Learn Spanish & work with local community in Merida

Video and Photos

Volunteer with children
Volunteer with children
Rehabilitation services in the local community. With permission of Aca de Noe.
Rehabilitation services in the local community. With permission of Aca de Noe.
Work with young people. With kind permission of El Hogar de Loreto.
Work with young people. With kind permission of El Hogar de Loreto.
Art project
Art project
Lunch time!
Lunch time!
Archaeological Zones
Archaeological Zones
Helping rescued street dogs
Helping rescued street dogs
Shopping for supplies for a variety of shelters. With kind permission of YGO
Shopping for supplies for a variety of shelters. With kind permission of YGO

About

Looking for a way to travel and make a positive change in a community? Our volunteering opportunities plus optional Spanish language courses are the perfect choice.
Our focus is helping travellers support meaningful changes in whatever organization they volunteer in, be it within a community, with animals or in an environmental setting.
We ensure that the organizations we work with are well established in the local community and that the work they do has a positive impact.
Our program ensures that part of your application fee goes directly to the organization in which you choose to donate your time. This donation makes a huge difference to the lives of the people of Merida and helps organizations to continue with their work.

Highlights
  • Want to work with young people? Consider volunteering in one of our homes for vulnerable people here in the city of Merida.
  • Fancy looking after rescued animals and preparing them for adoption? Have a look at our animal based options.
  • Concerned about the environment? Find out about our sustainability work.
  • Want to help the local community? Volunteer in a charity shop and foodbank which supports shelters across the state.

Impact

No matter which project you choose we know you will enjoy yourself and leave Mexico feeling fulfilled. We believe that travelling is an amazing way to learn more, not only about the world but also about yourself as a person whilst leaving behind a positive stamp on the area in which you volunteer.

“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”
Winston Churchill

Receive a 20% discount on our programmes when booking directly from our website!

Book your Spanish immersion + culture programme or your volunteer progamme directly on our website and receive a 20% discount.

Questions & Answers

Reviews

96%
based on 8 reviews
  • Impact 9.4
  • Support 9.6
  • Fun 9.5
  • Value 9.3
  • Safety 9.9
Showing 1 - 8 of 8
Default avatar
Elvan
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Rewarding experience in a beautiful city

Volunteering with the local community was great fun and I really felt like I had the opportunity to immerse myself in local culture and really get to know the community. Everyone was very kind and welcoming (and very patient with my attempts to become fluent in Spanish!!) - the language classes really helped me too!
Merida is a beautiful place to visit, and there are also amazing places in the local area too, including Chichen Itza (an incredible Mayan ruin). I highly recommend finding time to visit a local hacienda and one of the many beautiful cenotes too. There is lots to see and do all around Merida!
If you are looking for an opportunity to develop your skills, get to know Mexican communities and see some beautiful sights I highly recommend this programme!!

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
Seeing a beautiful cenote - an oasis of calm in the middle of a tiny village
Default avatar
Alfie
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Puppy Pals

I absolutely adore dogs and only wish I were in the position to be a doggy parent myself, so when I saw the opportunity to volunteer in a dog's home AND learn Spanish (which I hadn't learnt since highschool) AND stay in an absolutely beautiful part of the world I knew it was the perfect program for me. The Spanish lessons were excellent, it was great to be able to learn not only the language but so much of the local dialect too. But the best part was by far working with my gorgeous puppy pals. I only wish I could've taken them all home with me. I fell in love with each and every four legged friend and it felt amazing to see the difference we were making in their lives and the difference they made in mine! What a great way to experience a new country, not just as a tourist but as someone making a difference in the community.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Sun cream and LOTS of it. Factor 30 won't do! It's a stunning place but golly the sun isn't messing!
Default avatar
Bella
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Great experience

I had a fantastic time, I really enjoyed the experience and I would definitely do it again. It was a great team to work with, everything was very smooth and easy and any issue was sorted before it even really became an issue. It's a beautiful part of the world to visit and great to feel like we're giving back to the community rather than just there as a tourist. We had plenty of opportunities to visit the local areas and communities, the cenotes are stunning and the beaches are gorgeous. The Spanish course was fabulous and my Spanish improved so much and it was brilliant to be able to practice what I'd learnt on the people we worked with in the program, (even if they didn't understand me, they were too polite to say differently!) All around an excellent program.

