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Childcare Volunteer Project in Mexico - Merida

Childcare Volunteer Project in Mexico - Merida

Full of energy and want to be a Childcare volunteer in Mexico? International Volunteer HQ’s Childcare project is an exciting opportunity for volunteers to assist with early childhood education in Mérida. Volunteers gain childcare experience while contributing to developing young children’s social and learning skills and giving parents in low-income families the ability to go to work and know their children are safe and getting care that will encourage their growth and development.

Highlights:
  • Programs start every first and third Monday of the month
  • Affordable fees from £286 for 1 week
  • Includes accommodation, breakfast and dinner, airport pick up, orientation and 24/7 support
  • Help with children’s learning and early development

  • Discover the Mayan culture in Mexico’s Yucatán state

  • Stay in a volunteer house in a safe and peaceful area of Mérida

'Who is going' users image
Who is going?
Group video calls

Once you have secured your place, join regular video calls to meet your Program Manager and other volunteers before your trip.

Key information

Provide a safe space for children to learn
Based in daycare, therapy or community centres
Dormitory-style volunteer accommodation
Volunteers aged 18+ and families
Fully hosted experience from £286 for 1 week
Durations from 1 - 24 weeks
Spanish language lessons available
Up to 4 hours volunteering a day

This program is ideal for:

Enthusiastic volunteers who are interested in early childhood education and like spending time around children. You’ll have the support of local staff so no experience is required.
Who is this program suited to?

What to expect and how you'll make an impact

For many disadvantaged Mexican families, having reliable childcare enables parents to go to work knowing their children are in a safe environment where they can learn and thrive.

As a Childcare volunteer 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.

You’ll volunteer in a wide variety of different settings, including a family crèche or nursery at a children’s therapy centre, daycare centre for children of single mothers, as well as other community centres.

  • Volunteer duties vary but often include:
  • Helping with group activities
  • Arranging and playing games
  • Assisting with arts and crafts
  • Sometimes helping with meal and nap times
  • One-on-one time with children who need it

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

Contributes to United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal #4: Quality Education

Contributes to United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal #4: Quality Education

More than half of all children and teens do not meet minimum proficiency standards in reading and mathematics. Quality education provides an opportunity to learn and grow in a safe environment and is key to preventing poverty, securing long-term employment and improving quality of life.

Why do Childcare volunteering in Merida with IVHQ?

When you volunteer with children in Mexico you’ll be adding value to the local community, while also developing personally and professionally by:

  • Improving access to early childhood education
  • Helping students learn and develop in a safe place
  • Developing your communication skills
  • Gaining childcare experience
  • Immersing yourself in Mexican culture
  • Discovering Mexico’s rich history

Volunteer requirements

  • Volunteers under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian to participate in this program
  • All volunteers aged 13+ are required to provide a criminal background check to IVHQ prior to departure. Those aged 13-17, if unable to obtain a criminal background check, can provide two character reference letters instead
  • All volunteers are required to have adequate volunteer travel insurance
  • All volunteers must speak fluent English.

Not sure which program to join?

Get personalized recommendations >


'Who is going' users image
Who is going?
Group video calls

Once you have secured your place, join regular video calls to meet your Program Manager and other volunteers before your trip.

What recent volunteers said about their IVHQ experience

EA
Elodie André
26 Jul 2023

I appreciated having access to the online guide because I referred to it a lot to ensure I had every document ready to go. I had a really good time with everyone there, it was hard to leave the placement but the whole experience re-boosted my motivation to pursue my career in special education and expand it to speech therapy. If you like travelling, getting to know new people, learning a new language or culture, and helping people, you're going to love it. Just go with an open mind!

...
MC
Marilin Castelan
19 Jun 2023

When it came to seeking guidance and having help with preparation, IVHQ was always available as the volunteers are welcome to ask questions and seek more information if needed. They would answer phone calls and help me with any questions I had. The local team was very welcoming! As my first time volunteering and my first solo trip, they made me feel safe and supported. They would explain in detail how the program would go.

By far, the best moment was when one of the kids gave me a painting they made to keep and take home. Another favorite moment was going to explore on the weekends and going to Cenotes (a deep sinkhole in limestone with a pool at the bottom). I loved learning about the culture and seeing kids who are getting help with physical therapy and being given access to healthcare providers. Some families would travel two hours to get to the facility I was volunteering with. Those families were truly inspiring. You only live once! To go abroad and volunteer it is a worldly experience that you can't just read about it, you have to live it.

...
RO
Rachel Owens
26 Feb 2023

Don't overthink it, it's a wonderful experience to help others in a foreign country. It has definitely given me a lovely feeling of giving back to others and I would like to do something like this again. My favorite part of the experience was Speaking Spanish with the children, playing games with them and giving the parents a much needed break while there siblings received the care they needed.

...
KV
Kevin Vass
17 Feb 2023

It's OK to step-out of your comfort zone. There are other people around you to help and when you're done, you will feel invigorated. My favorite moments included taking the children to the park and enjoying a night out with the other volunteers.

...
RC
Rossana Campos
15 Feb 2023

Prepare and research everything prior as it will make you feel 100 times better about going as well as excited.

This is a one in a lifetime opportunity and I guarantee you you will not regret it. The biggest impact volunteering had on me was realizing that we should be more grateful for what we have. People make do everyday with the resources they are given and they are still so happy and blessed. My favorite moment was when the kids finally got comfortable with us and before leaving one of the boys gave me a plush toy to remember him by. It has made me a better person and I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to give a part of me to a great cause.

...
AD
Alana Donovan
10 Aug 2022

My favorite moment from the volunteer experience was watching all of the kids light up when we talked to them or when they won a game how excited they got. The biggest impact my volunteering trip had on me was realizing how lucky I am to have the opportunities I do and how happy the children were given the circumstances they were in. Make a change and branch out!

