Volunteer Teaching in Mexico
- Placement locations: Guadalajara, Ciudad Guzman
- Types of schools: High School, University
- Age of students: 11 - 26
- Class sizes: 30+ or individual/small group tuition
- Role: Teacher or teaching assistant (English, French, German, Italian, Japanese at University)
- Requirements: None
- Extra-curricular roles: Art, Drama, Music, Sport
- Accommodation: Host families
- Length of placement: From 4 weeks
- Start dates: Flexible
With rich natural resources, a mix of indigenous peoples, and stunning coastlines, Mexico is a fascinating country. It has a strong tourist industry and Mexicans are eager to embrace the opportunities that come from living next door to the United States. With so much trade and interaction with the US, a good command of the English language opens up many international opportunities for jobs, commerce and travel.
Living so close to the United States means that plenty of US culture flows into the country in the form of television and music, and this makes the English language even more attractive. Schools and universities in the areas we work in Mexico are increasingly eager to benefit from the opportunities a native English speaking volunteer brings.
Volunteering as a teacher in Mexico with Projects Abroad is an ideal way to learn about and explore Mexico and its people. You do not need to have any previous teaching experience and we do not require any TEFL training or certification. Whether you want to volunteer abroad as a teacher during your gap year, career break, or volunteer vacation, your presence at the school or university in which you work will be valued, and you will receive ongoing support from our local staff.
The Projects Abroad office in Mexico is based in Guadalajara, the second largest city in Mexico after the capital, Mexico City. The schools in Guadalajara often struggle to get teachers who speak fluent English. The most suitable candidates are often tempted away by higher salaries in the private sector.
Volunteering as a Teacher in Mexico
Our volunteers can choose to work in high schools or at the University of Guadalajara. If you want to go to a smaller, more traditional Mexican town, you can also be placed in Ciudad Guzman, which is situated about two hours away from Guadalajara. You will soon find yourself known as one of the few 'gringos' in town.
You will generally start your placement supporting a teacher, but you will probably feel confident enough to take your own classes before long. It is always important to achieve a balance with your teaching colleagues as any one-on-one work you do with the students will help them improve rapidly.
In the junior and high schools the students are aged from 11 to 18 years old. The average size of a class in these schools is about thirty students and volunteers are expected to teach for up to four hours per day from Monday to Friday. Teaching volunteers in Mexico also have the option of teaching English at universities, working with students aged between 18 and 26.
Your main focus will be on building your students’ confidence to communicate in English. You will find that the students want to hear what life is like in your hometown, and why you have chosen to come to Mexico.
Did you know? Around 45% of Mexicans finish high school, while by comparison, about 75% of Americans finish high school.
It is always worth talking to your supervisors about any ideas you may have for the students. If you have other language skills such as German or French we would be interested to hear from you as well. There are always skills that our volunteers have that we could use on our teaching projects. Volunteers who are budding musicians, artists, and actors have all added to the richness of our students’ education in the recent past by teaching creative subjects such as art, drama, and music.
You can read more detailed information about the aims of the project in our Mexico Teaching Management Plan.
The feeling you get when you see the look of recognition on a child's face is quite exceptional. It was an extraordinary experience which taught me a lot about myself. Read more...
Volunteering at a Teaching Placement in Mexico with Projects Abroad
Before you set out to Mexico, we will send you a teaching guide that has plenty of suggestions for games and activities that will help to stimulate the students’ minds and sustain their enthusiasm. We always welcome new ideas and we hope that you will take the time to prepare and structure lessons. Being well prepared will help to give you confidence and ensure that both you and your students get the most out of the experience.
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.