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Volunteer opportunities in MEXICO

Intercultural learning program with students in Morelia
Morelia, Michoacan          September 9 - September 22, 2015

Volunteer project: Nowadays in the multicultural and interconnected world it is very important to instill in the students a global vision. Creating awareness of multiculturalism is one of the objectives of this project, so as it is to widen students' minds for learning about different cultures and ways of thinking. A group of international volunteers is invited to promote these values and vision of the world by interaction activities with Mexican students. This project aims to promote the universal values of humanity and positive intercultural learning.

If you are looking for a teaching experience and having a great time, this project is perfect for you! Working hours will be 5 hours a day (from 3 to 8 pm), which is the working time of the school. During the project, the volunteers will have 3 hours of Spanish classes, socioeconomic problems and history of Mexico. There will be also a Culture Club for 2 hours, where participants will be able to share something from their country. In this club, the volunteers will talk about their national traditions, finishing with an International Fair where handcrafts, pictures, dishes and other materials will be presented.

Language: The official language of the project is English. Some Spanish would be appreciated.

Leisure time: There are many possibilities for leisure activities in and around Morelia. The city is 500 years old and is a very famous cultural place of Mexico. It is well known for its history that dates back to the Mexican independence and colonial times. Morelia is listed as a World Cultural Heritage by UNESCO. The city offers many cultural activities such as cinema, theater, music, night clubs, expositions and festivals. It is also very easy to organize a weekend at the beach, since the city is just 4 hours away from the Pacific coast. Morelia is also very close to other beautiful places: magic towns like Patzcuaro, beautiful lakes such as Zirahuen, as well as natural reserves and other colonial cities such as Guanajuato and Queretaro.

Accommodation: Volunteers will be hosted in a house with all facilities at disposal: kitchen, hot water, laundry room, safety box and Wi-Fi connection.

Location: Morelia City, Michoacan state, 4 hours by bus from Mexico city. Morelia has a population of 2,000,000. It's famous with its beautiful buildings of subtle pink quarry stone. The colonial city of Morelia is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site, and from its breathtaking architecture, it's easy to see why. Besides being the capital of the State of Michoacan and the state's largest and most populated city, it is also the seat of government institutions and the most prestigious higher education institute in the region: the Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolas de Hidalgo (Michoacan University of Saint Nicolas of Hidalgo).

Nearest airport: The biggest and closest international airport is in Mexico City. The city of Morelia also has an international airport.

Age range: 18 and over

Extra fee: 80 Euro

The extra fee is intended to support the hosting organization who does not have sufficient funds. It is due upon arrival on the project.

                                                                                                         

 

Promoting universal values in schools in Veracruz
Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz          September 9 - September 22, 2015

Volunteer project: Universal values should be integrated inside educational programs. This project is looking for highly motivated international volunteers who are willing to raise awareness about universal values among the college students and the local community. Volunteers who want to inspire students and locals to stand against crime, drug abuse, school dropout and other social problems. The school promotes and encourages gender equity among the students as well. In this project, students from Higher Education Institutes of Coatzacoalcos and international volunteers, will design a campaign to promote values among college students and the community. The school willl use different media and tools available at the University to promote them. Nowadays, it is necessary and urgent to encourage students and community values such as punctuality, commitment, solidarity, respect, love, equality and it will be easier and better if young people from different nationalities working as volunteers could assist and support the spread of this message.

The volunteers will participate in the following activities:
- Participation in a forum to reflect on values.
- Development and promotion of values through posters and banners.
- Inspiring students to recognize and stand against crime, drugs and other types of violence
- Lectures to students of the University about values and globalization.
- Visit the different media inside and outside the school.
- Design of brochures and distributing them in the community.

Language: The official language of the project is English. Some Spanish would be appreciated.

Leisure time: Coatzacoalcos is a major port city in the southern part of the Mexican state of Veracruz, on the Coatzacoalcos River. The city offers many different touristic places to visit such as: Catemaco Lake, Sontecomapan Lagoon, Huazuntlán Waterfalls, Palenque Pyramids, La Venta Museum and beautiful beaches.

Accommodation: Volunteers will be hosted in a house with all facilities at disposal: kitchen, hot water, laundry room, safety box and Wi-Fi connection.

Location: Coatzacoalcos lies within the Olmec heartland. Excavations in 2008 for a tunnel underneath the Coatzacoalcos River indicate a substantial pre-Hispanic population. By the time of the Spanish arrival the area was under Mayan influence. The San Martín Tuxlta is an active volcano lying northwest of Coatzcoalcos in the Sierra de los Tuxtlas.

Nearest airport: The biggest and closest international airport is in Mexico City. The city of Morelia also has an international airport.

