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Teaching English Volunteer Program in Mexico - Merida

Teaching English Volunteer Program in Mexico - Merida

This project is currently not accepting applications.
Purpose
Improve access to quality education
Start dates
Programs start every first and third Monday of the month
Duration
Choose from 1-24 weeks
Volunteer hours
Up to 4 hours a day
Age
Volunteers aged 18+ and families
Accommodation
Dormitory-style
Program fees
From £287 for 1 week
What's included
Find out here
'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.

This program is ideal for:

Energetic, fun and creative volunteers who speak English fluently and have an interest in education and language teaching. You’ll need to speak Spanish to an intermediate level and while you don’t need teaching experience, some relevant training like a TEFL course would be useful.

Project details

Want to Teach English in Mexico? International Volunteer HQ’s Teaching English project is a fantastic way for volunteers to make a meaningful difference in the lives of children in Mérida. Volunteers gain teaching skills and experience while assisting with English lessons in schools, community centres and childcare facilities. Volunteers who speak English fluently are valued for their expertise and ability to help students learn a language that can greatly enhance their future education and job opportunities.

What to expect and how you'll make an impact

Many schools in Mexico are not well-equipped to teach students English, a skill that can open doors to further education and employment opportunities. Volunteers can help by sparking an interest in learning English and supporting important educational outcomes for Mexican students.

As a Teaching English volunteer you’ll assist with lessons in schools, community centres and childcare facilities. You can expect to volunteer for three to four hours a day, alongside local teachers or leading the class yourself. You’ll work in a well-supported volunteer environment with guidance from IVHQ’s local team and placement staff.

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
  • Review previous lessons
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 Teaching English volunteering in Merida with IVHQ?

As a volunteer English teacher in Mexico you’ll be adding value to the local community, while also developing personally and professionally by:

  • Improving English language education in Mérida
  • Helping students practice English
  • Practicing your Spanish
  • Gaining teaching experience
  • Immersing yourself in Mexican culture
  • Discovering Mexico’s rich history

Volunteer requirements

  • To join the Teaching English project in Mexico volunteers need to speak Spanish to an intermediate level.
  • 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

GL
Geraldine Lopez
09 Aug 2023

This program is affordable and approachable. The people and the location is safe, and the orientation helped to make me feel like an insider in a new country.

...
RS
Rhea Shettigar
09 Aug 2023

As someone who is not fluent in Spanish, this trip forced me to get out of my comfort zone and find new ways to communicate with the locals and children I volunteered with.

...
GC
Genesis Chavez Jimenez
09 Aug 2023

Don't think twice about volunteering to help those in need. The biggest reward is the satisfaction we give each individual through our stay and support. They will remember you and really value your assistance throughout the journey.

...
JI
Jennifer Ibarra
09 Aug 2023

I gained a lot from teaching English in Merida. It helped me with my career goal of being a teacher but it was very rewarding as I know I made an impact on the students I taught. I will definitely recommend anyone to join this program as it is safe and well organized.

...
LI
Laura Iverson
13 Apr 2023

I would say that you should do it if you are ready to put the experiences of those you are helping ahead of your own experience. You will have the best experience if you do that. My favourite moment was working with the kids, we had to learn very quickly, observing their personalities, their level of English, and their openness to trust new people. The kids were wonderful and by the end of the week, we had learned a lot from them and I believe they had learned a lot from us.

...
DF
Donna Frederiks
11 Aug 2022

IVHQ's preparation resources were very clear and provided good guidance. The local team was very good and inclusive - there was 24/7 support. I worked with the same group of kids for three months and I have seen them growing and most importantly laughing and having fun which was my main goal. The accommodation was good and the food was amazing and healthy. I don't have allergies but roommates did have and the cook took this into account. I have so many favorite moments I cannot name one, I made experiences for a lifetime in those three months. The biggest impact my volunteering trip had on me was seeing how different the world is from where I live, living in a completely different culture and just being with people who live their life in a completely different way. It has given me such a different but better view on the world. To anyone who is still hesitant about volunteering abroad, I would say that everybody should have at least one volunteering abroad experience on their own where they learn more about the world we are living in and why not doing it while you help someone!

...

To read all reviews, visit our reviews page.

Academic course credit

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

Location

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

Spots are limited. For a Registration Fee of just US$329 (approximately £273) you secure your spot and unlock all our preparation and training tools.

You don't need to worry about paying your Program Fee until you get closer to your start date.

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 £384) per person
  • 40 hours: US$599 (approximately £498) per person
  • 60 hours: US$874 (approximately £727) per person
  • 80 hours: US$1149 (approximately £955) per person

Check what's required to visit Mexico

Safety and support

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

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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