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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
|Start Date||6 month fee||1 year fee||Early Bird Deposit Deadline||Regular Deposit Deadline|
|August 2015||$8,995||$12,295||Monday, March 23, 2015||Monday, May 18, 2015|
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.