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Volunteer English Teaching: All you need to know to join us!


Volunteering is based on giving. Your time, skills, efforts, knowledge of a language, which all contribute towards something bigger than yourself. Usually, our volunteers end up feeling that they received or learnt more than they gave or taught.

Volunteering is a mutually rewarding experience. You will end up with a stronger sense of independence and feeling more confident to face situations like public speaking or tough negotiations. Many employers value international volunteering experiences because it shows you are able to look at the big picture, acting locally to support globally.


What does volunteering as an English Teacher with One, Two… Tree! consist of?

One, Two… Tree! has an agreement with the Ministry of Education to provide children in primary schools with a basic level of English. Additionally, we teach adults and collaborate with local projects. Classes are 100% in English as part of our methodology to completely immerse students into the language, so teachers need to come to class prepared to draw, mimic and use all resources available to be understood and make learning English fun for the students.


Teachers are expected to prepare for all their lessons using the instructions and academic materials that we will provide. These materials are standard throughout our organization and have been developed enthusiastically by previous volunteers. We are happy for our volunteers to keep evolving our materials and suggest new ways to teach English in an engaging manner. 


Apart from preparing lesson plans, teachers will also be creating worksheets, grading students’ work, updating class diaries and keeping track of attendance. Volunteer teachers will also have the opportunity to develop and maintain teaching resources, complete any admin work related to the schools if required, and help to train and support fellow volunteers. You will have the freedom to create your own activities to engage the students and have fun while teaching! 


In addition to teaching at the schools, volunteers also support with:

  • Organizing events
  • Reviewing our teaching curriculum
  • Posting on social media and the website
  • Showing new volunteers around
  • Doing community outreach

These are great opportunities to develop new skills, gain experience, hone your abilities and dive into your hobbies and passions.


The average teaching time is 16 hours per week (with some additional time to prepare for each lesson).


At One, Two… Tree! we receive volunteers on a continuous basis. We generally ask for a 3-month commitment which gives the program much-needed continuity. Currently, we are looking for support in Guatemala. If you have more than six months available to work with us, you may look at our long-term opportunities (compensation available). You can also support remotely. Scroll down to learn more about remote volunteering opportunities.



Why volunteering abroad with One, Two… Tree! ?

“Volunteering is the ultimate exercise in democracy. You vote in elections once a year, but when you volunteer, you vote every day about the kind of community you want to live in.” 


Here, at One, Two…Tree! we have the opportunity to vote for the kind of world we want to live in, every day. We have the opportunity for intercultural exchange to strengthen our interpersonal bonds, facilitate learning, encourage self-development, and become more conscious of the world around us. When you join our project, you enter a whole new world of possibilities and perspectives. 


Our main objective is to make English accessible as a tool for social empowerment and intercultural exchange. We are constantly looking to expand our impact and reach more students, but we can only do that with the help of volunteer teachers! 



What makes volunteering with One, Two… Tree! different?

At One, Two… Tree! we are all volunteers, not employees. It is a project made by people from all around the world who want to share and connect with others. The program is developed on the ground by listening to and working with local communities as well as bringing to life volunteers’ talents and ideas. We seize opportunities as they come and ensure personal growth and passions are tapped into as the program evolves.


We look for passionate volunteers, keen to lead and be responsible for positive change. You will be part of a proactive and supportive team where your ideas and thoughts will be heard and important in the day-to-day of the project.


Volunteering with One, Two… Tree! is FREE, our volunteers only pay for their own expenses which go directly to the local families and businesses volunteers interact with.



Volunteer English teacher programs



Volunteers in Guatemala teach the basics of English to children from the age of 8 to 12 years old (approx.) as well as adults up to 68 years old being our current eldest student!


Lessons are taught in public schools of Santiago Atitlán, local cooperatives, and at our learning centre, which we opened in 2022 in response to schools offering limited school time due to the pandemic.


Volunteers are expected to pay for their accommodation; normally volunteers stay with partner host families that we have built strong relationships with over the years. There are no additional costs asked by One, Two… Tree! and all of your living costs are paid directly to the host family.


