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Volunteer and Work with Children in Mexico
International Volunteer HQ collage photos of participants International Volunteer HQ collage photos of participants

Volunteer and Work with Children in Mexico

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Volunteering in Mérida - an incredible month

I volunteered in Mérida for 4 weeks on the childcare program, and I do not exaggerate when I say I had the best month of my life. I now have best friends scattered all over the world and an incredible connection to a group of teenage boys in Mexico that I will have for the rest of my life. Each day for four weeks I woke up with a purpose, feeling needed, excited to go to placement, and surrounded by people I love.

Mérida is a beautiful, slow-paced and safe city, all the people are so nice and welcoming. All the volunteers are cool, like-minded, laid back and interesting. We had come from Australia, Germany, England, Ireland, Scotland, Israel, Morocco, Mexico, and the US. The weather is hot as hell. Literally it is 90 degrees every day with humidity that makes it feel like 110. Everyone was in a constant state of sweat all the time, but it's cool cause we were all sweating together. I am 100% convinced that all food in Mexico is better than in the US. I'm constantly amazed by how incredible every single meal tasted.

Orientation at Institute of Modern Spanish, like all of the pre-trip support from IVHQ, was outstanding. Very informative and thorough. My first two weeks I volunteered at a summer camp in a small Mayan town called Xcuyún, which doesn't have access to the national and State summer programs so that's why IMS created it. We drove about 15 minutes outside the city every morning to hang with the kids from 9:00-12:00. They were age 4-12, and unsurprisingly so adorable and fun. We basically played indoor games (aka crafts) and outdoor games (DuckDuckGoose, sharks and minnows, etc) each day. The volunteers were responsible for planning the activities and providing/purchasing any materials for that.

I loved the volunteer house (though I also enjoy living simply and having people around all the time). The volunteer office is just around the corner, and in between the volunteer house and the office is a gym which I joined for the month. We're also only a 20 minute walk from a big mall and a 30 minute bus ride from el centro. It's a pretty great setup.

On the weekends and some afternoons we explored Yucatan! I did Chichen Itza, cenotes, Celestun, Playa del Carmen, the Mayan museum, a bike adventure in Mérida, the Sunday markets in el centro, etc.

In the second half of my month, my volunteer placement changed. I worked another summer camp from 9:00-1:00 with teenagers who had come from a background of physical and sexual abuse. One of the most impactful discoveries I made on this trip is that it is not just people who lack money that need help. There are also people who lack love, or attention, or support, and they need that gap filled just as much as poor individuals.

So that’s my trip to Mexico; a very brief summary for a very amazing and life changing experience. It was very hard to leave and I certainly hope I return. This was my third volunteer trip with IVHQ and they are 3 for 3 – they are always always outstanding.

  • International Volunteer HQ responded to this review October 06, 2016 at 8:04 PM

    Hi Marissa, What a great review! Thanks for taking the time or write such an excellent and in-depth summary from your time in Mexico – we are sure that this will be really helpful to our future Mexico volunteers. We are so grateful to have you join us for your third volunteer program and your compassion shines through in the way you write about your volunteer placements. Thanks for inspiring us and we hope to have you join us for a fourth trip next year!

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    8

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    8

  • Day to Day Life

    10

IVHQ México

I really enjoyed my time in Mérida. The staff were extremely supportive and did everything they can to make the volunteers feel comfortable with their living situation and placement.
While it is important that the volunteers are open towards new experiences, I think IVHQ can improve the program by giving more information to the volunteers before they arrive, such as age range of the children or what has been done in the past.
Overall, it has been an extremely rewarding time here in México and I would definitely recommend it anyone who is on the fence.

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    8

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    7

  • Community Engagement

    6

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Day to Day Life

    8

Merida

My experience was very interesting. The staff were excellent in helping with tips to prepare for my trip. Once I arrived I was picked up at the airport and the staff were in constant contact to ensure that I was settling in well. I wish I knew the population I was assigned to work with, so i could have brought appropriate materials for the program. The program itself was fun. Some more structure and resources would have been helpful. The youth I worked with were lovely and taught me a lot.

Overall Rating

7/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    8

  • Program Administration

    7

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Community Engagement

    7

  • Health & Safety

    7

  • Day to Day Life

    9

Memorable exprience!!

Three weeks in Mexico was an unforgettable experience. Overall when I look back at my time here in Mexico, I am very thankful to have had this opportunity. The kids that I met at my job placement were some of the funniest and humble kids Id ever met. I really enjoyed being someone these kids could talk to and be themselves with. It was super hard saying goodbye and they truly helped me grow as a person! However, I wish the program would have been more clear since the begining on what age groups we would be working with. It would have been very helpful when choosing which materials to bring. My stay at the volunteer house was a good choice because it was really nice being able to meet other likeminded people. The people are what made this whole experience worthwhile! The stay at the house was good, but some nights felt extremely hot and uncomfortable. Despite the sleep situation, I never felt uncomfortable or unsafe walking around the streets. Mexico is a wonderful country and I really enjoyed being apart of something bigger than myself. I'm glad I choose this program because it introduced me to so many great people and left me with an overall amazing experience.

Overall Rating

7/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    6

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    6

  • Community Engagement

    6

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

IVHQ Mexico

Overall my time spent volunteering in Mexico was very good! The other volunteers were all so nice and the programs were a lot of fun to do. The local staff was accommodating and supportive -- they always responded to our calls/texts super quickly! The volunteer house was pretty nice, but one of the only things I'd suggest would be to add some more fans into the house because it got so hot in the rooms, especially at night.