Buenas Cosas

Rating: 4.61 stars   38 reviews

Issues: Food, Environment, Homeless & Housing

Location: Correo Santa Elena Santa Elena 17029 Guatemala

Mission: Buenas Cosas is direct voluntourism and sustainable community development with a functional respect for established culture, lifestyle, traditions and nature. Buenas Cosas is a registered Guatemalan non-profit, and a pending 501(c)3, association of family, friends and neighbors who serve their community and nature. Every cent that enters Buenas Cosas goes directly to communities, programs and projects that cultivate Good Things – Buenas Cosas. Buenas Cosas does not work with ‘sending organizations’ or tourism/travel. Buenas Cosas does not disburse nor receive commissions for anything from anyone – doing so would be a direct afront to our beliefs and core values. We directly engage our volunteers and their payments support sustainable, eco-happy development in our Partner Communities. Buenas Cosas currently serves 8 Partner Communities with 1,500 families in Peten Guatemala. We work with local community stake-holders and customize our programs and projects to meet each community’s unique culture, ecosystem and needs. As such, each Partner Community and its associated programs and projects have their own unique character.
Results: Buenas Cosas opened November 2011. Our first year we provided 6,820 kilometers of bicycle tours, 512 hours of English classes, planted 360 trees and 242 organic veggie gardens, raised 36 chickens and 5 goats, brought hundreds of participants from 28 different countries into Buenas Cosas’ 8 Partner Communities, benefiting 1500 Guatemalan families and dozens of locally-owned small businesses. During its first year, Buenas Cosas removed more than a ton of garbage from our 8 Partner Communities, opened two new Community Centers, provided the first non-profit ecotourism trips to Tikal, El Mirador and, of course, our secret spots all around Lake Peten Itza. With the support of our Partner Communities and hundreds of participants, Buenas Cosas’ first year was a success. Thank You All!
Target demographics: rural poor communities in Guatemala
Direct beneficiaries per year: 1500
Geographic areas served: Peten Guatemala
Programs: Good Water – Poor water quality is a major cause of illness and disease. Water quality for the rural poor of Guatemala needs some love. Help us produce and distribute low-tech, highly-effective concrete/ceramic water filters to Guatemalan families. Help us improve the quality of drinking water and reduce associated disease and illness for Guatemalans. Good water is a good thing. Dulce Refugio – Consider this offering if you’re looking for an opportunity to participate in an elder-care program. Mi Dulce Refugio is a not-for-profit, elder-care facility with 12 satellite facilities located throughout Guatemala. Through our partnership with Mi Dulce Refugio San Benito, you’ll be helping some awesome people with some great stories to live better, fuller and more productive lives. Beginner conversational Spanish required. Adopta Tree – It all started with a bag of seeds. A few years ago a friend of ours gave us a bag of seeds. The seeds were from the guanacasta tree. They’re really pretty. We filled a large white bowl with the seeds and they sat on our table. It felt good to put your hands in all those seeds. Years later, we planted the seeds and had a bunch of guanacasta trees. Last year we grew 1,000 trees and more than offset our carbon footprint. If you like gardening, you’ll love our Tree Program. Clean Stoves – The majority of the people in Guatemala use firewood (leña) to cook. Very few Guatemalan families have a proper cook stove, wasting wood/time/money and filling their homes with carcinogens. We’re helping with construction and installation of ultra-efficient, low-cost, home-made wood stoves. These stoves burn 75% less wood, save money and drastically reduce pollution. learn more here … learn even more here … learn even more about wood stoves here English for Kids – Working with Elementary School Directors in our Partner Communities, we provide our ‘native English speaking’ volunteers an opportunity to teach conversational English to kids. These English classes emphasize fun, songs and games – conversational English. This is one of the favorite programs with our volunteers. No teaching experience or certification is required. Beginner conversational Spanish is strongly suggested. Build Good – Many of the homes in Guatemala are little more than mud, sticks and plastic wrap topped with a few sheets of leaky, rusted sheet metal. Handy-person projects abound. Build a kitchen for an elementary school. Install a new roof for elderly widow. Lay some block. Mix some cement. Saw some wood. Pound some nails. Install running water or a new bathroom. Good things. Organic Gardens – Organic gardens average 2×3 meters and are self-sustaining through community and volunteer participation. Produce from our organic gardens is eaten, shared and excess is sold to support our various non-profit programs and projects: English classes, clean-burning stoves, construction, tree adoption and more. If you like to garden, this is a perfect for you. Happy Animals – Our free-range/organic chicken and goat project provides cheese, eggs and poultry for our community. Goats are also loaned/rented to landowners to eat weeds, instead of chopping and burning. Of course, our chickens and goats are an excellent source of 100% organic fertilizer for our organic gardens. Fresh, free-range, happy chicken eggs are a very Good Thing. Good Doctors – With the generous support of medical facilities and health-care professionals of Peten Guatemala: Hospital Shalom and Regional Hospital of San Benito. Bringing medical equipment, supplies and drugs is most appreciated. Please consider soliciting donations from your friends and associates and bring some Good Things with you to Guatemala. Certification and a minimum of intermediate Spanish fluency is required to participate in this program. Minimum 3 week commitment. Good Nurses – With the generous support of medical facilities and health-care professionals of Peten Guatemala: Hospital Shalom and Regional Hospital of San Benito. Bringing medical equipment, supplies and drugs is most appreciated. Please consider soliciting donations from your friends and associates and bring some Good Things with you to Guatemala. Certification and a minimum of intermediate Spanish fluency is required to participate in this program. Minimum 3 week commitment. Good Teachers – We work with the generous support of educational facilities and teaching professionals of Peten Guatemala. Public education in Guatemala needs a lot of help. You’ll work one-on-one with Guatemalan students in their classrooms to help them realize significant improvements in their educational experience. Our volunteers are constantly amazed at these kids’ hunger to learn. Their dedication and enthusiasm is waiting for your gentle guidance and encouragement. Certification and a minimum of intermediate Spanish fluency is required to participate in this program. Minimum 3 week commitment. Bikes for Good – this program has two main focus points, giving kids in our Partner Communities something good to do and encouraging clean/healthy transportation in our Partner Communities. If you like to ride bikes, if you like to work on bikes, if you like the idea of one less car and alternative transportation, you’ll love this program: bike races and training rides, bicycle maintenance and repair, bike-based eco-tourism development, bike share and more.

