We would love your help!

Over the years we have welcomed many volunteers, from IT or medical specialists to just willing helpers. Our policy is that you can come and help in the way you feel you can be most useful – we have many areas that would benefit from an extra pair of hands, but we would also like you to come with fresh ideas and initiate your own projects based in your own area of expertise or passion.

School hours are 8:30am-11:30am, and telesecundaria English classes also run in the afternoon. We can arrange accommodation for you in Antigua – some of our volunteers stay in rented apartments, while others do homestays, living with local families. You can reach the school via the bus service, which is very easy to work out! All of the time commitments below are minimums, and we use them to ensure that you are able to settle into your post, so that both you and the children get the most out of it. If you would like to come for longer, that’s great!

If you are interested in volunteering, or have any questions, please get in touch. Our email is lasmanosvolunteer@gmail.com. You can also have a look at some of our past volunteers' experiences here.

General Volunteer Opportunities

If you don’t have a specific project in mind, here are some of the things that you could do:

English Teacher

Time commitment: 3 months

Requirements: TEFL certified, or experience teaching English to children and/or teens; basic Spanish is a plus.

This is the bread and butter of our work in El Hato, the daily English classes to each grade of the school. In order to provide the best quality English teaching, we employ native English speakers as teachers, and also welcome any volunteers into the role. Although we pay our English teachers a small stipend, for budgetary reasons this is only available for teachers that we hire when we have availabilities. Volunteer teachers are very welcome, but you would need to cover your own expenses.

The children we work with typically come from educationally poor backgrounds and may require special consideration--more patience, more adaptability, and/or more reinforcement--from their teachers.  That's why we don't throw just anyone into a classroom leadership role.  Inexperienced teachers are often not equipped to undertake such daunting tasks, even though their hearts are filled with warmth and care.  In contrast, qualified, experienced teachers are better able to endure the trials of implementing new programs, to help with the often sporadic schedules and progress of our children and to modify their style and the resources available to best fit the kids' needs. This role is both demanding and rewarding: you will have the responsibility to plan and execute classes daily, and we ask for a longer commitment so that you will be able to guide the children through their learning.

English Classroom Assistant

Time commitment: 2 weeks

Requirements: Experience working with children; basic Spanish is a plus.

This role, much like many of the others, can be interpreted as you like – you will be helping out our regular English teachers in the classroom in a way that you feel to be most useful. This could be spending time with individual children or working side by side with the teacher during activities or anything else.

Teaching Assistant

Time commitment: 2 weeks

Requirements: Proficient in Spanish

Each grade is made up of a single class, with a single teacher, and the government allows a ratio of up to 40 children for one teacher. When you add to this the fact that many children arrive unable to hold a pencil or concentrate in a classroom, you can imagine how easy it might be for some children to fall behind. For this reason, the teachers in the school always welcome a volunteer teaching assistant, who can offer their help however they like – for instance, you can sit with the children that might otherwise be left behind, giving them the extra attention that they often need to succeed; you can bring your own ideas and takes your own classes, allowing the teacher to speak to the children in smaller groups or individually; you can help out with marking, teach the children games, or even just make friends and chat with them.

Computer class assistant

Time commitment: 2 weeks

Requirements: Proficient in Spanish; computer savvy

Las Manos’ computer program aims to give students an understanding of communications and technology. At present, no permanent member of staff is employed in the computer lab, and so we would love for a volunteer who could help out. Responsibilities would include making sure all the computers are working, helping teachers and students operating them, and perhaps coming up with projects or ideas for classes.


Time commitment: 2 weeks

Requirements: Experience in growing edible plants

Our Garden to Kitchen Program aims to teach students the benefits of growing different types of food for consumption. We would love volunteers to come and help planting and looking after plants.

Helping in the office

Time commitment: 2 weeks

Requirements: knowledge in, or desire to learn about web design, fundraising and other administrative tasks.

There are many different sides to an NGO, and the most crucial has to be running it. We operate in an office in Antigua, although we are flexible, and you will be able to work on tasks from home, or wherever you like. Again, this is a case of offering what you like – you can set up a project within your area of expertise, help out with ongoing administrative tasks, or learn about essential parts of non-profit work like grant writing. Timing is flexible, and if you are volunteering in the school in the morning, you can come and help in the office in the afternoon!

Specialist projects

We have some projects that we would like to implement, but which require specialist skills and equipment. These include the following:

  1. Build a playground
  2. Build a gray water-tank and filtration system for the garden
  3. Build pathways and landscape areas to create more usable spaces for the students.
  4. Paint a mural
  5. Write a grant proposal

If you are interested in any of these projects, we would ask that you contribute to the purchase of necessary materials. We do have basic carpentry and construction tools available at the school.