Volunteer Abroad in Mexico

A Guide To

Volunteering Abroad in Mexico

READ ARTICLE

123 Volunteer Abroad Programs in Mexico

Save

This listing has been saved 69 times

Located in the quaint city of Merida, experience the laid-back vibe of the Yucatan. Volunteers can work on Teaching, Childcare, Special Needs, Animal Care and Environmental Research projects, as well as the highly unique Maya Agriculture project. Slow down and enjoy interacting with the community, swimming in limestone sink holes or riding a bike around town.

Volunteer in Mexico
Save

This listing has been saved 1 time

Spend a few weeks volunteering in the beautiful colonial city of Oaxaca in Mexico with Adelante International Internships and Study Abroad. The first two weeks of the program are focused on giving participants Spanish language skills. Succeeding weeks are spent in volunteering for a local Mexican organization in the medical, culinary, or social work sector.

Foreign teacher checking student's work
Save

This listing has been saved 3 times

Gain practical skills and grow personally while living and volunteering in Mexico through Projects Abroad. Participants take part in a wide variety of activities, including art and traditional craft making, community service projects, and conserving endangered animal species. This volunteer program is open to all interested international participants.

Save

Volunteers work directly with the UBELONG team to support UBELONG. They work five to seven hours a day, and split their time evenly between supporting the UBELONG Mexico field team and the UBELONG executive teams in the US and Portugal. With the Mexico team, volunteers help on a variety of projects, including filming marketing interviews of fellow volunteers, taking pictures for the UBELONG ...

Save

Oaxaca is the most ethno-linguistically diverse state in Mexico, with over 16 indigenous languages still spoken today. Oaxaca City is a center for trade and a vibrant, culturally-rich city. Discover what is possible in this unique immersion and volunteer experience! Oaxaca participants have the opportunity to work with one of four local development organizations. Participants work with partn...

listing photo ad
Save

This listing has been saved 34 times

Love Volunteers' participants will have the chance to travel abroad and experience new cultures all while providing essential support to communities in real need. Join us now! Participate in Love Volunteers' voluntary service projects in Mexico and have a truly exciting experience volunteering abroad. Check out our programs!

Christabel with kids in Mexico
Save

This listing has been saved 2 times

Immerse yourself in the mysterious culture of the Maya as you volunteer in and around Merida, the beautiful colonial town on Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula. Work with youth, the local indigenous people, or in agriculture and sustainable development. Ancient pyramid cities and the white-sand beaches of Cancun are a bus-ride away. A volunteer’s paradise!

Merida city center in the evening
Save

This listing has been saved 2 times

Come explore Pez Maya, home to a conservation site aimed at protecting the local coastal marine species and their coral reef homes, while also studying their populations. Participants will assist researchers in conserving a portion of the Mesoamerican Reef, which faces increased problems due to development in the nearby cities of Playa del Carmen and Cancun. Volunteers will help with long term ...

Save

This listing has been saved 12 times

CrossContinental offers affordable intern abroad, volunteer abroad, culture/language immersion programs in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Gain hands-on experience, improve your resume, enhance cultural understanding, and build global network. Stay with a host family for culture and language immersion.

Save

This listing has been saved 15 times

Contribute to sea turtle conservation efforts in Mexico. Volunteers get to help protect the country’s enigmatic marine life, ensuring its preservation for future generations. They also get the chance to experience authentic Mexican culture.

Save

Volunteers For Peace is a Vermont non-profit with over 30 years of experience coordinating meaningful international voluntary service opportunities. We offer projects in more than 90 countries for volunteers ages 15 – 99! Find a project and use the coupon “gab14” for a $25 discount on your registration fee today!

Save

This listing has been saved 1 time

Delve into Mexican culture by spending up to three months doing volunteer work in the state of Oaxaca and in the town of Puerto Escondido. Volunteer program areas include tropical medicine, women's reproductive health, community based care, and more. The program location allows volunteers to explore the Pacific coast, engage in lengthy conversations with locals, and learn more about the traditi...

Save

The mixture of strong native legends, artistic expressions and Spanish cultural elements make the Mexican culture unique. Being proud of their native heritage, Mexican people have preserved many of their ancestors’ traditions in their art, music and cuisine. As a World Explorer in Mexico, you will see the country as a local. Your safety is important to us, and we will do our best to make sure y...

Save

Experiencia Puerto Escondido is situated on the coast of the beautiful southern state of Oaxaca, Mexico. Puerto Escondido is a surf town with some of the best waves in the world and is surrounded by tropical jungle. It also boasts an excellent night life and volunteers can experience the best that Mexico has to offer with amazing food, cultural events and wildlife in every direction. Experi...

