Projects Abroad Volunteer Programs in Mexico
94% Rating
(13 Reviews)

Projects Abroad Volunteer Programs in Mexico

Mexico is a beautiful country, and a great place to spend time on a volunteer program or internship. Mexico is a real meeting-place of cultures: a modern, industrialized and well-educated country thats full of history. Mexico is a stimulating mixture of wealth and poverty, and offers amazing opportunities for volunteers to learn and travel within its expansive borders.

Make an impact in the local communities by joining one of our Care, Teaching, Conservation & Environment, or Sports projects. You can also volunteer as an intern in General Medicine, Nursing, Dentistry, Physical Therapy, Journalism, International Development, Veterinary Medicine, Social Work or Business internships available.

Locations
North America » Mexico » Guadalajara
North America » Mexico
Length
1-2 Weeks
2-4 Weeks
1-3 Months
3-6 Months
6-12 Months
Language
English
Housing
Host Family
Starting Price
$0.00
Currency
USD
Other Locations
Tecoman, Ciudad Guzman

Questions & Answers

Program Reviews

  • Impact
    85%
  • Support
    96%
  • Fun
    86%
  • Value
    97%
  • Safety
    88%

Program Reviews (13)

Default avatar
Elaine
Female
Canada
Other

Nice volunteer with sea turtles in Cuyutlan

9/10

It was a really fun experience to volunteer in Cuyutlan, Mexico. I joined the Sea Turtle Conservation program, which aimed to take care of the sea turtles. The most interesting part was to pick up the baby turtle eggs near the sea in the morning. You can see the most beautiful view of the world near by the sea in Cuyutlan. Also, picking up the eggs, seeing the small turtles growing up and putting them back to the sea was meaningful to me. It made me feel that I did help them live. Anyways, it was a special and enjoyable experience to live and take care of the sea turtles and other animals. It was a great volunteer program to join to get close to sea turtles and know more about their behaviors or features.

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Mackenzie
Female
22 years old
Indianapolis, IN
Indiana University- Bloomington

Public Health in Guadalajara, Mexico

9/10

The focus of this alternative spring break was public health. This was the first time I would be traveling on my own to participate in a health brigade, which made me a bit nervous. PA communicated with our group prior to departure and provided basic guidelines for our trip. My trip included 6 students from around the United States traveling with local doctors to provide basic health assessments in the community. This trip was a perfect combination of tourism and volunteering, and at a great price. You can work on your Spanish and be as involved as you would like in the process! It's perfect for anyone interested in public health.

How can this program be improved?

I feel the communication prior to departure could have been better.

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Cecily
Female
21 years old
Jonesboro, Arkansas
Arkansas State University

Life-Changing

10/10

As soon as I signed up with Projects Abroad, they were available to answer all my questions.I interned in Guadalajara, Mexico in Medicine. I never felt uncomfortable. As soon as I landed, a worker picked me up to drive me to my accomodation. My host family were wonderful and I loved the neighborhood. I made friends with other volunteers. At the hospital, I was able to assist with deliveries and discovered a new love of emergency medicine. A Projects Abroad was available 24/7 for me to text or call. Considering this was my first time to travel alone, I would say this is the perfect organization to go with!

How can this program be improved?

I wish it could have been a little cheaper.

Valerie
Female
19 years old
Franklin, Tennessee
Other

The Earth We Share: Turtles and Humans

8/10

When I began the search for an abroad community service programs, I knew that I wanted a program that was flexible, safe, reliable, and beneficial. Through my research I came upon the Sea Turtle and Coastal Conservation in Mexico through Projects Abroad. In this program students would have the ability to work with the environment and directly witness their positive impact to Earth.
Directly after my flight landed, I knew that I was in good hands. The staff and counselors for Projects Abroad made it a simple and smooth transition into the Mexican culture. I began to become more aware with my surroundings and analyzed the differences and similarities.
Through what was known as “turtle camp”, my journey in Mexico evolved. From the crazy, loud, and excited reactions of participants seeing the wildlife, to the calm, peaceful, and mesmerizing moments of analyzing the scenery, the trip was best of both worlds. I had the opportunity to take an active action in the environment and help the creatures that live their life on the same planet that I do.

