As a branch of alternative tourism, volunteer tourism or ‘voluntourism’ is responsible for introducing vacationers to parts of developing countries not usually seen through traditional forms of tourism. Broadly defined, voluntourism consists of “Those tourists who, for various reasons, volunteer in an organized way to undertake holidays that might involve aiding or alleviating the material poverty in some groups in society…”. These travellers interact with local and community development organizations in ways said to capacitate the organizations and contribute to development as a whole. This raises important questions about the implications of inserting unskilled and unprepared volunteers into what is said to be development work. Drawing on the development framework set out by various community development theories, and using a case study of American volunteer tourist groups working in Guatemala; this manuscript examines claims that short-term, unskilled volunteers can engage in local development work and unpacks many of the issues associated with this new trend.