IVHQ: Volunteer in Mexico from $270 - Most Trusted

Video and Photos

Merida
Merida
A big doggie Boxer
A big doggie Boxer
Cute puppy
Cute puppy
IVHQ México
IVHQ México
IVHQ México
IVHQ México
Ek-balam archeological aite
Ek-balam archeological aite
Anastasio
Anastasio
Cenote
Cenote

About

Volunteer abroad in Mexico with IVHQ! Every year, hundreds of volunteers join IVHQ's highly affordable volunteer projects in Mexico assisting on a range of community-driven projects including teaching and animal care. Volunteers can choose to participate on projects for periods ranging from 1 week to 8 weeks and are accommodated in a volunteer house in Merida alongside other international volunteers. While Spanish is not required in order to participate on the program, volunteers can enjoy taking discounted Spanish lessons during their time on the program.

Highlights
  • Programs are available year-round in Mexico at an affordable price of US$270 for 1 week
  • IVHQ Mexico program fees include airport pick-up, orientation, accommodation, 3 meals per day and 24/7 in-country support.
  • Volunteer between 1 - 12 weeks
  • Use your weekends to explore Uxmal Mayan ruin site and the historial town of Izamal.

Popular Programs

Childcare in Mexico

As a childcare volunteer, you can support children’s mental development, creativity and physical coordination by assisting in daycare centers, crèches and community centers for economically disadvantaged families in Mexico.

Sustainable Agriculture in Mexico

Get your hands dirty as you support this environmental volunteer project alongside local farmers. Assist in implementing contemporary and forward-looking farming practices to help combat the challenges of growing environmental pressures.

 Special Needs Care in Mexico

Bring care and compassion to local people living with disabilities, helping with therapy, learning and activities. Homes are charity-run and rely on the support of the community and volunteers.

Teaching English in Mexico

Give students better prospects for their futures and share your passion for education as a volunteer teacher. You'll provide a valuable English-speaking perspective to language lessons in schools, community centers and childcare facilities.

Questions & Answers

Reviews

92%
based on 62 reviews
  • Impact 8.8
  • Support 9.2
  • Fun 9.2
  • Value 8.9
  • Safety 9.6
Showing 1 - 15 of 62
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Imogen
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

The Marvels of Mérida

I have recently returned home after spending a month volunteering in Mérida, Mexico, as part of the 'Teaching English' programme with IVHQ. In addition to working with children from the local community, we had plenty of time to explore: from visiting the Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza at sunrise, to exploring Izamal, the Yellow City, I have so many happy memories of my time there. At times it was challenging what with the heat and the fact that the facilities were far more basic than those to which I am accustomed, but it was eminently worthwhile: an absolute 'must' for those set on improving their Spanish, and travelling in a meaningful way. All in all, I would describe my four weeks in Mexico as rewarding, eye-opening and a ceaseless source of joy.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Take every opportunity which comes your way: 'sí' is your best friend!
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Imogen! Great to hear about your experiences in Mexico! You're so right in saying that volunteering with the local community is a fantastic way to improve your Spanish and I'm glad to hear that program had a positive effect on you in this way. ^Grace - IVHQ Mexico

Read my full story
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Chelsey
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A week in Ocho Rios, Jamaica

Well, I'll start off by saying the only bad part of my experience was having to leave. The full-time staff were amazing and always made sure we had everything we needed. That started right from the get-go. I really like the way IVHQ runs their website like they give you a checklist and a timeline for everything you need to have done before you go, right down to what to pack. After what I had learned through my online training and orientation on the first day I felt very prepared to get myself around and be able to adventure out with the other volunteers. Once we got there it was immediately and constantly so much fun. We lived in a house with the other volunteers and it was comfortable and a nice place to relax and rest in the evenings. The staff showed us around the city and gave us lots of great tips for places to go and even set up a tour for us.

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
The goats. In America, there generally isn't goats just wandering the side of the road but there was near Ocho Rios. It was actually really funny and cool!
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Ally
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

2 Amazing Months in Merida!

I spent two incredible months in Merida, Mexico and I cannot say enough great things about my experience. I was extremely nervous to travel, work and live in a foreign country by myself, but the local staff (Carolina, Miguel, Marina, Ana, etc.), made it all so easy. I can honestly say that I felt safe, supported, and cared for throughout my entire stay.