Default avatar
Katia
Female
18 years old
California
Other

5 Weeks in Guadalajara nursery

10/10

Previously, I had never been out of my country alone before, never been away from home longer than 2 weeks, and yet Projects Abroad made my experience the best time of my life.
Projects Abroad is an incredible, flexible program that gave me the greatest number of options despite my young age. I was looking for program that would allow me to stay for a minimum of 4 weeks, and this was one of the only organizations that had that available for teenagers. Also, after reviewing and applying for multiple other organizations, the prices were not economical and I didn't think I would be able to leave a significant impact within the limited time constraints of the project. If you are looking to make a lasting difference and want to design your own project, Projects Abroad is for you. The organization offers "High School Specials" for teenagers, however I chose to go with the standard program in order to stay for a longer duration, and because it was a better deal. If you are a high schooler applying for Projects Abroad, I would recommend applying for the standard program because it offers more flexibility and gives you a much more authentic Mexican experience.

I worked in a nursery with babies and toddlers, caring for them and feeding them breakfast and lunch, and teaching them English and Spanish. The kids were troublesome, adorable, but above all, precious, and I was a great help to the very poor nursery, as these kids are there for 9 hours a day, everyday. I brought a full suitcase of school supplies, and the kids loved and appreciated the little surprise I would bring everyday; one day, an alphabet poster, a color wheel, or an educational toy. It was pretty awesome working with the babies, too, because I got to witness some of them undergo their developmental stages in the time I spent there. Although I worked at the nursery for most of my stay, I also diverted for one week to working at a summer camp teaching English. Because Projects Abroad is so accommodating, they were able to organize this switch for me very easily. That was also so cool, as I got to be the teacher and teach all these Spanish-speakers their first words in English. If you are looking to be hands-on, this is definitely the program for you.

The staff, of course, provided 24/7 assistance, and my host family was so kind and made for a very lovely household. I bonded with volunteers from around the world, and had the freedom to explore the city and do whatever I wanted in my free time. I can honestly say that I have never had such a fun time while also giving back through community service, and it is so worth it to spend a summer or break in Mexico.

How can this program be improved?

There is some difficulty communicating with the volunteer advisor before the project, because they actually do not live in Mexico. It would be much less confusing and organized to have a staff member in the Mexico office to be the primary communicator before volunteers arrive.

Default avatar
Alec
Male
24 years old
San Diego, CA
University of Southern California

Projects Abroad is a great company and Mexico is beautiful!

10/10

When I first arrived in Guadalajara for my two month medical internship, I was immediately greeted by a member of the Projects Abroad team and taken to my accommodation. I was then shown around the city by the Projects Abroad staff and they introduced me to the people I would be working with and ensured that I knew how to get to and from my workplace without any problems.

I felt very well taken care the entire two months. The staff in Guadalajara were always there to help me if I needed it, any time of day, all days of the week. They even organized various community service projects and fun outings for the volunteers so that we could take a break from our busy schedule and get to know each other. I got the chance to release newborn sea turtles into the ocean on one of these outings.

I had a great experience in Mexico and I thank Projects Abroad for all that they did for me. This is a great company with employees who truly care about their volunteers.

How can this program be improved?

One of the hospitals I worked in had very little structure for me as a volunteer. I had no set schedule and could show up whenever I felt like showing up. I had no problem setting a schedule for myself and leaving when I had put in a full day's work, but I would have felt more comfortable having someone tell me to be here at certain times and knowing what I would be doing that day. Though I do not believe this was something that Projects Abroad had control over. This may have been an issue with the hospital not knowing what to do with a volunteer.

