Volunteer in Mexico!
Have you always been interested in exploring colorful, fascinating Mexico? Would you like to do that affordably, while contributing to positive change in the country? Find new life direction while making a contribution to the world when you volunteer in Mexico.
Culturally rich and historically fascinating, Mexico is a captivating country. Explore historical destinations, including ancient ruins of the Olmec, Maya, and Aztecs. Travel the train routes used by revolutionary Pancho Villa.
Enjoy the lovely climate, which remains temperate year round. Relax on some of the world's best beaches. Sample diverse and delicious cuisine.
Sadly, Mexico is still an impoverished country, with more than a third of the population living in poverty, ten percent in extreme poverty. Wealth inequality is extreme, with about one percent of the population owning more than half the country's wealth. Additionally, the poor lack access to adequate education, which results in meager employment opportunities. Severe government corruption and lack of infrastructure also contribute.
Today, Mexico needs volunteers more than ever.
This is where you come in when you join a volunteer-abroad program in Mexico. You can work in community and conservation projects, including health care, special education, or sea turtle conservation.
When you volunteer abroad in Mexico, you can help improve lives in disadvantaged communities and be part of the solution.
Request information about volunteering in Mexico and change your life, today!
Volunteering in Tanzania: Programs
Global Crossroad offers variety of exceptional volunteering and special programs to meet your volunteering as well as travelling need. Please feel free to choose any program you love and contact us for more information:
Volunteering with sea turtle conservation in Mexico gives you the unique chance to work directly with sea turtle! With over two decades of success in sea turtle conservation, this project is a fantastic opportunity to pursue your passion of helping animals and the environment.
In addition to the above projects, we also offer family Volunteering, alternative spring break, high school volunteering, college/university volunteering and many other programs. Contact Global Crossroad for further information.
Volunteer in Mexico: Dates And Prices
Dates: Volunteer In Mexico
All volunteer programs in Mexico start every Monday of each month. However, if there is travel constrains, you can start any project on any day.
Fees: Volunteer in Mexico
Global Crossroad is committed to offering the most affordable and highest quality Mexico volunteer trips. We strive to keep our costs low. The humanitarian side of the business is our passion.
Global Crossroad's volunteer opportunity in Mexico application and registration fee cost US $299. The application fee covers the cost of advertising, program promotion, and office expenses (rent, utilities, and staff salaries in USA office).
In addition to the application fee, you are required to pay a weekly program fee. You will pay your weekly fee directly to the country coordinator, who in turn will allocate it to your host family, project and other in-country support we offer to our volunteers. This way, the fees that you pay will benefit those who rightfully deserve them, and not for company profit.
|Sea turtle conservation
Program fees cover:
- Airport pick and drop off (only for Turtle Conservation Project)
- Accommodation (volunteer house/host family)
- Food (local food 3 times a day)
- Program Orientation
- In-country support
- Personalized project
- Pre-departure information
- Certificate of completion
- Fundraising ideas and letters
- Discount for returning volunteers
Program fees exclude:
- Personal expenses on soft drinks and food
- Daily transportation
- Airport pick up and return transfer for Special Education Project
The volunteering programs in Mexico fees will cover expenses that will begin on the first day of the program (usually the first or third Monday of the month) to the last day of the program. If you arrive before the first day of the program or you decide you stay beyond your program’s last day, you will be responsible for the additional expenses, which would typically be around $30 a day for room and meals at a hostel.
Volunteer in Mexico: Accommodations and Meals
When volunteering in Mexico, you will either stay with a host family or in a tented camp in the sea turtle project. Our host families in Mexico are well screened and they will offer you a safe and secure place to stay. Staying with a host family is also a wonderful opportunity to immerse in local language and practice Spanish. In the sea turtle project, volunteers will stay in tented camps inside the project and very close to the beach. There will be project staff to prepare you meals and guide you through your volunteering overseas in Mexico project.
