Location
  • Mexico
    • Merida
Length
1 to 24 weeks

Program Details

Language
English
Housing
Hostel
Travel Type
Budget Family Older Travelers Solo Women

Pricing

Starting Price
320
Price Details
Fully hosted experience from only $320 for 1 week - this includes airport pick-up, orientation, accommodation, meals and 24/7 in-country support.
What's Included
Accommodation Some Activities Airport Transfers Meals
What's Not Included
Airfare Travel Insurance Visa
Jul 28, 2022
Jul 11, 2022
20 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

Trusted by 120,000+ volunteers, IVHQ offers the world's most popular volunteer programs in Mexico and 50+ other destinations around the world.

Based in the vibrant city of Mérida on Mexico’s Caribbean Coast, volunteers can choose from 5 meaningful programs starting at just US$320 for one week. When you're not giving back to the local community, you can immerse yourself in Mexico’s unique culture and join exhilarating tours for periods ranging from 1 to 24 weeks.

Your fully-hosted experience includes airport pick-up, orientation, accommodation, meals and 24/7 in-country support. You’ll be accommodated in a dormitory-style 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, so even before you depart, you’ll receive outstanding service from your IVHQ Program Manager and gain exclusive access to volunteer training and preparation tools.

Video and Photos

Program Highlights

  • IVHQ’s Mexico programs are available year-round, starting the first and third Monday of every month
  • Fully-hosted volunteer experience from only $320 for 1 week - IVHQ provides the most affordable and top-rated programs
  • You’ll be joining a global network of 120,000+ volunteers backed by the world’s leading team of volunteer travel experts with an outstanding safety system and track record
  • Support impact-driven volunteer projects run by locals within your host community
  • Flexible booking and free changes so you can register with confidence

Popular Programs

Childcare in Mexico

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

Sustainable Agriculture in Mexico

As a Sustainable Agriculture volunteer, you'll work alongside local farmers and assist in implementing progressive farming practices to help combat the challenges of growing environmental pressures.

 Special Needs Care in Mexico

As a Special Needs Care volunteer, you’ll assist local staff in a residence for those with special needs and provide physical, mental and therapeutic care. Day to day activities include helping with therapy or arts and crafts, preparing food, serving meals and cleaning.

Teaching English in Mexico

As an English Teacher in Mexico, you'll be placed in schools, community centers and childcare facilities. You can expect to volunteer for three to four hours per day either shadowing local teachers or leading classes yourself. To make sure you have the best impact possible, you are required to speak Spanish at an intermediate level.

Program Reviews

9.17 Rating
based on 65 reviews
  • 9-10 rating 80%
  • 7-8 rating 20%
  • 5-6 rating 0%
  • 3-4 rating 0%
  • 1-2 rating 0%
  • Impact 8.8
  • Support 9.2
  • Fun 9.2
  • Value 8.9
  • Safety 9.7
Showing 1 - 8 of 65 reviews
Default avatar
Sohela
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Volunteering in Mexico

I chose to volunteer with IVHQ for a week in Merida and chose the child care program. This was my first time with IVHQ. I found the process of signing up very easy and user-friendly. IVHQ was very responsive and even called me to chat. The IVHQ placement options are enormous across the entire world and it is the most affordable volunteer organization I have found. Once registration was complete, the program review was really easy to follow and full of a lot of important details. They even offer flight booking help, travel insurance links, and your travel country of choice's visa requirements. The local contact in Merida was very responsive by text before my arrival. I was given the choice to be picked up at the airport which went as planned. I chose to stay at the Volunteer Inn (instead of a host family), which was clean and my room was comfortable. We were provided one day of orientation that covered a lot of details, including a trip into the town center, with historical sightseeing. My assignment in child care was well organized, although we had to use our imagination to work with the children. I wanted to do a geography lesson and needed a round ball to draw the continents. I did not have a ball handy so I used a coconut I found in the street. I had the children paint it blue and I traced the continents to teach about other countries in relation to Merida and Mexico. I met a nice group of like-minded volunteers, which was a lot of fun.

Pros
  • Made an impact in some children's lives
  • Well organized program
  • Great local support
Cons
  • Very hot and humid in July
10 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Al
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Melipona Bee project, Merida, Mexico

I volunteered for a month on this project, based in Merida Mexico. The volunteering was interesting, varied and fulfilling and the people running the placement were friendly and welcoming. The living accommodation was comfortable and spacious, and Oscar, the IVHQ project leader lived on site and was especially helpful and engaged. I supplemented the volunteering with Spanish lessons at the attached school which really enhanced my experience.I've done quite a lot of overseas volunteering and I found IVHQ professional and helpful in their communications

Pros
  • Interesting worthwhile conservation work
  • very supportive staff
  • Great food
Cons
  • Slightly chaotic living situation - food, cleaning not always super organised
  • Volunteer obsession with mobile phones and social media - lack of group interaction
15 people found this review helpful.
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.
41 people found this review helpful.
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!
37 people found this review helpful.
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!
40 people found this review helpful.
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...
34 people found this review helpful.
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!
35 people found this review helpful.
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.
36 people found this review helpful.
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.

Questions & Answers