Several projects are available throughout Mexico mainly working in the poorer rural communities often with native Indian peoples. The following is a sample of projects available. Our goal is to match the skills and expectations of the participants with the needs of the local projects. Our volunteer coordinator in the field will suggest a project for you once they have your application. They are well placed to match your skills and interests to the right placements.
NEW Healing with Horses project available near Queretaro city.
This project sponsors horse therapy for children whith special needs who come from disadvantaged backgrounds. The project is looking for volunteers to support the expanision of this service. Volunteers help with stable chores such as horse grooming, horse exercising, feeding animals, assisting with vet checks and supporting the riding classes. Depending on the demand of the therapy sessions, volunteers might help with them also. Volunteers do not need previous experience with horses or horse therapy, but they need to love working with animals and children. A good knowledge of Spanish is a plus, but basic Spanish will be accepted.
Project working with children with special needs
Volunteers on this placement share their time between two projects that support children from disadvantaged backgrounds with Down Syndrome, Autism, impaired hearing among other conditions. The first project is a mixed school open during week days where teachers and therapists need help with physical activities, art and body expression, early stimulation classes and during lunch time. Help is also needed in maintenace of the garden, painting walls and cleaning the workshop areas. The second project is a permanent house for boys with special needs. Volunteers help by assisting teachers in classes, organising activities in drama, art and creative workshops and general assistance with the boys.
Barra de PotosiEILCorkMexico
Charmed Kids of Barra de Potosi in Guerrero
Barra de Potosí is a small fishing village located on the Pacific Coast of Mexico, in the State of Guerrero, 25 minutes away from the Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo beach resort. Like any other small community on the edge of big tourist resorts, Barra de Potosi is in danger of losing its traditional identity as outside investors and developers seek to exploit its location and facilities. Now local residents are coming together to try and protect and preserve the values and traditions of their community.
Niños Encantados de la Barra de Potosi's main goal is to provide opportunities for the children of the village. However it also raises an awareness and pride in the traditions and folklore of the community. Children go there to do their homework and art and drama activities and various workshops also take place from time to time.
Highly motivated volunteers with initiative are required to take over different tasks, from office work to homework guidance, coordination of art, language or music workshops, sport activities or reading circles. The project has few resources and facilities and volunteers who are resourceful, flexible and willing to improvise and introduce new activities are especially welcome.
This project requires volunteers all year around. Volunteers are welcome for 8 weeks up to 6 months.
Nikki in Mexico with a new friendNikki ChathamDublinMexico
Community Development: Fundacion Kinich
Based in San Jacínto Amilpas, 30 mins from Oaxaca City, this project offers a safe place for children of different backgrounds and their parents to develop different skills. Volunteers work mostly in the afternoon on activities such as:
- supporting children to do their homework
- supporting the learning of English and extra Maths classes
- organising campaigns to raise awraeness of issues such as the importance of the environment, health and nutrition, neighbourhood safety
- organising workshops on handcrafts.
A good knowledge of Spanish is a plus but basic Spanish is accepted.
Eco-tourism: La Ventanilla, in Oaxaca
This co-operative project in the beach village of La Ventanilla in Oaxaca State was set up to stop the killing and selling of turtles and their eggs and has grown in to a sustainable development project which generates alternative sources of income for the local people. It is located in a small beach village in a large mangrove zone just 60 minutes away from Huatulco and Puerto Escondido beach resorts. Twenty five families living in the village are actively involved in the co-operative which has among its goals to rescue the natural habitat of hundreds of species of birds and reptiles and the promotion of eco-tourism.
The co-operative started operating tours along the mangrove swamp and offering horseback riding tours to generate an extra income. They have also established a tree nursery housing 70,000 plants of mangle and other local varieties, a crocodile farm and nurseries for turtles and iguanas.
This project requires volunteers all year around for periods of 4 weeks up to 6 months.
Volunteer activities might include cleaning and preparation of the eco-friendly tourist cabins, to assist in the community owned restaurant "El maíz azul" ("The blue corn"), helping in the rehabilitation of confiscated animals and the release of newly-hatched turtles into the ocean. Between August and October, for example, volunteers could take part in night patrol canoe trips to find turtle's nests, to collect and record eggs, and to bring them to the nursery. Participants will also help in the organisation and development of workshops to recycle paper, aluminium, plastic and coconut fibre; as well as in the daily cleaning of the beach, the dock and the island; and in the planting and harvesting of ornamental and fruit trees.
Muriel Mexico CityEILCorkMexico
Human Rights: Mexico City
A number of organisations and not-for-profits require support from Spanish speaking volunteers in Mexico City. The tasks and responsibilities on this placement depend on the length of stay, the language skills of the candidate and the availability of work from the organisations. Volunteers will need to take public transport to these projects at a cost of €15 per week. (Cost for transport is not covered in the programme).
Examples of the type of work volunteers engage in are as follows:
Office based work - Refugee Centre: Volunteers are asked to help in the mornings doing research on immigration topics, translations of publications, filing and formatting. During the evenings, they might support activities at the "House of Refugees" where cooperatives of women gather to share experiences and exchange skills.
Supporting Young People: This organisation was born from the desire of a group of young people to empower other young people through developing projects and initiatives to increase knowledge of important social issues. Awareness campaigns on issues such as gender equality, HIV, bullying and drug awareness are held. Volunteers in this organisation help mainly by doing research on projects, taking part in some action workshops, help with design of campaign material and generate ideas for new campaigns.