The main meal during your volunteer opportunity in Mexico is served around 2pm, usually consisting of various versions of a meat/chicken dish, served often with rice and beans or salad/other vegetables. Fish and shrimp are also popular with some families. Breakfast is often eggs/tortillas, fruit/yogurt or cereal and fruit, depending on your preferences and the host family.
Specific details regarding accommodations, food and contact details for our local coordinator will be provided in personalized volunteer placement documentation prior to arrival for your Mexico volunteer experience.
Volunteer in Mexico: Free Time Options
The schools are based in and around Melaque. There are two schools in Melaque, one in Jaluco, where the tourism students study. Jaluco is just across the highway from Melaque. There is also another school in a town called Emiliano Zapata, just 5 minutes out of Melaque.
When volunteering in Mexico with one of the education programs, you will be placed with host families in the same town (Melaque) or the next town (Barra de Navidad), with a maximum of 15 minutes of travel time.
Barra de Navidad has a population of seven thousand and offers beautiful unspoiled beaches, fabulous restaurants, and friendly people.
During your free time from your volunteering work in Mexico, volunteers can swim in nearby beach, surf, boogie board, cycling, horse ride, fish and snorkel. Melaque is located only 2 miles northwest of Barra de Navidad and shares the same long curving beach. Besides being a popular vacation destination for Mexican families and a low-key winter hangout for snowbirds (principally Canadians), Melaque is famous for its weeklong Fiesta de San Patricio (St Patrick's Day Festival) in March.
If you join a volunteer opportunity in Mexico with sea turtle conservation, you will reside in Campamento Majahuas, which is located in a beautiful place on the Pacific Coast of Mexico, surrounded by palm trees and between a lagoon and beautiful seashore. You will experience the joys of living in a peaceful rural village with closely-knit communities working together and helping out each other.
Away from the modern urban life, when you are volunteering overseas in Mexico with the sea turtle project, you will have a lot explore and experience in the secluded yet serene landscape and pristine nature. Most particularly, you will enjoy the simple traditional life of the local people and the warmth and hospitality they offer to the visitors. During breaks you can also visit Melaque and Puerto Vallarta, the beach villages and the resort town on Mexico's Pacific coast, which are in a couple of hours' distance by bus.
Regardless of the volunteer program in Mexico that you choose to join, you will have plenty of free time to explore all that Mexico has to offer! It is highly encouraged that you take advantage of your free time and embrace your Mexico volunteer experience as a whole.
Safety and In-Country Support
Our number #1 priority is the safety of our volunteers. Global Crossroad is a leading volunteer organization serving thousands of volunteers. We pride ourselves on providing the safest, highest quality, and most professional programs to our volunteers since 2003. Our dedicated team works closely from start to finish with each volunteer (and parents/guardians) to ensure a successful, satisfactory, and safe volunteering experience.
Below is a list of our safety and field support features that will demonstrate the level of support and safety each of you will receive while volunteering abroad.
1. Country Coordinator and Field Staff :
In each country, where we operate, we have a very strong and dedicated team of country coordinators and local staff members to support and take care of you. All of our country coordinators and field staff are highly experienced and responsible individuals. They have been running volunteer abroad program for many years. They have served thousands of volunteers, so they understand your needs and know how to run safe, rewarding, and meaningful volunteer abroad program for you.
Our In-country staff is responsible for a number of things. Below are some of the main services that they will provide:
- Airport pick-up and transfer to host family or work site
- Management of room and food in host family/hostel
- Orientation of local country, culture, host family, safety, and related issues
- Introduction to your host family and project staff
- Periodic follow up visits or calls (1-2 week intervals) to ensure everything is going smoothly
- Advice for solving any issues, problems, or concerns
2. Airport Greeting
We are dedicated to keeping you save and comfortable from your point of your arrival until your point of departure. We will always receive our volunteers at the airport and transfer them safely. Depending upon the country in which you choose to volunteer, our coordinator, local staff, or a professional transfer company employee will greet you at the airport.
