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Volunteer in Mexico with International Volunteer HQ

Volunteer in Mexico

Volunteer in Mexico with International Volunteer HQ and choose from a wide range of volunteer opportunities available in the vibrant Mexican city of Mérida, including Teaching English, Childcare, Animal Care and a unique Sustainable Agriculture project. With low program fees and top rated volunteer projects, you will not find a more affordable and trustworthy volunteer travel organization in Mexico.
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Watch IVHQ volunteers abroad in Mexico

At a glance…

  • Volunteer work in Mérida is available year-round
  • Volunteer opportunities include Teaching English, Childcare, Special Needs Care, Animal Care and a unique Sustainable Agriculture project
  • Projects are based in the vibrant city of Mérida on Mexico’s Caribbean Coast
  • Volunteers in Mérida are accommodated together in a dormitory-style volunteer house
  • Program fees include airport pick-up, orientation, accommodation, meals and 24/7 in-country support
  • Affordable program fees from only US$270 (approximately CA$365) for 1 week
  • Volunteer and learn Spanish in Mexico with affordable Spanish Language lessons available
  • Between 5 and 20 volunteers start in Mexico each month
I’m so happy I had the opportunity to volunteer in Mexico these past few weeks. It was quite an adventure. I got to volunteer at an animal shelter, a protection home for young teenage girls, and I even got to teach a little English! I also had the great opportunity to make new friends from all over the world. My fellow volunteers have inspired me so much; they are all so ambitious, caring and hard working.
IVHQ Volunteer - Lauren Stovall
Lauren Stovall
Nationality: American
Age: 18
Destination: Mexico

Projects in Mexico

Childcare in Mexico
Childcare volunteer in Mexico with IVHQ
Increases access to education
3-4 hours volunteering per day
Guided volunteer experience
As a childcare volunteer, you can support children’s mental development, creativity and physical coordination by assisting in daycare centers, crèches and community centers for economically disadvantaged families in Mexico.
Suited to:
Families High School students Teachers Spring Break Gap year

Childcare in Mexico

For many disadvantaged Mexican families, childcare organizations enable parents to go to work knowing their children are in a safe learning environment.

By volunteering with children in Mexico, you’ll be contributing to developing young children’s social and learning skills during their important early years. Not only that, but you’ll also alleviate pressure on parents and give them a better opportunity to work and provide income for their families.

Childcare volunteer in Mexico with IVHQ

You’ll volunteer in a wide variety of different settings, including a family crèche at children’s therapy centers, day care centers for single mothers, as well as other community centers.

Volunteer duties include helping with group activities, games, arts and crafts and occasionally assisting with meal and nap times. You’ll help provide one-on-one time with a child which can be significant in helping their development.

Volunteers should bring creativity and enthusiasm, as centers are often under-resourced. If required, you should also be prepared to travel longer distances to your placement.

Project Highlights
What you need to know
  • Affordable fees from $270 for 1 week
  • Best suited to energetic, creative volunteers
  • Volunteering with younger children in low income areas
  • Based in local therapy centers, day care or community centers
  • Help with learning in crucial early development stages
  • Basic Spanish recommended
  • Volunteer for four hours per day
Program Highlights
Mexico at a glance
  • Based in Merida on the popular Yucatan peninsula
  • Program fees include airport pick-up, orientation, accommodation, breakfast, dinner and 24/7 in-country support
  • Accommodation in a dormitory-style volunteer house
  • Between 5 and 20 volunteers start in Mexico each month
Also available in Mexico
Our project options
Childcare Sustainable Agriculture Special Needs Care Teaching English Animal Care/Animal Rights
Other programs you might like
Our programs in North America
Mexico USA - New Orleans All North America
Sustainable Agriculture in Mexico
Agriculture volunteers in Mexico
Conserves the environment
4-5 hours volunteering per day
Grassroots volunteer experience
Get your hands dirty as you support this environmental volunteer project alongside local farmers. Assist in implementing contemporary and forward-looking farming practices to help combat the challenges of growing environmental pressures.
Suited to:
Independent travelers Spring Break Gap year

Sustainable Agriculture in Mexico

Agriculture plays a vital role in the economic and historical fabric of Mexico and day-to-day life in Merida. However, with growing environmental pressures and urbanization, local farmers are looking for ways to adapt their approach, with a focus on moving towards historical farming practices and sustainable agriculture.

