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Volunteer in Mexico

Approximately 1/5 the size of the United States, Mexico’s large land area is made up of extremely varied regions. The weather, geography and culture of each land area can differ considerably – from the mountains to the deserts, and agricultural villages to urban city-centers. Volunteers in Mexico find joy in the tremendous variety and wealth of customs. The mountains that divide Mexico have helped keep each region’s unique culture in-tact by making it difficult for outside influences to spread. Architectural sites and traditional celebrations like Dia de los Muertos are enjoyed by locals and volunteers alike.

United Planet is the US and Canadian partner of the International Cultural Youth Exchange, or ICYE. As a volunteer in Mexico, you will be hosted by Siijuve, ICYE’s Mexican partner organization. Siijuve has been at work since 1965 helping volunteers get involved in local activities. With six regional offices, Siijuve has a multitude of projects and communities where volunteers can make a difference.

Two female United Planet volunteers with small mexican boy smile at camera

Project Information


Volunteers are actively involved in encouraging children and young people to stay in school through tasks such as providing care to the children and creating social workshops. Activities also include working in kindergartens or schools as a teacher’s assistant. Rural placements include educational projects which work toward the local development of the community.


Volunteers assist in local hospitals, located mainly in rural communities, where activities include vaccination campaigns, informational meetings about contraceptive methods, and proper healthcare. The goal of these projects is to reach remote or immobile individuals in order to promote the development and well-being of inhabitants in rural communities. Volunteers may assist in the daily running of mobile clinics in addition to other tasks.

Social Work

Volunteers work with children from a variety of disadvantaged backgrounds including abandoned street children, disabled children, children from troubled families, those who have suffered abuse, and orphans. Volunteers have the opportunity to assist in fundraising, supervising play, and developing activities and workshops to support families from low-income communities.

Culture and the Arts

Volunteers have the opportunity to be involved in a variety of projects, which may include assisting in museums, handicraft workshops, or libraries. Volunteers may also work to develop a special project related to the arts, which may then be implemented in the area.

Country Highlights

Explore Mexico City

There are many neighborhoods within Mexico City, each have their own parks, markets, and plazas for you to visit. Go to the Modern Art Museum or the National Museum of Anthropology to see more of Mexico’s vibrant culture.

Visit archaeological sites in Hidalgo

Some of the well known sites are Tula, Huapalcalco, and Xihuingo. You will be able to see ancient Mexican architecture and art from hundreds of years ago.

Celebrate the Day of the Dead

Día de los Muertos, or the Day of the Dead, is one of the most celebrated holidays in Mexico. You’ll be able to see the altars that families create to honor their loved ones who have passed on. Celebrate this holiday by attending the parades and festivals that go on in the center of town.

Celebrate Mexico’s independence

Also known as El Grito, Mexico’s Independence Day takes place on September 16 each year. See the ceremonies and parades, the largest of which take place in Mexico City.

Quest Fees and Details

United Planet Quests are designed to be immersive, authentic, comprehensive and provide you everything you’ll need to succeed. The program elements allow you to engage fully with a new culture, forge strong relationships, and challenge yourself. Most importantly, we partner with the community to ensure your experience will be important, relevant and helpful to the community you serve.

Included in Your Quest

  • Extensive pre-departure preparation, including a training weekend in New Hampshire with United Planet staff
  • Food and lodging in your host country
  • Airport transfers
  • Emergency medical insurance
  • In-country orientation upon arrival and ongoing support and supervision throughout your Quest
  • Language training
  • Mid-year camp (for 1 year volunteers) and final camp
  • Monthly stipend for incidental expenses


  • 18 – 35 years old
  • Citizen or resident of the United States or Canada

Start Dates and Travel

  • Long-term Quests begin twice a year, in January and August.
  • Volunteers are responsible for booking and covering the cost of their own flights, both to the training weekend in New Hampshire and to and from their host country.
  • Volunteers will obtain the necessary visas with support from our Long-Term staff to volunteer in their host country.

Quest Fee and Deadlines

 Start Date  6 month fee  1 year fee  Early Bird Deposit Deadline  Regular Deposit Deadline
August 2016 $8,995 $12,295 Monday, March 21, 2016 Monday, May 23, 2016
January 2017 $8,995 $12,295 Friday, August 12, 2016 Friday, September 16, 2016
Enroll by the Early Bird Deadline and take $300 off your Quest fee.
About Our Quest Fee

We want you to succeed. That means having in place the support our volunteers need. We don’t just drop you in country and hope for the best. We provide training before you leave … language exposure … 24/7 in-country support … support for your host family … accommodations, meals and airport transportation … activities and excursions. The whole idea is to make the experience successful and productive for you and the host community, and we have found that these things are crucial. Remember that we are a non-profit, mission-driven organization – we wouldn’t spend money on something that wasn’t important.

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