3. Orientation and safety discussion
Regardless of where you join the Global Crossroad volunteer program, our program starts with an in depth discussion on safety, history, cultural people, religion, life, and do’s and don’ts. Depending upon the country, these orientation programs range from a few hours to three days. During orientation, we explain the different aspect of safety and general guidelines to help keep yourself safe while volunteering abroad.
4. Safe Host Family and Accommodation
While volunteering abroad, the majority of the time you will reside with a local host family, hostel, or similar accommodation. We always carefully select the host families and other forms of accommodations to make sure that you will be safe and comfortable. In all destinations, we have selected host families who are socially respected and responsible. Most of our host families have hosted international volunteers before, so they completely understand your needs. Your host family will always take care of you and keep you safe.
Similarly, all of our volunteer houses and hostels are located in very safe locations. These hostels are always guarded by security guards or supervised by the local staff very frequently to make sure that you are safe and secure. Also you will be staying with other volunteers from all over the world. You will never be alone.
5. Comprehensive Insurance and Evacuation Plan
While volunteering abroad, you will be covered by international insurance. This protects you in case something unforeseen happens. It is mandatory that all volunteers obtain a travel insurance policy when volunteering abroad. Global Crossroad offers one of the most comprehensive insurance packages from a third party. Our insurance policy provides excellent protection in the event that a health-related issue occurs, an accident, or other unpredictable incidences.
6. Placement with Other Volunteers
Global Crossroad is happy to place you with other volunteers (depending on availability) if this is something that would make you feel safer.
Any international travel requires caution and awareness; volunteering abroad is no exception. We suggest that all volunteers consult their own government advisory office before making the decision to participate in any overseas volunteering opportunities. International travel presents risks, especially with the modern day threat of international terrorism.
The U.S. State Department issues travel warnings and advisories in many countries for American travelers. These travel advisories and warnings frequently change, as situations in each country transform.
These links provide valuable travel information:
It is also wise to consult the Center for Disease Control for health related information and issues that might come up during your time volunteering abroad. Check out www.cdc.gov for possible health risks. One must also keep in mind that the sanitary conditions in developing countries are likely very different from those in your home country. It is also strongly advised that you do not drink the tap water and do not eat food from street vendors.
Volunteer in Mexico: Major FAQS:
Have you got more questions? That sounds good to us. We have assembled a list of answers to frequent questions. Read on, and learn more about the exciting opportunities that await you.
Who will arrange my flight to Mexico?
International flight coordination and payment of international airfare is a volunteer's responsibility.
At which airport should I arrive?
If you are flying, all volunteers are advised to arrive at Manzanillo Playa de Oro International Airport (ZLO), Manzanillo, Mexico. From Manzanillo, it is only 20 minutes to travel to Melaque, where our country coordinator is based, and Barra de Navidad, where you will stay with the host family for teaching projects. Alternatively, you can fly to Puerto Vallarta (4 hours away) or Guadalajara (5 hours away). There will be airport pickup only from Manzanillo.
If my assignment begins on Monday, when should I arrive in Mexico?
Please arrive the day before your assignment begins. If you wish to arrive earlier, your accommodation and meals will be your responsibility. Please review our assignment or Language Studies & Cultural Immersion start day details in your personal placement information package we will forward to you.
Will someone pick me from the airport? If so, how will I know who they are and where they are?
You will be greeted up at the airport, but you must send your travel itinerary to our Mexico in-country Coordinator and to us at Global Crossroad's offices before your arrival in Mexico. A local staff member or our in-country coordinator will meet you. They will be holding a sign with your name, awaiting your arrival outside of the airport.
If you miss our representative due to flight delay or confusion, please call the in-country coordinator number provided in your placement details. This rarely happens, but be prepared by keeping this important information with you as you travel. Make sure you look carefully for your pick-up representative, as it is normally busy outside of the airport.
