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Volunteer OverseasVolunteer Overseas

Intern in International Development in Mexico

Overview
  • Placement locations: Guadalajara
  • Role: Working alongside a local NGO on a wide range of tasks
  • Requirements: None.
  • Accommodation: Host family
  • Length of placement: From 4 weeks
  • Start dates: Flexible

If you have a strong interest in international development and are eager to gain experience that could lead to a career in the field, join Projects Abroad’s International Development Project in Mexico. Here, you will have the opportunity to work with various non-profit NGOs that aim to empower and support local underprivileged communities. Your internship will provide practical experience to add to your resume, whether you are a student on a gap year or looking for a summer program abroad, a recent graduate, or a professional on a career break interested in responsible travel opportunities.

Mexico has many well developed and affluent areas, particularly in its large cities. However, the country still has a poverty rate of 13%. Many regions and populations remain vulnerable and need extra support. As an intern at the International Development Project, you can help provide this support and make a tangible difference in communities in need.

International Development Experience in Guadalajara

During your time at an NGO in Mexico, you can get involved in some of the following areas:

Volunteers do office work on the International Development project in Mexico

  • Transport and Mobility - interns can get involved in fundraising tasks, using social media and the local press to promote and plan campaigns to encourage the use of bicycles in the city.
  • Immigration - one NGO gives support to travelers crossing through Mexico to get to the United States by giving food, clothes, and shelter. The NGO needs interns to help with promotion, fundraising, and helping out at the shelter giving out or collecting food and clothes. Interns may also assist by interviewing the migrants, collecting data, and getting statements about human rights violations that have taken place in Mexico. This project includes some journalism work, such as helping to write press releases and running social media campaigns.
  • Human Rights - in Guadalajara, we are partnered with the Mexico branch of a global NGO promoting human rights. Interns work with local staff on communication, publicity, and planning for peaceful demonstrations or other events. There is a great need here for interns with skills in video editing and social media.
  • Empowerment of Women - we also work with an NGO focused on the empowerment of women in marginalized communities. At this placement, interns assist with fundraising, translation, and educational workshops. If you have business skills and experience, you can help these women design and implement small business plans that they can operate in their communities.

Did you know? The vast majority of abuses against Central American migrants passing through Mexico go unreported.

Whichever NGO you work for, you should show a high level of motivation and a willingness to participate in any task given to you, whether it is organizing a new campaign or spending a few hours translating or editing a project proposal. By working across many areas of the organization you will gain a well-rounded view of how NGOs work and the challenges they face in achieving their goals.


Interning on the International Development Project in Mexico

Local woman sells artisan crafts at a local market in Mexico

You are expected to be punctual, professional, and hard-working throughout your internship. On your first day, you will be introduced to a placement supervisor who will advise and support you during your placement. Our Projects Abroad staff are always available to assist in any way for the duration of your time abroad as well. You will be required to work an average of 30 hours per week, usually Monday-Friday. Working on the weekends is also a possibility, as well as work trips.

The placements will accept anyone who is motivated to get involved and help, but these internships are especially suited for students and recent graduates of degrees in business or development studies. Please let us know if you have experience or a special interest in any particular area when you apply.

Volunteer Profile Former intern Natalie Beaton shares the experience from the International Development project in Mexico
Natalie Beaton
The main project that IMDEC was working on at the time I was there was projecting a local community for flooding from a creation of a dam and pollution in a local river that has been causing health problems. My main duties were editing and research for their documents and correspondence. It was a great opportunity to help with these projects to improve these communities and giving voices to the local people. Read more...

Speaking some Spanish is encouraged for International Development interns so you are able to communicate and interact directly with the local communities with which you are working. Interns who need extra help with their Spanish can take a Language Course before their project and/or a Language Add-on during their placement.

All volunteers participating on standard projects in Mexico have the opportunity to spend one week on a Conservation & Environment project at the end of their main placement. For more information, please visit our Sea-Turtle and Coastal Conservation & Environment Project in Mexico page. Our Combinations Page explains how you can combine not only projects, but also destinations.

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