I was fortunate enough to get to try out two volunteer programs -- childcare and animal care -- and both programs left me with experiences that I will never forget. My first two weeks were spent volunteering at a cultural center helping entertain local children while they were on school break. I was then fortunate enough to spend three weeks at Los Amiguitos with children ranging in age from a few months to 4 years. Every single kid that I met was so friendly, loving, and sincere, and none of them cared one bit about the language barrier. My final three weeks were spent in the animal care program volunteering at AFAD and Evolucion. This program was definitely more physically demanding, but I loved that we could see the immediate benefits of our work. And when we were done working, we just got to spend as much time as we wanted hanging out with the animals. I know it sounds odd, but I actually loved taking buses to and from placement. They were cheap (7.50-11 pesos per ride), and I really felt like I was embracing the local culture. All buses in Merida go straight through the center, so in the afternoon I would usually just stay in the city before heading back to the house. I came to really enjoy the commute.

I opted to stay in the volunteer house rather than a homestay, and I'm so glad that I did. It made it so easy to become friends with the other volunteers and gave me a very comfortable and convenient home base for my time in Merida. That being said, I know plenty of people who stayed at homestays and loved it, and I really don't feel like it isolated them from the other volunteers. I was in Merida during the warmest time of the year, when the temperature was usually over 100 every day. I know that sounds unbearable, but I actually got used to the heat and came to like it... the pool at the volunteer house certainly helped, and it was highly utilized. Considering everything that was provided (and how cheap everything is in Merida), this program was SO affordable.

Merida is not only a beautiful, vibrant city full of color and life, but the Yucatan offers so much to see and do. I was never bored in my two months there, from trips to the ruins, cenotes, haciendas, beaches, nearby cities, and so much more. I was able to do and see so many things (with lots of help and guidance from Carolina and Miguel). Additionally, I was fortunate to have enough time in Merida that I was able to spend afternoons just wandering around the city, eating, shopping, and simply enjoying the beauty of the city.

I decided to do the program because I was at point in my life where I just needed a change, and I have zero regrets about my choice to go to Merida. I met so many people through the program that will be lifelong friends, and the Mexican culture is truly so welcoming and inspiring. So, my advice to current or future volunteers: If you are hesitating to go, I promise you, you will not regretting just taking the leap and going for it. I don't consider myself to be a very outgoing and adventurous person, and my Spanish was sub-par at best, but I went for it and it turned out to be the best thing I've ever done. Another bit of info: try to plan your trip at a time when the house is likely to be busier, such as school breaks or common vacation times. I was the only one in the program for one week during my stay and it was pretty lonely. And make sure you go for at least 2 weeks! The Yucatan has way too much to offer and you need at least two weeks to really take it in.

Have fun :)

What would you improve about this program?
The food at the volunteer house could've been better...
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Ashley
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My experience as solo volunteer with IVHQ

This was my first volunteering trip and I went into it feeling nervous and a little intimidated. However, I realize now that I shouldn't have been so worried. There was never a moment where I was alone. Every volunteer welcomed me with a smile and made me feel at home. I lived without AC in 100 degrees weather, didn't have access to clean water, and commuted to the placement on crowded AC-less bus, but I wouldn't have it any other way. I loved that I was immersed into the culture and truly felt like I lived like a local. The experience made me more thankful for things that I've taken for granted. I left with my heart so full that I will be volunteering back home! Thank you to IVHQ for helping me realize my love for traveling with meaning and volunteering.

What was your funniest moment?
I had to take two bus rides to my placement everyday, but my fellow volunteer and I did not speak Spanish so we had to use a lot of body language and short phrases like 'BAJA!' to get us to our placement every day!
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Ashley, thank you for your review. Sorry if it wasn't explained to you that the filtered drinking water is provided for you 24/7 in the volunteer house. It is great to hear that this experience helped you realize your love for travelling with meaning and volunteering. We would love to have you back on a program in the future! Lena - IVHQ Program Manager

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Marina
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Best Volunteer Experience!

