Community Development Teams

Join hundreds of volunteers who travel from the United States and around the world to Guatemala each year to install stoves and water filters. Your work will change families’ lives immediately, but the impact won’t stop there–our community development volunteers lay the groundwork for transformation that can end the cycle of intergenerational poverty.

Frequently Asked Questions

When do teams travel?
HELPS medical teams are generally scheduled from January through late November every year.
How do I pick a team?

Teams are often primarily comprised of people from the same city or area, but volunteers may join teams from other areas. Look at our team calendar to select a team. Then, select that team on your application. We’ll send your application along to the appropriate team leader, who will answer additional questions for you.

Who makes up a team?

Teams are organized by local team leaders all over the United States.  They generally consist of 10 to 20 volunteers who assist with the construction and installation of clean cookstoves and water filters in homes and schools. While we love having volunteers with special construction skills, we can teach you everything you need to know to install our stoves and water filters. If you are interested in putting together a community development team, please contact Wendy Pedrero at

What can I expect on a trip?

HELPS community development trips usually last between 10 and 12 days. The typical agenda for a team is to stay in a hotel in Guatemala City the first night, travel by bus to the construction/installation site in a rural area, and stay at a local hotel while you work. HELPS generally provides all your meals. Your trip will end with a brief stay in a hotel in the beautiful colonial city of Antigua, Guatemala. Some teams follow a slightly different schedule depending on the location the team plans to serve–your team leader will give you the details about your specific agenda.

How much does a trip cost?

The average cost of the trip for 2017 is $2,300. Exact pricing may vary for each team, and we provide discounted pricing for volunteers who purchase their own airfare and required travel insurance. Your team leader will advise you of the cost of your trip based on their agenda. The cost of the trip is considered a tax-deductible donation.

What expenses does the cost of the trip cover?

All expenses (including air travel and travel insurance) are included in the cost, except for a few meals you will have on your own during your rest and relaxation time in Antigua. We take care of your travel logistics and in-country experience, coordinating with our field staff in Guatemala.

How can I pay for the trip?

Volunteers may pay for the trip in installments or all at once, and payment schedules vary by team. We strongly encourage volunteers to make payments online, for your convenience and our administrative efficiency. Many of our team members recruit friends, family and employers to help support the cost of their trip. These donations are also 100% tax deductible if the payments are made directly to HELPS International online or via check. HELPS does not offer scholarships at this time, but some teams do have scholarship funds.