IVHQ: Volunteer in Mexico from $270 - Most Trusted

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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.

As an IVHQ volunteer in Mexico, you can choose to volunteer in Merida, the cultural capital of the Yucatan, or in the popular coastal location of San Pancho. Your Program Fee includes airport pick-up, orientation, accommodation, meals and 24/7 in-country support. You’ll be accommodated in a volunteer house with other like-minded, impact-focused travelers from around the world. IVHQ is trusted to support the meaningful adventures of thousands of volunteers every year, so before you even depart for Mexico, you’ll receive outstanding personalized service from your expert Volunteer Program Manager and exclusive access to superior pre-departure volunteer training.

IVHQ Volunteer Projects in Mexico:

  • Teaching English (Merida)
  • Childcare (Merida)
  • Special Needs Care (Merida)
  • Animal Care/Animal Rights (Merida)
  • Maya Agriculture (Merida)
  • Childcare and Education (San Pancho)
  • Environmental Education and Upcycling (San Pancho)
  • Art and Community Outreach (San Pancho)
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.

Questions & Answers

Reviews

91%
based on 53 reviews
  • Impact 8.8
  • Support 9.1
  • Fun 9.2
  • Value 8.9
  • Safety 9.6
Showing 1 - 15 of 53
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Isabella
10/10

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!

Yes, I recommend this program
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Cindy
10/10

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.

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Hannah
10/10

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!

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Katlyn
9/10

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.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Joe
10/10

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.

How can this program be improved?
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.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Leslie
10/10

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.

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Leslie
10/10

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 for 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.

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Leslie, Thanks for your lovely review. It sounds like you had an awesome time getting to know the locals and exploring Merida! We look forward to having you volunteer again soon!
Clover - IVHQ Program Manager.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Ania
10/10

A wonderful time in Merida

I spent in Merida 5 amazing weeks and loved every single day here. The city is amazing, many things to do in your free time and it's very cheap. Also travelling through Yucatan is very easy, no need to take overpriced guide tours. My roommate and me travelled around every 3 days, just by taking local buses. I was a little bit concerned about my safety before arriving but Merida surprised me so much. Not even once I felt insecure, people were beyond friendly and helpful. No issues in this aspect at all.
The program itself was better than I expected. I was teaching English in primary school and twice a week I had English classes in shelter for girls. Both placements gave me so much joy and fulfilled all my expectations. The kids were amazing and school's stuff just lovely, always very helpful for volunteers. It was really hard to say goodbye.
Carolina and Miguel, our coordinators were always there to support us, helping with the doctor, finding bus connections, taking out, informing about all the activities and just be there available whenever we needed. House was a little far from my placement but the bus connections were fine.
Thank you Merida team for everything :)

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Ania, Thank you for taking the time to share such a lovely review of your time on the IVHQ Mexico - Merida program. It's wonderful to hear that you bonded so well with the local team and community. We would love to have you join us again soon! Charlotte - IVHQ Program Manager.

Yes, I recommend this program
Jesse
10/10

Amazing time!

I had a great time volunteering in Merida. I was placed in a hospital for kids with special needs and loved it, easy to get to and a great staff team. Carolina and Miguel made my stay very comfortable (taking me to the doctors many times and helping whenever I needed it). The team was great as showing us how to get around and things to do in spare time. Merida was a very safe place and I enjoyed exploring.
I would highly recommend volunteering here!

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hey Jesse, thanks for your review and for volunteering with IVHQ in Merida! It's great to hear that you loved your volunteering placement and felt well-supported by the local team. We look forward to having you join us again in the future! Charlotte - IVHQ Program Manager.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Dee
10/10

Wonderful Experience!

Such an amazing experience, I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it and do not want to leave! The staff really helped make the experience great, the program co-ordinators were extremely helpful and so kind and truly tried to help make your stay as fun and comfortable as possible. I volunteered at AFAD the animal shelter which was very enjoyable and fell in love with all the animals! I also volunteered at children’s hospital CRIT which is such an amazing organization and the children were all so wonderful! The house was great and I met lots of wonderful people from all over the world. Mérida is beautiful, so much to do and is not very expensive. There is also lots of free time after placement and on weekends to go on tours and trips which were all excellent. The local people are also very friendly. Overall it was an amazing experience and I am so glad that I did it and would recommend anyone to come to Mérida to volunteer!!

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Dee, thanks for the lovely review! It's awesome to hear that you enjoyed working with the animals in Merida and meeting the other volunteers from all over the world. Thanks for being an IVHQer! Charlotte - IVHQ Program Manager.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Dee
10/10

Great experience

A really good experience and would highly recommend anyone considering it to go! A really beautiful place with lots to do and in close proximity to many different tours and amenities. The staff were amazing and were extremely helpful and friendly. I volunteered for 4 weeks at the animal shelter AFAD and for 2 weeks at a children’s hospital called CRIT. I really enjoyed both placements and loved every minute of my time in each placement. The volunteer house is great and you get a chance to meet lots of people from all over the world and make friends. An overall amazing experience and I would love to come back again!

