Volunteer in Mexico - Adelante Abroad

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About

Volunteer in Colonial Oaxaca, Mexico for complete language, community, and cultural immersion. Oaxaca is one of the most biodiverse areas in Mexico and is known for the amazing ART produced there by local and ex-pat artists, and for the FOOD, which has a whole festival dedicated to it -the Guelaguetza!

Adelante's volunteer abroad program combines career focus provided by internships, with the social orientation found in volunteer work. With Adelante, you can volunteer in sectors such as law, healthcare, art, psychology, and even historical renovation work. Visit Adelante's site for a complete list of fields.

In addition to working in Oaxaca, the program includes Spanish classes + some cultural excursions. Your own room, living with a local or in a shared guesthouse, is also included. If you're looking to make a difference, take advantage of this perfect opportunity to do a volunteer program in Mexico!

Highlights
  • We are the most affordable (housing included). Do your research, nearly all other programs are at least DOUBLE the price. You'll live in Oaxaca near your work placement in a fully-furnished apartment with WiFi.
  • Volunteer in the field of your choice. Gain solid international career experience by working in a company and field that interests you. We have participating companies in 30+ professional sectors with customizable placement options.
  • Intensive Spanish language classes. We prepare you for your internship with two weeks of intensive Spanish language classes based on your Spanish speaking level. No extra charge, it's included in your program.
  • A welcome arrival. We'll pick you up at the airport, take you directly to your housing, and provide an orientation session with our program director to get you acclimated to beautiful Oaxaca.
  • Curated Experience. Our programs are meant for the independent traveler and are not group focused. Our on-site staff in Oaxaca and the US are available throughout your program, and you can truly immerse yourself in the culture however you may.

Questions & Answers

Reviews

8.9 Rating
based on 10 reviews
  • 9-10 rating 70%
  • 7-8 rating 30%
  • 5-6 rating 0%
  • 3-4 rating 0%
  • 1-2 rating 0%
  • Impact 8.9
  • Support 7.9
  • Fun 8.3
  • Value 8.1
  • Safety 9
  • Growth 10
  • Support 8.5
  • Fun 9.5
  • Housing 9
  • Safety 8
Showing 1 - 8 of 10
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Marianne
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Brilliant Experience

The teachers I had in the first 2 weeks were great and shared useful tips on local hot spots. I found this to be an invaluable introduction to my time in Oaxaca and a great way to meet new people.

Equally my internship at a printing studio was fabulous and I feel it greatly contributed towards my competence in Spanish.
The housing with Irma, Octavio and Leti the cleaner was one of my favourite things about my experience as they made me feel so welcome and really helped me settle in with ease.

Oaxaca is a beautiful place, just the right size to explore and close to many other must see locations. I would love to go back!

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Emily
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A Great Overall Experience

I spent two months in Oaxaca de Juarez with the Adelante volunteering program for working with kids. My time there was amazing, being able to experience local life and history of the state. The housing location was in a great spot, and my landlord was unbelievably kind. My time at the language school was also great as I met and made wonderful friends from around the world and also received a one-on-one tutor which helped me immensely. I also met great people at my internship. The program truly opens you up to many differing walks of life and exposes you to so many new things - not just originating from Oaxaca. The trip being my first solo travel forced me to become independent and actually rely on myself instead of using others as a travel-buddy crutch. When Adelante says that the program is for independent travelers, they're not kidding. This is where I point out the major lack of communication. I won't go into detail, but the program really is like moving to a foreign place by yourself and figuring everything out by yourself. There were a few rough patches but I didn't let them bother me during my time there. You'll run into problems, like no water or power, but you adapt and overcome. I really enjoyed my experience both the good and the bad, but if lack in communication and cultural confusion bothers you I wouldn't recommend this type of program.

