Volunteer in Mexico

Protecting the Marine Turtles in La Penita
La Peñita, Nayarit       15 projects of 2 wks from July to January

Volunteer project: The aim of this project is to protect the endangered marine turtles working in close collaboration with the local population of La Peñita Town or as they say “the place where turtles come at night”. Volunteers, along with local people and a team of professional biologists and trained staff, will develop activities to protect the turtles, and will help to ensure the survival of the turtles for the future generations.
There are five species of turtles arriving to this area: Negra (Black Turtle), Golfina (Olive Ridley Turtle), Laud (Leatherback Turtle), Carey (Hawksbill Turtle) and more! The size of the turtles varies from 1 meter to 2.4 meters long and the weight from 40 kg to 500 kg. Every turtle makes a nest of around 150 eggs.

If you love nature, enjoy spending time in an astonishingly beautiful beaches close to a nice beach town, and are willing to witness the magic that nature had made for millions of years, this project is for you!

There is a team of up to 5 experts that will be working with the volunteers in order to show them the beauty of the turtle’s life. The turtle camp has been in operation for over 25 years now.

The main work consists in patrolling the beach at night. The working hours are from 8:00pm to 8:00am, four days per week. The volunteers will be split in two teams allowing each team to have a day of work, a day off for recovery and two days off on weekends. The goal is to find the adult turtles and collect their eggs, to move the eggs to a protected place called Vivero and release newborn baby turtles into the sea when they hatch. Volunteers will also help collecting statistical data in order to learn about the evolution of the species. Activities must be carried out at night since turtles do not go out of the ocean during the day (because of natural predators, it is safer for turtles to get out of the ocean in the dark). In collaboration with local people and biologists from La Peñita, volunteers will seek for the turtles, taking care of their eggs and the baby turtles. The work place and load depend on the number of turtles that come ashore. Every day, the biologists will define which beach will be patrolled by the volunteers depending on where more turtles arrive. The group will also take part in the reconstruction of some of the most important turtle camps in the region. Locals and experts are very friendly and working with them is always fun as they explain to the team what to do.

Language: English

Leisure time: The volunteers will have free time during the day to do many fun and interesting activities and to discover many marvelous places around. The volunteers can learn to surf, go fishing, visit and help in shelters for protection of endangered species (crocodiles), visit local towns, get to know and enjoy the local culture. Rincón de Guayabitos is well connected by bus to localities and cities around.

Volunteers will have the opportunity to visit solitary beaches and towns with an extraordinary natural richness. Among those places are Flamingos, with its three beautiful lakes; Bucerias, with a long beach and cobblestone streets; La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, a picturesque fishing town; Destiladeras, a paradise for surfers. Volunteers will have the chance to visit the Islas Marietas - one of the most beautiful places on earth, take surfing classes and travel to Sayulita, a bohemian town ideal for camping. The beaches of Rincon de Guayabitos with crystal-clear waters and calm waves resemble a large swimming pool. Nearby, participants will find the pre-Hispanic sanctuary of Altavista and the semi-virgin beach named Chacala, the perfect site to be amazed by nature.

Accommodation: The volunteers will be hosted in a hotel in La Peñita de Jaltemba, in shared rooms with all facilities at disposal: private bathroom, Wi-Fi, air conditioning. They will have full access to two swimming pools and the beach. Three meals a day are provided at the hotel restaurant consisting of good typical Mexican food. Vegetarian meals are also available.

Location: La Peñita de Jaltemba is a small beach town with approximately 20,000 inhabitants, located on the Pacific coast of Mexico, in the state of Nayarit. It is the main service community for the popular beach resort area Rincón de Guayabitos. The closest city is Puerto Vallarta.

Nestled in the imposing Sierra Madre Occidental, and washed by the waters of the Pacific Ocean, Riviera Nayarit is emerging as one of the most attractive and magic destinations of Mexico. The area extends approximately 300 kilometers along the coast, backed by mountainous jungle and facing coastal islands. There is plenty of remote backcountry for those wanting to see a more rustic side of rural Mexico. Banderas Bay, on the southern section of the Riviera Nayarit, is famous for being the destination spot of thousands of humpback whales that offer an unmatched spectacle. In addition, Puerto Vallarta is famous for its long seafront walkway and its vibrant nightlife. The Huichol Indians are the most famous ethnic group within the region. They are characterized by their eye-catching clothing, hats adorned with feathers and their colorful handcrafts, such as masks and animal figurines made of beads.

Nearest airports: Puerto Vallarta International Airport Licenciado Gustavo Diaz Ordaz, Morelia International Airport, Mexico City International Airport

Age range: 18 and over

Extra fee: 310 Euro
The extra fee is intended to support the local host of the project who does not have sufficient funds. It is due upon arrival.

All available dates for this project:
July 3 - July 15, 2019
July 17 - July 29, 2019
July 31 - August 12, 2019
August 14 - August 26, 2019
August 28 - September 9, 2019
September 11 - September 23, 2019
September 25 - October 7, 2019
October 9 - October 21, 2019
October 23 - November 4, 2019
November 6 - November 18, 2019
November 20 - December 2, 2019
December 4 - December 16, 2019
December 18 - December 30, 2019
January 8 - January 20, 2020
January 22 - February 3, 2020

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Renovation of public spaces and intercultural activities in Leon
Leon, Guanajuato       July 3 - July 16, 2019

Volunteer project: The objective of this project is to help the local communities with recreational and renovation activities. The project aims to bring volunteers from different countries together with the youth of Guanajuato and create an intercultural atmosphere through collective work in order to support the sustainable development of the communities.

Volunteers will be working primarily on renovation tasks at public spaces. Some of the activities will be painting, gardening, etc. Also, they will take part in workshops and lectures with members of the community. In addition, the volunteers will be participating in intercultural projects with the residents of the community and in activities held at the local school.