My name is Marina and I am from Alberta, Canada. I traveled to Merida for one week to complete the special needs care project. It was my first time traveling solo and I was very nervous. However, IVHQ had such a streamlined process from start to finish and I felt safe and supported throughout my entire time in Mexico. Anytime I had a question I was always answered immediately. The fees are very affordable so it was perfect for a student like myself. The reason I went on this trip was to have a new travel opportunity but to also add valuable experience to my resume! The volunteer placement was so rewarding and worked out perfectly. It's a great set up because we volunteered in the mornings and had every afternoon and weekend to do excursions. Our program coordinator always had fun suggestions for things to do! This program is perfect for young solo travelers and I would suggest it to everyone!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
I would suggest having a basic understanding of Spanish. I did not so it was a struggle trying to communicate.
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Mariana, it's awesome to hear that you felt so well supported as a first time solo traveller! It sounds like you had a really rewarding experience on your placement and got to do some amazing sight seeing as well. We hope to have you volunteer again with IVHQ! Grace - IVHQ Program Manager.

happy kid
Maria
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

The Mexican Dream

Hola, I’m Maria and I just spent one month with IVHQ Mexico in Merida. If I want to describe my experience here in one world, I would say that it was phenomenal.
I won’t lie to you, the first week was hard. It takes time and effort to integrate yourself into a new culture, and to get used to the food, the language, and the lifestyle. However, once you get used to it, you will love it and become quite attached to it. Also, I realized that everything depends on the mindset you travel in: Having an open mind and saying yes to new experiences and adventures that are outside of your comfort zone will make your experience so much better.
What made my experience here so nice was the staff who really made everything easier. They were very understanding whenever I had an issue and always did their best to help me and make me feel safe, which is very important for someone who is abroad. Besides the staff, the friends I made here changed my life.
As for what I did, I was part of the English teaching program, and what was amazing about that was that every time I arrived at the school, all the girls would stop what they were doing and run to me, hug me, and give me a kiss. I would honestly do anything to go back and have this incredible welcome that made my day every morning.
In a few words, what I learned at the end of my trip is that the more you give, the more you will gain! Thank you IVHQ for these amazing 4 weeks of my life!

What would you improve about this program?
Depending on the program you are in, having more initiatives and responsibilities could be sometimes more challenging.
Default avatar
Bethany
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Solo Traveler in Mérida

I’d been wanting to participate in some sort of volunteer tourism program for a while, but as a first time solo traveler I wasn’t sure which program would be the best for me. After doing a bit of research I came across IVHQ. Choosing their program was the best decision. Not only is IVHQ one of the cheapest volunteer tourism groups around, they allow you plenty of time to sightsee and offer a wide variety of volunteer opportunities in a even wider selection of countries. From the very beginning their staff were helpful and always available to answer any questions.

Once I was in country, I found my accommodations in Mérida, Mexico to be exceptional. Everything was very clean and safe. There was even a pool. My coordinator Carolina was very helpful. She even set up tours for me and did research about things I was interested in doing to help me make the most of my time in Mexico.

While seeing all the street animals was sad, AFAD, the animal shelter were I volunteered was a ray of sunshine. Everyone who worked there was kind and incredibly dedicated to the care of their animals. The facility was clean and the animals were happy and well cared for. I wish I could have stayed longer.

If you’re looking for a way to see the world while giving back, especially if you’re a solo traveler, I highly recommend IVHQ.

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Bethany, thanks for taking the time to leave such an awesome review of your experience in Merida! It's wonderful to hear that you had such a rewarding first time travelling solo and I completely agree that the animal shelter is very special. We would love to have you join us again in the future! Courteney - IVHQ Program Manager.

