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Volunteer in Mexico
volunteer in mexico

Imagine travelling through diverse landscapes of Mexico and being amid people with culture, history and traditions that are as varied as the landscape. As a volunteer in fascinating Mexico, you can help change the lives of disadvantaged communities and enrich your life.

Volunteer in Mexico, you can explore from the Mayan ruins in the south, through the culturally and scenically rich state of Oaxaca, the present day and ancient capitals of Mexico City and Teotihuacan, to the breathtaking monarch butterfly reserves of Michoacan and the extensive Copper Canyon region, home to the indigenous Tarahumara people. While Mexico boasts some of the most beautiful cities and natural areas in the Americas, over 40% of its population still lives in poverty, and over 10% in extreme poverty. Free education and healthcare are essential in the fight towards combating poverty, and in turn education also plays a role in protecting Mexico’s breathtaking natural landscapes and diverse cultures.

Volunteers in Mexico can take part in community and conservation projects, including medical project, special education and sea turtle conservation. These projects can be combined with learning Spanish and travelling to see some of Mexico’s highlights.

Volunteer in Mexico Work Projects and Locations
IFRE's Mexico volunteer program supports local schools, NGOs, and conservation efforts. Volunteer projects are available in Melaque, Barra da Navidad, Bucerias, and Campamento Majahuas. In IFRE's volunteer Mexico program, you can use your skills, talents and experiences for the benefit of children, disadvantaged communities and conservation program.
Mexico Volunteer Program Fee & Dates:

Start Dates: Our programs start every Monday, although we allow for flexibility due to travel constraints.

IFRE is a 501(c)3 organization, so your program fee will be tax deductible. IFRE Volunteers is proud to offer the world’s best fee. Our programs are now more affordable than ever. We are proud to focus on the humanitarian aspect of our business, not on profit. We work very hard and smart to keep our costs down, especially for the volunteers because we know the value of your donated time and efforts. We remain devoted to maintaining both the quality of the program and the safety of all volunteers involved. Below is a brief summary of the program fee and services that IFRE Volunteers offers.

IFRE fees comprise of two separate fees. An application fee of $299 USD (covers advertising, staff/office expenses, etc.) and a nominal weekly program fee (covers room/board, field support, etc). You will pay your fee directly to host families and projects. In this way, what you pay will go for you or people who deserve it (not for profit).

Volunteer Program Fee ($US)
Weeks Children's home Teaching English Special Education Sea turtle conservation
1 Week   $283   $308   $308   $329
2 Weeks   $416   $441   $441   $483
3 Weeks   $549   $574   $574   $637
4 Weeks   $682   $707   $707   $791
5 Weeks   $840   $865   $865   $970
6 Weeks   $973   $998   $998   $1,124
7 Weeks   $1,106   $1,131   $1,131   $1,278
8 Weeks   $1,239   $1,264   $1,264   $1,432
9 Weeks   $1,397   $1,422   $1,422   $1,611
10 Weeks   $1,530   $1,555   $1,555   $1,765
11 Weeks   $1,663   $1,688   $1,688   $1,919
12 Weeks   $1,796   $1,821   $1,821   $2,073
Airport: Puerto Vallarta Manzanillo Manzanillo Puerto Vallarta
pick-up fee
$50 $50 $50 $110
  • Mandatory Comprehensive Travel Insurance $3.49/day

Additional costs for volunteers: International flights, visa application/extension, daily personal expenses on beverages/entertainment daily transportation, laundry, telephone, immunizations.

Arrangement of Room/Food/Supervision
room and food

IFRE manages living accommodations, provides meals and supervision for volunteers for the entirety of their stay in Mexico. During the volunteer period, volunteers will either stay with a host family or in a tented camp in the sea turtle project. Our host families in Mexico are well screened and they will offer you a safe and secure place to stay. Staying with a host family is also a wonderful opportunity to immerse in local language and practice Spanish. In the sea turtle project, volunteers will stay in tented camps inside the project and very close to the beach. There will be project staffs to prepare your meals and guide you through the project.

Unless otherwise specified by the volunteers, the main meal is served around 2pm, usually consisting of various versions of a meat/chicken dish, served often with rice and beans or salad/other vegetables. Fish and shrimp are also popular with some families. Breakfast is often eggs/tortillas, fruit/yogurt or cereal and fruit, depending on the volunteers preferences and the host family.

Throughout the volunteer project, our local staffs will stay in contact with volunteers with either face-to-face visits or via email/telephone. IFRE's main office is in Melaque and our in-country coordinator serves as a point of contact for local volunteers. With longer placements, we visit our volunteers every 2 weeks (when possible) and volunteers are always welcome at the local office. If project placement is local, we request that volunteers stop by the office once a week to keep us posted on how they are doing with their home stay and project. If project placement is very far from our main office, then our local staff members maintain communication by either email and/or phone and the local project director serves as a volunteer's contact.

Project Location and Free Time
free time For volunteers in teaching and special children project, you will work and stay with host families in and around the small towns of Barra de Navidad or Melaque. Barra de Navidad is located on the western coast-line of the  Mexican state of Jalisco. . It has a population of 7 thousand and offers beautiful unspoiled beaches, fabulous restaurants, and friendly people. During the free time, volunteers can swim in nearby beach, surf, boogie board, cycling, horse ride, fish and snorkel. Melaque is located only 2 miles northwest of Barra de Navidad and shares the same long curving beach. Besides Melaque, the schools are located in Emiliano Zapata, and the tourism students study at Jaluco. Both towns are just 5 minutes from Melaque.

The orphanage project is located in the town of Manzanillo. Volunteers in the project will stay with host families in the same town. Manzanillo is the busiest port in the Pacific Coast of Mexico and has a population of just over 110,000 people. Manzanillo consists of two bays with crescent-shaped beaches, each about 4-miles in length. Bahía de Manzanillo is closer to downtown and is the older tourist section. Bahía de Santiago, to the west, is the newer and more upscale area. The two are separated by the Santiago Peninsula, a steep outcrop.

The turtle conservation project takes place in Campamento Majahaus. The camp is quite isolated, so free time is often spent resting, reading, walking (the beach and lagoon are beautiful) or playing games with other volunteers such as volleyball, football etc. It is also recommended for volunteers to alternate rest time from the camp, splitting the group into two (depending on number of volunteers), and allowing each group to take 2 -3 days break in Melaque or Puerto Vallarta (both places are 2 hours bus ride from camp); costs for food, travel and accommodation during breaks will be at the volunteers’ expense and are therefore optional.

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