Volunteering in Mexico

Making a difference to Mexican communities and its marine ecosystem

Why volunteer in Mexico?

Mexico is by far the most popular destination in Latin America for travellers and that shouldn’t be a surprise given its amazing landscapes, history, culture and opportunities for tourists from all over the world. When you add the close proximity to the USA then it´s even more clear why over 30 million tourists visit it every year. 

This country has nothing to envy to the rest of the world and it can cater for every kind of tourists. Ancient Mayan and Aztec Ruins, colonial history and beautiful architecture, world-class beaches both in the Pacific and the Atlantic Ocean, vivid culture, music and gastronomy, and great opportunities for the most adrenaline-seekers turn it into a must travel destination.

But the tourism boom also has a huge impact on the environment and many parts of the country and its most beautiful ecosystems have been affected by the added pressure of mass tourism and are in need of help in terms of conservation and protection. By joining our volunteer projects you will not only travel responsibly but also help conserve the country’s most precious environments and contribute to community empowerment efforts while enjoying its natural beauty.

Are you ready for the adventure of a lifetime in Latin America ́s Number 1 destinations?

Katelin

I can say without hesitation that the Mexico Marine Conservation was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. The opportunity to work as a volunteer on a coral reef to survey and help maintain the overall reef system and knowing you are making a difference was such a satisfying aspect of my trip. The living arrangements were wonderful, we had our own personal chef Monday to Friday who lived in the village which meant that the food was usually a Mexican delicacy and sourced locally. The village of Akumal was such a close knit community and we shared a strong bond with the locals. The staff went above and beyond for all the volunteers and I met friends I will have for a lifetime. I also learnt more in the 4 week program than I have in my 4 years at university studying marine science. My time in Mexico was a time I will cherish forever and look forward to doing again in the very near future.

Mexico Volunteer Destinations

In this beautifully diverse and culturally rich country, you will find amazing opportunities to make your impact in our environment and communities in need while diving through the most beautiful waters!

Puerto Morelos, Caribbean Coast

About Mexico

Mexico is the 14th largest country in the world and has always been one of the world’s favourite destinations for American tourists. But it’s also getting increasingly popular with tourists from Europe and the rest of the world who are seeking to enjoy the country’s seemingly endless sunshine, stunning scenery, and beautiful sandy beaches-not to mention its astonishingly rich cultural heritage. 

The Ancient Aztec and Mayan sites are so unique and filled with history that is some of the main hotspots for tourists. But the Capital city and many other locations also offer a very rich colonial history that must be appreciated. There are over 30 World Heritage Sites spread around the country, meaning there ́s something to see no matter where in Mexico you travel to!

The stunning beaches that provide the perfect opportunity to relax, snorkel, dive and practice some other water sports definitely deserve a special visit! And the best thing is that there are plenty of places for it both in the Pacific and the Atlantic Ocean!

Topping the whole experience is the country’s rich culture, a fascinating mix of native people, as well as colonial influences from Spain, that shows up in everything from the country’s culinary creations to its vibrant music and dance traditions. 

So don’t miss out on the opportunity of making a real contribution to Mexico’s ecosystem in Latin America ́s top destination!

Fun facts about Mexico

  • Mexicans celebrate the Day of the Dead in which they honour their dead and celebrate them as they are believed to come alive on that day. You will see people wearing lots of different costumes of dead people and walking in processions. 
  • Yucatan was named after a misunderstanding. When the Spaniards arrived, they asked what the place was called, and the locals answered “Yucatan”. In the local language, Yucatan means “I don’t understand you”, but the Spaniards thought they replied with the name of the place.
  • Chichen Itzá in the Riviera Maya is one of the New 7 Wonders of the World.
  • Although Spanish is the most spoken language, there are 68 official languages in the country.
  • According to the Happy Planet Index, Mexicans are the second happiest population in the world, after Costa Ricans.
  • Mariachi is a type of musical band that is truly typical in Mexico in which performers wear traditional clothes, sombreros and a guitar. 

Mexico Volunteer Projects

Marine Conservation

Get ready to make a difference and conserve one of the world ́s largest reef barriers by protecting the marine ecosystem and collect valuable data while learning how to dive and snorkel in Mexico ́s most beautiful spot!

Location: Puerto Morelos, Caribbean Coast 

Duration: 4 – 12 weeks

Highlights & Excursions

Mexico is a stunning country that offers something for everyone that wants to visit it. Mayan Ruins, beautiful beaches, adventure activities, culture and history, sensational gastronomy and much more await our volunteers! Tours and trips can be easily booked through us on site and we ́ll be there to help you organize your travel plans.

Here are some of the top activities you can do in the Mayan Riviera, but if you want to travel further and explore the rest of the country don’t hesitate to ask since we can help you organize your trip as well.