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Rebecca
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

1week program review

It was a super exciting experience being immersed in the culture and the language that I knew so little about before coming here, all the staff and volunteers are extremely friendly and helpful and made the experience worthwhile. Being around people who require your assistance is really rewarding and something I will never forget. I was disappointed with how little we got to spend at placement considering we are only here for a week so I recommend more balance between volunteering and sightseeing for future volunteers. The house was really nice and well maintained as well as the food. Trying real authentic Mexican food was awesome however, more variety would be appreciated as a lot of meals we experienced were the same or very similar. Overall a really great experience.

What would you improve about this program?
Maybe a heads up on how little you will volunteer if you are here for one week especially if you want to sight see aswell
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Rebecca, thanks for taking the time to share your experience in Merida and it sounds like you had a wonderful time and really embraced the local culture! Thank you for the constructive feedback and I will pass this along to the local team. We would love to have you join us again in the future! Courteney - IVHQ Program Manager.

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Shaylee
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Volunteering experience

Initially, I wasn’t too sure what to expect with my volunteering experience as it was my first time; however, it turned out to be the most amazing week!! The staff working at my placement (Carolina, Miguel and our cook Ana) were such lovely people. They were always available to answer any questions, give advice about tours/ what to do and to ask how we were all settling into the program. The other volunteers were very welcoming and friendly towards me. It was great to hear about everyone’s home countries and why they chose to be here. I was volunteering, with a friend, and we were both placed at a daycare centre. The children were truly adorable and all the staff working there were lovely even with a language barrier. I did a one week volunteering experience and the staff was so flexible if I needed to take off placement to go to a day trip to Chichen Itza or to leave early to catch a bus to Uxmal. I would definitely recommend going to Uxmal as you get to climb a part of the ruins - this was one of the highlights. Immersing myself in such a different culture via language, food etc was such an amazing experience. I would definitely recommend this to anyone.

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Thank you for taking the time to share a review of your experience volunteering in Merida! I'm so pleased to hear that you had such a wonderful time and how awesome that you had the chance to visit Uxmal. We would love to have you volunteer with us again in the future! Courteney - IVHQ Program Manager.

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Isabella
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Very nice experience!!!

I chose to volunteer with IVHQ because my school required me to fulfill an international experience in order to graduate and most students there have volunteered through IVHQ. I decided last minute I wanted to do this instead of another program offered by my school, I didn't know where to volunteer in, and I didn't have the time to research other countries either. I thought Mérida was a good idea because I already spoke Spanish, it was affordable, and the travel distance was relatively shorter compared to other locations... And it was the best the decision I could've made! I have met wonderful people here, I have made new friends, and I have visited the beautiful surroundings including downtown Merida and Uxmal ruins.
The schedule is perfect for both volunteering and exploring, a typical day includes around four hours of volunteer work in the morning with the afternoons are free. The project I worked on was sustainable agriculture in which I helped in a community garden, and I learned how to grow tomatoes, pumpkin, and eggplants. I also had the opportunity to support the childcare project at Amiguitos, and I must say this placement was my favorite! At Amiguitos, the children were exposed to an interactive, fun, but structured environment. It was just wonderful! The kids would play outside, every day they would have a different outdoor activity; then they would come back inside and toys were set out for them, this was to keep them entertained while waiting for their turn to take a shower; then they would have lunch, brush their teeth and prepare for nap time. I was impressed with the level of discipline these kids had!
Overall, IVHQ-Mérida was a great experience, you won't regret your decision if you choose this program!

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Thank you for taking the time to share a review of your experience volunteering in Merida! You made a really valuable Contribution to the Sustainable Agriculture project and it's awesome that you were also able to enjoy some of the amazing sights that Merida has to offer. We would love to have you join us again the future :) Courteney - IVHQ Program Manager.

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Cindy
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Worth it!

This has been my first ever experience participating in a volunteer program. The opportunity came to me because my granddaughter needed to attend a volunteer program as part of her college curriculum. She chose to study in Mexico and selected a program related to childcare and then asked me to accompany her. So we will have completed two weeks working assisting and participating in the program at a local daycare with children from ages 0 to 6. The program director instructors and teachers follow a punctual Program they are very friendly and combine their teaching with love and affection for the children it was a wonderful experience and I feel privileged to have been a part of it. In addition to the friends we meet at the daycare my granddaughter and I have also made really good friends with other members of the group here and were able to visit multiple historical locations spend the weekend in Cancun and The IVHQ staff was very welcoming and supportive and accommodating.

