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Incredible Volunteering in Mexico: Costs from USD 270
International Volunteer HQ collage photos of participants International Volunteer HQ collage photos of participants

Incredible Volunteering in Mexico: Costs from USD 270

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

A priceless experience

My experience with IVHQ was one I will always cherish.
It was such a milestone for me and a great opportunity to expand in every way.

I didn’t even know IVHQ existed until I googled and started to looked into the program.
For me it was a great fit as I didn’t have too much time to dedicate to volunteering on my 2 month vacation, I also didn’t have a lot of money to spend on a volunteer program and wanted the chance to have a flexible starting date. IVHQ ticked all these boxes.

From the get go (once the Teaching English volunteer program in Merida Mexico had sparked interest in me) I emailed the team and they were so patient, as I had endless questions. Going to the other side of the world, not speaking the language fluently and not having been there before, clearly there were many questions that came up. I found the team were so great at answering my queries and I found the online videos so helpful.

The process form registering to my first day was really effective and informative.
Once I’d arrived into Merida I was met by a representative from the local team and he was more than happy to help me get settled in as much as possible, helping me get a local sim card and my first lot of cash out securely.

The host family I stayed with could not have been more accommodating, then again, this is the nature of everyone I came into contact with in Merida and in the Yucatan Peninsula. The host family had a room for me with air conditioning that worked a treat, and they respected my space as well as inviting me into theirs. The meals they prepared for me were tasty and the family made it clear that if I was ever hungry to help myself to the fridge. They were always up for a chat and were so kind and polite. I was so glad I chose the family stay option as this improved my Spanish so much and gave me a real insight into the everyday lives of the local people. A point to note is that most of the Volunteer Family Homes for this program are around a 40 minute bus ride out of the City Centre, or a 15minute Uber ride away. The homes are situated in the “safe” area of Merida, so just keep this in mind that you’ll need to take public transport or an Uber to get into the heart of town, which is 8pesos each bus – to get to the centre from the Homestays it’s usually one bus, and to get to Serapio School is 2 buses one way, so keeping a change pocket with you is a handy tool!

I met with the other volunteer teachers and together we decided how we would plan our lessons based on the rough outline we were given by other volunteer teachers who preceded us and also what the usual English Language Teacher had set out. This was a great opportunity to be creative within an outlined structure. We found it was so important to have a lesson plan which gave the children the best opportunity at learning as possible within the timeframes we had with them. Spanish is definitely needed to work in this role effectively, and our group were lucky we had someone who spoke Spanish fluently.

Serapio, (the School) were so welcoming, and the children were so loving, they taught me what’s really important and I’m so thankful to have had the experience of working with them. Even though Serapio School was labelled to be in a “rough part of town” there are no “rough parts of town” in Merida. I felt the safest I’ve felt in anywhere I’ve travelled extensively through Central, South and North America, as well as other countries around the globe.

Merida really is a little pocket of heaven, it has such great sites to see, natural beauty is bountiful. The people, the local food, the way of life in this amazing hub is truly something special.
I’m so thankful to all who I met on my journey, for every person that made my experience in Merida what it was. Volunteering in Merida has inspired me to do more of this work and I can’t wait to see what other destinations will call me, thanks to IVHQ, now that I know they are worldwide I look forward to the next adventure.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    9

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Volunteer in Mexico

During my 4 weeks in Mexico, I was able to do everything from working with children to monitoring, working at an animal shelter, doing environmental research, and even studying jaguars in the jungle. I had a hard time deciding what kind of program I wanted to commit to, so I loved the flexibility. The great this about Merida is that you have the opportunity to do meaningful work as a volunteer, at at the end of the day you can be a tourist too. On weekends you can plan trips to see some of the beautiful things the Yucatan has to offer (Mayan ruins, cenotes, downtown market, etc). I also couldn't have asked for a better program coordinator and host. Everyone was so accommodating and kind. I highly recommend this program to any future volunteers.

  • International Volunteer HQ responded to this review September 29, 2015 at 11:23 PM

    Thanks for the recommendation. It's great to hear that your 4 weeks volunteering and your travel while in Mexico was such a positive experience. We hope to see you on another IVHQ program in the future.

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    7

  • Living Situation

    7

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    7

  • Day to Day Life

    8

When in Mexico

My time in Mérida was nothing short of amazing!! The children at my placement opened my eyes to the world around me. The hugs, laughs, and smiles were well worth the endless sweating and tiredness. Along with the volunteering, I was able to travel to different areas of Mexico, including Chichen Itza, cenotes, and the pink lakes! This experience was certainly amazing.

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    7

  • Program Administration

    7

  • Living Situation

    6

  • Community Engagement

    6

  • Health & Safety

    5

  • Day to Day Life

    8

When in Merida

My experience in Merida held many challenges but the welcoming hosts, friends I made here, and the program itself made this experience worth it! I would recommend this program to anyone who is adventurous and open to new experiences. Merida is a great area with a lot to do and see. The program is fun and the coordinators are great and very helpful in planning the days activities.