Volunteer Placement (continued) residents have chronic disorders such as cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, mental retardation, Alzheimer's, polio paralysis, deafness and blindness, and senile dementia.
You can work in the area that you are most interested in, or where your skills are most needed. Some areas include: Helping with mentally handicapped children and adults, assisting in the nutrition program, bi-lingual translators for medical teams who visit from the U.S. (occasionally), tutors or English-speakers for classes, medical students or doctors are greatly needed. Most of the work involves spending time with, and assisting in the care of the full time residents of the home.
Important Things to Consider:
Must be patient and able to deal with very a difficult, emotional setting. Patients have severe physical and mental handicaps.
Although this is a religious organization, it is not required that volunteers practice a certain religion.
Medical students or doctors are greatly needed.
Spectacular Tikal, located in Guatemala's northernmost department of Peten, is a world of jungles, rivers, lakes, caves, colorful birds, monkeys, and even crocodiles. It is one of the most highly acclaimed classic Mayan cities with more than 3,000 ancient Mayan structures. These include temples, palaces, ball courts and a sauna, which can all be seen within the 550 square kilometers of Tikal National Park.
Archeologists have determined that the Maya first settled in this area as early as 600 B.C. During the Classic Period of Maya History from 300-900 A.D., Tikal experienced a golden age of architecture, art and written language but then mysteriously underwent a swift decline. Most of the structures and stelae seen at Tikal today date from this Classic Period.
Visitors can book accommodations right in the National Park. It is a mystical experience to watch the sunset and greet the dawn from Temple 4, the tallest structure ever built by the Maya. Also found in the National Park are interesting museums displaying ceramics and incised bones, a large collection of stelae and alters, and a photo exhibition documenting the fascinating exploration and excavation of Tikal.
As Petin is home to the Maya Biosphere Reserve, the largest protected rain forest in Central America, a trip to Tikal offers much more than a cultural experience. Composed of 5 national parks and three wildlife reserves, this tropical rain forest shelters 333 species of birds and 54 types of mammals, including jaguars. A stroll along the trails from one building to another offers the opportunity to view toucans, monkeys, coatis, ocellated turkeys, trogons, motmots and many other tropical animals. Visitors should try to spend at least two days to fully appreciate this magnificent city and its incredible rain forest setting.