IVHQ: Volunteer in Mexico from $270 - Most Trusted

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
Host family making dinner
Host family making dinner
Tamales
Tamales
Ek-balam archeological aite
Ek-balam archeological aite

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 63 reviews
  • Impact 8.7
  • Support 9.2
  • Fun 9.2
  • Value 8.9
  • Safety 9.7
Showing 16 - 30 of 63
Default avatar
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.

Default avatar
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 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.

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

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.

Jesse
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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.

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Dee
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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.

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

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!

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Laura
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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!

What would you improve about this program?
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.

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Barbara
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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.

What would you improve about this program?
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.

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Janelle
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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.

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

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!

What would you improve about this program?
This program can be improved by having the local staff act a little bit more professionally.
Default avatar
Bradley
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

CRIA

My daughter and I served in Merida for one short week. She at CRIT and I CRIA, where we (I was with two other young men) played, socialized, and kind of mentored young men, mostly teens, who have been removed from their families for various reasons. The boys were full of energy. Just like everyone, they just want some fun and happiness in their lives. I found them to be hard working, respectful, and kind.
The only thing I would do differently is prepare better for the weather and mosquitoes and volunteer for two weeks. We arrived on Sunday evening and left Saturday afternoon, so we weren’t able to visit any sites. Straddling a weekend would be advised. Or at least extend your stay. We also did a homestay, which was fabulous. But I think there is something to be gained in staying at the volunteer inn. All in all, this was a great experience for both myself and my daughter, who is already thinking of other volunteer opportunities and wants to improve upon her Spanish!

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Ana
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Volunteering in Mérida, México

I volunteered at an animal shelter in Mérida, México, for 4 weeks. I chose México for its culture and delicious food and I wanted to stay for the people I met and the animals at the shelter.

As a volunteer I worked cleaning the dogs and cats cages, feeding them, brushing them, walking them and also just playing and cuddling with them. That was a very important part of the job because the goal is to get those animals adopted and so they need to get used to human touch.
The shelter is only a 15 min walk from the volunteer house, which is a big plus!

I decided to stay for 1 week at the volunteer house, which was very fun and comfortable (it also has a pool!!), the food was great and I liked spending time with the other volunteers. The rest of my time in Mérida I spent it with a host family. This is something I recommend to everyone because in my opinion it gives you the full experience, especially if you want to improve your Spanish skills. During my time at the homestay I didn't feel isolated or far away from the other volunteers, on the contrary, I saw them all the time and we hung out together, took trips together, etc.

I chose IVHQ because it was important for me to feel safe and supported during my stay and this is something that really was true, there was always 24/7 someone I could talk to or contact in case of trouble. Also, I feel like Mérida is a great choice because I always felt very safe no matter what time of the day, the people were friendly and helpful and it's very easy and cheap to move around. You must be prepared for the heat, though :)

For those who are still not sure, I would just tell you to take the plunge and do it :)

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Amanda
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Making a Difference in Animal Care

I worked in the Animal Care program with several other volunteers at two animal shelters in Merida, Mexico. In both cases, I felt like I was making a difference in the lives of dogs and cats. One of my favorite memories was how grateful the permanent workers and local volunteers were for our work and support. It was incredibly rewarding to help them and support their programs. IVHQ staff were incredibly supportive before I left for my volunteer placement. They answered all of my questions quickly and the orientation process was fun, interactive, and easy to follow. Mexico was my first volunteer abroad experience deeply affected me and has increased my commitment to promoting the proper care and treatment of cats and dogs.

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Petya
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Fun and safe

I had the pleasure to volunteer with my teen for a week during school spring break. We had great time in Merida.Placement was situated on a quite street. Location was very safe. Property was kept locked all the time. We were provided with keys upon arrival. Adjacent to the placement were snack shop selling water(1.5 liters for 11 pesos) and laundry. Staff was very knowledgeable, friendly and made us feel at home.We participate in a childcare project.Project was meaningful, children were eager to learn, other volunteers were very responsible.

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Petya, We love that your family chose to spend spring break giving back. It's great to hear you found meaning in your project and enjoyed the location of the Merida Program. Thanks again for your great review and we hope you will join us again in the future! ^Andrea - IVHQ Mexico Program Manager

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Isabelle
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

1 week full of fun!

It was an excellent week - we got to visit Mérida and its surrounding while participating in a great volunteer placement at a boys shelter! We felt very welcome in our host family and would recommend it to any future students going abroad! The rich experience of living with a host family is irreplaceable! We enjoyed the orientation day on the first day - the staff brought us sightseeing to the main places downtown and took the time to explain the city. One of our favorite moment is the celebration of the Posada at our volunteer placement! If you are looking for a week full of fun - this is the place!

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Isabelle, Thanks for your glowing review. We're glad you agree that the host family experience is like no other. Mexico is steeped in history and traditions and was thrilled to hear you enjoyed the delights of the city. Thanks again for the recommendation and we hope you join us again! ^Andrea - IVHQ Mexico Program Manager