Volunteer in Mexico

Browse 41 Programs
  • About

    Volunteering in Mexico, one of the most diverse countries in the world - biologically, ethnically, linguistically, and culturally - means you'll never be bored. Mexico is home to one of the new seven wonders of the world (Chichén Itza), dozens of biosphere reserves (monarch butterflies, coral reefs, volcanoes, and more), spectacular beaches, world-renowned cuisine, and the second-largest city in the world (Mexico City). There really is something for everyone!

    Maintaining this diversity while growing economically has been one of Mexico's foremost challenges. Popular volunteer projects in Mexico include environmental initiatives and work with poor communities. Unfortunately, the country also continues to struggle with providing basic services, particularly in rural areas, which means that health and education volunteers in Mexico are regularly needed. Many volunteer opportunities are only available to volunteers with some Spanish.

  • Program Types
    Environmental

    Mexico is one of a few "mega-diverse" countries in which most of the world's biological diversity is found. A number of different projects work to maintain this diversity, and volunteers might conduct flora and fauna censuses or provide community education about conservation. Experience in biology and botany is a plus.

    Work with Children and Youth

    Social services in Mexico are chronically underfunded, particularly those that work with orphans, children in poor communities, and children of single mothers. Volunteers in this realm nurture these children, and their work is truly an investment in Mexico's future.

    Education

    Schools in Mexico can't keep up with growing numbers of students. Poor students rarely have access to English and computer classes, which provide economic mobility, and volunteers can help create these opportunities for underserved youth.

    Health

    Volunteers, particularly those with a medical background, can work in clinics throughout Mexico or help with outreach projects. These positions typically require the highest level of Spanish.

    Gender Equality

    Violence against women in Mexico puts them at an extreme economic and social disadvantage. Women make significantly less money than men and many times they need to travel for work. Volunteers can help change the long history of discrimination and sexist attitudes.

  • Planning Your Trip
    Volunteer Support

    Many large cities in Mexico have fairly large populations of expats from the U.S., so you can expect to find organizations of foreigners, English-language bookstores and libraries, and stores that will sell comfort food and familiar brands. The U.S. embassies and consulates are also very helpful in case of emergency and the economic dominance of English means that you can almost always find someone to translate in a pinch. (Similarly, many doctors have trained in the U.S. and speak excellent English.)

    NGOs/Nonprofit/Volunteer History in Mexico

    Since the 1990s, perhaps the most visible role of NGOs has been in preventing violence - and mediating - between the government and indigenous peoples. However, NGOs and nonprofits are currently active in many realms of political, social, and economic life in Mexico.

    Know Before You Go

    Due to the drug war, customs agents are particularly diligent about medication. If you need prescription meds, bring enough for your entire stay, or get the chemical formula and have it filled locally. (The second option is usually cheaper, even without insurance.)

    How to Save Money While Volunteering in Mexico

    If you're interested in learning more Spanish, see if you can arrange an intercambio - a language exchange with someone interested in learning English. Live in a homestay or with local students - either way, you'll live cheaply and really improve your Spanish. Cook meals instead of going out, and learn what's local and in season to eat the most cheaply.

    Best Places to Volunteer

    Mexico City, Oaxaca, the Yucatán, anywhere near a beach.

    Questions to Ask

    Are you responsible for arranging your own housing? Is there an option to take language classes? How much free time will you have? Are there opportunities to travel within Mexico?

    Visas for Volunteering in Mexico

    Citizens of the U.S., E.U., and many other countries do not require visas to enter Mexico as tourists, and can stay for up to 180 days.

  • Health & Safety

    The diversity of Mexico makes it difficult to make country-wide recommendations, although typhoid and hepatitis A and B vaccinations are recommended for all travelers. Anti-malarials are recommended for a small number of rural areas, and insect protection measures are advised due to the prevalence of dengue fever. Long-term volunteers might consider travel insurance.

    Although the U.S. media paint Mexico as dangerous, the truth is that drug-war-related violence is limited to the border region and the states of Sinaloa, Michoacan, and Guerrero, particularly Acapulco. General street smarts are all that's required for most of Mexico: the traffic is usually the single biggest hazard to your safety.