Sustainable Agriculture volunteers are able to help local farmers to meet and combat current challenges, as well as learn about sustainable farming practices in a hands-on, real-life manner.

Sustainable Agriculture volunteer in Mexico with IVHQ

For those wanting to volunteer on a farm in Mexico, this pairs you with a local farmer and promises hard but rewarding work doing things such as planting crops, harvesting, irrigating, helping with basic construction and working with stock.

This project is ideal if you are looking for a volunteer opportunity that will allow you to work outdoors, or if you’re interested in learning more about sustainable farming practices or have experience as an organic farm volunteer.

Sustainable Agriculture volunteering in Mexico with IVHQ

Volunteer work is based on farms that are up to two hours from Merida, and volunteers are required to be able to speak Spanish to an intermediate level. There is a minimum program duration of two weeks and a one-time surcharge of $65 for additional training and resources that are required.

Project Highlights
What you need to know
  • Affordable fees from $515 for 2 weeks
  • Volunteering on local farms
  • Assist farmers with hands-on volunteer activities
  • Suitable for fit volunteers who enjoy physical work
  • Minimum duration: two weeks
  • Volunteering for four hours per day
  • Intermediate Spanish Required
  • Includes $65 surcharge for additional training and resources
Program Highlights
Mexico at a glance
  • Based in Merida on the popular Yucatan peninsula
  • Program fees include airport pick-up, orientation, accommodation, breakfast, dinner and 24/7 in-country support
  • Accommodation in a dormitory-style volunteer house
  • Between 5 and 20 volunteers start in Mexico each month
Also available in Mexico
Our project options
Childcare Sustainable Agriculture Special Needs Care Teaching English Animal Care/Animal Rights
Other programs you might like
Our programs in North America
Mexico USA - New Orleans All North America
Special Needs Care in Mexico
IVHQ Special Needs volunteers in Mexico
Improves health & wellbeing
3-4 hours volunteering per day
Guided volunteer experience
Bring care and compassion to local people living with disabilities, helping with therapy, learning and activities. Homes are charity-run and rely on the support of the community and volunteers.
Suited to:
Qualified volunteers Spring Break Gap year

Special Needs Care in Mexico

Volunteers on the Special Needs Care project can make a significant difference to the lives of disabled locals in helping their development and socialization, enabling them to live dignified, meaningful lives.

As a volunteer, you’ll assist local staff in a residence for those with special needs, providing physical, mental and therapeutic care. Day to day activities can include helping with therapy or arts and crafts, as well as general duties such as preparing food, serving meals and cleaning.

Special Needs Care volunteer in Mexico with IVHQ

Volunteering with the disabled requires enthusiasm and patience but also promises to be particularly rewarding. Your contribution to Special Needs Care is significant in enabling these shelters to provide a safe and positive environment for those in care. These homes are generally run by churches and are funded solely by donations.

Project Highlights
What you need to know
  • Affordable fees from $270 for 1 week
  • Suited to passionate and patient volunteers
  • Specialized opportunities for qualified volunteers
  • Volunteering in a well-resourced residence for people with special needs
  • Facility operates solely from donations
  • Support individualized care for patients and their families
  • Volunteer for four hours per day
Program Highlights
Mexico at a glance
  • Based in Merida on the popular Yucatan peninsula
  • Program fees include airport pick-up, orientation, accommodation, breakfast, dinner and 24/7 in-country support
  • Accommodation in a dormitory-style volunteer house
  • Between 5 and 20 volunteers start in Mexico each month
Also available in Mexico
Our project options
Childcare Sustainable Agriculture Special Needs Care Teaching English Animal Care/Animal Rights
Other programs you might like
Our programs in North America
Mexico USA - New Orleans All North America
Teaching English in Mexico
Volunteering on the Teaching project in Mexico
Increases access to education
3-4 hours volunteering per day
Guided volunteer experience
Give students better prospects for their futures and share your passion for education as a volunteer teacher. You'll provide a valuable English-speaking perspective to language lessons in schools, community centers and childcare facilities.
Suited to:
Families High School students Teachers Spring Break Gap year

