Gap Year

Buena Onda recommends a Gap Year for all high school graduates. The skills you gain by immersing in another culture, becoming fluent in another language, and engaging in community-based work serve you throughout your life. The self-confidence, flexibility, and open-mindedness developed while traveling are qualities that help you navigate any challenges that come your way. The Buena Onda team is ready to make your Gap Year in Guatemala as epic as we know it can be!

How is a Gap Year different than an internship or simply volunteering?

Buena Onda Gap Years offer you the chance to live and learn alongside Guatemala’s most inspiring and innovative grassroots organizations. A Gap Year is different because it is more focused on exploration than an internship, which is more about professional development, and more comprehensive than simply signing up as a volunteer. With Buena Onda, you enjoy maximum flexibility and exploration while knowing that our local team has your back all along the way.

Variety of projects

With our network of grassroots organizations across Guatemala, you benefit from a great diversity of project placements. You can choose to stay the whole time with one organization or try out a few different locations to experience a range of community work As we work together, we put together an itinerary based around your interests, goals, and schedule. Variety is the spice of life and we bring that to every Buena Onda Gap Year experience!


Logistics and Orientation

Buena Onda helps you through all pre-departure logistics, and then we meet you at the airport when you arrive! Visa questions, accessing money, securing transportation, finding accommodation, and in-country tips and tricks are examples of getting you ready for your Gap Year. Once you are on the ground, you get a full orientation of your new surroundings. Whatever we can do to help you stay confident, healthy, and positive, that’s what we want to do!


Ongoing, In-country Support

It is important to note that Buena Onda is 100% based in Guatemala. All of our team lives in Guatemala and has access to the real-time, insider information that affects your Gap Year. From the moment you arrive, you have a Mentor, who checks in with you to make sure that you are succeeding in this great experience. Your Mentor helps with communication or cultural questions and also with any logistical concerns that arise. Your Mentor is there to back you up but you also have freedom to grow and explore. Our local knowledge means that your Gap Year is as integrated, safe, and rewarding as we know it can be!.


Authentic Immersion

When you travel to a new country, you want to know what that place and people are about. While new people are often kept at a distance, our deep community ties provide you with the instant trust that Buena Onda has developed over years. In most Guatemalan communities, new people are kept at a distance. Our Gap Years get you into the real community, experiencing life as a local!I

Travel advice and tips from our local
staff to fully explore Guatemala

In person orientation full of local tips about your new surroundings


Maximum Impact

No one knows the local communities like those that live there. Buena Onda partners with grassroots, community-driven organizations that understand local challenges. Every project comes from real need. This way, your Gap Year comes out of the direct feedback of the community. The work you do is designed for lasting, sustainable impact. This isn’t even considering the tremendous personal effect of those around you, as you participate in building a better future for generations to come. Impact and progress are what we all go for and, with Buena Onda, you see them happening right before your eyes.

The Buena Onda Gap Year program

starts at (US) $1,200

We keep our fee low so that Buena Onda trips are available to as many volunteers as possible. we develop a budget that fits within the guidelines you give us.

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