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Thank you for your wonderful review of your time in Merida! It's awesome that you were able to volunteer alongside your grandmother and share such a meaningful experience together :) Courteney - IVHQ Program Manager.

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Hannah
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Can’t wait for next year!

I was so nervous when I first found out I had to study abroad but I am so thankful I found IVHQ. Not only did they give me the courage to come to a whole new country and experience the culture but they also provided me with so much fun experiences tors of historical sites and also made sure that all my needs were taken care of every day! The program I chose was child care and I have never felt more joy in my life. The children were so happy and well behaved and we’re just so cute. I helped out a lot in the nursery which I found was the most heartwarming rocking babies to sleep and making sure they had fun interactions with each other. There’s no greater feeling than walking into the daycare and having a dozen kids run up to you hugging you and saying hello even though you don’t speak their language just the fact that you’re there makes them happy which in turn makes me happy!

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Thanks for taking the time to share such a wonderful review of your experience in Merida Hannah! I'm sure the kids loved having you as much as you loved being there and it's great that you were able to fit in some sight-seeing as well. We would love to have you join us again in the future! Courteney - IVHQ Program Manager.

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Katlyn
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

IVHQ Jamaica

The week I spent in Jamaica was a rewarding experience that allowed me to become immersed in a new culture while having a beneficial impact on the local community. As part of the Sports Development Program, one of the most impactful parts of the trip was experiencing the enthusiastic and uplifting spirits of the children at the primary school where I taught PE classes. After speaking with the other IVHQ volunteers I lived with during my stay, I can say with confidence that IVHQ has rewarding opportunities for volunteers with a variety of interests. Whether it be your first volunteer trip abroad (like me!) or if you have vast travel experience, IVHQ’s supportive staff and high level of organization makes it a reliable and trustworthy organization for any volunteer.

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Katlyn, thanks for your lovely review! I'm so glad you found your experience working with the children in Jamaica rewarding and impactful. We look forward to having you on another program soon! Charlotte - IVHQ Program Manager.

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Joe
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Merida

I had a great great great time and the hosts were amazing. food was great. people were great. weather was warm. friendly animals. The house was clean. They kept the house very clean. The other volunteers were very very very nice. The tours were very fun. Uxmal was incredible, the ruins and tour guide were nice although his english was a little patchy and difficult to follow. I was unable to go to the cenotes because of food poisoning but other than that it was an all around great trip. Also the IVHQ members were amazing with instruction and informing us all on everything that we needed. I worked with CRIT center and all the children were happy. The atmosphere did not seem like a hospital at all, it was colorful and the kids were excited to come in. Although I did not speak the language I had no problem playing with and entertaining the children.

What would you improve about this program?
I was all around happy with the program, I don't think there is much room for improvement. But I am required to write a bunch of these reviews when I'd rather just do 1. So that is my main complaint. Just make it so we have to do 1 survey and I can save some time.
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Leslie
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Awesome experience !

I had an awesome experience in Merida. At first I was a little scare of traveling alone to a far country but my coordinators Carolina and Miguel made me feel like being at home. Merida is such a beutiful city with a lot of fun and interesting places to visit. My roommate and I were to visit the cenotes and I got impress of how beautiful they are. My program was Teaching English, my placement were a elementary school called Serapio and a girls shelter called Nueva Vida. I love both places. The people from there were really nice to me it was hard to say goodbye to them. Eventhough my placements were a little far from home it was really easy to take the bus and go there. In my free time I used to go walk to el centro and visit all the stores from there. There are too many places to go and things to do. I think it is hard to get bored at Merida. I really enjoyed being there around nice people. I was there for two weeks and I will definitely come back in the future.

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About International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

IVHQ is the world’s most trusted and affordable volunteer abroad organization, offering the largest range of safe and impactful volunteer programs in 50+ destinations. Over 100,000 travelers have volunteered abroad with IVHQ over the past 12 years,...