Teaching English in Mexico

Many schools in Mexico are not well equipped to teach students English, which is a skill that can greatly enhance their future opportunities. As a volunteer on this project, you’ll spark an interest in learning English and support important educational outcomes for Mexican students.

If you’re someone who is energetic, has a passion for education and a fun, creative approach to teaching, then you’ll be an awesome fit for this project!

You’ll volunteer in schools, community centers and childcare facilities. You can expect to volunteer for three to four hours per day, alongside local teachers or find yourself leading the class. To make sure you have the best impact possible, you are required to speak Spanish to an intermediate level.

Teaching volunteer in Mexico with IVHQ

Lessons build upon the work of previous volunteers and are structured as weekly themed English workshops. As a volunteer, you’ll plan activities to reinforce the weekly theme, prepare worksheets, play educational games, help with homework and review previous lessons.

As a volunteer on this project, you’ll work in a well supported volunteer environment with guidance from IVHQ’s local team and placement staff. This means you do not need to be a qualified teacher or have prior teaching experience to participate.

We do recommend volunteers come prepared by completing relevant training, like a teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL) course. As an IVHQ volunteer, you can access an internationally-recognized TEFL certification at a discounted rate. Visit our Online TEFL course page for more information.

Project Highlights
What you need to know
  • Affordable fees from $270 for 1 week
  • Suited to volunteers with a passion for learning
  • Volunteering in community centers, with at-risk youth or in public schools for lower income families
  • Support local teachers and lead lessons where appropriate
  • Prior teaching experience not required
  • Intermediate Spanish required
  • Volunteer for four hours per day
Program Highlights
Mexico at a glance
  • Based in Merida on the popular Yucatan peninsula
  • Program fees include airport pick-up, orientation, accommodation, breakfast, dinner and 24/7 in-country support
  • Accommodation in a dormitory-style volunteer house
  • Between 5 and 20 volunteers start in Mexico each month
Also available in Mexico
Our project options
Childcare Sustainable Agriculture Special Needs Care Teaching English Animal Care/Animal Rights
Other programs you might like
Our programs in North America
Mexico USA - New Orleans All North America
Animal Care/Animal Rights in Mexico
Animal care volunteer in Mexico with IVHQ
Protects animals
4-5 hours volunteering per day
Volunteers needed now!
Assist in cat and dog shelters while volunteering with animals in Mexico. Play, feed and clean the animals, adding fun and activity to their lives while giving them the best chance of being re-homed.
Suited to:
Animal lovers High school students Spring Break Gap year

Animal Care/Animal Rights in Mexico

Animal care in Mexico is a growing local issue, with high rates of cats and dogs being abandoned on the streets, while wild animals are often put down when cities are unable to re-home them.

By volunteering with animals, you’ll provide valuable assistance to non-profit organizations that run shelters for these vulnerable animals, aiming to care for them and have them adopted back into families.

As an Animal Care volunteer, you’ll work alongside local staff and volunteers to play with, clean and feed cats and dogs, socializing them and helping to give them the best chance of finding a new home in the community.

Animal Care volunteer in Mexico with IVHQ

Another vital part of animal rights volunteer work is public education around the issue of animal abandonment and helping to fundraise money for animal shelters. Volunteers can also assist with running clinics to spay/neuter neighborhood pets, helping to prevent unwanted litters that often end up being left on the street.

