I couldn’t have asked for a better first experience volunteering overseas than what I had with Long Way Home. What they do sounds amazing enough in writing, but the moment I walked on the school grounds; seeing all the classrooms, faculty offices, and admin residences built entirely with green building techniques; getting to meet the wonderful local community of students, teachers, and the construction crew, whose lives have been and are being changed by the opportunities this organization has opened up for them; I knew I was seeing the epitome of kindness and selfless service. It’s a bonus that the school has the most refreshing view of rolling hills and fields, and all the food is super delicious. (Pupusas are a must try!) I came as a college student plainly looking for a summer volunteer opportunity, and instead got a life-changing experience that broadened my worldview. Very grateful I had the chance to go and would highly recommend it to anyone yearning to see a more green, sustainable world.
This is an impressive, multifaceted approach to community development.
My stay in Guatemala and the experience I had with Long Way home could be characterized as a small piece of paradise where you could enjoy the simple life. I had the opportunity to do many different tasks each day and the people around me were more than friendly and helpful. There was not a better workout than beating in some ground in the tires and if I was exhausted, i had the chance to go in and decorate the inside of an inspiring and sustainable house. And if you were to take a small break from the construction work and just gaze around you, you would wish that you could forever capture that view of endless mountains and forests. At the same time, while doing the tasks, my fellow workmates were sharing so much of their culture and life, while at the same time being really curious about you as a person. I was also often guided and given instructions on not only what to do but also why I was doing it. The work I was doing was also related to the school, which made me feel that i was part of something more than education. How inspiring does it sound that the trash you might throw might end up being part of a wall in a classroom where the future generation is thinking of ways to reduce it and reuse it responsibly? How would you feel if people are accepting you as if you were a family member of their own? And yes, I forgot to mention that I was staying at a host family which was again cooperating with Long Way Home. This meant that my experience meant more than just working on a building but also taking a piece of family tradition. I will not be able to fill in a simple field with all the experiences I had because my experience, thanks to Long Way Home, is worthy of a book. So let me summarize as follows: I would not change a single experience in that small piece of paradise because it felt like I was Long Way (from my country) but (at the same time )Home. Un beso para todos!
Amazing work in working with community to develop education, weman empowerment and occupation. Sustainable development and amazing architecture work. I had the best time volunteering with LWH
Wonderful experience bringing my student group to volunteer with LWH! this organization does real, good work. and it was a fabulous learning experience for students.
Long Way Home is an amazing organization. I had the wonderful opportunity of volunteering for LWH with my University back in the Spring of 2015 this experience was so impactful for me that I returned as a staff member in 2016-2017. LWH exemplifies my core values: sustainability, participatory community development, education, and environmental consciousness. It's incredible what the organization has been able to accomplish in the last several years. You have to come see if for yourself! I look forward to continuing my support for LWH and my love for Comalapa.
I volunteered with LWH when I was in High School with a group from Upward Bound UMASS. The trip was fun, fruitful and very educational. They were very good at making us feel welcome and gave us a good overview of guatemalan culture. Helping build sustainable structures was a very rewarding experience. It was clear that their organization was making a difference in the local community while being very respectful of the locals.
It was great to learn new skills, get to discover the community and the very unoique project that Long Way Home is. Awesome experience!
I have been helping with Long Way Home's English program and with miscellaneous administrative tasks for a few years, and I have nothing but the utmost respect for Long Way Home, its staff, its administration and the work it is doing. The staff, students and administration are all great, wonderful people - and they're fun, which never hurts. From my experience, the academics are well above average for Guatemala, and I think they really give kids a leg up in what can't be a tough environment. All in all, I wholeheartedly recommend Long Way Home without reservation or hesitation.
Long Way Home (LWH) is an incredible organization doing sustainable and unique work. I have worked with a number of NGOs around the world and can easily say that LWH is one of the most impressive. They are helping the environment, promoting education, teaching people useful vocational skills, advocating for indigenous folks, and bringing a community together around their efforts.
I led a trip of college volunteers to work with Long Way Home for one week. The LWH staff were incredibly accommodating to our needs, including very specific ones like requiring Kosher food. Our students greatly enjoyed the trip and got a lot out of it. It was definitely a very hands on volunteer experience which is what we were looking for. More doing than seeing. Would recommend to anyone!
During a professional lull I followed my curiosity for sustainable living, NGO development, and culture to Long Way Home in Guatemala. Despite my plan to move about the region I spent the entirety of my 3.5 months working with LWH. During this time I fell in love with the holistic nature of this fresh NGO. From compost latrine fed gardens to eco-concientious vocational education, LWH synthesizes many of the new/old ideas that epitomize grass-roots development. As the Mayan calender predicts an eminent paradigm shift, LWH is building the new American dream-a globally conscious bottom-up approach to sustainable local living.