Situated below the United States of America and above Guatemala and Belize, Mexico is one of the most loved destinations to visit in North America. From the high rugged mountains to the long coastal shores, Mexico is a country of wide geographical variations, with an equally complementing history in the remains of the pre Hispanic civilization and the Mayan Architecture. An internship in Mexico will provide an eye opening experience for young enthusiastic interns who are willing to travel a less trodden path of learning and gathering experience.
The internship programs in Mexico are based in Melaque, Barra da Navidad, Manzanillo and Campamento Majahuas. Despite being one of the most visited countries in the world with its marvelous landscape and rich history, Mexican societies are sharply divided on the basis of social class, with high, middle class and poor living completely different lives. The Mexican societies are also not untouched by crime like drug smuggling, kidnapping etc. Hence, programs of IFRE in Mexico will enable interns to understand the Mexican society and its social issues, as they will be working at the ground level with the local people. Projects like teaching English project, Orphanage Project, Special education project and Sea Turtle Conservation Project.
INTERNSHIP PROGRAM FEES & DATES:
Start Dates: Our programs start every Monday, although we allow for flexibility due to travel constraints.
IFRE’s fees for volunteer programs and internship programs are the same. Ifre volunteers offers the world’s most affordable internship programs. When you join our internship program, you pay your fee directly to host families and projects. In this way, we ensure that your money goes for you or the people who need it (not for the organization's profit).
IFRE internship fee 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 can visit the following link for details on fees and dates:
Additional costs for interns:
International flights, visa application/extension, daily personal expenses on beverages/entertainment daily transportation, laundry, telephone, immunizations.
Children who have been abandoned, abused or orphaned are homed by an orphanage in Manzanillo, where interns for the Orphanage Internship Project will be placed. An internship in the orphanage can be a good opportunity for the interns to learn for themselves and to help others in need.
Interns are expected to at least be fluent in English. Furthermore, beginner to intermediate knowledge of Spanish is preferred, but not a requirement. We suggest you to take Spanish language classes to make communication easier at a foreign country. Interns are required to be passionate about teaching and taking care of children. They are requested to be flexible and patient. Interns should be eager to teach and care for these children.
AN INTERN'S RESPONSIBILITIES
Interns for the Orphanage project are responsible for helping in taking care of the children in the orphanage, tutor them in homework, give lessons on skills like art, music and dance, organize extracurricular activities and games, etc. They can also choose to help around in the administrative duties of the orphanage, by which interns can get a basic understanding of how orphanages in Manzanillo are run.
TEACHING ENGLISH IN RURAL SCHOOLS IN MEXICO
Despite the beauty and marvel of the Mexican land, the societies are not untouched by social disparities of class. Inequality persists in the society with its roots gripping deeper than we can see. The children from poor families cannot afford to study in schools that are well facilitated by trained and qualified teachers. Most of them grow up learning sub standard English, which in turn denies them of better opportunities in education and jobs in the future. Therefore, IFRE partners with rural schools of Mexico to help these children improve on their conversational and comprehension skills, by placing interns in the role of teachers or assist teachers in class.
Native speakers of English are more preferred for this internship. Though it is not a requirement, interns are expected to at least be fluent in English. Furthermore, beginner to intermediate knowledge of Spanish is preferred, but not a requirement. We suggest you to take Spanish language classes to make communication easier at a foreign country. They should have the passion for teaching and taking care of children. They are requested to be flexible and patient.
Interns should be eager to teach and care for these children. Interns should have a basic understanding of the Spanish language in order to work effectively within these school-based projects.
AN INTERN'S RESPONSIBILITIES
The primary responsibility of interns in the Teaching English Project will be to teach English or to assist the English teachers in classes at schools. Interns can also choose to teach other subjects like Art, Mathematics and Science, as per their knowledge and experience. The interns will also help in organizing extracurricular activities and will have an important role to play for making the learning process fun and more interactive. Interns can use interactive methods to teach, for example, the use of flash cards, singing songs, etc.
INTERNSHIP IN SPECIAL CHILDREN PROJECT IN MEXICO
The Special children project in Mexico assists special and differently abled children and provides them with love, care, education and support. Children that the project works for are those who are suffering from learning disabilities, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome and deafness among others. This internship is especially recommended to those who have a specific interest in working with differently abled children, social work and child care. It will enable interns in getting a basic understanding of how to handle and take care of children who are challenged.
Interns for the Special Children Project are highly preferred if they have a beginner or intermediate knowledge of Spanish because it requires a lot of interaction in Spanish with the children. Though it is not a requirement, we suggest you to take Spanish language classes to make communication easier. Interns are required to be passionate about teaching and taking care of children, with the willingness and enthusiasm to fulfill the role of an English instructor. They are requested to be flexible and patient.
Interns should be eager to teach and care for these children. The project intakes dedicated and adaptable interns who have interest and love for special children.
AN INTERN'S RESPONSIBILITIES
Interns in the Special Children Project will be teaching and taking care of the children. The interns will primarily be an assistant of a teacher or a therapist in the project. They can also help the project-kids from pre-school to primary levels with different fun-learning and extra-curricular activities, spending time with them and giving them the love and support they need in different forms.