Basic Spanish language skills are helpful but not required, and volunteers need to have had an active tetanus vaccination.

Project Highlights
What you need to know
  • Affordable fees from $270 for 1 week
  • Perfect for animal lovers wanting to assist on the frontline of animal care
  • Hands-on volunteering in a shelter for abandoned cats and dogs
  • Tetanus vaccination required
  • Basic Spanish recommended
  • Volunteering for four hours a day, with more hours available on request
Program Highlights
Mexico at a glance
  • Based in Merida on the popular Yucatan peninsula
  • Program fees include airport pick-up, orientation, accommodation, breakfast, dinner and 24/7 in-country support
  • Accommodation in a dormitory-style volunteer house
  • Between 5 and 20 volunteers start in Mexico each month
Also available in Mexico
Our project options
Childcare Sustainable Agriculture Special Needs Care Teaching English Animal Care/Animal Rights
Other programs you might like
Our programs in North America
Mexico USA - New Orleans All North America
  • Most affordable fees - as the world leader in affordable volunteer travel, we’re able to keep our fees low by partnering with a local organization in Mexico to support meaningful community projects and local employment.
  • Superior support - your experienced IVHQ Program Manager, teamed with our local team in Mexico will ensure you feel supported every step of the way - from planning to volunteering.
  • Responsible projects - we’re dedicated to ensuring that our projects are responsibly run and have sustainable positive impacts that are supporting local needs.
  • Online training - as soon as you register on an IVHQ program, you will gain access to our interactive volunteer training to ensure you’re well prepared for your program.
  • Safety-first - volunteer safety is a top priority for IVHQ and we have clear standards for risk management on each program. You can feel confident that you are placed with trustworthy institutions, organizations and families that have been screened by our local teams.
  • New friendships - as an IVHQer, you’ll always be in the company of friendly locals and like-minded volunteer travelers who will quickly become your life-long friends.
  • Epic weekend adventures - you’ll have your weekends free to explore Mexico with your new-found friends.

Volunteer placements are located in Mérida, the capital of the Yucatán state on Mexico’s Caribbean Coast. Volunteer programs begin on the first and third Monday of every month. Volunteers can choose to volunteer for periods ranging from 1 week to 12 weeks.

Volunteers are required to fly into Manuel Crescencio Rejón International Airport (MID) or Cancun International Airport (CUN), which is a 4 to 5 hour flight from most major airports in Canada.

The program orientation begins on the first and third Monday of every month and volunteers need to arrive in Merida on the Sunday before orientation.

After you have registered for the program, please book your flights to arrive into Manuel Crescencio Rejón International Airport (MID) in Merida, where you will be greeted at the airport by a member of the local team and transported to the volunteer accommodation; or if you are arriving into Cancun International Airport (CUN), you will need to take a 4-hour bus from the airport to Merida. Canadian travelers do not require a visa to enter Malaysia for a duration of 180 days.

If you chose to arrive into Cancun, the best bus company for traveling to Merida is ADO. You will see a big red and white ADO sign at a kiosk at the exit of the airport. You should purchase your ticket for the next departure for Merida Altabrisa Station, which is close to the volunteer accommodation. Please call or email the local staff to let them know your estimated time of arrival so they can arrange for your pick-up. Your IVHQ Program Manager will provide further guidance in regards to travel options between Cancun and Merida once you have registered for the program.

Your accommodation is covered by your Program Fee and includes the night before your program orientation.

If you are traveling in Mexico prior to your volunteer program, we can arrange for you to be picked up in Merida on the day before your program orientation.

Orientation will be hosted by our team in Mexico and will cover everything you need to know for your program in Mexico – Introduction to Mexico, Mexican Customs, Language Training Details, Rules and Expectations, Safety, Travel Opportunities in Mexico, Introduction to your Project and Placement. The orientation will also give you a chance to meet other volunteers and swap contact details for weekend travel and socializing. Once orientation is complete, volunteers will be transported to their placement and introduced to all relevant parties and placement staff.