More info


Long-term volunteer (Compensation)

Currently, we are primarily looking for support in Guatemala, and we are also looking to resume our program in Mexico in 2024. Volunteers staying for more than 6 months in Guatemala may apply for the Volunteer Coordinator position, which includes free accommodation and food. Staying 6 months does not automatically grant free accommodation, there is a screening and selection process and only a few positions are available.


You will coordinate the local project together with Pedro, the Director of One, Two… Tree! At the moment, only one coordinator position is available, this means that only a limited number of applications for these positions can be accepted. However, regular volunteering is very affordable and we give priority to longer stays. If you are interested, please contact us to check out current opportunities.

More info



Which are the requirements for volunteering abroad with One, Two… Tree! ?

Please check under each Teaching Program the specific requirements.


We look for proactive, autonomous and independent individuals, full of energy and enthusiasm to make a difference. Volunteers with a passion for education, openness to new cultures, and a drive to learn new skills


To volunteer as an English Teacher, it is important to have a fluent level of speaking and writing, since teaching 100% in English is the most effective way to expose students to the language and develop their listening and speaking skills which are the foundation of learning a language.


Through all of our programs, we ask volunteers to get their own travel insurance as well as to provide us with a Criminal Background Check Report (since you’ll be working with children).



How to get started for teaching English abroad with One, Two… Tree! ?

Has the above captured your attention and you are now thinking about how to get started to become an English teacher volunteer in Central America?


Firstly, get in touch with us either through this website form or by sending us an email to or to the respective email of the program you would like to apply to. We will guide you through the process and answer all your questions.


Additionally, we ask that you get familiarised with our methodology for teaching English to kids. Our volunteers have put together this post to give you an introduction. We won’t get tired of saying if you can only remember one thing it would be English only.


Before coming to volunteer we will be sharing with you a more detailed training pack and you will have through your stay teaching materials and an already developed curriculum to follow. We will coach you through your participation in the program, first modeling classes for you, and after your first week reflecting together on your teaching style.



What to expect from our volunteer English teaching program?

From the first step, you will be supported in your journey by our team of volunteers. Once we receive your inquiry, we will share information with you about the project and ask for your CV so we can leverage your skills and offer you suitable tasks to support the local project. Then, we will set up an interview with the volunteer coordinator to get to know you and answer any questions. 


After the interview, we will share information about the host families and ask for the required documentation: criminal record check, a picture ID, and an insurance policy. 


A month before arriving, we will share an introduction package with everything you need to know about the organization, living tips of the town you will be teaching in, as well as training material that you can use to start preparing for teaching. 


The coordinator will help you plan your journey. Upon your arrival, you will receive teaching material and supplies, your teaching timetable as well as a volunteer buddy to shadow on your first week. In your second week, you will get to lead the classes with support from other volunteers, who will provide you with feedback to master your teaching skills.


Additionally, you will be able to collaborate with other local organisations if you wish to, as well as prepare and plan for activities that bring you joy.


By the end of your stay, you will have had the chance to explore and work on your teaching style, unleash your creativity, get to meet people from all around the world, have new views and perspectives of the world and educational approaches, participate in community and local projects and much more.


All volunteers receive volunteer certificates and we are happy to sign recommendation letters and Linkedin reviews.


We can’t wait to meet you!



Our volunteers and students talk about us!

Would you like to meet some of our volunteers and students? Head to our Reviews section to read more about their thoughts.


In particular, we would like to highlight these Blog entries to give you a snapshot of what volunteering and learning at One, Two… Tree! is like:




You can also support remotely!

We are volunteers supported by volunteers! Your support is always welcome, please feel free to contact us if you wish to support us in any way. We are keen to keep improving and collaborating with the community.

These are some areas where we could use a hand from a keen volunteer, look at the last one, it may be your call!