Age range: 18 and over

Extra fee: 190 Euro

The extra fee is intended to support the hosting organization who does not have sufficient funds. It is due upon arrival on the project.

                                                                                                         

 

Cross-cultural experience with students in Senguio
Senguio, Michoacan          September 9 - September 22, 2015

Volunteer project: This project is looking for highly motivated volunteers to participate in the active life of Campus at the local School in Senguio Towns. This workcamp is about encouraging teamwork and creating an international cooperation environment. We are looking for international volunteers who want to share and increase their ecological awareness and inspire students and locals. International Volunteers who would like to share the exquisite cuisine of their countries, and interact with children in different workshops and games.

The volunteers will take part in the following activites: You will team up with an Eco-group, which takes care of a handful of fun and helpful activities inside and outside the Campus. You will design an English conversation club with the students. Volunteers will collect clothes and food in the local community and in the school and will address the need of low-income communities. Since cultural sharing is important for everyone, as a volunteer you will take part in a traditional parade inside the community, to learn about its roots and magical stories. For example, ''the Mañanita Festival'' where you can enjoy traditional mexican food and folkloric music. Or taking part in a gastronomical demonstration, in which students and the international volunteers will work together and prepare some special dishes! You will also visit different primary schools and have small presentation about your country and things that you would like to share.

Language: The official language of the project is English. Some Spanish would be appreciated.

Leisure time: There are many options for leisure activities in Senguio. The group can visit nearby cities like Maravatio and Tlalpujahua, big cities like Toluca and Morelia, as well as natural reserves and others colonial cities such as Guanajuato and Queretaro.

Accommodation: Volunteers will be hosted in a house with all facilities at disposal: kitchen, hot water, laundry, safety box and free Wi-Fi.

Location: Senguio is located in the center of Mexico. It is very well connected by bus and it's located very close to big cities such as Morelia (2.3 hours), Mexico city (3 hours), Guadalajara city (3 hours), Guanajuato city (3.3 hours).

Nearest airport: The biggest closest international airport is in Mexico City. The city of Morelia also has an international airport.

Age range: 18 and over

Extra fee: 120 Euro

The extra fee is intended to support the hosting organization who does not have sufficient funds. It is due upon arrival on the project.

                                                                                                         

 

 

Protecting the Marine Turtles in La Penita
La Peñita, Nayarit          September 16 - September 29, 2015
La Peñita, Nayarit          October 7 - October 20, 2015
La Peñita, Nayarit          October 28 - November 10, 2015
La Peñita, Nayarit          November 18 - December 1, 2015
La Peñita, Nayarit          December 9 - December 22, 2015
La Peñita, Nayarit          January 6 - January 19, 2016
La Peñita, Nayarit          January 27 - February 9, 2016

Volunteer project: The aim of this project is to protect the endangered marine turtles working in close collaboration with the local population of La Peñita Town or as they say “the place where turtles come at night”. Volunteers, along with local people and a team of professional biologists and trained staff, will develop activities to protect the turtles, and will help to ensure the survival of the turtles for the future generations. The volunteers will also help rebuild one of the most important turtle camps in the region. There are five species of turtles arriving to this area: Negra (Black Turtle), Golfina (Olive Ridley Turtle), Laud (Leatherback Turtle), Carey (Hawksbill Turtle) and more! The size of the turtles varies from 1 meter to 2.4 meters long and the weight from 40 kg to 500 kg. Every turtle makes a nest of around 150 eggs.
If you like nature, enjoy spending time in an astonishingly beautiful beach close to a nice beach town, and are willing to witness the magic that nature had made for millions of years, this project is for you!

There is a team of up to 5 experts that will be working with the volunteers in order to show them the beauty of the turtle’s life. The turtle camp has been in operation for over 23 years now.

The main work consists in patrolling the beach at night. The working hours are from 5:00 pm to 3:00 am. The goal is to find the adult turtles and collect the eggs, burying them in a secure place (vivero in Spanish) and set the baby turtles free back into the ocean when they hatch. Volunteers will also help collecting statistical data in order to learn about the evolution of the species. Activities must be carried out at night since turtles do not go out of the ocean during the day (because of natural predators, it is safer for turtles to get out of the ocean in the dark). In collaboration with local people and biologists from La Peñita, volunteers will seek for the turtles, taking care of their eggs and the baby turtles. The group will also take part in the rebuilding of a very important turtle camp in Guayabitos Beach. Locals and experts are very friendly and working with them is very pleasant as they explain to the team what to do. We need very motivated volunteers for this project.

Language: The official language of the project is English but some Spanish would be appreciated.