First Day: On your first day of volunteering, you will be escorted to your placement by a local coordinator and introduced to the placement staff you will be working with.

Weekdays: A typical volunteer day would be as follows:

7.30 AM Breakfast at the volunteer house or homestay.

8.00 AM Volunteers leave home and travel to their placements. Work and hours are dependent on the project and placement that each volunteer is working at.

2.00 PM Lunch at the volunteer house or homestay. Work at the placement usually ends. Volunteers are free to travel home, take Spanish lessons, prepare for the next day or do some shopping and sightseeing.

7.30 PM Dinner at the volunteer house or homestay.

Please note, some placements do not begin until 2.00 PM and in this case, volunteers usually have their Spanish lessons in the morning.

Volunteers in Mexico are accommodated in a volunteer house, nestled in a quiet neighborhood of Mérida. The dormitory-style volunteer house provides shared rooms and bathrooms, a communal outdoor kitchenette for basic food preparation and access to the yard, patio and swimming pool. You can expect to share a room with up to five other volunteers of the same gender. Living is basic, yet comfortable and the volunteer house has electricity and running water. Volunteers who wish to arrange an accommodation upgrade for more privacy, air conditioning, filtered water and heated showers can do so with the local team after registering for the program. The host families speak Spanish and therefore homestay accommodation is also a great way to practice the local language and experience the local culture first-hand.

The volunteer house in Mérida has WiFi and internet cafes are located within walking distance of the volunteer house.

In Mexico, volunteers are provided breakfast and dinner in the volunteer accommodation, with a combination of Mexican and Western food. We recommend budgeting between US$5 (CA$7) and US$10 (CA$14) per day to purchase lunch and upon your arrival, the local staff will provide recommendations on economical places to eat in Mexico. Tap water is not safe to drink in Mexico, however bottled water is readily available and you should budget approximately US$5 (CA$7) per week for this. Please be sure to let us know of any specific dietary requirements you have so we can make special arrangements for you.

“Overall this has been a wonderful experience for me and one which I will never forget. I’m glad I chose IVHQ and that I chose Mexico, it’s the best decision I ever made. I’d also just like to say that when I severely twisted my ankle only a week into my stay and was on crutches for a few weeks, the local staff were wonderful, and even though they were very busy, they made time to run me about, from my house to the volunteer house and back again, and to and from hospital. I felt that they were approachable and if I had any problems they would help where they could. One of the best things was the pool, everybody loved it and commented on how nice and big it was! I would also not hesitate to recommend IVHQ and have done so already.” - Elizabeth Cohen (Special Needs Volunteer in Mexico)

Read more reviews from IVHQ volunteers in Mexico here

Mexico - Merida

Length of Program Program Fee $USD
1 week $270
2 weeks $450
3 weeks $600
4 weeks $730
5 weeks $860
6 weeks $990
8 weeks $1,250
10 weeks $1,510
12 weeks $1,770
  • All programs attract a Registration Fee (from US$299) on top of the Program Fee (partially refundable until 60 days before your program start date*). A 5% international banking fee is added at point of payment.
  • To see prices in your local currency, use this currency converter.
  • The Agriculture project has a one-off surcharge of US$65 to cover training and resources used in this project.
  • Discounts on language lessons
  • * Terms and Conditions do apply
What extra costs will I have?
  • Visa, flights, travel insurance (mandatory), vaccinations, criminal background check, souvenirs, in-country trips or tours, transport to and from your placement if required
  • Transfer back to the airport at conclusion of the program
  • Lunches while in-country
  • Spanish lessons (optional)
  • Spending money - Volunteers in Mexico generally find US$90 to be sufficient for weekly expenses
Registration Fee
What it covers
  • Most affordable program fees
  • Expert support from a program specialist
  • Full MyIVHQ account access
  • Online volunteer training
  • Comprehensive preparation tools
  • Deals on flights and travel insurance
  • $50 credit from IVHQ Flights
  • IVHQ alumni rewards
Program Fee
What it covers
  • 24/7 in-country support
  • Airport pick-up
  • Program orientation
  • Volunteer placement
  • Accommodation
  • Meals
  • Discounts on language lessons

