing medical laboratory tests. Our lab is equipped to process stool, urine, and blood samples. The clinic treats both pediatric and adult patients and the laboratory processes labs for both. Laboratory technicians assist with the preparation and completion of exams both with reactives and microscope exams. They must have some laboratory experience and familiarity with laboratory practices. They must be able to communicate with the medical staff and laboratory technician in Spanish about medical topics and respond to questions. We require that laboratory technicians speak an intermediate level of Spanish and commit to four weeks with the organization.
Children's Health Educator
Health Educators work with Guatemalan students, teachers and community members in the Palajunoj Valley. Health Educators provide in-clinic classes to students (grades K-6) and give age appropriate one hour workshops in the schools on topics such as nutrition, hygiene, puberty, sexual education, children’s rights, self-esteem, alcohol and drug abuse, and several more. Health education volunteers must have a high intermediate to advanced level of Spanish as they teach the health education classes entirely in Spanish. They must have the confidence and ability to speak in front of the group and be able to appropriately answer questions from students in Spanish. We want to ensure that our volunteers feel comfortable with the curriculum, and that their experience meets both of our expectations. We ask that all Children’s Health Educators commit to working at least eight weeks with Primeros Pasos.
Nutritional Recuperation Facilitator
Our Nutritional Recuperation Program works with malnourished children and their families in the Palajunoj Valley. Nutritional Recuperation Facilitators work alongside our Nutritionist and her assistant to improve the nutrition of the targeted children through both direct treatment and parallel education for the parents. An ideal candidate would be interested nutrition, public health, and education. This volunteer position requires flexibility in schedule and also a willingness to go out into rural communities. The volunteer must be able to communicate fluidly with Spanish-speaking staff and families. He/she must be comfortable speaking in front of groups and answering questions. We want the volunteer to be comfortable and actively participate in the program, therefore all Nutritional Recuperation Facilitators must speak Spanish at the intermediate level.
The Development Researcher will work in collaboration with Primeros Pasos’s Development Director. She/he will be responsible for projects relating to the long-term sustainability of the organization including researching and networking, grant writing, fact-finding, and collaborating with other organizations. An ideal candidate would be interested in non-profit administration, international development, and/or public health. Additionally, he/she would have experience with databases and Excel and have strong writing skills. Although Spanish is preferred, it is not required for this position. We do give preference to college graduates for this position. Development Researchers are asked to volunteer for a minimum of four weeks.
Communications / Social Media Assistant
Primeros Pasos is looking for a talented individual to expand and improve our online presence. The Communications / Social Media Assistant will work in collaboration with our Development Director. The volunteer would need to have experience in at least one of the following: website design and development, video editing, graphic design, social media development and management, journalism, and/or photojournalism. Although Spanish is preferred, it is not required for this position. Due to the work being done in this position, it is necessary to bring a laptop. The Communications / Social Media Assistant is asked to commit to a minimum of four weeks.
Internships and Research
Internship and research opportunities are always available at Primeros Pasos. Most of our volunteers pursue independent projects apart from the traditional positions, and over the years volunteers have helped us develop curriculum, implement new systems, evaluate our data, and other important project that insure the success of the clinic. For more information and ideas on how you can create your own unique experience, please contact our Volunteer Coordinator at email@example.com.
ARE THERE COSTS ASSOCIATED WITH VOLUNTEERING AT PRIMEROS PASOS?
Primeros Pasos is a grass roots funding, low budget organization that relies on the generosity of our volunteers and supporters to provide quality health care at the Clinic. Operations depend heavily on donations, both monetary and in-kind. We ask all volunteers to fundraise the equivalent of 250 USD on behalf our organization before or during their time with us so that we may continue to provide medical and educational services to the communities of the Palajunoj Valley. This goal can be met by fundraising or collecting supplies or a combination of the two. As a volunteer you will become a representative of Primeros Pasos and by fundraising not only will you provide needed funds and supplies but you will also raise awareness about our work here in Guatemala.
DO YOU HAVE AGE LIMITS FOR VOLUNTEERS?
Primeros Pasos does not accept volunteers under 18 years of age. We do not have an upper age limit, however all volunteers must be in good physical shape: able to walk mid-long distances, able to stand for hours of work, etc. This can be discussed on an individual basis.