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Volunteer Inn

About

Volunteer Inn Mexico partners with the Institute of Modern Spanish to offer volunteers from around the world inexpensive opportunities to immerse themselves in Mexican culture while supporting the needs to the local community.

Volunteers tell us Volunteer Inn Mexico creates an unforgettable experience for them in Mexico. Volunteer Inn Mexico builds on strong and trustworthy relationships with the many needs-based organizations that seek us out for help from teachers (especially in English), childcare services, healthcare support, and in environmental and ecological projects, as well as animal and vet services, and other organizations worthy of our assistance. For volunteers who come to us, Volunteer Inn Mexico provides 24/7 support, including housing, and meals.

Reviews

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sinead
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I worked as a Volunteer Coordinator for Volunteer Inn for over 10 months.
I didn’t know much about Mexico before I moved there, but I had the most amazing experience living and working there. Merida is a beautiful, vibrant, fun and safe city, with great food and lots of culture!
As a Volunteer Coordinator I was involved with different projects; AFAD- the Animal shelter, Amiguitos the Child Care programme and the Mayan Agricultural Project. All programmes were very rewarding in their own special ways. Working with the animals at AFAD you truly see how much your help is needed with the care of the dogs. It’s a great sense of achievement to know you have helped local communities and positively impacted the lives of others. All the Programme Coordinators make sure you feel very welcome and involved too. I feel very lucky to have worked across these projects and provide support that is needed.
I highly recommend volunteering through Volunteer Inn, Monica the Volunteer Communications Manger is fantastic and provides support throughout your volunteer experience. Volunteering is also a great way to travel and explore the rest of Mexico in your free time. I managed to travel a lot of Mexico in my free time and I have to say it is by far my favourite country and I can’t wait to go back!

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Melissa
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Last year was my first time to ever volunteer abroad. I came to do the special needs program. At first, it was quite an emotional experience since it was my first time doing something like this, but everyone at pastoral del amor, and the staff at volunteer in went above and beyond to ensure my safety, confidence, emotional state, and everything in between was taken care of. Here I am... almost exactly 1 year later... LIVING in Merida Mexico to volunteer full time. I highly recommend this program. Not only will it change the lives of those you help, but it will change your world as well.

What would you improve about this program?
We need more volunteers!
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Signe
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Volunteering at the animal shelter in Merida was very rewarding! I felt like I really made an impact, improved the lives of the animals at the shelter and completed chores so that the professionals at AFAD had time to focus on important tasks! I would highly recommend volunteering at AFAD through this program if you're an animal lover! Weekends and holiday breaks are great to travel the surrounding area as well

Kelsey
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I arrived in Merida the fall of 2015. I arrived alone, and was very nervous as I wasn't sure what I was getting into. Pre-departure, I had TONS of questions, but Miguél was very good about answering them. I had flown into Cancun late.and Maddie gave me great suggestions for hostels and helped me with getting a bus to Merida the next morning. I was set up with an amazing host family, and I never felt unsafe or unwelcome. Merida is a BEAUTIFUL city, lots to do and explore! The people of Merida are so welcoming and very kind. If i ever want to volunteer again I'll be sure to go through here again!

Sarita
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Maddie is absolutely wonderful and the staff is sure to take care of you when in the yucatan! It feels much like a vacation with only a little help required but it's not just busy work, you're really making an impact in other people's lives! You can travel or just hang out around town in your off time. Food is awesome, the people are charming, the landscape is beautiful. This program is great for someone with no knowledge of the language or even better for someone looking to improve their spanish capabilities since they do offer classes. Go to bacalar and hang out by the most beautiful lagoon ever! You won't regret it :)

Programs

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Staff Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with program leaders.

Madeline Olivia Carter

Job Title
Bacalar Program Manager
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What is your favorite travel memory?

I have been to a few countries in Europe and throughout all of Mexico, but I have to say that my favorite travel memory was arriving to Mérida, Yucatan for the first time.

I arrived as an energetic backpacker eager to learn about Mexican culture and ended up staying in my first destination (Mérida) for two years. The people are welcoming, the food is delicious, and the culture is vibrant.

How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?

I have become more open to different things and more understanding of people in different circumstances. Our volunteers come from different backgrounds all over the world - for some people it can be more difficult than others in adapting to Mexico.

I've learned the importance in taking into consideration different backgrounds to create the best possible experience for them. It has given me patience and more understanding in my everyday life.

What is the best story you've heard from a return student?

There are so many amazing volunteers that pass through our programs, and they give us great stories. I think that the fact that we have had two married couples come out of our program is amazing.

My favorite story is of a past volunteer that ran a marathon to buy computers for the students of the school where he volunteered at as a teacher. This is leaving a long lasting impact that will change the life of hundreds if not thousands of students - giving them access to computer knowledge that will help them advance in their careers.

If you could go on any program that your company offers, which one would you choose and why?

I love all the programs we have - but if I had to choose one specific program it would be the Mayan Agriculture project.

In these projects volunteers spend a minimum of two weeks in ecological conservation projects - such as small farms or jungle conservation projects. The projects are usually located in rural areas and the volunteers experience more rustic living situations than living in the dorms or with a host family.

However, in terms of cultural immersion, volunteers learn all about Maya daily life, native flora and fauna, and help with really important projects that will determine the future of our planet.

The part I love the most is not only getting lost in the jungle for five days a week (on weekends volunteers are given the option to go to the city for a few days but normally choose to stay on the farm and explore local cenotes), but most importantly - bringing the knowledge of sustainability home with them after the program.

I have talked to past volunteers who have created home and community gardens after returning from the Maya Agriculture project!

What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?

Our team is extremely passionate about volunteer work. We are a social enterprise giving help to the communities where it is needed it most.

One of the things that I love most about our team and working for Volunteer Inn is that we work very well together - if someone needs something we don't hesitate to ask for it - and we help each other out always.

What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?

Communication is key - we try to keep clean and direct communication with out volunteers so that they know exactly what to expect and we answer all possible questions that they have. We want our volunteers to be 100% comfortable with the staff.