2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

I spent 5 weeks at Buenas Cosas and it was a really good opportunity and I really enjoyed it. Met some really nice people. Peteneros are really nice. I enjoyed myself thoroughly and I'm really glad they had me here. Thank you, Buenas Cosas.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Wouldn't change a thing.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

We arrived at Buenas Cosas right before Christmas and they were very welcoming and accomodated our needs for a Language Exchange and a putting us up with a local family. It was very nice. The family stay was really nice. The family was loving and really nice. One of my favorite things was learning how to cook tamales on Christmas - it was really awesome. Gracias Buenas Cosas.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

No change is needed - these are good people doing good things.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

My experience with BC was really good. I took care of 50 baby chickens. Helped with the goats was a lots fun. Met people from all over the world. I played with animals every day, that was my goal and it was a great time.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Will someone please get these good people who do good things more good money to do even more good things...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

Had a great experience with my family and everyone else. Lots of huge hearts at Buenas Cosas. Thank you everyone :)

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

give these good people more good money to do more good things :)

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I participated with the Good Maya project here at Buenas Cosas. It was really fun. I made empanadas, tamalitos, bollitos... a hammock too. An amazing experience. I highly really recommend this project if you're looking for something new. If you want to know anything else, check out the website.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

get them more money to do more good things :)

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

My homestay and my experience with Buenas Cosas was wonderful.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

give these good people more funding so they can do more good work in their partner communities

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

It's been totally beautiful. It's been fantastic. I can really recommend everyone to come here and have a beautiful experience.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

give these good people more money to do more good things

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

One of the best organizations we’ve seen. Great family environment. Enjoyed our time here.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Buenas Cosas needs funding - send them a buck or two :)

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

My homestay family has been nothing but wonderful. Peace, Love and Buenas Cosas!

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

give this organization more money - they will use it the way it should be used :)

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I was in San Antonio with Lezvia's family and they were amazing. I learned how to make tortillas and use a machete, which is fun. Was teaching English classes and working in the community gardens and helping around the house.... it was a really good experience and a good look at grass-roots development.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Give these people more funding!!!

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

Was this review helpful?