Volunteer

We love adding members to our family. Email us at contact@natik.org to volunteer!

From short term volunteering to internships, fellowships and field research, Natik offers many opportunities to get involved with our programs. Our collaborative relationship with our partners means that however long (or brief) your experience with us may be, your contribution of time and effort will be fully integrated into the needs of both Natik and our partners.

Some of the possibilities are listed below. If any of these possibilities appeal to you or if you have a skill or expertise that you could offer to Natik that is not included, please send an email with a description of your interest to contact@natik.orgFollow the links below for more information:

Semester Long Interships

Gain valuable job experience while supporting the work of our partners. This could be coupled with language study and classes at a local university.

The following are examples of opportunities. We are happy to work with you to find something to meet your needs!

Education: 

  1. Create a resource library in Chiapas for area teachers and schools based on techniques and theories of partner organization Puerta Abierta in Guatemala. This would include community outreach as well as workshops and trainings. Further research would be done on the organization’s library to create a replicable model.
    Language Requirement: Advanced
  2. Run the teen reading program in Guatemala. Responsibilities would include acquiring the necessary books.
    Language Requirement: Advanced

Design and/or Marketing Artisan Products:

  • Come up with unique design niches for artisan goods that are not in exact competition with other artisans. This could also include marketing of the product(s) and developing a plan to increase opportunities for the artisan collectives.
    Language Requirement: Intermediate

Micro-finance:

  • Gather stories of the participants in our micro-loan program. Assist the cooperatives in developing and implementing accounting and monitoring and evaluation practices.
    Language Requirement: Advanced
Fellowships (6-12 Months)

Work with Natik on improving our programs and processes. Perfect for recent college graduates and graduate students. Stipends may be available.

The following are examples of opportunities. We are happy to work with you to find something to meet your interests!

Monitoring and Evaluation:

  • Develop and institute monitoring and evaluation programs for all of the partners as well as Natik. Establish quantitative goals and objectives as well as indicators to measure progress towards goals.
    Language Requirement: Intermediate

Program Development:

  1. Set up a library program in an indigenous community outside of San Cristóbal. Utilize the model in place from our partner organization in Guatemala.
    Language Requirement: Intermediate/Advanced
  2. Establish relationships with International Sustainable Development graduate programs for fellowships as well as with universities for undergraduate, academically oriented, semester-long internships.
    Language Requirement: Intermediate
  3. Develop an employment program that utilizes the increased number of high school graduates trained as teachers due to the Scholarship Program in Santiago Atitlán. Integrate the benefit back into the community, possibly through a popular education model.
    Language Requirement: Advanced

Fundraising:

  • Develop a long term fundraising plan for Natik and partner organizations. Would include work on grant/foundation proposals.
    Language Requirement: Basic/Intermediate
Cultural Immersion and Language Study

Tell us your area of interest and we will find a placement for you! Possibilities include:  Agriculture, Anthropology, Architecture, Business, Communications, Computer Science, Economics, Education, Energy, Engineering, Environmental Technology, Graphic Design, History, Indigenous Studies, Law, Language & Culture, Marketing, Promotion, Sociology, Sustainable Development, Teaching English, Tourism and more!

In Guatemala

Combine language study and cultural immersion while helping university students continue their studies! Ruk'ux is a collective organization of youth who live in Santiago Atitlán.  They are combining community-based volun-tourism  with language study, cultural understanding, social, and environmental activities based on the Mayan calendar and their cosmovision of Earth, Air, Fire and Water. For more information: RukuxNatik@gmail.com.

In Chiapas

Combine cultural immersion and volunteering with Spanish study at Instituto Jovel, one of the most reputable language schools in San Cristobal de las Casas. A perfect option for professionals who need to use Spanish in their work and can benefit from a better understanding of Mexican and Latin American culture. Instituto Jovel offers special courses for teachers, social workers, lawyers, business executives and health care providers.   While studying Spanish, work alongside Mexican college students completing their community service requirement in your volunteer placement. For information: contact@natik.org.

Short Term Volunteering

Work with Natik’s partners in Chiapas or Guatemala for two to four weeks. Have an immediate impact with these projects. The following are examples of opportunities. We are happy to work with you to find something to meet your interests!