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Maria
Female
19 years old
United States

My Trip to Mexico

10/10

On July 5th when I stepped off of the plane after landing in Mexico, I already knew that I would have a life-changing adventure. When I got to the airport in Guadalajara, someone from Projects Abroad was there waiting to pick me up and bring me to my host family for the night. When I got to my host families house, Casa de Vaca, I met some very welcoming and kind people, Mr. and Mrs. Vaca and one of the staff members from the Turtle Camp, Flora, who I would be spending the next month with. The following morning my journey in Mexico began with an early bus ride to El Campamento Tecoman where I would be spending my trip. Towards the end of the three-hour bus ride from Guadalajara, I began to feel nervous and the amount of butterflies in my stomach grew and grew until the bus finally came to its last stop in Tecoman. From there the car ride to the turtle camp flew by, and before I knew it, I caught my first glimpse of my new home. The camp was everything I expected it to be; approximately 15 feet from where the monstrous waves crashed, simple thatched roof buildings, hammocks with tired, sun kissed volunteers distributed around the camp. However, a storm was arriving and the winds were strong. That night I watched the lightening and waves with the other volunteers I had just met and would grow to love. My first morning at the camp started at around six a.m. when I was thrown into the excitement of burying my first nest of turtle eggs. One of the main jobs at the camp is to go on nighttime patrols and collect turtle nests so that poachers and predators would not take them. We then reburied the eggs, hatched them, and then released them back into the ocean. Each day I spent at the camp was a new adventure. On my first nighttime patrol, I had the mesmerizing event of having an Olive Ridley sea turtle lay its oozing, slimy eggs into my hands. Although the eggs smelled weird and my hands were disgusting, it felt incredible being a part of such a momentous occasion in the cycle of life. When on patrol, you go with one of the Mexican staff members and ride on the quad bikes down the beach. It was fun and challenging trying to communicate with the staff members with my limited Spanish as we fought off poachers and got splashed by the waves. On some days, we went to a local crocodile farm where we mostly helped do farm maintenance and clean the crocodile cages and tanks. However, my first time to the crocodile farm, the farm had recently received three new crocodiles whose sex were unknown. They needed a brave volunteer to help to determine the sex of the crocs. As the other volunteers backed away, I was the chosen volunteer. They had to harness the crocs down and tie the legs to the crocodile’s torso. There were about six huge staff members struggling to keep the croc calm as I slowly approached the croc. It was terrifying and exciting as they talked me through what to do. On other trips to the croc farm we went on bird watches around the center of the farm on a long boardwalk. On other days we stayed at the camp and did maintenance work and bird watches. We did bird watches in the local lagoon, some in the paddleboat and some in a motorboat. The motorboat bird watches were beautiful as they started off with travelling under a canopy of trees that was almost like a mangrove until we got to a clearing full of birds and lily pads. During my first week at the turtle camp, there were around twelve volunteers including myself, and in that time we had to build a new house for the 25 two week special volunteers that would be arriving before my second week. The labor was filled with machete cutting palm trees and nailing them to the rood and putting up boards for walls. After all of the work, we would all go swimming in the ocean to cool down and drink out of fresh coconuts. By the end of the week, we managed to complete the building! We spent a lot of nights down at the little bar down the beach from the camp, about a five-minute walk. We would eat quesadillas and drink cokes and cerevezas and talk about where we were from, the memories from the day and watch the sunset as we played with the owner of the bar’s dogs. Weekends were incredible as we spent them travelling to different towns. My favorite of which was Melaque. On my first full weekend we went to Melaque, which was around an hour and a half bus ride away from Tecoman. Melaque was a smaller beach town, which was filled with tourist shops and delicious smelling restaurants. We spent the first day wandering around the shops and observing the locals before going to the beach for the rest of the afternoon. In the evenings after dinner we would play card games and hang around. The beach was much calmer than the ones at the camp, which made it safe to go night swimming under the stars. In the morning, we would have breakfast on the beach and spend the rest of the day at the beach and exploring more. When it came to the end of my four weeks at the turtle camp, I had made friends and memories that will last for a lifetime. Although its been six months since my project in Mexico, not a day goes by that I don’t miss all the people I met and the great times that I had. If you are even considering going on a project to Mexico, do it. You will not regret it.

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NurseStace
Female
32 years old
Norwich, UK
University of East Anglia

Little monkeys, mariachis, memories...and more from Mexico!