What should I do if my flight is delayed?
- Try to call our Mexico in-country coordinator from the airport to notify him/her of the possible delayed arrival time.
- Check your placement instructions pertaining to details of hotels that have been recommended for late arrival if your flight will after midnight.
- Call/email our Mexico in-country Coordinator once you arrive so that s/he can orchestrate a new pick-up time.
How can I get to my accommodations from the airport, if I did not connect with Global Crossroad's local representative in the airport?
In the event that your arrival time is changed/delayed, requiring you to stay overnight in a hotel (or if you failed to meet Global Crossroad's representative at the airport), you should hire a taxi at the airport. Request the taxi deliver you to the hotel designated in your placement details/pre-departure information. Remember to request a receipt from the driver.
IMPORTANT: Ensure that you have contacted Global Crossroad's in-country coordinator BEFORE boarding a taxi. Participants are advised to contact Global Crossroad's Mexico In-Country Coordinator the next day and let him/her know their whereabouts.
What do I need prior to departure from my home country?
- Please make sure that you pack all your necessary documents: passport, copy of passport and at least one other form of picture ID.
- Please bring your volunteer assignment placement details.
- Prepare financially to cover unforeseen expenses up to $50-100 USD/week for extra expenses and travel to your project each day.
- Prepare your mind and spirit for the experience to which you have committed. Culture shock affects everyone and it may be so strong that you want to quit the week after arrival. Take precautions: read about Mexico, study the culture and language(s) and learn about food and customs.
If I want to arrive earlier than when my assignment begins, where do I stay and who will organize the accommodations?
You can arrive up to a week early for your assignment; however, you are responsible for making and paying for these arrangements (including accommodations and food), and must still meet the in-country coordinator at the airport on the designated date.
When should I depart from Mexico?
We ask that participants depart from Mexico on the Saturday following the completion of their assignment.
From which airport shall I depart?
The nearest airport is Manzanillo Playa de Oro International Airport (ZLO), Manzanillo, Mexico. There are other airports in Puerto Vallarta and Guadalajara.
Who will bring me to the airport for my departure?
GC does not offer airport drop-off services. You will need to arrange a taxi or bus ride to the airport following your assignment's completion. This is a simple process and our Mexico in-country coordinator or your host family will normally be very happy to assist you with the arrangements.
What are the visa procedures for volunteer in Mexico?
Securing a tourist visa is the volunteer's responsibility and Global Crossroad advices all volunteers to obtain a tourist visa before departing for Mexico. If you are entering from the USA, no special visa is required for volunteers to enter Mexico. Volunteers of other nationalities should check visa requirements online.
Are ATMs easily available? If yes, which debit and credit cards are accepted?
Major cities have ATM machines, although not all will accept international cards. You can withdraw cash from most international banks from ATM machines, but $2-4 USD surcharges apply for each transaction.
MasterCard, Visa, Cirrus/Maestro and American Express cards are usually only accepted at the more expensive restaurants and hotels. Use caution when paying by credit card, as there is potential for fraud.
Ensure that you have notified your home bank of your intent to travel to Mexico. This will provide you the necessary information and alleviate any confusion at your home bank regarding international transactions, which can result in a cautionary freeze on your account in some cases.
What is the local currency, and how do I know the exchange rate?
The local currency is the Peso. http://finance.yahoo.com/currency-converter/?amt=1&from=usd&to=mxn&submit=convert#from=USD;to=MXN;amt=1
Where should I exchange my money?
You can change money in banks, but it is often more convenient to change currency in a casa de cambio (exhcange bureau). These businesses are open longer hours than banks, usually do not have long line-ups as banks often do, and they offer comparable exchange rates (though banks may offer a slightly better rate). Check around to see where you will receive the best exchange rate (the exchange rate is usually posted prominently outside the bank or casa de cambio.
