Friends of San Lucas

Goal of Program

Friends of San Lucas supports development in San Lucas Tolimán and the surrounding communities in Guatemala. We work through a locally-based organization: the San Lucas Mission. The Mission is run by more than 100 Guatemalans in seven program areas, including: Healthcare, Education, Construction, Charity, Women's Center, Coffee, and a Visitor's Program. High school, university, church, and community groups, and individuals often come to visit the San Lucas Mission to volunteer, learn about the efforts in San Lucas, and participate in the cross-cultural experience the Mission offers. Visitors may spend most of their time working at sites, but the focus of a short-term trip to the Mission is to learn, understand and appreciate the local culture.

Type of Placement

Long-term volunteers come to be a part of Mission projects, form relationships in the community and learn about the community development efforts of the San Lucas Mission. Our Long-Term Volunteers become more open, aware, and educated global citizens, while working with our short-term visitors on different projects and being their guides during their time at the Mission. Long-Term Volunteers (LTVs) can expect to work with youth, university, church, and medical teams of different cultural, economic, educational, and religious backgrounds. In their role, LTVs will accompany volunteer groups to different construction worksites and facilitate various educational activities and talks. A large component of this role is providing language (Spanish-English) and cultural interpretation for visiting groups in these activities. LTVs are a comforting presence for newly arrived short-term visitors and help ensure their safety on work sites and in the local community.

Service Area

San Lucas Tolimán, Solola, Guatemala

Service Length

Minimum of 3 months. Desired commitment of 6-12 months.

Program Size

There are ideally 6-8 long-term volunteers for a year, to work alongside the 1200-1400 short-term volunteers that will visit for a week or two.


18 years or older. 3 month minimum commitment. Conversational Spanish or willingness to attend language school before beginning work at the Mission.

Financial Arrangements

Long-Term Volunteers are full-time, unpaid positions. There is no compensation, but housing and three meals a day (excluding lunch on Sundays) is provided.

Living Arrangements

Long-Term Volunteers live together in a private home rented by the FOSL in San Lucas Tolimán. WiFi is accessible and meals are eaten communally at the Mission.


Online educational materials are provided to prepare volunteers for their arrival in Guatemala. After arrival, in-country orientation and training are provided by US and Guatemalan Volunteer Coordinators.

Application Deadline

3 months prior to availability.

Start Date

We are always accepting applications and have flexible start dates, with greatest need being January-March and May-August. Throughout year, usually prior to high traffic times of Winter and Summer Breaks.


Kristal Sawatzke


3459 Washington Dr
Eagan, MN 55122
Phone: 763 453-2372


[email protected]


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Visit Website


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Additional Contacts

Terri Wong
3459 Washington Dr. Ste. 207
Eagan, MN 55122
Phone: 651 508-1848
[email protected]

Visitor Program


Volunteer Coordinator


Julie Knopp


Social Media


SLM is a Catholic mission, however people of all and no religious faiths are welcome. LTVs should demonstrate the foundational social justice values of SLM by listening to the expressed felt needs of the community.

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