10/10

If Projects Abroad said to me 'Describe your time in Mexico in four words, they would be 'Time of my LIFE!'
I have so many fantastic memories and I could tell people about them all day, every day but for now, I’ll give you an overview of my time abroad, then hopefully you’ll pick Projects Abroad and create some fantastic memories of your own.
From the moment I'd booked my place, I knew I'd made the right choice. Jerylee, the Mexican Desk Officer at the time made me feel comfortable with how things work in Mexico and answered all of my queries straight away. The staff were all really friendly and approachable, and they were supportive through my journey with them.
I had a shared placement whilst I was in Mexico. I worked both at Casa Juan Diaz orphanage for boys, as well as the University of Guadalajara (CUCEA campus). In the three months I was working, I met the most inspirational people and had the most fun I've ever had.
At the University, I taught English for a few weeks and also ran a conversation club so the students could practice their English. We had varied topics to discuss from Mexican politics to what we're afraid of and funny topics such as most embarrassing moments…those conversations usually ended up with the whole group in hysterical uproar! I learnt a lot about Mexican views and culture and also made some fantastic friends for life.
Although my overall experience was brilliant, I think a huge part of my love for Mexico comes from the boys I worked with at the Casa Juan Diaz orphanage. I love them with all of my heart and miss seeing their little smiling faces every day. Each afternoon, I'd arrive at the orphanage and all the boys would turn around and wave excitedly shouting 'Hola Stacy'. I'd get the occasional kid who would run and jump on me to give me a kiss and cuddle. It all made the experience totally worthwhile.
There are so many times I could reminisce about. The most vivid memories I've got of the kids are their excitement over the simplest of things. As soon as I took out my camera, they all pulled their best pose and shouted 'yo yo' for me to snap a shot of them. My sunglasses or 'lentes' were a particular interest for the boys, and I have lots of great shots of them posing wearing them. We had lots of fun playing games such as volleyball, frisbee, football or basketball, and the boys found my attempts at looking good at them hilarious! As well as the fun times, I helped the boys with basic care and homework after school, although my favourite times were definitely cuddle times.
Not all times at the orphanage were happy. Hearing the kids' stories, why they were there was upsetting, but it made me love them even more and want to bring happiness to their lives. The boys are amazing. I realised it really doesn't take a lot to make them feel wanted, just a kiss and cuddle to showing that you care. It brought a smile to my face seeing them take every moment as it comes and appreciate what they do have in life.
I'll never forget 'my boys'. I felt so special when I was with them. Unreal experiences like being asked to bless one of them before he went to bed, sitting with them during mass and being given bracelets from a few of the boys (which I haven't taken off!) are cherished memories and hold a special place in my heart.

Bettzy and Martha who I worked with at the orphanage are two of the most inspirational women I have ever met. They would do absolutely everything to provide love and care to the boys. I admire their dedication to the job. They no longer work at the orphanage but Bettzy has two foster homes nearby in Sayula with even more gorgeous boys to work with.
On my last weekend in Mexico, we took 11 of the orphans to the Turtle Camp. It was incredible. It was great seeing their faces light up when they saw the turtles and realised we were by the sea, within an hour, they were all soaked and covered in sand, but it was all worth it. I had to leave a day early to catch my flight home, and it was the hardest thing saying goodbye to my friends and my little guys. They all gathered together and began singing 'Ti Quiero Stacy Ti Quiero', my eyes filled up and as I walked away, I realised 'I've made a difference to their lives'. It was an indescribable feeling.
My accommodation during my stay was with a host family who I adored. My room-mate, Sarah, and I were made to feel completely at home. Our host mum, Lety, was without doubt the best cook in Mexico. The family invited us to parties on a few occasions so we felt so welcomed and part of the family.
I made some fab friends during my time abroad, both volunteers and locals. Almost every evening I spent time getting to know everyone, going out for dinner, salsa dancing, going for street food and cookies, going to the cinema, travelling around different parts of Mexico, attending festivals and gigs…plus many more new and exciting things we came across. As a volunteer, you’re all in the same boat but it’s so much fun getting to know new people and as cheesy as it sounds, you do make friends for life.
Mexico itself was a culture shock for me, but a good one. Everyone is so friendly and welcoming, I got the odd look, but it was a look out of interest - why was I there? The cultural traditions were a pleasure to watch and participate in.salsa, tequila drinking (of course!), religion and fiestas until the early hours of the morning! It wasn't uncommon for the guys to be flirtatious, but it was all in good spirit.
The experiences and friendships I have made are so special to me. Mexico was truly life changing and I'll never forget it. I'd recommend travelling and volunteering to anyone!