Language: English

Leisure time: The city of Leon is quite close to the state capital of Guanajuato which has the same name. Travelling there is like stepping back in time; the city is remarkable and offers visitors an authentic colonial experience amidst one of the most picturesque colonial backdrops to be found anywhere in Mexico. Guanajuato is clean, tidy, and very safe. Its cobbled streets twist and turn, so just walking around is an adventure. The city’s maze-like layout often creates opportunities for serendipitous encounters, with visitors discovering things they had never planned to see, but are glad they did.

San Miguel de Allende is one of the most popular towns in Mexico both among Mexicans and foreigners. It is located 100 kms from Leon. The town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2008. It has a big expat community and for that reason its colonial center is full with restaurants and bars. Despite being a small town, San Miguel has lots to offer and discover.

Accommodation: Volunteers will be hosted in a hotel in shared rooms with all facilities at their disposal (private bathroom, hot water, internet). Vegetarian food is available.

Location: The project will be organized in Leon, Guanajuato. León is the most populous city and municipality in the Mexican state of Guanajuato. It is one of the most important centers in Mexico with numerous opportunities for entertainment, gastronomy, leisure activities, arts, and recreation. It is also considered one of the most environmentally friendly cities in Mexico and has a high number of cyclists due to the integrated network of bike lanes.

Terminal: Leon Bus Station; Leon International Airport; Mexico City International Airport;

Age range: 18 and over

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Entrepreneurship and environmental awareness workshops with children in Morelia
Morelia, Michoacan       July 3 - July 16, 2019

Volunteer project: In the state of Michoacan, the low level of education, the deficiency of environmental awareness and the lack of intercultural engagement have hindered the development of local economy. This situation affects all levels of society. For that reason, local educational institutions engage in efforts to organize activities with their students and international volunteers, to promote entrepreneurship, multiculturalism and create a global vision. They have developed a methodology which helps creating life projects for the youth. For that purpose they focus on the prevention of bullying, dropping out of school and early pregnancies. On the other hand, there are environmental problems that require immediate action such as extinction of certain species of trees and animals due to deforestation and habitat loss. These two aforementioned issues will be the main focus of the volunteer project.

Volunteers will be working together with students from the Morelia Institute of Technology. The team will organize workshops and lectures about entrepreneurship, life projects, prevention of bullying, environmental awareness and multiculturalism with children and youth from elementary and middle public schools. For two days in the beginning of the project, the volunteers will take part in a training at an ecological ranch where they will be working with children and adolescents. At the end, they will have a day for reforestation activities in an ecological reserve. The work activities are from 9am to 2pm, Monday to Friday.

Leisure activities planned for the weekends include visiting “Pueblos Magicos” (traditional ancient villages); Patzcuaro, Santa Clara del Cobre, Cuanajo; cultural tour “Purepecha” (indigenous community), visiting the villages of Quiroga, Santa Fe de la Laguna and Tzintzuntzan.

Language: English

Leisure time: In their spare time, volunteers can take a walk in downtown which has many cultural activities throughout the year and discover the variety of historic buildings and monuments. For those looking to surround themselves by natural wonders, Morelia offers many options: Patzcuaro's lake and the ancient pyramids of Tzintzuntzan, the magical towns of Cuitzeo, Patzcuaro and Santa Clara del Cobre, the islands of the Pancada, Janitzio among others that the native cultures identified as the border between worlds, and several ceremonial centers of the Mesoamerican pre-Hispanic times.

Accommodation: Volunteers will be hosted in a youth hostel in Morelia City. Vegetarian food is available.

Location: The project is organized in Morelia city, a very beautiful and dynamic place and the state capital of Michoacan. It is an increasingly popular destination, and rightly so: the colonial heart of the city is so well preserved that it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1991, and its cathedral is not just gorgeous, it’s inspirational.
Morelia, founded in 1541, was one of the first Spanish cities in Nueva España. The first viceroy, Antonio de Mendoza, named it Valladolid after the Spanish city and he encouraged Spanish nobility to move here with their families. In 1828, after Nueva España had become the Republic of Mexico, the city was renamed Morelia in honor of local hero José María Morelos y Pavón, a key figure in Mexico’s independence.

Nearest airport: Mexico City International Airport, Morelia Airport

Age range: 18 and over

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Saving the Apizaquito lagoon
Apizaco, Tlaxcala       August 7 - August 20, 2019

Volunteer project: The state of Tlaxcala is a hidden gem located just two hours car-ride from Mexico City and thirty minutes from Puebla. The project is organized in the Municipality of Apizaco. The Apizaquito Lagoon is nearby. This lake is particularly important because certain species of migrant animals lodge there. It is also the home of endemic species of fish. Unfortunately, due to climate change, certain types of plants such as the “tule” plant grow rapidly and damage the environment of the lake. In order to fight this problem, the municipality with the help of international volunteers will engage in the rescue of this body of water.

The volunteers will take part in the efforts to clean the Apizaquito lake. The activities include reforestation, preservation of flora and fauna, raising awareness in the community about the condition of the lake.

Language: English

Leisure time: During their free time, the volunteers can spend time in Tlaxcala which is the capital of the smallest state of Mexico. The state’s name is Tlaxcala as well. It has a small colonial downtown with a large student population, good restaurants and cafes with vibrant cultural life. As it is not far from the state of Mexico and Puebla, the volunteers can travel to both states by bus and discover the beautiful Mexico City and Puebla.

Accommodation: Accommodation will be provided in Apizaco. Vegetarian food is available.

Location: Apizaco, in the state of Tlaxcala

Nearest airport: Mexico City International Airport, Puebla International Airport

Age range: 18 and over

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Long-term projects in Mexico