Yes, I recommend this program
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Laura
8/10

Really nice experience !

I stayed in Merida for 4 weeks with IVHQ doing the childcare volunteer program and really had a great experience with the children ! I had originally applied for the mayan agriculture project and was told only a few days before it started that I would not be able to do it because the project was not available anymore. Instead of that, I worked for a similar but not really well organised agriculture project in the south of Merida, where I wasn't really stimulated by my tasks. One minus point for that IVHQ. But thanks to the amazing support of the local staff, I was able able to change placement quite quickly ! The daycare was a really nice experience since the Mexican children are adorable and welcoming! Though, if I should give one advice, if you are volunteering abroad, don't expect to be told what you are supposed to do and just take initiatives and responsabilities ! Don't be afraid to talk to the local people (even if you don't speak their language) and make the most of your time with them!
Since the volunteers have all the afternoons off, we had the opportunity to discover amazing places in the region. The IVHQ staff was really supportive and gave us the best sightseeing tips !
Overall, it was a great experience even though not at all what I had expected. IVHQ is full of surprises!

How can this program be improved?
Hot water would be great. Allow moderate alcohol ? (a nice beer in the evening with the feet in the pool!)
A better description of the placement and the accommodation on the website, especially the time it takes to get to the placements.
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Laura, thanks for sharing a reflection on your time in Mexico. We are sorry about the changes to your planned placement, however it's great to hear that you were able to still have a positive experience and enjoyed your time working with the children in Merida! Thanks for being an awesome volunteer! Charlotte - IVHQ Program Manager.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Barbara
8/10

Volunteering in Mérida

I am in Mérida with IVHQ for two weeks. So far i had a really good time. I like the mix of work and free time to go on excursions. Theres so much to see here, its incredible. We get all the information we need and learn a lot of things. The best is that you really dont feel like a tourist here. You live, eat, go to work and take the bus like locals. Living with other volunteers can be challenging (im used to live alone), but they are so nice and you can find friends.

How can this program be improved?
Some more information before arrival (aboute the placement), so that you can prepare.
Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hey Barbara, thanks for the lovely review - it's awesome to hear that you enjoyed living like a local and volunteering in Merida! We can’t wait to have you back! Charlotte - IVHQ Program Manager.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Janelle
10/10

Great placement

Staff is wonderful and my placement was beyond spectacular!!! I truly loved the children I worked with and will miss them dearly. While Merida was wonderful they made my experience! The city of Merida is safe and beautiful. Weekend trips are great and if you need a beach Progresso is near. Shopping is everywhere and if you enjoy movies plenty are to be seen with the variety of movie theaters at your finger tips! You will never go hungry with restaurants near! Cenotes are a must and second to best after my fabulous children!!!!

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hey Janelle, thanks for sharing about your incredible experience volunteering in Mexico and for the helpful tourism tips! It sounds like you had quite the adventure and we can’t wait to have you join us again! Charlotte - IVHQ Program Manager.

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Jillian
9/10

My Experience in Merida, Yucatan.

My trip to Mexico was an incredible experience for the most part! I had an amazing time teaching English to the wonderful students at Serapio Baquiero Preve. I met some amazing people in my volunteer house who I became close friends and had a lot of fun with. The schedule was intense but I learned to go with the flow and find ways to make the most out of my time there. There were absolutely some challenges along the way. Running on a lack of sleep was something that I struggled with throughout the trip, but I was able to deal with it more effectively as time went on. The volunteers working at my placement were the ones that had to get up the earliest, since the classes at the elementary school sometimes started as early as 7:20, and we had to be up quite early in order to catch the bus there. But the flipside of their early start time was that their English classes for the day always ended around noon, so we would have the rest of the day to do whatever we wanted and enjoy ourselves. I had a great time exploring the Mayan ruins, going to cenotes, beaches, malls, and clubs with my friends, and just relaxing at the volunteer house and hitting up the gym that I found nearby. The students were all very bright and incredibly sweet. They had an insane amount of energy and it was often hard to get them to focus on the material we were trying to teach them - especially the younger ones - but they were all very clearly grateful for our presence there, and shared an infectious energy and enthusiasm. It was a more smooth process teaching English and playing games with the older kids, who understood the language a little bit better and were more calm and engaged with the material. The littler kids, even though a lot of them didn't understand what we were trying to teach, were all very sweet and thrilled to talk to us in Spanish and in the little English that they did understand. I can't overstate what good kids they were. All of them were so, so sweet. A lot of them were rowdy, but none of them were punky or mean kids. There was not a bad one in the bunch. Overall, I had a great time (even though I was exhausted for most of it!). It's an experience I'll never forget, and I'd love to volunteer abroad more in the future. As far as being ready, I would just advise future participants to be mindful of the amount of sleep they might be getting during their time abroad, and to be mindful of the heat and how that can really suck the energy out of you. Otherwise, just do the training, bring some bug spray (and VapoRub for mosquito bites! It helps the itching!), and you'll be good to go!

How can this program be improved?
This program can be improved by having the local staff act a little bit more professionally.
Yes, I recommend this program

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