Volunteer with Children in Mexico
- Placement locations: Guadalajara, Ciudad Guzman
- Types of care projects: Care centers for disabled children, kindergartens, childcare centers
- Age of children: 0 - 15
- Number of people cared for: Varied
- Role: Volunteers work on achieving the goals set out in the Care Management Plan, including running educational games and group activities and providing emotional support to disadvantaged youths.
- Requirements: None
- Accommodation: Host families
- Length of placement: From 2 weeks
- Start dates: Flexible
Joining Projects Abroad as a Care volunteer in Mexico you will have an important role to play in the care centers where we work. Volunteers at all our care placements in Mexico are engaged in helping children who have few other people they can turn to. Volunteering in Mexico should be considered a challenging, but also an incredibly rewarding, endeavor.
You are not required to have previous experience working with children, provided that you are passionate and committed to the job and the people you are trying to help. A working knowledge of Spanish is beneficial, but not essential if you are prepared to learn. Whether you are on a gap year, a career break, or volunteering for a summer abroad, you will have a role to play and your contribution will be valued.
Projects Abroad has a variety of care placements in Guadalajara, Mexico's second largest city, and Ciudad Guzman, a smaller town in the volcanic region a couple of hours south. Volunteering in Mexico could see you working in a kindergarten, childcare center, or center for children with mental and physical disabilities. Our partner organizations include the Red Cross, who operate care centers in the region.
Volunteering at a Child Care Center in Mexico
As a Care volunteer at a care center it is important you have a lot of energy. You will get involved in a variety of activities, from helping the children with brushing their teeth to learning the words of the latest pop song. Any encouragement you can offer goes a long way toward building a child's self-esteem and confidence. However exhausted you feel at the end of the day, you will always feel that it has been well worth the effort.
You will need to be patient with children as many of them have problems stemming from their home life and general background. Many of the children are desperate for attention and there will undoubtedly be children who have health problems and need special attention due to both mental and physical disabilities. We recommend that volunteers speak some basic Spanish, as the center's staff do not always speak English.
The children were enchanting and I relished the relaxed attitude in this school, especially compared to my experience of work in a London Kindergarten...The children were really eager to learn numbers and colours, and making up songs to help them learn these proved very popular. The teachers allow you to be as inventive as you like with your teaching methods, and do as little or as much English as you want. Read more...
Some Care volunteers in Mexico work at a day care center for children receiving cancer treatments. You are needed to assist the dedicated staff here, helping keep the children entertained with a variety of activities while they wait for treatment. For the most part, you will be helping add positivity and fun into their difficult daily lives.
We also place volunteers at a placement that works with vulnerable children. Some of these children have lived on the streets, their parents cannot take care of them, or they live in extremely challenging circumstances. This placement functions as a drop-in center and school, and your role will be to help staff members provide food, help the kids with their homework, and engage the kids in interactive activities and games.
Every day at work was an inspiration. I was so inspired by the courage of these children and these parents. They smile so deeply and I can truly see the effect that I have on their mood. Having someone to talk to, to laugh with, to play with, and to share their culture with is something that all children need, and especially these. By being there and talking with the children, encouraging them and smiling with them, I know I made an incredible difference. Read more...
Volunteering at a Special Needs Center in Mexico
Projects Abroad also works with a center for handicapped children in Guadalajara. The children have a wide range of disabilities, and work can range from helping the younger children get ready for the day in the morning to teaching the older ones how to read and write. The children at the center are usually between 6 and 12 years old, and need all the time and attention you can give them.
Volunteering at a Care Placement in Mexico
The range of skills that you may require throughout the duration of your placement may be as varied as the problems encountered by the children you are helping. Many of the children are desperate for attention and there will undoubtedly be children present who have health problems and mental and physical disabilities.
The Projects Abroad team organizes regular workshops for our Care volunteers. The workshops will provide you with extra support throughout your stay. They also give a valuable insight into the care system in Mexico and the background of the placement where you are working. You will also receive advice and suggestions regarding activities to carry out at your care placement.
Did you know? 14% of children in Mexico under five years of age are stunted and slowed in their development, often as a result of malnutrition.
You can read more detailed information about the aims of the project in our Mexico Care Management Plan.
Volunteering in Orphanages in Mexico
Over the years, our volunteers have worked with children at orphanages and residential care homes in Mexico. They have done incredible work at these placements, improving living conditions there and creating opportunities for children by supporting their education and care. However, we have decided to move our focus away from orphanages and homes toward community and family-based care. This is because we believe stable family environments are best for the children we work with. Read more about orphanage volunteering and our position on it.
This means that instead of volunteering in orphanages in Mexico, volunteers will work in placements like day care centers, kindergartens and schools, or support groups for the elderly and mothers and babies. This will help Projects Abroad build stronger relationships with local communities and – most importantly – help families stay together and flourish.
You can join the Care project in Mexico for two or three weeks if you don't have time to join us for four weeks or more. This project has been selected by our local colleagues as being suitable for shorter durations for both the host community and the volunteer. Although you will gain valuable cultural insight and work intensely within the local community please be aware that you may not be able to make the same impact as someone participating for a longer period.
While you’re in Mexico, you might also consider joining a 1 week Conservation & Environment Project. 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.