SEA TURTLE CONSERVATION INTERNSHIP IN MEXICO
The Olive Ridley Turtles found on the beaches of the Colima region of Mexico have been threatened to extinction in the past few decades due to various factors like habitat destruction, over fishing, pollution, illegal poaching, poaching of turtle eggs and predatory animals that feed on turtle eggs. These sea turtles are said to have been existing around 100 million years earlier than humans did, but are now listed as endangered species. The turtle conservation project is located in the Pacific Coast of Mexico on the beaches of Colima region, where the interns will be placed; they will be helping out in the project activities and efforts directed towards the conservation of these rare turtles.
There is not specific set of skills, experience or education qualifications that interns need to have to get an internship in the Turtle Conservation Project. However, knowledge of Spanish language will be a plus point and highly preferred, as the project requires interaction with the locals working in the project. We recommend those who do not know Spanish, to take Spanish language classes to make communication easier.
Interns should possess a strong compassion for conservation and wildlife. Interns that are animal lovers will be highly preferred.
AN INTERN'S RESPONSIBILITIES
Interns will be expected to get involved in various activities like surveying suitable habitats, night patrolling, radio tag their movements, monitoring nesting activity in the incubation corral and releasing the hatchlings to the ocean. They will also be responsible for protecting the nests from any unwanted predators, cleaning and sanitizing nests and protect the hatchlings. Interns can also run and lead environmental campaigns and awareness on wildlife conservation.
FIELD SUPPORT AND SUPERVISION
How does IFRE help me when I am in the field? How can I maintain communication? Do you visit me?
Once your internship program begins, our local staff members stay in constant touch with you. Our staff will visit every 2-4 weeks (if possible) and interns are always welcome at the office. We recommend that interns stop by the office once a week, if they are staying/working in the local area, to give feedback on their home stay and project. Many minor issues can avoid escalation with a just little extra communication. Your project will have local staff members in addition to our in-country coordination staff. If your project is located a substantial distance from our offices, then our local staff communicates by either email and/or phone.
We are available for you at the local office via email and phone for your entire trip. It’s our job to make sure that you are safe and healthy.
You can earn academic credit for most internship projects in Mexico. The best way to receive academic credit is by pre-arranging the project with your college/university. It is up to an intern to communicate with faculty/academic advisors regarding college credit for internship work PRIOR to applying to IFRE. Your college/university may require additional information prior to approval and may require students to submit pre/post research or other requirements.
Alternatively, you can earn academic credit through Seattle Central Community College (SCCC). SCCC offers college credit for a variety of international programs (study abroad, volunteer abroad, intern abroad, language studies and even cultural-exchanging home-stays). IFRE recommends contacting Professor Steve Tash (we can provide contact details) to further explore this option of receiving academic credit for your international internship. IFRE is not associated with SCCC and it is up to the intern to arrange to transfer SCCC course credit to their university/college of choice.
ROOM & FOOD
IFRE manages living accommodations and food. Our interns stay with carefully selected host families. All interns receive three (3) meals a day. Prepared meals are typical of the Mexican diet. Occasionally, if interns are away from their host families during lunch, they may be required to pack their own 'to go' lunches, with food the host family provides. Your host family is responsible for preparing three meals for you each day. If traditional Mexican fare doesn’t appeal to you, you are welcome to buy your own food and prepare it yourself. The simple rule is to please not use the family’s food for your own use. If you have other needs for food outside of these meals, you are able to purchase snacks and meals at local restaurants and grocery stores. You will be sharing the house, kitchen and bathrooms with the family members. You will have the ability to do your laundry in the house or the host family may offer to do it for you.
Host family residences are simple and clean. Generally, our host families are respected members of their communities and they live in well-off neighborhoods. Most of our host families are experienced with hosting international interns. Rooms may be shared with another same gender intern. Bathrooms are shared with the family. Toilets are ‘Western style’, yet often there is not always hot running water. Throughout the internship project, our local staff stays in contact with interns either with face-to-face visits or via email/telephone. With longer placements, we visit our interns every two weeks (when possible) and interns are always welcome at the local office. If project placement is local, we request that interns 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, then our local staff members maintain communication by either email and/or phone.
Interns have free time for the duration of their internship project, weekends and the Language and Culture program. While IFRE does not arrange activities during this time off, our local staff, members and coordinators can provide priceless assistance in making appropriate arrangements for travel in Mexico. It’s the time for self discovery and learning. Our IFRE local coordinators/staff are available to give you free advice, travel tips and helps to book your travel.
Interns for the orphanage project will be located in the town of Manzanillo, which is quite famous for its crescent shaped, pristine beaches. Interns can go around the beaches and to Bahía de Manzanillo and Bahía de Santiago that are located nearby. Interns for the ‘Special Children Project’ are placed in the towns of Barra de Navidad or Melaque. They can swim in nearby beach, surf, boogie board, cycling, horse ride, fish and snorkel during days off internship.