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!
A rare and incredible opportunity to work directly with sea turtles, helping to protect their nests and eggs, and directly contributing to the protection of these increasingly endangered creatures-all while living near the beach and enjoying all that the Magical Mexico has to offer.
Moreover, you can work closely with crocodiles and iguanas, and take part in ongoing and important biodiversity studies in nearby lagoons and estuaries. The data gathered is used by researchers across the Americas.
As a taster, you will:
Please note that there is a risk of not seeing any turtles on just a 2 week project between Dec and April.
Crocs and iguanas
Once a week you’ll visit La Colorado Crocodile Centre to clean and maintain their pens, take biometric data and mark the crocodiles in nearby lagoons.
Baby and adult green iguanas need feeding too!
Studies will be undertaken to monitor the presence and condition of wildlife in a nearby estuary and lagoon, and a register is kept through direct observation and trap cameras for night surveillance.
Also, by first helping to grow mangrove seedlings, you’ll be doing vital conservation work re-foresting areas that have been damaged or removed.
Extra activities will involve beach clean-ups and educational and environmental outreach in nearby schools and communities.
Work will normally be around 5 hours/day.
Minimum number of weeks is 2.
You don’t need any previous experience to participate, but moderate fitness helps.
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 the UK and 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 at the camp you will have an induction briefing.
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/camp, project and supervisor.
Here you’ll be based at a conservation and research centre on the Pacific coast (4 hours by bus from the main office in Guadalajara)-just a 20 minute walk from Cuyutlan which is a small coastal town (population 78,000).
Tecoman is a short drive away and a larger town with plenty of wi-fi facilities and weekend activities!
We will help you organise your flights out to Guadalajara (GDL), via Mexico City or US airports such as Dallas or Houston.
Arrival: You may need to spend your first and possibly second night in Guadalajara at a host family. From there, you’ll be provided with a bus to Tecoman (unaccompanied) and then all volunteers are collected at the bus station and taken by car to the camp.
Departure: you will be provided with a bus straight to the airport.
All volunteers will live together in a camp on the outskirts of Cuyutlán, just 40m from the beach, where there are 2 single sex, 10-bed dormitories.
A member of the staff lives in the house in a different dormitory and there is also a work area and a communal area for dining and relaxing.
Tecoman (80,000 inhabitants) is just 20km away and reachable by taxi.
There are no Internet or landline phone connections at camp but you’ll usually have opportunity to go to Tecoman at least twice a week to check e-mails, buy refreshments, etc.
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.
For our conservation programme, lunch is provided by a local cook, with a late lunch being the main meal of the day. There is basic food provided in the fully-equipped kitchen for volunteers to make breakfast and dinner.
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.