Back to Programs

Volunteering Abroad in Mexico

Mexico is a country with a mix of American, Spanish, and indigenous cultures, filled with ancient Mayan ruins and a long history of wars, explorations, and conquistadors. Individuals who volunteer in Mexico will clearly see that the country’s cultural and historical influences still play an important role in Mexican society today. Mexico is still considered a developing country, and therefore there is a genuine need for volunteers in Mexico, especially for those interested in community development.

Locations

Individuals who volunteer in Mexico often find the greatest number of placements along the coast. The cities of Oaxaca, Guadalajara, Merida, and Cuernavaca are also quite popular. Cities along the Pacific Coast, like Tecoman, and along the Yucatan Peninsula, like Playa del Carmen, are common destinations for environmental and conservation projects. Tecoman and Playa del Carmen are known for their beautiful beaches, scuba diving, and surfing. Xel Ha is an aquarium park near Playa del Carmen that is considered the largest aquarium in the world. It’s a great place to snorkel, swim with the dolphins, and cliff dive. In Tecoman, agriculture is an important industry, so limes, coconuts, mangos, and bananas are grown there. 

Oaxaca, located in a valley about 300 miles south of Mexico City, is a city strongly influenced by Mexico's indigenous cultures. Seventeen unique languages are still spoken there today. Just six miles west of the city are ruins from one of the largest MesoAmerican cities of all time, Monte Albán. Popular volunteer projects in Oaxaca include projects in medicine and social work.

Guadalajara, the birthplace of Mariachi, is Mexico’s second largest city. It’s known to have a vibrant music scene and is home to the largest public market in the Western Hemisphere, the Libertad Market. Tlaquepaque, one of Mexico’s most important art centers, is located just outside of Guadalajara and sells different arts and crafts such as pottery. In Guadalajara, common volunteer projects include medicine, education, and social work.

Projects & Placements

Conservation projects are especially common volunteer opportunities in Mexico, especially along the coastal areas. One of the most popular environmental projects is turtle conservation, since four out of seven of the world’s sea turtles are located in Mexico, and their populations are declining. Turtle conservation volunteers work with young sea turtles who are threatened by the growing tourist industry, rehabilitating them until they are ready for release.

There are a wide variety of social work projects available to volunteers in Mexico ranging from orphanage work to building houses. These projects work with poor communities in cities throughout Mexico, aiding in community development and working towards social justice for underprivileged members of society. It’s helpful for individuals who volunteer in Mexico to have some knowledge of Spanish in order to communicate with locals, but not all programs have a language requirement.

Health projects in dentistry, nutrition, and general medical services are available throughout Mexico, especially in poorer communities where people can’t afford basic medical care. Volunteers are greatly needed to help keep communities healthy and give everyone the medical attention they deserve. Medical volunteers usually need a background in medicine and a higher level of Spanish proficiency.

Volunteers in education, especially English education, are in high demand in Mexico. Since Mexico borders the United States, learning English is especially important to Mexican citizens. English teaching volunteers generally work with children in classrooms. Most programs don’t require volunteers to know Spanish, but some require a basic level. 

 

Programs can last anywhere from a couple of weeks to a couple of years, and those who volunteer in Mexico can often choose how long they stay.

Costs & Affordability

The cost of living in Mexico, when compared to the United States, is incredibly low. The median household income in Mexico is one tenth of that in the United States, which explains why Mexico is so affordable for US citizens. In fact, Americans who move to Mexico are often able to afford luxuries such as maids, cooks and gardeners. Rent, food, and entertainment are all affordable, so those who volunteer in Mexico shouldn’t worry about shopping for souvenirs or going out for drinks or to restaurants during their stay in Mexico.

Accommodation & Visas

Volunteers in Mexico might stay in worksite housing, a volunteer guest house, or a homestay during their time abroad. Homestays allow volunteers to experience cultural immersion, eat home cooked meals, and live with locals during their stay. Volunteer guesthouses and worksite housing offer the chance to build a community with fellow volunteers. A unique housing option sometimes available in Mexico is camping, for example for volunteer participating in turtle conservation projects, where volunteers stay on-site to participate in activities throughout the day and evening.

U.S. citizens don’t need a visa to volunteer in Mexico for less than 180 days. However, for volunteer programs lasting longer than 180 days, volunteers will need to obtain a visa before departing. Visa applicants will need to go to a U.S. embassy or consulate to turn in an application, and they must have a valid passport (Find one nearest you in GoAbroad’s Embassy Directory).

Benefits and Challenges

Safety concerns seem to be a common theme for those who want to volunteer in Mexico. Though organized crime and homicide rates are high in certain areas, such as the state of Chihuahua, many areas of Mexico are safe and have low crime rates. Travelers should always check the US Department of State website for safety information before traveling to any country.

Read More