Mexico is a real meeting-place of cultures; a modern, industrialised and well-educated country that's full of history. American, Spanish and Indian influences all come together to make it a fascinating place that mixes the developed and developing worlds: a stimulating cocktail of wealth and poverty, colour and vibrancy.
You’ll encounter mountains and volcanoes, deserts and beautiful beaches, ancient ruins and civilizations, and nearly 30 World Heritage Sites. In addition, it is one of the most diverse countries in the world in terms of biodiversity, with over 200,000 different species of flora and fauna. In summary, it’s a little slice of paradise!
This is a lively, fun-loving destination with great social scene and you’re likely to make some local friends as many young Mexicans speak great English.
Varied regional cultures of dance, art, music and lifestyle, and a remarkable diversity of landscapes, all contribute to the countries’ endless charms. It truly is the place to experience it all!
In Mexico, poor governance means that the country’s development is held back. Currently on the verge of breaking into the global economy, it is more important than ever for children (and adults) to learn basic skills and English to give them the greatest possible opportunities in the future.
The different care opportunities available all have their own characteristics and challenges. You can choose to care for children in schools, disability centres, day care centres and a rehabilitation centre for street children.
All the projects have the ultimate aim of bettering the day-to-day lives and future prospects of Mexico’s youngsters, in terms of social life and career opportunities.
Day care centres and nurseries
We need you to roll up your sleeves in Guadalajara and Cd.Guzman to help with the littlies (0-5 years)! You’ll assist the nuns and workers wherever needed to keep the children happy and entertained, all while giving them a good educational start.
Care for the disabled
Nunutzi-kie is a school for children with disabilities (0-14 years) in Guadalajara. Providing primary education for children with mental and physical disabilities is crucial to give them the best possible start to life. Your contribution truly is indispensable!
Schools for the disadvantaged
Very poor children (6-14 years) in Guadalajara, who cannot go to a regular public school, are in desperate need of your companionship and support. Staying a month or more gives you the chance to run a workshop of dance, music, sports, English etc.
Supporting street children
MAMA A.C. (4-16 years) in Guadalajara is a private and non-profit institution focused on working with street children, assisting them with their homework and getting them involved in group games.
In addition, at a rehabilitation centre for street children (boys 10-15 years) in Cd.Guzman, you are needed to aid local social workers in their aim of getting kids off the street and back into society.
Typical Tasks in Care:
Care internships in schools and day care centres generally work Monday to Friday from around 8am to 1pm with some optional afternoon activities.
School holidays include 2 weeks at Easter and Christmas and generally the first week of July to the third week of August for Summer. This will limit opportunities at these times.
Minimum number of weeks is 2.
You don’t need any previous experience to participate, but basic Spanish helps on some of the placements.
This placement is fully researched, safety audited and risk assessed in accordance with the British Standard BS8848 for the Adventure Travel Sector.
The main office is in Guadalajara where the Country Director and all members of staff base themselves.
All our staff are trained in-country to follow the best practice procedures, including monitoring, security, and emergency procedures. They are responsible for organizing the projects and accommodation to ensure everything runs smoothly.
Additionally, they’ll assist with any concerns, problems, advice, and general administration that may arise during your time away - available during the day at the office and directly contactable 24 hours a day by phone.
On arrival you will meet your project supervisor who will go through your ‘induction’, work schedule and will be your first point of contact.
Your induction will include:
Project Details: One month before you go you will be allocated your project details. These include addresses and phone numbers of your host family, project and supervisor.
Our care internships are based in either Guadalajara (population of 5 million) or in Ciudad Guzman, which is a small town just 90 minutes from Guadalajara.
Guadalajara is comparable to many large European or North American cities and is where our in-country hosts are based in a popular cultural and artistic neighbourhood, close to the city centre.
Ciudad Guzman is a much smaller, more traditional Mexican town, under the shadow of the great Colima volcano.
We will help you organise your flights out to Guadalajara (GDL), via Mexico City or US airports such as Dallas or Houston.
Arrival: Often, arrivals are at night so you’ll go straight to your host family before an induction the following day. Volunteers based in Ciudad Guzman will normally travel there the following day after spending 1 night at a host in GDL.
Departure: we provide funds for a taxi to the airport.
Please note that you will need to cover the cost of bus travel for journeys to and from work-these cost, on average, less than £1/day.
Guadalajara & Guzman
Here you’ll stay with friendly, well-established host families in a comfortable standard of accommodation. Most families speak at least basic English but a little Spanish phrase book could come in handy!
Living with a host family will enable you to really immerse yourself in the local lifestyle and community.
Moving around Guadalajara and Guzmán is safe during day with many people out and about. The safest way to get home after a night out is using the platform of UBER, but a taxi is another option.
3 meals a day will be provided.
Mexican food is always very popular with all the volunteers. Generally you’ll be indulging on:
In terms of drinking water, tap water is not okay to drink but all houses and placements have bottled water and it is sold in every grocery store.
Special diets can be accommodated – just let us know.
The local currency in Mexico is the Peso. US$1 is about 20 MXN. £1 – 25MXN
A realistic amount for exploring at the weekends (budget accommodation & public transport) and occasionally eating/drinking out during the week = about ₤50 per week, but please budget separately for adventurous activities which can be more expensive.
Mexico is a backpacker’s dream and a good bus network connects most towns in Mexico, traveller highlights and surrounding countries such as Belize, Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Panama, Costa Rica.
The climate varies throughout Mexico, with Guadalajara generally being mild and dry and Tecoman warmer.
Head off to Mexico to help with hands on conservation/care.
We have flexible departures (every Monday) for a flexible duration (min 2 weeks) making it easy for you to include an experience such as this in your gap year plans.
Whilst you will be busy during the week you will have plenty of time to explore this amazing country at the weekends.
When you arrive you will hook up with other volunteers so your social life is taken care of.
Just get in touch if you have any questions.
Over the last 12 years we've taken thousands of young people overseas to experience the trip of a lifetime.
That success has drawn industry-wide recognition. We're an accredited member of both the Year Out Group, an association designed to promote the benefits of well-structured gap year programs, and The American Gap Association.
We're big on safety too; everywhere we work is carefully researched, audited and risk assessed in accordance with the British Industry Standards for organising and managing adventurous activities outside the UK.