Buena Onda’s Beginnings

Living in Antigua Guatemala, you meet a lot of people from all around the world. Many come to volunteer; with generous hearts and open minds, they hope to contribute to meaningful and impactful community development work. It was clear that they came with energy, passion, and skills to share. Antigua is a hub for volunteer work and an easy place to strike up a conversation.

Everyone quickly said how much they loved Guatemala - the people, the culture, the natural beauty, the inspiring resilience of the country. But, there also emerged a noticeable and unfortunate trend. Too many volunteers reported that they felt like they were “in the way” at their project sites. They didn’t know what they were supposed to be doing and no one was available to help them figure things out. They admired the work happening on the ground but they felt like obstacles to progress rather than participants in it.

On the flipside, we heard from many volunteer coordinators how much they needed volunteer help, but that those who came weren’t ready to jump in. In the busy flow of daily activities, the volunteer coordinators didn’t have time to give orientations to every volunteer. They needed volunteers to take charge. But how does one do that in a new country, culture, and language?

Buena Onda is a direct response to these challenges, addressing both the experience of the volunteers and the realities of the organizations, It was clear that there needed to be a bridge, a way to facilitate communication as the first step in any successful volunteer experience. Buena Onda became that bridge.

Our first goal was to learn about the needs, opportunities, challenges, and promise of both our local partners and the growing corps of international volunteers. We started matching talented folks with the projects that were most urgently seeking the support. Buena Onda has grown to work with interns, high schools, universities, professional associations, and many more volunteers. To this day, we have stayed true to our roots in communication and learning. With the important and dedicated work of all our partners, local and from around the world, the future continues to get stronger and more equitable for communities across Guatemala.

What Makes Buena Onda Different

Buena Onda is driven by learning experiences, building relationships of shared ideas, knowledge, and goals. We believe that volunteering is one of the most important, transformational learning opportunities available. This begins with communication. We take the time to get to know about you and your goals. Then, we take all that valuable information and match you with one of our diverse community partners. We take the mystery out of finding the perfect volunteer placement by aligning your unique skills with real community needs. At Buena Onda, we listen and we connect, promoting collaborations that build a more equitable future for all Guatemalans.

What You Can Expect from Buena Onda

Experiential Learning
with Local Expertise

Buena Onda is 100% based in Guatemala. We have access to the real-time, insider information that affects your visit. We apply this information to provide the most integrated, safest, and rewarding learning experiences that come from the trust we build in the communities.

Read more

Plan Ahead with
the Pros

Planning your trip can naturally be stressful. Let us help! You are coming to Guatemala with an open heart and an open mind. We want to make sure you also feel confident, safe, and excited. We help at every step of the way. We are here to answer any questions or calm any concerns before you arrive. We build itineraries with your input so that you know what is coming up. Then our team is ready to meet you when you arrive in Guatemala and help you get settled. We can also pay your first bills before you arrive so that you don’t need to worry about finding an ATM. Most important to your experience, we match you with the project where your time and energy will be most valuable. You focus on the great work of volunteering, let us help with the logistics!

Read more


We respect your time and always respond to any inquiry as quickly as possible. You know that details are not falling between the cracks because we answer your questions and keep you updated with any new developments. Then, while in-country, your bilingual coordinator keeps you informed all along the way.

Read more

We understand

We know that money is a very real factor when considering how much time to spend in Guatemala. With your input, we construct itemized, transparent budgets that clearly lay out your initial expenses. Then, we pay all the bills before your arrival so you don’t need to immediately go out to find an ATM.

Read more

Questions ? Get In Touch

Ready to start planning your trip? Get in touch with Buena Onda to see what we can do for you!