Trek Leader/Manager, Guatemala

Job posting
Closing date: 12 February 2020

Title: Trek Leader / Manager

Reports to:  Trek Director

Schedule:  Monday - Friday, Weekends during Trek

Location:  Guatemala

Join the movement!

Who We Are

buildOn is a not-for-profit organization working to break the cycle of poverty, illiteracy and low expectations through service and education.  We’re not a charity, we’re a movement.

In the United States, we run intensive service learning programs in under-resourced, urban high schools in six major cities. Through these programs, buildOn empowers youth to transform their communities through high-impact service. Over the last 27 years, buildOn has empowered more than 100,000 urban youth to contribute more than 2.3 million hours of service that has touched the lives of more than one million people living below the U.S. poverty line. Moreover, 98% of buildOn students graduate high school, and most go on to college.

Globally, teams of students from buildOn programs fan out across the world to help build schools in the economically poorest countries on the planet. We have now built over 1500 schools in Haiti, Nicaragua, Mali, Burkina Faso, Senegal, Malawi, Nepal, and Guatemala. More than 2.8 million children, parents and grandparents have attended these schools so far, while more than 200,000 attend buildOn schools every day. At least, 50% of these buildOn students are girls or women.  Most importantly, community members have organized leadership committees and contributed more than 2.8 million volunteer work days to building their schools.

We hope you’ll consider joining our team!

Who We Want

buildOn seeks a Trek Leader whose primary focus is to prepare, plan, and lead best-in-class buildOn treks within their country.  There are two primary Trek types. 

  • Treks for buildOn Partners - an opportunity for supporters (high school, college, corporate, family, small group, and individuals) to travel and work in solidarity with community members who are also contributing to the construction of a school in their village.
  • Treks for buildOn US - made up of high school students participating in the buildOn US service learning program from some of the most challenged communities across the nation where school systems and families have limited access to resources. Trek is an opportunity for these students to experience tremendous personal growth through travel to the developing world, to work and live in solidarity with rural community members, and to bring those experiences back to their community through Trek presentations.

The ideal candidate is an International Service professional with extensive experience living, traveling, and leading trips in the developing world. The candidate must have a strong desire to live and work aboard and spend extensive time in rural villages. A history of donor stewardship and youth development experience are crucial. The candidate must be highly organized, a creative problem-solver, possess strong interpersonal skills, and be self-motivated. Consistent with buildOn’s core values and mission statement, he or she must have a passion and understanding of buildOn’s program focus.

The Trek Leader will also have the opportunity to contribute to the Marketing department to tell the buildOn story from the Global program’s perspective.  This could include contributing to social media posts, blog posts, donors reporting, and storytelling.

The Trek Leader will perform work involving physical labor at the school`s construction site. The position may require one to walk long distances on uneven surfaces and on narrow paths, and to carry items weighing at least 40lb.

What You’ll Do

Trek Leadership

  • Lead and support Treks
  • Communicate the methodology of buildOn Global programs to Trek participants while being sensitive to the unique needs of each Trek participant
  • Communicate with Trek Administrators and Trek Manager to ensure logistics are organized for upcoming groups
  • Manage visa and passport processes and troubleshoot challenges for volunteers

Project Planning

  • Work with the Trek Manager to manage domestic Trek logistics as well as some international logistics as necessary
  • Under the supervision of the Trek Manager, ensure Trek participant safety by selecting and training transportation providers, identifying medical clinics, and working with in-country staff to mitigate risk

Finance and Record Keeping

  • Manage budgets for specific Treks
  • Maintain accurate records and submit timely and detailed Trek reports, evaluations, and finance reconciliations following each Trek
  • Review participant medical issues and make appropriate accommodations to ensure the health and safety of all Trek Team members
  • Collect photos and anecdotes for donor reports, Marketing team, and buildOn US curriculum

What You Bring

  • Requires 4-year degree & a minimum of 2 years' related experience
  • Experience living and working in the developing world (min. 1 year and preference given for experience in a buildOn partner country)
  • Ability to live and work aboard
  • Extensive experience leading service projects or as a volunteer
  • Demonstrated ability to provide high-level support to donors
  • Knowledge and experience in the field of Youth Development
  • Demonstrated ability to balance the demands of rigorous methodology with the unique needs of each stakeholder
  • Strong interpersonal skills with the capacity for building relationships with all types of stakeholders, from corporate CEOs, to college students, to urban high school youth to rural community members
  • Ability to handle cross-cultural communication sensitively, and to communicate clearly, effectively and persuasively both verbally and written
  • Demonstrated leadership and organizational ability to balance and coordinate multiple projects, people, and assignments simultaneously
  • Track record of taking initiative and requiring minimal supervision while completing complex assignments
  • Proven record of maintaining timely and detailed records and reports
  • Highly results oriented & independent work style
  • Sound judgment/decision-making and ability to remain calm in crisis situations and to think critically under pressure
  • Working knowledge of Salesforce
  • Proficiency/Fluency in Spanish preferred
  • Wilderness First Responder (WFR) certification, or greater, a plus
  • Willingness/ability to provide 24/7 On Call Support to Staff in the field

Work Environment

While performing the duties of this job, the Trek Leader is frequently exposed to conditions that include inclement weather, heat and humidity, and exposure to dust.

Physical Demands

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by the Trek Leader to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. The Trek Leader position will lift/push/pull/carry heavy objects, walk and stand for long periods of time and perform strenuous physical labor under adverse field conditions.

What We Value

We’ve identified a set of core competencies which you’ll need to thrive within the buildOn family.

  • LEADERSHIP: Ability to empower community members and Trek volunteers to make sustainable changes in a hands-on way and with humility.
  • PLANNING & EXECUTION: Proactively manages multiple projects simultaneously to achieve collective objectives with strong time management and organizational skills.
  • HIGH EXPECTATIONS: Holds self, teams, and community members jointly accountable to best in class programs
  • DONOR STEWARDSHIP: Powerfully engages donors in buildOn’s impact through immersions, storytelling and data. 
  • RISK MANAGEMENT: Manages safety of group amid intense and dynamic changing environments. 

What We Offer

We offer a competitive compensation package, including: salary commensurate with experience, generous paid time off; a comprehensive benefits package including medical, dental, vision insurance, a flexible spending account, employee assistance program, retirement plan with an employer matching plan, commuter benefits, disability as well as life insurance.  In addition, you will have the opportunity to work alongside mission-driven and dedicated colleagues across the world who are committed to breaking the cycle of poverty, illiteracy, and low expectations through service and education.

Please send a resume and compelling cover letter to:

Our Commitment to Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

buildOn is committed to building and maintaining an inclusive environment that drives innovation, strengthens ONE buildOn and bolsters a cultures where people truly feel valued, heard and respected.  buildOn provides

equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, age, disability, marital status, amnesty, or veteran status.

To learn more about buildOn, please visit our website at

How to apply

Please submit Resume and Cover letter to


Non-Competitive Eligibility (NCE):

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