There are banks in Mexico City and ATMs in other major cities that will allow you to withdraw cash from ATM or credit cards. You may be charged a service fee, depending on your bank. There are many ATMs now in those cities that are open 24 hours a day.
Visa is the most widely accepted credit card, but all major international credit cards, including Diners Club and MasterCard, are accepted in the large establishments, although facilities may be limited outside major cities.
How much money should I bring with me for my volunteer opportunity in Mexico?
Global Crossroad manages food and rooms for our volunteers throughout the assignment; therefore, you will not need more money to pay for these expenses. However, if you plan to take part in activities outside of our organization or buy some souvenirs, you will need to bring extra money.
On a side note, you must also remember the fee for visas, which can range from US $50-100 depending on the length of stay. There may also be an airport tax that you pay upon your departure from Mexico. You will want to determine the amount of extra money you bring based on these factors.
Is it safe to carry cash with me?
Carrying cash is not always safe; therefore, do not carry a large surplus of cash with you. It is advised that you carry cash in a money belt with some additional stashed in your wallet.
How safe is Mexico?
Any international travel requires caution and awareness. We suggest that all volunteers consult their own government advisory office before participating in a Global Crossroad program.
International travel does present risks, especially with the modern-day threat of international terrorism. The U.S. State Department issues travel warnings and advisories in many countries for American travelers. These travel advisories and warnings change frequently as situations in each country transform.
These links provide travel information:
- British Foreign Office Advice http://www.fco.gov.uk/
- American State Department Advice http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/tw/tw_1764.html
- Australian Government Advice http://www.dfat.gov.au/
- Canadian Government Advice http://canada.gc.ca/main_e.html
What are the principle health risks in Mexico?
We use the Center for Disease Control traveler's health recommendations www.cdc.gov . You should also consult a travel doctor who will be knowledgeable about current epidemics, health risks and recommended vaccinations.
Is the food safe if I buy it from a street vendor?
No! Mexico is a developing country and you should be cautious. While you are in Mexico, food safety should be a major consideration. You can hardly resist the tempting novelty of street vendors and their food variety, but you should abstain. Our suggestion is to avoid eating on the streets until you get familiar with the general situation. The food will likely taste quite different from anything you have had before. Food safety problems can range from chemicals and contaminants, to bacteria as well as some other diseases. In Mexico, poor food cooking, preparation, and storage, as well as improper cleaning and disinfecting of cooking supplies is very common among street vendors. Therefore, we do not suggest buying food from street vendors.
What are the sanitary conditions in Mexico?
Be prepared and never expect a clean toilet 100% of the time. Carry some tissue in case you need to use the public toilet. In some areas/restaurants, toilet systems are old, have very narrow plumbing and are easily blocked. In these cases, a small basket is usually placed beside the toilet (for your used toilet paper). Use hotel lobby toilets; these are everywhere and are tend to be clean. Still, they may not always have toilet paper.
When should I apply to volunteer assignment in Mexico?
We are able to place volunteers on the 1st or 3rd Monday of any month, year round. We recommend applying at least two months in advance, as there is an ever-increasing volume of applications. If your application must be expedited for quicker placement, please contact our office for more information.
What happens once I submit my documents and application to Global Crossroad?
Once Global Crossroad receives and reviews your completed application, it is then forwarded to our In-Country Coordinator in Mexico who will then finalize a personal assignment as per your qualifications, experience and requests. Your finalized placement details are forwarded to you upon completion.
How long does it take to process my application?
The application process may take up to 2-4 weeks – occasionally longer given the time of year and influx of applications to your chosen country. However, in the event that an applicant requires quicker placement due to time constraints, we request you contact Global Crossroad's offices prior to submitting an application.
What documents do I need to submit with my application?
The only initial documentation required is our completed application form, which can be found online at https://www.globalcrossroad.com/apply . We reserve the right to request further information or documentation; however, in most situations information contained in the application is sufficient. Applicants have the option to either submit their application online or download the application from the website and submit the completed form to Global Crossroad's USA-based offices by either mail or fax.