What was the most unfamiliar thing you ate?
The most unfamiliar thing I ate was cricket quesadillas! Crunchy and salty but surprisingly yummy 😊
Default avatar
Paulina
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A home for street dogs

I spent my volunteering project helping look after the street dogs which a local charity supports. They vacciante them, feed them properly and help them to get used to humans again if they've been mistreated. They are eventually adopted once they are back to full health.
It was really fun playing with the dogs and helping feed them and wash them and things like that. Cleaning outside in the sun was hard work though.
The people who run the centre were really kind to me and my Spanish improved as they didnt speak English!
I really liked Merida, there are loads of cafes and resturants and some cool museums too, the Mundo Maya museum was really interesting and I learnt about the history of the indigenous people from this area and how they lived in the past and today.
My classes were good too and the school is comfortable and well equipped :-)

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
I would probably stay a bit longer so I could see the impact of my volunteering a bit more.
Default avatar
John
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Beach clean up project

I spent 4 weeks in Merida volunteering on an environmental project. We helped a local charity to clean up the beaches close to the city. Sometimes we went in kayaks around the mangroves and other times we walked along the beach. The scenery is really impressive and it was good to see the before and after! We started early as it gets really really hot!
I got to practice my Spanish with the local people and the organisers but there were also a couple of bilingual people too.
I had Spanish classes which were included as well and I liked that the teacher only used Spanish, it was difficult but it helped me learn and made me listen carefully! I was also lucky in a way as my homestay family didn't speak any English so I was forced to practice every day!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Research the project options for volunteering carefully and ask questions so you know what to expect. If you are really clear about it before you go I think it helps you have a better time.
Default avatar
Laura
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

community volunteering in Merida

I had a great experience with my volunteering and my Spanish classes. Having Spanish every day was good practice for me and my speaking improved so much during my stay- especially as I lived with a local family who spoke very little English.
I felt like I knew what to expect as the team were in contact all the time in the build up and then we had orientation when we arrived.
My volunteering was really cool and I was able to get to know the young people quite well as I went for 4 hours a day Monday to Friday. I did feel like I was making a difference as the place doesn't get much support and they don't do many activities. So they enjoyed the crafts we organised and the English classes we did too.
I really liked Merida as a city as there is loads to do and the people are very welcoming :-)

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
I was really surprised the first time I saw an iguana just walking along the road! I soon got used to it but it was quite a shock to see them so casually wandering around!
Default avatar
Amy
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

This is a place you will not regret visiting!

Washington House is a great environment to learn. The facilities are bright and very welcoming just like the staff who are so warm and always willing to give advice. Each class is a different topic and we focus on different skills. The best thing about Washington House is the teachers who not only teach the language but also imparts typical slang words and Mexican culture. I have enjoyed my time at the school and I now feel more confident when talking to people in Spanish.

The school is easy to get to from all parts of the city. Merida is a fabulous city for groups, couples, families or solo travellers. There are cultural events every night, a thriving nightlife, food markets, artisan shops and it's so close to the beach. Not to forget Merida is so close to Chichen Itza, one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, an important archaeological site built by the Mayans, which is about a two hour bus journey away. The locals are so welcoming and generous! This is a place you will not regret visiting.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
The best advice I can offer is to come with a camera and sun cream. Depending on the time of year it can be quite hot here.
Default avatar
Joe
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Fantastic experience

I have really enjoyed my time learning Spanish here. I have gone from zero Spanish knowledge to feeling confident when out and about more quickly than I had hoped. I can now have conversations, do all the basics confidently and feel that I have a good platform to continue my learning and hopefully one day achieving fluency.

The staff are friendly and helpful and the school itself is shiny and new. It’s in a nice part of town and is easy to get to from all parts of the city. Merida itself is fantastic. There are cultural events every week and food galore. Plus the added bonuses of beaches and cenotes to cool off and you have an excellent place to study. Also, if you like art/theatre/music then Merida is a fantastic place to be.

Highly recommended.

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
Just how nice and welcoming both the city and the people are in the Yucatan. It’s brilliant.