During the weekends, volunteers have spare time and usually just relax or take the opportunity to explore other parts of Mérida and the state of Yucatán. Day trips can be arranged so volunteers can explore popular sites in the area, such as Chichén Itzá – the most famous of the Yucatán’s Mayan ruin sites and one of Mexico’s most visited tourist destinations, the impressive Uxmal Mayan ruin site and the historical town of Izamal.

See our Mexico Travel and Tours page for more volunteer travel options in Mexico!

Capital Mexico City
Population 120.8 million
Languages Spanish
Currency Peso (MXN)
Time zone UTC-06:00

Weather and climate: The Tropic of Cancer effectively divides the country into temperate and tropical zones. Mérida lies on the Caribbean coast in the State of Yucatán and is one of the warmer regions of Mexico. The warm season lasts from April through June, with an average daily high temperature above 35°C (94°F). The hottest day of the year is May 7, with an average high of 36°C (97°F) and low of 23°C (74°F). Being prepared for the intense heat during this time frame is essential. The “cold” season lasts from November to February with an average daily high temperature below 31°C (88°F). The coldest month of the year is in January, with an average low of 18°C (65°F) and high of 29°C (85°F).

Volunteers need to be 18 years or over to participate on this program, unless volunteering with a parent or guardian. If you are under the age of 18, IVHQ offers alternative volunteer opportunities for teens. Visit our High School Volunteer Abroad page to to learn more.

All volunteers are required to have adequate volunteer travel insurance and provide a criminal background check to IVHQ’s local team on arrival in Mexico. Animal Care/Animal Rights volunteers must have an active tetanus shot in order to participate on this project.

Fluency in Spanish is not a prerequisite for the IVHQ Mexico volunteer program. However the Teaching English project requires volunteers to have at least an Intermediate level of Spanish as volunteer work will otherwise be restricted with limited language ability. We recommend that volunteers take advantage of the very affordable language lessons offered exclusively to IVHQ volunteers by our partner staff in Mexico. Past volunteers feel that taking these lessons help immensely with day-to-day volunteer work and communicating with local people. Volunteers interested in taking Spanish lessons can arrange these directly with the local staff once in Mexico.

Free Interactive Volunteer Training - All volunteers are encouraged to complete our interactive pre-departure training, which is available exclusively to registered IVHQ volunteers. The training is designed to build an understanding of important aspects that need to be considered before embarking on an IVHQ program. It helps volunteers to prepare in the right way by providing advice on what it takes to be a safe, responsible and valuable volunteer. Try a sample of the training here.

Volunteer Language Lessons: Spanish language courses are available for all volunteers at all levels. IVHQ strongly recommends these courses for all volunteers, unless they are fluent. If you have a basic level of Spanish and and are staying for a period of longer than 2 weeks, you should strongly consider these courses, as they will allow you to work and communicate with all parties more efficiently during your stay. These language courses are organized on your arrival in Mexico during your program orientation. The language course will be tailored to suit your current level of Spanish. The cost is very affordable and offered exclusively to IVHQ volunteers. Each class runs for 3 hours per day in the morning or afternoon, Monday to Friday.

  • 1 week: US$225 (approximately CA$305) per person
  • 2 weeks: US$365 (approximately CA$495) per person
  • 3 weeks: US$505 (approximately CA$685) per person
  • Each additional week after 3 weeks: +US$150 (approximately CA$205)

How to get started

Pick a destination + project and apply for free
Meet your personal volunteer travel expert
Pay the registration fee to secure your place and upgrade your MyIVHQ account
Get ready to volunteer abroad, we’ll support you every step of the way!