...

To read all reviews, visit our reviews page.

Academic course credit through International Volunteer HQ and Intern Abroad HQ.

Academic course credit

Gain course credit from your college or university and meet your academic requirements when completing a volunteer abroad program with International Volunteer HQ!

Learn about course credit
Volunteer Abroad in Mexico with IVHQ

Location

Mérida is the capital of the Yucatán state on Mexico’s Caribbean Coast. It was an important area to the ancient Mayan people and many people living there today have Mayan ancestry. This vibrant culture mixed with a legacy of Spanish colonialism has left the city with a heady mixture of activities, events, architecture, artwork and atmosphere. Mérida is also said to be among the safest cities in the Americas and extremely clean.

IVHQ’s Mexico program is based in Merida, 30 minutes from Centro, an area where there is great food, shopping and nightlife. Volunteer placements are set in different neighborhoods around the region.

Arrival and orientation

The Mexico volunteer program orientation begins on the first and third Monday of every month and volunteers need to arrive in Mérida 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 Mérida, 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 ride from the airport to Mérida. If you choose to arrive in Cancun, the best bus company for traveling to Mérida 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 Mérida 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 Mérida 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 travelling in Mexico prior to your volunteer program, we can arrange for you to be picked up in Mérida 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 – an introduction to Mexico, Mexican customs, language training details, rules and expectations, safety, travel opportunities in Mexico, and an 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 socialising. Once orientation is complete, volunteers will be transported to their placement and introduced to all relevant parties and placement staff.

Volunteer schedule example

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.
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.

Weekends

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. You can make the most of Mérida’s charms and check out the bustling local markets, baroque Spanish architecture, a wide variety of music, art and cultural events, visit a 19th century mansion, sample the local Yucatan cuisine, take a dip in a volcanic crater or watch a Mayan ball game.

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.

Looking for more ideas of things to do in Mexico? Check out our Mexico Travel & Tours page!

Accommodation and WiFi

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.

Meals

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 (approximately £4) and US$10 (approximately £8) per day to purchase lunch. When you arrive 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 (approximately £4) 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.

Pricing

  • USD
Duration
Program Fee
Due 30 days before you start, or within 48 hours if you register inside of 30 days. Covers the cost of hosting you.
  • USD
1 week $345 Equivalent to $49/day
2 weeks $545 Equivalent to $39/day
3 weeks $735 Equivalent to $35/day
4 weeks $905 Equivalent to $32/day
5 weeks $1,045 Equivalent to $30/day
6 weeks $1,215 Equivalent to $29/day
8 weeks $1,555 Equivalent to $28/day
10 weeks $1,895 Equivalent to $27/day
12 weeks $2,235 Equivalent to $27/day
16 weeks $2,915 Equivalent to $26/day
20 weeks $3,595 Equivalent to $26/day
24 weeks $4,275 Equivalent to $25/day
  • All programs attract a Registration Fee of US$329 (approximately £273) in addition to the Program Fee. This covers all pre-departure support services.
  • A 5% international banking fee is added at point of payment.
  • Recommended spending money: Volunteers in Mexico generally find US$100 per week to be sufficient for expenses, such as lunches and local tours and activities.
  • Breakfast and dinner
  • Airport pick-up
  • Accommodation
  • 24/7 in-country support
  • In-country program orientation
  • Pre-departure support from your Program Manager
  • Personalised preparation tools, guides and check lists
  • Access to IVHQ’s preferred insurance and flights partners
  • Discounts on language lessons
  • Certificate of International Volunteer Service

Learn more about what's included in your IVHQ Registration Fee and Program Fee.

  • Lunch
  • Transport to and from your placement each day
  • Return to the airport when your program finishes
  • Flights
  • Visa (if required), travel insurance (mandatory), vaccinations, criminal background check.
  • Personal spending money for snacks, laundry, public transportation, drinks and leisure activities during your free time.

Free-time experiences & tours in Merida

Take your volunteer experience to the next level with IVHQ's affordable activity and tour add-ons in Merida! Explore your options below and learn how to book them once you've been accepted onto the IVHQ Merida program.

Spanish Language Lessons
Spanish Language Lessons

Introductory package of affordable Spanish lessons offered exclusively to IVHQ volunteers, tailored to your current level of Spanish.

From £164

Spanish language lessons

Spanish language courses are available for all volunteers at all levels. IVHQ 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. The language course will be tailored to suit your current level of Spanish.

These language courses are available to purchase as an add-on via your MyIVHQ account once you have registered for the Mexico program. The cost is very affordable and offered exclusively to IVHQ volunteers. Classes run in the morning or afternoon, Monday to Friday.

  • 10 hours: US$198 (approximately £164) per person
  • 20 hours: US$335 (approximately £278) per person
  • 30 hours: US$462 (approximately £383) per person
  • 40 hours: US$599 (approximately £497) per person
  • 60 hours: US$874 (approximately £726) per person
  • 80 hours: US$1149 (approximately £954) per person

Check what's required to visit Mexico

Safety and support with IVHQ

Safety and support

IVHQ follows best practice and industry-leading health and safety procedures, which are regularly reviewed and optimized as part of the B Corporation recertification.

  • All volunteers encouraged to complete our interactive pre-departure training.
  • All local teams trained on best practice volunteer management & First Aid.
  • All IVHQ programs are required to adhere to IVHQ's Risk Management Policy.
  • All volunteers have access to 24/7 in-country support from our local team.
Learn more about IVHQ's safety

Essential country information

Capital Mexico City
Population 127 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 colder 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).

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How to get started

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