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Buenas Cosas

Rating: 4.62 stars   50 reviews 1,594


Correo Santa Elena Santa Elena 17029 Guatemala


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.


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:


Geographic areas served:

Peten Guatemala


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.

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Reviews for Buenas Cosas

Rating: 5 stars   Featured Review

Hi my name is Robin and I’m from Amsterdam. Was at Buenas Cosas for a few weeks and had a really good experience. Got to see what it’s like to live in Guatemala, living with the family. I’d recommend it to anyone.

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Rating: 5 stars  

We spent 8 month at Buenas Cosas and it was great.

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

Bring them more people to help with their awesome projects!

Would you volunteer for this group again?


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


Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

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When was your last experience with this nonprofit?


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Rating: 1 stars  

I have to admit that I am quite disappointed with Buenas Cosas. I stayed there for two weeks, and while teaching English to the kids was a great experience, I think that Buenas Cosas in itself is a bit of a scam. The website makes it look like a well-organized and highly effective organization, while in reality it's just a small family that rips you off. I went there expecting a great variety of possibilities and encounters with other volunteers, but I found myself alone with a family that is supposedly the organization. I'm not sure that the money we pay as volunteers goes to benefit the kids or the society. Unfortunately, I didn't experience much hospitality. I couldn't help the feeling that I was being ripped off and that this was the way that the family supported themselves, feeding off of the money of the volunteers. Overall, what hurts the most is the dishonesty. I took time off to go and create positive change, yet that was not the aim of Buenas Cosas. It was difficult to accomplish. Their aim is to get as many volunteers as possible to receive as much money as possible so that they can pay for their living expenses and schools. Overall, I feel cheated and I do not recommend it for anyone!

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Aleksandra, es una joven muy imperativa. Estuvo en Buenas Cosas por dos semanas de voluntariado, desde el momento que arribo a Bc fue discutiendo una mejor calidad de comida antes de conocer lo que comemos la familias, ella queria comidas especiales, el primer dia fue saliendo con un su amigo a un tour, no fue compartiendo tiempo con la familia de Buenas Cosas su mayor tiempo en buenas cosas fue en tours con un su amigo guatemalteco de clase social, el tiempo que dedico a buenas cosas fue solo durante las clases de ingles con los niños en la escuela de la comundidad. Es una persona que le gusta utilizar a otros viajeros para que le acompañen a donde quiere ir sin importar que proyectos tengan los voluntarios con la comunidad todo es para ella misma. La familia de Buenas cosas pasabamos por una situacion de perdida de una familiar muy querido, el dia del fueneral de Zaira, regrese del funeral a las 7 por la noche, las palabras de Aleksandra cuando yo estaba entrando fueron "Tengo mucha hambre, puedes preparar cena para mi" estas son las palabras de una voluntaria como Aleksandra no importo el dolor que estaba pasando yo , lo que a ella le importo fue su cena nada mas y eso fue lo que compartimos esa ultima cena con ella, porque otro dia muy temprano sin despedirse salio al aeropuerto a su retorno. No recomendamos por nada a "Aleksandra" para que sirva como voluntaria en asociaciones que trabajen con comunidades haciendo voluntariado porque es una persona totalmente egoista.

Rating: 5 stars  

Hello I am Chiara. I'm Eighteen and from Austria. I was at Buenas Cosas for two months in the Good Kids program. I was living with a host family in the village of Belen which is the thirty minute bus ride from the Buenas Cosas' Community Center. My host family was very nice, very polite and especially my Homestay Mom, Blanca. My room was huge. In the beginning, my Good Kids classes were quite chaotic and exhausting. But as soon as I got to know my students better and had a routine, I really enjoyed the lessons and I feel like we've actually made progress which is great. Thank you Buenas Cosas for making this happen.

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Rating: 5 stars  

My time with Buenas Cosas was the best, ever. I participated in the Good Gardens project and I thoroughly recommend Buenas Cosas to everyone.

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Rating: 5 stars  

We're Bill and Jackie from Canada. Buenas Cosas was fun. It was a lot of fun. We recommend Buenas Cosas. We think Buenas Cosas is fantastic.

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Rating: 5 stars  

I’m from Seattle Washington and I did the Good Maya program of the Buenas Cosas. I learned some new things to cook and I learned about some medicine plants. I made a Maya hammock. It was really great to spend time here. The family has been really great I really enjoyed my time here.

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Rating: 5 stars  

My name is Amit. I am from Australia. I spent two weeks here at Buenas Cosas. I participated in the Good Maya program. I got to learn so many things about traditional Guatemalan culture. I learned how to cook a few different Maya recipes. I also learned traditional plant medicine. I weaved a Maya hammock. It was a really good experience. It was a great imagine into the local culture here. I recommend it - if you're in this part of the world and you've got the time, come and stay at Buenas Cosas.

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Rating: 5 stars  

Hi I’m Maggie and I am Wesley. We’re from North Carolina and we’ve been here at Buenas Cosas or a little over a week and it’s been a wonderful time and we took part in the garden program R.V. and worked there for six days and one of the things I really liked was the Spanish lessons awesome. Yes the Spanish lessons every day really helped and listening and understanding and getting to know the family here who they’re all very nice and have been very welcoming and I would suggest this to anyone who wants to do something totally different and really help some people who have a lot of love for their community and for each other and for the volunteers who come here. I would recommend getting out into the barrio and precluding some of the businesses here there’s a lot of little shops that sell a lot of stuff. Yes and I would say I would recommend this to anyone and there’s a lot of the programs that we didn’t take part and we just have a garden but there’s a lot of impact also. Yes yes yes.

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Rating: 5 stars  

Hi my name is Ally. I’m from Florida and the United States. On the Good Maya volunteer program I was able to work in various projects with this wonderful family that I recommend anyone to join to learn about traditional Maya foods, medicines and how to make Maya crafts. Thank you.

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