Are there any necessary requirements to participate in the Mexico based volunteer programs?
The only qualifications are:
- An open-mind, a willingness to teach others as well a passion for helping those in need.
- Enthusiasm for living abroad, meeting new people and embracing varied cultures.
- Be in good mental and physical health.
Who manages the volunteer projects in Mexico?
Global Crossroad's in-country Coordinator in Mexico is responsible for researching appropriate volunteer projects as per the qualifications, skills and interests of the applicants.
What are the daily schedules of the projects?
Project schedules vary for each project in Mexico. Most projects are from Monday to Friday, for approximately 5-6 hours a day. Most volunteers have the weekends and evenings off to sightsee or explore Mexico on their own.
Where are the projects located?
Volunteer projects in Mexico are situated in Barra de Navidad, Cihuatlán, Manzanillo and Campamento Majahaus.
What is the language spoken in Mexico?
While many different languages are spoken throughout Mexico, the official language of the country is Spanish.
When are the Mexico based assignments available?
Global Crossroad programs are available year round and begin on the 1st or 3rd Monday of every month. We organize Language Studies & Cultural Immersion orientation programs twice a month throughout the year and the schedule coincides with our volunteer assignments. We suggest that volunteers adjust their flight schedule according to accommodate this important cultural exposure program's schedules. Volunteers can go straight to their assignment and skip the language and culture program if they choose; however, we strongly recommend enrolling. Solid understanding of your chosen country's culture and communication will vastly improve your experience as a volunteer and the experience of the citizens and children who you are there to assist. If the volunteer opts out of this program, their assignment will begin on the 1st and 3rd Monday of every month.
How long can I volunteer abroad in Mexico?
Global Crossroad advises that you commit to between 2-12 weeks. In general, most countries do not allow those traveling on a tourist visa to stay longer than 12 weeks. If you are set on staying longer, contact a Global Crossroad representative to discuss your options.
Who will arrange my accommodations and what are they?
Global Crossroad's weekly fees include management of volunteers' meal plans and accommodations throughout projects and travel options. Three meals a day (breakfast, lunch and dinner) will be provided and will consist of local ingredients and feature traditional cuisine choices for Mexico. Unless otherwise specified by the volunteers, the main meal is served around 2pm, usually consisting of various versions of a meat/chicken dish, served often with rice and beans or salad/other vegetables. Fish and shrimp are also popular with some families. Breakfast is often eggs/tortillas, fruit/yogurt or cereal and fruit, depending on the volunteers preferences and the host family.
All volunteers will either stay with a host family or in a tented camp in the sea turtle project. Our host families in Mexico are well screened and they will offer you a safe and secure place to stay. Staying with a host family is also a wonderful opportunity to immerse in local language and practice Spanish. In the sea turtle project, volunteers will stay in tented camps inside the project and very close to the beach. There will be project staff to prepare you meals and guide you through the project.
A unique and important part of Global Crossroad's successful volunteer abroad programs is our volunteer field support in-country. We put safety and comfort first as we deliver enriching and consistent experiences for our international travellers. Our field support is multi-faceted while volunteers are in Mexico and our staff is in contact with our volunteers on a regular basis either with face-to-face visits or via phone/email. Key field support comes from our country coordinator and in-country staff. These individuals are employed by our company and committed to ensuring your experience the best it can be. Your chosen project staff and host family offers support as well, and they are familiar with working with international volunteers and accustomed to answering questions and providing guidance. Volunteers also have access to our country coordinator's mobile number for emergencies. With longer assignments, our field staff visits regularly (every 2-4 weeks) to ensure the experience is meeting your expectations. Sometimes an assignment may be too far to visit physically, so staff members will touch-base via phone/email. You are also welcome to stop in the offices at any time. You are never alone.
Specific details regarding accommodations, meals, field support and contact details for our local coordinator will be provided in personalized volunteer placement documentation prior to arrival.