How can this program be improved?

Knowing the host families and projects receive more benefits for accommodating the volunteers who go to help. They do a marvellous job!

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Katie
Female
19 years old
Belmont Massachusetts

Spanish and Turtle Conversation 2 Week High School Special

10/10

Volunteering in the Spanish and Turtle Conservation 2 Week High School Special was a one of a kind experience. From the moment that I was greeted by the Projects Abroad staff to the moment when I was dropped off at my flight, I felt completely safe and comfortable. The Projects Abroad staff on my program were friendly and very informative. They made sure that all 13 group members were taken care of and really helped enhance our experience. The turtle camp (Campamento Tecoman) is located on the west coast, right on the beach. The accommodations consist of a main building where the staff sleep, a washroom with showers and toilets, 3 bungalow like buildings where you can sleep and a kitchen. The food made delicious but if you dont like it there is always other food you can make. Along with the buildings there are also plenty of hammocks to hangout in and enjoy the scenery. Everyday we did some community service whether it be helping take bird surveys at the nearby lagoon with a staff member, going to the crocodile farm to rake leaves, volunteering washing the turtles at the turtle research center or just helping around camp in the hatchery. Every night there are patrols to collect the turtle eggs and then in the morning you bury them in the camps hatchery. Depending on when you visit the camp you may be able to release some of the hatched eggs into the ocean. In addition to these activities we also had 2 hours of Spanish lessons each day. For these lessons you are broken up into smaller groups depending on your experience with the language. These lessons really help you communicate with the locals and enhanced the overall experience when you go into town. Not to mention it also boosts your confidence and pushes you to try out new things. For our weekend trip our group traveled to Melaque where we got to experience the more urban side of Mexico as well as bond over the memories made. Never in my life would I have imagined that as a high school student I would be able to experience all that I did, let alone in the course of 2 weeks. All of the experiences, friends and memories that I made are ones that I will never forget. I highly recommend Projects Abroad to anyone who is looking for a hands on experience as well as life long friendships.

How can this program be improved?

I wish it was longer than two weeks. Only because the first week you're learning how things work and getting to know everyone.

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spencerltepe
Male
24 years old
Cincinnati, OH
Ohio State University

Dental student in Guadalajara, Mexico

8/10

My time spent in Guadalajara, Mexico was a very rewarding experience. I traveled through Projects Abroad which arranged everything for me. I arrived in the middle of March 2013 and stayed in Guadalajara on dental assignment for five weeks. My first two weeks were spent working alongside a private practice dentist. A typical day in the private practice entailed a 30 minute bus ride in the morning to the clinic, followed by an intensive 4 hour Spanish medical terminology and anatomy review. The review was interspersed with patient visits, which permitted opportunity to observe. At 2 PM or so, I would head home for lunch. Following lunch I would study dental articles and magazines to further my knowledge of the vocabulary and procedures. After my first two weeks I headed north for a long weekend in Mazatlan. I quickly made Mexican friends and was invited to stay in a friend's home not far from the beach. My time in Mazatlan was awesome. The weather was perfect, the beaches were packed and the festivities were abundant. It was impressive. The younger party goers would line the street the runs parallel to the beach and dance til sunrise. It was a beautiful sight. And, I had the opportunity to learn a dance native to Mexico. Upon my return to Guadalajara, I began working in a free hospital clinic. For me, this was much more fun. The first two weeks required a lot of personal motivation. The last two were a reward for all the hard work I had put in. The hospital clinic had 5 chairs with five to eight doctors (some of which were students). One chair was mostly dedicated to oral surgery. The others were for routine visits. The variety of cases I had the opportunity to observe was awesome. I also assisted on oral multiple oral surgeries. There was no typical day at the hospital, but this made it more enjoyable. I learned to develop and interpret x-rays as well as assist on oral surgeries. I typically spent between 4 and 5 hours at the clinic, all before lunch. The clinic was a lot of fun, but it was definitely more enjoyable because of my two week introduction to medical terminology and Mexican Spanish in general in the private practice. I wish I had been able to stay longer, but I had to return home to work. My final and fifth week, my parents came to visit. We traveled to Puerto Vallarta, an exotic beach destination, for 3 nights, took the Jose Cuervo Tequila Express Tour (highly recommend) and toured the city of Guadalajara. Had the potential to be a truly tremendous, life altering experience. I simply needed more time there.

