IVHQ: Volunteer in Mexico from $270 - Most Trusted

COVID-19 Program Updates

Due to global health & safety concerns and travel restrictions related to the coronavirus, International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ has decided to offer flexible booking options for some of their upcoming programs. Learn more about COVID-19 updates to stay tuned regarding program information.

Video and Photos

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

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.

Get Your Free Virtual Volunteering Course

Register in July 2020 for any IVHQ volunteer program and get a free online course in International Volunteering from the Global Travel Academy!

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

9.16 Rating
based on 63 reviews
  • Impact 8.7
  • Support 9.2
  • Fun 9.2
  • Value 8.9
  • Safety 9.7
Showing 1 - 8 of 63
Default avatar
Caroline
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A Month in Mérida

I spent the month of June doing IVHQ's Teaching English Project and living in the volunteer house; it was definitely a month I'll never forget. Even without AC in 100 degree weather, the volunteer house was a fun place to be, and there was always something to do or people to hang out with.

Over the month I was there, a group of 4-5 of us would head to our elementary school placement before 7 a.m. For the teaching English program, I would recommend going for at least 2-3 weeks, to really get to know the kids and the school. Sometimes we would assist the teacher, and others we were on our own.

I got pretty sick while in Mexico, and had to go to a couple doctors and specialists, but the staff made sure I always had someone there with me, which was so appreciated!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Go for at least two weeks, and more if possible! Spend time in town, even though the bus ride from the volunteer house to the center can feel long and uncomfortable, just embrace the experience of being thigh to thigh and covered in sweat with strangers.
Default avatar
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
Default avatar
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!
Default avatar
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...
Default avatar
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

Default avatar
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.