Interns and Expert Volunteers

Whether you are a builder/designer/engineer or a writer/accountant/web designer/business person, your skills will support sustainable development and design for low income people in Guatemala.
Committed to DSC08210sustainable community development, ATC collaborates with grassroots organizations in projects that add skills and sustainable infrastructure to meet basic needs and provide opportunity to break out of the cycle of poverty. ATC supports the start up of indigenous solar microbusinesses, installs solar on community buildings, constructs buildings with natural materials, and designs community-specific technologies such as solar hotwater, fuel-efficient stoves, solar vaccine refrigerators, etc.


What is an ATC Expert Volunteer?

An Expert Volunteer is a skilled professional with a minimum of 2 years working experience in their field. An expert volunteer can be in a wide range of fields including: Engineering, Industrial Design, Architecture/Building, Sustainable Agriculture, Permaculture, Sustainable Development, Anthropology/Sociology, Bio-Sciences, etc.

This program brings skilled professionalsNadine bici-corn shucker into Guatemala to design/build, test and teach their designs in the local context. Work at our tree-filled workshop space alongside local builders to develop appropriate technologies in your area of expertise. Train and advise ATC staff and local community members in their specialised area to improve programs, systems, techniques, and designs.

Empower people through education and experimentation and “leave behind” a toolkit of resources, techniques and skills to increase access to appropriate technologies. New technologies built on-site will remain in Guatemala to serve a family or community for use and long-term assessments on function, appropriateness, maintainability and the effects on quality of life.

Except in cases where ATC has financing for particular projects, funding for tools and materials needs to be organized by our volunteers. Expert Volunteers are contributing to sustainable development through in-kind donations of time, skills, knowledge, tools and materials. Expert Volunteers fund their own accommodations, food, project materials, assisting labour and a donation for workshop and tool rental. ATC can offer advice and support to help you crowdfund your project. Costs vary by project and will be clarified as we discuss your project proposal.

What is an ATC Intern?

An Intern is an advanced university student, graduate or Masters student that is prepared to apply theoretical studies into practice. Interns have some past experience and the confidence to experiment and “figure it out” on their own. ATC Interns can specialize in a wide range of fields including: Engineering, Industrial Design, Architecture/Building, Sustainable Agriculture, Sustainable Development,  Anthropology/Sociology, Bio-Sciences, etc.

Work at ATC’s adobe office with the Guatemala Programs Manager to coordinate and fund inspiring community development projects. According to your skills and experience and ATC’s current needs, you may assist the Guatemala Field Office in administrative work including:

  • Fundraising, Grant Writing/Editing/Research
  • Donor Communications and Promotions
  • Administrative Support
  • Business Skills Training for Cooperative Incubation
  • Web-Design, Photography and Video Editing

How to Apply:

1. Apply to ATC by responding to the application questions below.
2. If your application is accepted, a Skype meeting with the Guatemala Program Director will be organized to agree upon a project based on your skills and experience and local needs and availablility.
3. Write a project proposal based on our conversation that describes the process of your project including time frame, needed materials and tools, purpose and foreseeable challenges.
4. Arrive in Guatemala to implement your project.
5. Interns and Expert Volunteers recieve recognition for their contribution to ATC and community development. Depending on your institution’s policy, we are willing to sign-off on academic credit, research or internship credits.



  1. Intermediate Spanish language level
  2. Interns and Expert Volunteers must be prepared to troubleshoot and problem solve their projects with minimal guidance from ATC staff. Access to internet is available on site for research and investigation and basic support from local staff is available in moderation.
  3.  ATC Interns and Expert Volunteers are responsible for self-coordinating their work and progress in their identified project. Self-motivated personalities do well in this work.
  4.  Expert Volunteers that are building technologies must have previousexperience with the tools and materials they will be using. If you find you’re having difficulty in your project, ATC can assign a skilled worker to assist you at a charge of their daily wage (up to 15$/day).
  5.  Interns and Expert Volunteers share their findings through written reports, photos and video to be published on the ATC website for open-source worldwide information sharing.

Depending on the nature of your project, you may be living in San Marcos la Laguna (a small, Mayan village on Lake Atitlan, the site of ATC Guatemala’s field office) or in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala. Plausibly and depending on your experiencial interest, you could also be assigned to live in another community where there is a need.
For the above reasons, intermediate spanish speaking ability is required.
San Marcos La Laguna, home to ATC’s Field Office, is a small, Mayan village on Lake Atitlan, Guatemala. We have access to surrounding towns and villages by boat, a quiet tourism industry and lots of agriculture. The primary languages are Kaqchiquel and Spanish, the amount of activity in the English-speaking community of foreigners varies greatly from month to month. You will also spend a lot of your time with or without other volunteers and local co-workers at the workshop or jobsite. Independence and self-motivation is essential.