Volunteer: 2017 Guatemala Service Trip

1.31.17 –  2017 Guatemala Service Trip
Librarians Without Borders, USA (Guatemala)

Sarah P’s comments: I received this trip information from a few sources including from Cate Carlyle who commented: I found it to be a very worthwhile and positive experience. Cate is a Canadian librarian who volunteers internationally and is an editor for the International Journal of Librarianship.

 

How to apply: Submit a completed volunteer application to servicetrip2017@lwb-online.org by February 13.

This is the eighth consecutive spring that LWB is traveling to the Miguel Angel Asturias Academy in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala. Since 2010 over 120 librarians and library science students have spent more than 40 working days onsite to help our partner realize and grow their dream of an open stacks, circulating school library. What started as cinder blocks in 2010 is now the vibrant center of the school.

LWB uses this annual service trip to execute our remote work on the ground, to discuss emerging needs with our partner, and to re-connect with students and school staff. We invite you to work alongside us this year from April 21 to May 1, 2017.

This year’s work at the Academy will include ongoing collection management activities (cataloguing, processing, and organizing materials), library programming for students, and training for teachers. LWB works with Asturias to also provide opportunities for trip participants to engage in activities that will help nurture a comprehensive understanding of libraries, education and culture in Guatemala. Typically trip participants are also given the opportunity to help finalize the last weekend activity (for example, visit scenic Lake Atitlán or trek to one of Guatemala’s volcanic peaks).

Primary Projects

  • Cataloging, processing, and adding new items to the library’s collection.
  • Library programming targeting all students and levels through multi-day library events.
  • Professional development workshops for teachers supporting library integration into the curriculum.

Housing and Food
While in Quetzaltenango (Xela), participants will stay and eat most of their meals at the COFA Catholic Retreat Centre. On the weekends meals are eaten with a local family or at local restaurants. Vegetarian options will be available.

Expectations
All trip volunteers are expected to:

  • Attend online meetings (3-4) to discuss projects and receive training on the Asturias Library and the local community context. These meetings are mandatory for all volunteers.
  • Join and contribute to a working team before the trip.
  • Participate in pre-and post-trip assessments (e.g. evaluation surveys).

Program Fees
The program fee is $1525 CAD* (= ~$1160 USD) for 11 days. This total covers lodging, food, transportation and entrance to all activities within Guatemala, as well as a fundraising fee to support LWB programs. Trip participants are responsible for paying their own airfare to and from Guatemala.

There is a $500 CAD non-refundable deposit due by all accepted applicants by February 24. The remainder of the fees ($1025 CAD) can be paid at the same time or by March 10*.

In addition, all trip participants are expected to bring extra spending money for additional purchases such as souvenirs and snacks, as well as occasional meals in Guatemala ($50-100 is adequate).

Note, in previous years some participants have created crowdfunding campaigns to wholly or partially offset the costs of the trip. LWB uses our social media channels to promote those campaigns for participants.

Important Dates

  • Guatemala Information Meeting (online) – February 5
  • Application Deadline – February 13
  • Successful applicants selected and notified – February 18
  • $500 CAD* non-refundable deposit due – February 24
  • $1025 CAD* remainder of program fees – March 10

*Note: The $1525 CAD may be revised to a new final figure if a significant change in exchange rate occurs. Should this happen, the information would be published by February 24.

 

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