Education:

  1. Conduct teacher trainings and workshops for kindergarten and preschool teachers. Share new and innovative practices from your experience and studies.
    Language Requirement: Advanced
  2. Develop projects for a traveling library that goes into elementary school classrooms in rural Guatemala.
    Language Requirement: Intermediate
  3. Tutoring and after school help for children of all ages.
    Language Requirement: Intermediate/Advanced
  4. Teacher’s aid in preschool and Kindergarten class.
    Language Requirement: Intermediate

Environmental Conservation:

  • Develop reforestation projects and/or workshops on environmental conservation for a rural community.
    Language Requirement: Intermediate

Fashion Design:

  • Share knowledge of U.S. tastes in colors and styles. Present new design ideas for the artisans cooperative.
    Language Requirement: Intermediate

Eco Education:

  • Help cultivate the educational "kitchen" garden, prepare educational materials with ecological and nutritional, information in formats that can be used by populations with little or no formal education. Accompany university students and local citizens in creation of value-added agricultural products, participate in the production of solar dehydrators for local organic agricultural projects.
    Language Requirement: Intermediate

Graphic Design and Marketing:

  • Create logos and labels artisan products. Work with the Natik artisan promotion committee to help open new markets for the sale of the products.
    Language Requirement: Intermediate

Accounting:

  • Assist an artisans' cooperative develop and maintain their accounting system.
    Language Requirement: Intermediate

Stove Construction:

  • Participate in the construction of low-smoke stoves in the homes of people who need them. (especially beneficial for small groups)
    Language Requirement: Basic

Beautification projects:

  • Paint the inside of a school building and clean up the adjoining yard.
    Language Requirement: Basic

For information on program costs, click here.

Distance Volunteering

Gain experience or contribute your expertise from the U.S. by collaborating with Natik on essential administrative issues. The following are examples of opportunities.

  • Develop or write promotional and educational material for Natik.
  • Advise or implement social media strategies for Natik.
  • Develop new and innovative fundraising strategies.
  • Contribute fair trade marketing advice and networking for our partner artisans.
  • Provide monitoring and evaluation of programs, projects and individual processes.
  • Website design and improvement

If you have a skill or expertise that you could offer Natik that is not included, please send an email with a description of your interest to contact@natik.org.

Field Research

Design a project that will enable you to complete the research portion of your studies and benefit our organization and partners. This can be done at both the undergraduate and graduate level. Perfect for theses, capstones, and independent studies. We are happy to work with you to find something to meet your needs!

  • Sustainable Agricultural Practices
  • Rural Reforestation Projects
  • Micro-finance Models
  • Creative and Integral Educational Practices
  • Teen-age and Adult Literacy Programs
  • Local Food Supply Chains
  • Qualitative Monitoring and Evaluation Techniques
  • Implementation of Large Scale Composting Projects

For information on program costs, click here

Service Learning Trips

Travel with Natik to Guatemala or Chiapas to participate in our programs through custom designed trips that match your school, civic or religious group’s needs and goals. Natik especially enjoy creating itineraries that are equal parts education, service, and fun that help make all participants more conscious global citizens!

For more information see our video below, and email contact@natik.org.

 

University and Graduate level Academic and Delegation Trips – Coordinate with Natik to create rigorous, theme-specific delegation trips to Guatemala or Chiapas. Natik is happy to handle the logistics of travel, food, lodging, field experts, and relevant activities that will meet the specific academic requirements of institutions of higher learning.

 Thoughts from past volunteers

“Choosing to work with Natik for six months was the best decision I could have made right out of college. I have been profoundly inspired by the incredible work that Natik and its partners engage in, and working with a small, collaborative organization allowed me to gain valuable skills that I will take with me as I go on to new opportunities.” 

Roisin Duffy-Gideon, Natik Fellow

“During our two-week stay in San Cristóbal, I learned that community development involves truly knowing the community, and that involves simply sitting, chatting, engaging with community members to get to know them, to understand their lives and their opinions, and to then ask them, have them decide what development means to them, and in which ways a group of students like us could best contribute to their livelihoods and community.” 

Sarah Grossman, Brown University