Are singles rooms available?
Occasionally, in most cases you will share a room with a same-gender volunteer.
If I arrive with my friend, can we stay together?
In many situations yes, but please contact our office regarding your situation, since it may depend upon individual accommodation availability and time-of-year circumstances. Please be reminded that volunteers of different genders are often not permitted to stay in the same room, unless they are a married couple.
Will there be other foreign volunteers/interns at my placement?
Most likely, but this depends on project, location and the season you choose to volunteer. If you want to travel with a companion or group, we allow and encourage this option. You may be placed with different host families, but these residences will generally be located close (within one to two miles) to each other. Please be reminded that volunteers of different genders will normally not be allowed to stay in the same room, unless they are a married couple.
What are the bathroom facilities like?
The bathroom with host families will have running water and western (or modern)-style toilets.
What are the laundry arrangements?
Volunteers can wash their laundry at their accommodations or pay a small fee to have it done.
Will have an opportunity to do laundry while I am completing my volunteer work in Mexico?
It is your own responsibility to do your laundry. In most instances though, you will need to wash your clothes by hand.
Can I use appliances if I bring them from my home country?
Yes, Mexico uses the same as the U.S., 110 volts .
What are the local cuisines? Who manages my meals?
Global Crossroad organizes food and accommodations for the extent of your volunteer assignment. In Mexico, the food usually consists of various versions of a meat/chicken dish, served often with rice and beans or salad/other vegetables. Fish and shrimp are also popular with some families. Breakfast is often eggs/tortillas, fruit/yogurt or cereal and fruit, depending on the volunteers preferences and the host family.
Can you accommodate special diets?
Global Crossroad can provide both vegetarian and non-vegetarian meals. However, we cannot accommodate special dietary needs (i.e. diabetics). If you require a special menu, you will need to be responsible for your own meals.
Is the running tap water safe for drink?
When you are traveling to beaches or rural areas, drink only bottled or boiled water. Tap water, fountain drinks and ice cubes are not safe in these areas. If you cannot boil or purchase water, you can bring filtering methods such as using an "absolute 1 micron or less" filter AND adding iodine tablets to the filtered water. You can buy these at camping/outdoor supply stores.
Are there hot and cold-water facilities available?
Specifics pertaining to availability of hot water will be included in participants' placement details.
Will bottled water be provided?
No, the purchase of bottled water is a volunteer's responsibility.
How do I contact Global Crossroad's local coordinator?
The contact details of our Mexico in-country Coordinator will be given in final placement sheet. You can contact him by email or telephone; we suggest all volunteers talk with country coordinator before they arrive.
How do I contact my family and friends once I arrive in Mexico?
There are several internet cafés in Manzanillo, Melaque and Barra de Navidad, and some host families will also have internet at home. In the camp there is no internet; volunteers will only have access when on breaks from camp. If families need to contact volunteers urgently in camp they will have to email me and I can pass messages on.
Calls can either be made via Skype in internet cafés or via public telephones; calls to the US are well priced from Mexico, and special cards can be purchased with give excellent rates. Volunteers simply need to insert the card and dial 001 followed by the area code and phone number.
How can my family members contact me?
The easiest way to communicate with family members is through the Internet. You will have details about your location prior to your departure to Mexico, so you can share communication options with your family and friends before you depart.
Can I bring my telephone from my home country?
Yes, but it may or may not work. Mobile phone NOTE: only bring cell phones that have multi-national coverage. You cannot switch to a new SIM card here, as the local phone system requires resident status and a receipt for your phone purchase.
Is there a special dress code that I should follow while volunteering in Mexico??
Volunteers should dress conservatively when at their assignments. Jeans and a t-shirt are acceptable. No short-shorts and tank tops please. Remember to consider the regional religious beliefs of Mexico, which may be extremely conservative and revealing clothing is unacceptable - shorts and skirts must be at least knee-length and no one should show their shoulders.