Mayan Ruins

There are many Mayan ruins scattered throughout the Riviera Maya and close to Puerto Morelos. Some of the most popular sites are Tulum, a walled Mayan city built near the end of the empire located on a cliff overlooking the ocean, and Chichen Itza, one of the largest in Mayan history.

Eco-Adventure Parks

This area of the Riviera Maya is home to eco-adventure parks like Xcaret and Xel-ha, which are naturally beautiful areas of land featuring rich biodiversity and Mayan ruins that have been turned into sustainable theme parks. They feature water activities like swimming, tubing, and snorkelling as there are also plenty of opportunities to spot and learn more about the unique flora and fauna of the region.

Cenotes

Cenotes are like naturally occurring limestone cathedral, filled with deep blue water, and lit up by slants of tropical sunlight from above. These were believed to be sacred and there are plenty of cenotes close to Puerto Morelos where visitors can swim, snorkel, or dive while observing the dabbled light dancing along the cave walls. The most famous is Las Mojarras and Verde Lucero.

Horseback Riding

Horseback riding along the tropical sandy beaches as the sun rises is an increasingly popular way to explore the beaches of the Riviera Maya. Tours can be hired in many locations nearby that are appropriate for even the most inexperienced rider.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Mexico safe to visit?

We take our volunteer’s safety very seriously and we ́ll give an in-depth induction upon arrival. Please check our Safety Tips as well and don’t worry about this since we ́ll look out for you and lots of tourists visit this beautiful country every year. Petty crime and scams are some of the biggest issues so you need to be on the lookout and pay attention to pickpockets or similar petty thieves.

What is the weather/climate in Mexico?

Our project is based in Puerto Morelos, on the Riviera Maya, known for its tropical climate. The ocean is rather warm, which makes it perfect for swimming, surfing, snorkelling, and diving. The temperature remains fairly constant throughout the year, roughly 26°C or 80°F.

Regarding the water temperature and suggested wetsuit, this can vary as follows:

  • Jan – March around 24-26 degrees Celsius – depending on how much you feel the cold either a 3mm or 5mm full-length suit will suffice.
  • April – June the water is around 27 -28 degrees.
  • July – Sept time is around 28-30 degrees and most people dive with just a rash vest and shorts though some people will wear a shorty or 3mm full suit.
  • Nov-Dec is around 26- 28 degrees a 3mm full-length suit is preferred by most.
What is the currency in Mexico?

The currency is the Mexican Peso and participants typically spend approximately US$70-100 per week for phone cards, internet, bottled water, buses, food, drinks, etc. and you may want to bring additional funds to allow for extra activities and travel. For those who want to sample more of the area and Central America before or after the program, we suggest an approximate figure of US$40-50 per day. Accommodation costs vary, but throughout the Yucatan you can generally expect to pay around US$25 for a hostel room or to share a basic hotel room. We recommend that you travel with cash (pesos, US$ are widely accepted) in bigger towns as your main source of funds, although having a credit/debit card as a backup is wise. The nearest ATM to base is in downtown, and there are two banks in the urban side of town. In major towns (Playa del Carmen, Cancun, Merida, Mexico City) ATMs points are widely available. However, be aware that if you travel around small towns in the Yucatan Peninsula ATM points are few and far between! When budgeting, you might want to know that there are some snacks and drinks for sale at the base.

What is the language in Mexico?

The official language of Mexico is Spanish. Although not essential on the expedition base, some knowledge of the Spanish language is useful when travelling around the region. If you are interested in spending a week or two in Mexico learning Spanish before your expedition, please contact your Destination Specialist for information about courses nearby.

What should stay in your hand luggage when travelling?

All valuables should be kept in your hand luggage, not left in your checked bags.

Which Electrical Plugs are used in Mexico?

Electricity throughout Mexico is 110V, 60Hz – the same frequency used in North America. Be sure to check your electronics and small appliances for compatibility, and purchase any adapters or converters necessary.

Electrical outlets are US-style (with an earth pin) and US-style (no earth pin).

Know Before You Go

Visa Requirements

Packing List

Code of Conduct

Volunteering Safety Tips

  • Be sure to keep track of your belongings at all times.
  • Keep your belongings on your lap while riding the bus.
  • Do not accept drinks from strangers.
  • Use busy and well-lit streets when walking and never walk alone after dark.
  • Only use official taxis and public buses.
  • Keep small change in your pockets and hide large bills.
  • Be vigilant when using an ATM.
  • Never count your money on the street or in public.
  • Take special care with your camera, laptop, jewellery, purse, and electronics.
  • Save your project manager’s number on your phone and make sure to provide us with a copy of your emergency contact person at home.

We will review safety again in detail during your orientation.

Mexican vaccinations

Please consult with your private physician or doctor in regards to what immunizations or vaccinations are needed.  

Our recommendations:

Hepatitis A&B: Recommended

Typhoid: Recommended

Routine vaccinations including measles

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