    Contributed by Jena Barchas-Lichtenstein

Showing 48 Programs

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  • IVHQ Volunteer Programs in Mexico
    IVHQ
    Reviewer Verified
    IVHQ offers a highly affordable volunteer program in Merida, the capital in the state of Yucatan on Mexico's Caribbean coast...
    9 reviews
    Alumni Interviews
    Staff Interviews
    Community Photos
    A review was left for this program in the last 30 days
  • Frontier
    Reviewer Verified
    Mexico is the Central American heartland that epitomises the best of Latin fiesta spirit and the legacy of the Mayan...
    2 reviews
    Alumni Interviews
  • UBELONG Volunteer Abroad Mexico
    UBELONG
    Reviewer Verified
    UBELONG offers 1-week to 6-month volunteering opportunities in Merida. There are over 40 projects in different fields,...
    11 reviews
    Alumni Interviews
    Staff Interviews
    Community Photos
    This program has been rated exceedingly fun by 5+ reviewers.
    This program has been rated exceedingly supportive by 5+ reviewers.
  • Volunteer cooking in Oaxaca
    Amigos de las Americas
    Our Oaxaca participants have the opportunity to work with one of four local development organizations. Participants working...
    14 reviews
    Alumni Interviews
    Community Photos
  • Giving a rescue dog a check up.
    Animal Experience International
    The large number of feral dogs and cats living on city streets is a global problem. While many of these animals are...
    1 reviews
    Community Photos
  • Indigenous America Volunteering
    Carpe Diem Education
    Reviewer Verified
    With a group of like-minded peers, you'll wind your way through sovereign nations in Arizona, Utah, and New Mexico as well...
    1 reviews
    Alumni Interviews
    Community Photos
  • Volunteer holding children
    Casa de Los Angeles
    Casa de los Angeles is a community of caring people who gather to nurture children, serving the needs of the less fortunate...
    30 reviews
    Alumni Interviews
    Community Photos
    This program has been rated exceedingly fun by 5+ reviewers.
  • Smiling children in Mexico
    PEACE
    PEACE provides children and adults with programs and opportunities to develop the necessary skills to be successful,...
    6 reviews
    Alumni Interviews
    This program has been rated exceedingly supportive by 5+ reviewers.
  • Singing & dancing!
    Global Volunteers
    Experience Mexico as a "non-tourist." Volunteers practice English in small groups with college students. The purpose is on...
    5 reviews
  • Teach English In Mexico
    VolunQuest
    VolunQuest is proud to be the only private organization that allows volunteers to participate as teachers in the public...
    9 reviews
    Staff Interviews
  • Frontier: Ethical Adventure Trail through Central America
    Frontier
    Reviewer Verified
    Combine exciting adventure travel with a project placement and experience the best of Central America on an unforgettable...
    1 reviews
    Staff Interviews
  • Global Vision International
    Reviewer Verified
    You can make a difference when you volunteer with GVI in Mexico! From helping the local wildlife to working with...
    5 reviews
    Alumni Interviews
    Staff Interviews
    Community Photos
    This program has been rated exceedingly fun by 5+ reviewers.
  • Volunteering with children in Mexico
    Love Volunteers
    Join Love Volunteers in Mexico for the volunteer experience of a lifetime! Love Volunteers offers several volunteer projects...
    4 reviews
    Community Photos
  • Volunteer in Mexico with Projects Abroad
    Projects Abroad
    Mexico is a beautiful country, and a great place to spend time on a volunteer program or internship. Mexico is a real...
    12 reviews
    Alumni Interviews
    Community Photos
    A review was left for this program in the last 30 days
    This program has been rated exceedingly fun by 5+ reviewers.
    This program has been rated exceedingly supportive by 5+ reviewers.
  • Volunteer with children in Mexico with FFHM
    Foundation For His Ministry
    Join the Foundation for His Ministry (FFHM) in Mexico to help those in poverty and share Christian beliefs and values. FFHM...
    1 reviews
    Alumni Interviews