Values That Define Us

Buena Onda volunteers commit to a specific project, organization, and community.

Buena Onda partner organizations commit to impactful development work in their communities by engaging the skills and energy of volunteers..

Both organizations and volunteers have rights, responsibilities, and expectations that facilitate a successful partnership. Our Standards present a foundational guideline for successful collaboration, based in mutual understanding and shared goals.


Mutual respect is central to any successful, collaborative environment. All stakeholders, whether volunteers, organizational partners, or community members, must give and receive respect.

Respect is something that must be earned and it starts by treating others as we would like them to treat us. This respect is practiced in different ways at different times, and is demonstrated through listening, open-mindedness, and an appreciation for diverse opinions and values. These are just a few ways that our partners exhibit respect. Respect also requires a willingness to listen to and learn from each other. While it may feel difficult at times to bridge cultural differences, mutual respect between all Buena Onda partners is a sure way to build a rewarding and impactful experience.


Honoring commitments, taking responsibility, and leading with honesty are key characteristics that we seek in ourselves and in our collaborators.

Our local partners develop activities and programs related to their organizations’ mission. We match volunteers with these organizations because of their commitment to their local communities as well as to Guatemala’s future. Both volunteers and organizations recognize that their primary responsibility is to the local community in which they work. Given the direct interaction that this entails, and because Guatemala is such a close-knit country, it is essential that all volunteers and staff remain mindful of their actions and behavior. We expect volunteers and organizations to act with integrity both inside and outside of the workplace.

Communication and Accountability

Living and working across cultures can be challenging and Buena Onda is here to support both volunteers and organizations in finding common ground. We rely on honest communication from all parties to strengthen our partnerships and collaborations.

The open flow of feedback holds volunteers and organizations accountable for their actions. Clear communication between volunteers, organizations, and the Buena Onda team is the surest way to encourage the most positive experience possible for all.

Cultural Sensitivity

We expect our volunteers to make honest efforts to learn about the culture and history of the communities in which they work. Likewise, we expect organizational partners to encourage local learning and support the adjustment of volunteers by providing resources and information that volunteers need to fully immerse themselves and succeed in their environments.

Recognizing what is and is not appropriate in different cultural contexts is not always easy. In line with the standards of respect and integrity, we expect our volunteers to monitor their behaviors to ensure positive interactions. We also expect our local partners to help volunteers through cultural questions and provide guidance on what is and what is not appropriate. With mutual commitment to immersion, the experience for volunteers, our partner organizations and local community members will be both rewarding and impactful.

Commitment to the Volunteer Experience

Volunteering can offer valuable contributions toward achieving local development goals. A successful experience requires the commitment of both volunteers and organizations in order to foster collaborative environments that fully engage the skills, passion, and knowledge that our volunteers have to offer.

Because no one knows the community better than those who live there, the dedicated staff of our partner organizations are able to identify the strengths and assets that build capacity and target resources. By aligning community needs with volunteer support, Buena Onda encourages organizations to commit to their volunteers by integrating them into the organization’s local team.

United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

In addition to our Standards, Buena Onda’s organizational partners cover the spectrum of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. For each of the Goals, you will find Buena Onda partner organizations that address the inherent challenges. With the diversity of our network, Buena Onda supports and promotes the advancement of these important global concerns.

Learn more about the Development Goals by clicking