What should I know about religious conduct in Mexico?
Catholicism is the predominant religion in Mexico, but the local people respect different cultural backgrounds, religious beliefs and moral concepts. You may practice on your own accord. Try to be as respectful as possible of churches and religious events.
How do I respect the people of Mexico?
Be inclusive and show respect of their culture. Mexico's culture is rich in customs and traditions. People of Mexico enjoy sharing their customs and traditions with foreigners so feel free to take part with them. You can go with your host family on outings if they ask you to or invite them along with you to go on an outing. Simply helping your family do household chores will be another bonding experience that you can enjoy.
What is weather like in Mexico?
Rainy season in Mexico runs from June through to the end of September/beginning of October. During this time, daytime temperatures reach the mid 30's (Centigrade) and the temperature stays relatively high during the night. However, the rain provides a nice relief. Humidity levels are also very high during these months, making it feel hotter. The winter climate is very nice, reaching the late 20's during the daytime and cooling down in the evenings. There is very rarely any rain in Melaque during the winter months.
Official Holidays in Mexico
- Jan 1: New Year's Day
- January 1 - New Year's Day
- February 5 - onstitution Day (Observance: First Monday of February.)
- March 21 - Benito Juárez's birthday (Observance: Third Monday of March)
- May 1 - Labor Day
- September 16 - Independence Day
- November 20 - Revolution Day (Observance: Third Monday of November.)
- December 1 - Change of Federal Government (Next observance: December 1, 2012.)
- December 25 - Christmas
What about tipping in Mexico?
If you receive good service from your waiter or waitress, it is customary to leave a tip of 15% of the cost of the food/beverages before the value added tax (listed as 'IVA' or Impuesto al Valor Agregado on your bill) is added. IVA is 16% of the cost (11% in border states), so if you want to leave a 16% tip, simply use the amount of IVA to leave as your tip. You may choose to leave more for exceptional service, and less for poor service.
Materials to Bring
- Mobile phone NOTE: only bring cell phones that have multi-national coverage. You cannot switch to a new SIM card here, as the local phone system requires resident status and a receipt for your phone purchase.
- Sleeping bag-only necessary if you wish to actually camp-out
- Mosquito and insect repellents
- Sunscreen, SPFs
- Work gloves (if joining conservation or farming project)
- Books and maps of Mexico
- Toilet paper
- First aid kit
- Shoes/boots (for work and travel)
- Hot weather clothing, but conservative
- Jeans, pants or skirts
- Long-sleeve shirt and jacket for cooler areas
- Jeans or pants or skirts
- Raingear, especially during the rainy season
- Insect repellent
- Travel pillow
- Sleeping bag (during the months of December to March)
- Sleeping bag liner/sheet
- Flash light (preferably head flashlight to leave your hands free for handling nests etc.)
- Cool clothing for the day time (shorts, flip/flops/sandals, t-shirts, swimming suit etc.). Clothing will get dirty, so please don't bring any of your favorites for camp!
- Full length clothing for evenings to prevent mosquito bites (pants/shirt for summer months and heavier clothing such as sweater and jacket for winter months)
- Waterproof jacket for rainy season (June through to October)
- Closed shoes or walking boots for evenings/night patrols (old sneakers are fine)
- Personal first aid kit
The following items are also worth taking into consideration, but not essential:
- Personal first aid kit
- Small bottle of alcohol gel
- Roll mat/camping mat
- Canoe bag (waterproof bag for rainy season, also useful for protecting electronics from sea salt in air)
- Alternative clothing for breaks away from camp
- Books (reading devices also an option, but you must consider the salty air/damp environment during rainy season)
- Music (again, take into account the conditions; it is not recommended to bring expensive equipment)
NOTE: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) is generic information and should not be used as a definitive travel guide. Travel information and situations abroad change constantly. Participants should consult Global Crossroad or their personal travel advisors to verify this information.