Leisure time: The volunteers will have free time during the day to do many fun and interesting activities and to discover many marvelous places close to the turtle camp. The volunteers can learn to surf, go fishing, visit and help in shelters for protection of endangered species (crocodiles), visit local towns, get to know and enjoy the local culture. Rincón de Guayabitos is well connected by bus to localities and cities around.

Volunteers will have the opportunity to visit solitary beaches and towns with an extraordinary natural richness. Among those places are Flamingos, with its three beautiful lakes; Bucerias, with a long beach and cobblestone streets; La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, a picturesque fishing town; Destiladeras, a paradise for surfers. Volunteers will have the chance to visit the Islas Marietas - one of the most beautiful places on earth, take surfing classes and travel to Sayulita, a bohemian town ideal for camping. The beaches of Rincon de Guayabitos with crystal-clear waters and calm waves resemble a large swimming pool. Nearby, participants will find the pre-Hispanic sanctuary of Altavista and the semi-virgin beach named Chacala, the perfect site to be amazed by nature.

Accommodation: The volunteers will stay in a hotel in La Peñita de Jaltemba. They will have full access to two swimming pools and the beach. The volunteers will stay in quadruple rooms with air conditioning. Free Wi-Fi is available. Three meals a day are provided at the hotel restaurant consisting of nice typical Mexican food. Transportation from the hotel to the turtle camp and back is also provided for the volunteers.

Location: La Peñita de Jaltemba is a small beach town with approximately 20,000 inhabitants, located on the Pacific coast of Mexico, in the state of Nayarit. It is the main service community for the popular beach resort area Rincón de Guayabitos. The closest city is Puerto Vallarta.

Nestled on the imposing Western Sierra Madre, and washed by the Ocean Pacific waters, the Nayarit Riviera is shaping to be one of Mexico’s most attractive tourist destinations. The area is actually a 192 mile stretch of coastline, backed by jungle-clad mountains and facing offshore islands. There is plenty of remote backcountry for those wanting to see a more rustic side of rural Mexico. Banderas Bay, on the southern section of the Nayarit Riviera, is famous for being the destination spot of thousands of humpback whales that offer an unmatched spectacle. In addition, Puerto Vallarta is famous for its long seafront walkway and its vibrant nightlife. The Huichol Indians are the most famous ethnic group within the region. They are characterized by their eye-catching clothing, hats adorned with feathers and their colorful handcrafts, such as masks and animal figurines made of beads.

Nearest airport: Aeropuerto Internacional Benito Juárez in México City

Age range: 18 and over

Extra fee: 295 Euro

The extra fee is intended to support the hosting organization who does not have sufficient funds. It is due upon arrival on the project.

                                                                                                         

 

 

My Trip to Colola, Michoacan, Mexico:

"The paperwork wasn’t lying when they said you’d be sleeping in a palm hut! The beds are made of wooden boards, so it is behoove of you to bring a sleeping pad! The place itself is pretty secluded. Town is maybe 10-20 minutes walking distance from the camp. There are a few small stores with the bare necessities and a computer lab. Outlets in Mexico are the same as in the United States; the camp didn’t have any but the town did have a few. Don’t be surprised if you have horses, donkeys, or cows walking through the camp.

 The locals work by the week; so each week you work with a different group of people. They always have at least one person there ‘on watch’. Generally, depending on who their team leader was, we would start work between 2000 and 2100. Work would last 4-7 hours. One to two volunteers are usually assigned to a local. There are four zones on the beach; two of them are collecting and two are marking. Depending on who you work with and certain zones, you can mark the turtles with a metal tattoo / tag that contains a tracking number. The collecting zones involve waiting for the females to lay their eggs, helping move her out of the hole, measuring the length of the female’s shell, noting if she has a tag, the time, zone, and digging up the eggs (anywhere from 1 to over 130) for transport. Once collected, the eggs are transported back to camp where they are buried and marked. There is also a group assigned to release. Once the babies come to the surface, you collect and count them before taking them down to the ocean for release.

 Our group got up between 0900 and 1000 for a late breakfast. Some people went to the town for food, supplies, or internet. Others stayed at camp to read, clean up, nap, or enjoy the beach. Swimming is not authorized at the turtle camp; however, you could go just beyond the town and go swimming there. On the weekends we would usually go to a beach either farther east or west of camp for different scenery. There are some walls in the town that could use a nice mural or something on them… we didn’t have time. A few of us did post signs along the road marking how close the camp was (500 m, 1000m, and 1500m). Don’t be afraid to hitchhike, by far the cheapest and quickest way to get around.

 The trip was an amazing time. I met some awesome people from all over- Finland, Wales, South Korea, France, Mexico, and the United States. I’d recommend this kind of volunteer project to anyone that loves the outdoors, beaches, and turtles! "

Natalie D.,
Cadip volunteer 2010

 

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