  • Donate: As there are no management or administrative costs in One, Two…Tree! your donation goes directly into the classroom and students. Click here to donate!
  • Donate books: Do you have spare English books that you no longer use? We are creating a library so children, teenagers, and adults can borrow books and keep learning at home.
  • Online conversation lessons: Would you be free to have a weekly 30 min 1:1 conversation for a month with one of our adult students? Practice makes the master and our students are very keen to keep practicing while meeting new people. Reach out to know more!
  • Design: Do you like our website? Are you able to improve it? We want to hear from you!
  • Programming: This webpage is made with Joomla thanks to Jose Luis’ help. There is always room for improvement!
  • Administration: If you are a Spanish accountant, lawyer or you have any experience in internal companies or foundations compliance (annual accounts, tax returns, etc) this is where you can help the children that benefit from our projects. We desperately need someone to help us with these tasks.
  • Organise events: If parties and events are your best skills, you could help us fundraise and share our project with the world. We’ll support you with resources and marketing materials for your fundraising events. Send us your idea!!
  • T-shirts: We are looking for someone who can help us get T-shirts and have them printed with our logo. Please consider that this is a small NGO that can only pay small prices.
  • Marketing material: Flags, banners, stickers… we need a printing company who can support us with this. Please refer to us any person you think may want to help us.
  • Your project: If you have your own idea to change things and help to collabrate better with local communities, we want to hear from you. You may use our structure and our support to develop your dream.



In addition to being part of the positive change, you would like to see in the world, learning more about Central America and collaborating with a great team: if you are a company, we can add your logo and link to our donors’ banner and for individuals, we are happy to sign recommendation letters and Linkedin reviews.


All suggestions for collaboration should send us an email including your contact details, an explanation of how could you support us, how much time would you be able to dedicate to the project, and which of the options above would you be interested in.


For on-site volunteers look at our Guatemalan Project page for more information on what One, Two, … Tree! offers.

More info




What is a volunteer teacher?

A volunteer teacher takes up a vacant teaching spot when necessary to support a specific educational program. In the case of English teaching, fluent English-speaking teachers are scarce in countries where English is not officially spoken. While these skills are acquired by local teachers, volunteer teachers help bridge the gap. By definition, the volunteer teacher actively takes on the responsibility and task of teaching, while collaborating with institutions, teachers, and other volunteers on the overall educational project.


Why do you want to volunteer in teaching?

This is an important question to ask yourself as it will be what keeps you going while volunteering. We leave you here some of the responses of our previous volunteers but it is important to reflect on your own motivation:

  • Passion for education, human connection, and a desire to become a teacher (or experience on what being a teacher feels like)
  • Some of our volunteers are already teachers and what to share all the expertise they have learned through the years, keen to make a positive impact and collaborate worldwide
  • Wanting to take on a challenge, share your knowledge, and be part of a community
  • Learn new skills, gain confidence, reflect on your own journey and meet other like-minded people


Just remember, it’s important to have a patient, calm and accepting demeanor and attitude. Volunteering as a teacher requires flexibility to adapt to different ways of learning to ensure the best experience for the students. 


Can I teach English abroad without experience?

Yes, you can! As long as you are fluent in English, are passionate about working with people of various ages to facilitate, motivate and increase their language skills, and are interested in coming to Central America to have a new experience, then you will be able to make the most of this opportunity.


An attitude to learn is key, as you will be learning how to teach with the support of our training and mentoring. Our core values are collaboration, initiative, adaptability and respect and it is important to us to work with volunteers who have similar values.


We require volunteers to have a passion for education and be autonomous and independent while being ready to make a difference. These qualities may even be more important than having prior teaching experience.


Is TEFL worth it without a degree?

Absolutely! We accept volunteers without previous teaching experience or training, however, we strongly encourage volunteers that are looking to teach English professionally to take out TEFL so we can provide teaching hours for you to put all your learning into practice. We are happy to sign off teaching hours as part of any training program you are taking part in.


Does a volunteer teacher get paid?

Volunteer work means working without monetary compensation. There are other non-monetary types of compensation involved with volunteering, such as gaining human connection, feeling useful to others, enriching your view of the world, gaining life experience, becoming confident with public speaking, making new friends, and many more.


At One, Two… Tree! we will cover the cost of teaching supplies and traveling such as public transportation if needed to reach a remote community.


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