How can this program be improved?

The program coordinator's ability to address when the best time is to visit for a particular project without reservation for fear that a potential volunteer may not volunteer his / her time at all.

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Stacy
Female
19 years old
Glasgow, Scotland
University of Glasgow

Sea Turtle Conservation in Tecoman, Mexico

10/10

Turtle Camp has the best of both worlds, the excitement of seeing the turtles and crocodiles, to complete relaxation in idyllic surroundings. Day to day, mornings start with corral. This means that the turtle eggs collected the night before are placed into nests the volunteers make in the sand to incubate them in a safe place away from poachers and predators. After this there is morning chores, just something simple to do to help keep the camp clean, such as sweeping sand. Once chores are done, there is a specific activity for the day, such as helping the locals at the lagoon build something, collecting rubbish on the beach (its harmful to the wildlife), or even going to help at the crocodile farm.

Dinner is prepared for you at around 4, this is the biggest meal of the day in Mexico. Everyone Socialises around dinner, and after washing dishes and cleaning up, everyone gets some downtime. During the day you can join the staff members going into town so you can check your emails and Facebook, or go shopping. At night there are patrols along the beach using quad bikes to search for turtle nests. The eggs are collected and brought safely back to camp. This is an all together amazing experience, if you're lucky you'll find the turtles laying the eggs. I've always found that going on patrol when its rainy and windy are the best times to find turtles. I fell in love with turtle camp, so much so I've been three times. There are too many highlights to list, such as seeing the baby turtles hatch and releasing them into the sea. It also helps that everyone bonds together, making turtle camp one big family. The staff also genuinely care about everything, so you're always in safe hands. The biggest difficulty will always be having to go home.Turtle camp is the most amazing experience of my life, and I wouldn't change a second of it. GO! I promise you won't regret it.

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StacyBarr
Female
19 years old
Scotland
University of Glasgow

Projects Abroad México

10/10

Releasing baby turtles into the pacific ocean is probably one of the greatest moments of my life. Spending the days doing hard work at the turtle camp, doing beach clean ups, birdwatching and crocodile conservation, and the nights on patrol looking for turtle nests now sounds like absolute perfection to me. I would have done this everyday for the rest of my life if I could. The staff are supportive and caring, and really do want you to have the experience of a lifetime.
I also took part in the animal care programme, helping to clean and care for animals in the city, and at the centre at Centinella. The animal centre is somewhere that I would say that the more proactive you are, the more you will get from your experience. My work there ranged from cleaning cages in the morning, feeding early afternoon (including a pelican who couldn't eat by himself) and then training the falcons in the afternoon. It was important to build a relationship with your falcon, and spend time with it everyday. The social life is great, the staff help organise things for weekdays, but your weekends could be left free for travelling, such as a trip to Puerto Vallarta.
I have returned twice already to México, and if I had my way, I would be on a plane back there tomorrow!!

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Anonomous
Female
24 years old
St. Paul, MN

Medicine in Guadalajara

8/10

This experience gave me an awesome idea of how medicine is practiced in Guadalajara, Mexico. I stayed with a warm and welcoming family who treated me well, and included me in everything! I worked in a hospital with amazing staff who took me out and showed me around. I had to be proactive to get the experience that I wanted, but the staff was available to help me plan or alter my experience in any way that I wanted!

About The Provider

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Projects Abroad is a global organization formed around the need for gap year programs abroad designed for students taking a break from studying. Since its inception, Projects Abroad has expanded to offer high school volunteer programs, and a vast variety of programs geared towards those

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