What would you improve about this program?
I would improve the communication between US Adelante, OAX Adelante, the internship and the candidate.
Default avatar
Haley
7/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Volunteering in Oaxaca

What one pays for, essentially, with Adelante, that one couldn't find by themselves, is great contacts. It's difficult to find internships in other countries for a variety of reasons and Adelante does all the hard work for you. Adelante also helps to provide an essential structure to this internship, defining the number of work hours, the assigned tasks and expectations. This is incredibly important, as so much of the experience is unstructured and up to the volunteer.

What would you improve about this program?
Making the language classes optional.
Default avatar
Ella
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Great Experience

This program was perfect for me, and it was a great way to get to know a new city. It made the transition to living in another place as easy as it really could be — finding me housing, an internship, and contacts within the city that could answer any questions or help show me around. The internship was a fantastic fit, which really showed how much Adelante listened to what I wanted from the experience, as well as they attention they payed to what skills I already had. I learned a lot, met many new people, and got to know the amazing city. I even decided to move back to Oaxaca for the rest of the year to work at the art studio where I was previously interning!

What would you improve about this program?
There is a 2 week Spanish school that I would have skipped if possible, but that part of the program is probably helpful to others.
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Rachel
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Oaxaca Review

I've had an unforgettable experience. I would recommend it to anyone who is interested in culture and learning Spanish. Definitely take advantage of the school, Don Quijote, it is a great spot to make friends, and generally a great resource for getting to know the city and the main attractions.

all depends on how intelligent the intern is and how good they are with people and culture shock. A program can be the best in itself but if the participant either doesn't make an effort or does not have social intelligence, then it could be a difficult adjustment.

Overall, a positive attitude and a sense of adventure don't hurt!

What would you improve about this program?
Allow intern to choose internship. But then again, it's just as fun seeing what you end up getting. Also wish school lasted longer than 2 weeks or at least had an option for a longer period.
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Durian
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A Summer of Learning

I had a very positive experience. After the two weeks of Spanish classes, my Spanish improved tremendously! I was able to do an entire interview with my supervisor in Mexico all in Spanish! The immersion was great to help me become linguistically functional in an hispanic environment, not to mention I learned a lot about Mexican culture and political issues. It was a very eye-opening and exciting summer, and the people were very helpful.

What would you improve about this program?
It was honestly great. I guess the flexibility of the dates could be improved, although it was not really a big issue.
Default avatar
Durian
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

The Ultimate Job Shadow

I was originally looking for a program where I could improve my Spanish. I searched and searched, and came across Adelante Abroad. Not only could I improve my Spanish, but I could intern in whatever field I wanted and get real-life work experience! It was the perfect combination. Before I went to work with ecology in Oaxaca, Mexico with Adelante, I was unsure of what I wanted to study or do with my life. After experiencing plant life on a new level, I realized that is what I want to study. My experience with Adelante clarified many things about myself career-wise, and also personal-wise. I am very appreciative of my experience, and Oaxaca is incredibly beautiful!

What would you improve about this program?
I would say the program dates could be more flexible, but it was not really a big issue. I loved everything about the program.
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Audley
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Quiero regresar a Oaxaca otra vez!

I had a great experience. My Spanish improved tremendously after only 2 weeks of classes. The city is small and the people are wonderful. The climate is nice too; it's not too hot and there are not a lot of bugs. The city is very close to a lot of interesting historical sites, and there is so much to do in the city center! I was there during the big festival in July, the Guelaguetza, and that is the time to go! The city is hopping all the time with cultural activities and markets. The Adelante staff were very helpful and friendly as well, but they weren't constantly getting involved, which I greatly appreciated. They don't hold your hand, but they were there if you needed them, so I was able to really experience the city in my own way. I know that the work experience differs based on which internship you pursue, but personally I enjoyed my work assignment; I learned a lot and felt very involved. I worked a good amount but was not overworked. Overall, it was incredible! I can't wait to go back again!

What would you improve about this program?
The program states that it starts on the first of each month, but actually the start & end dates were slightly different than what they said.