Volunteering on Your Next Trip to Mexico

Photo courtesy of Destination:PEACE (Mexico)

The MEXICO Report
TRAVEL Section

By Susie Albin-Najera

You have one week off, maybe two if you’re lucky (and maybe a month if you’re European). You would like to vacation in Mexico because of its proximity, price and paradise-factor. However, in lieu of focusing on which destination in Mexico has the best beach, why not consider taking a volunteer vacation in Mexico?

This might sound crazy to some. Why would you want to spend you hard-earned vacation time not vacationing?

Some volunteer opportunities are referred to as work projects, medical missions, mission trips, educational visits or travel seminars. Incorporating a volunteer effort on your next trip to Mexico is fantastic option regardless if you are single or traveling with a family or a group. And there is a wide selection when it comes to options to complement your trip.

Destination:PEACE

For example, you can choose from serving in many different areas such as: hospitality, biology, technology, healthcare, farming, botanics, education, economics, environment, media arts, sports and so on. To give you an idea, you can feed children, saddle horses, plant a tree, build a home, teach English, introduce computers, demonstrate best health practices, create a web page, scuba dive and learn about the environment. You can help preserve endangered sea turtles, assist local biologists researching jaguars and pumas in their local habitats, save coral reefs, work side by side with local doctors immersed in a small community or help feed animals at a working ranch.

These are the main reasons I recommend volunteering on your vacation:

  • Obtain a better knowledge of the area and understanding of the local community and its needs
  • See a destination through different eyes
  • Make new friends and contacts in unlikely places
  • Sway from your norm and do something different or new
  • Embrace an experience that will change your life forever and for the better
  • Personally rewarding and/or family bonding experience
  • Inspire others to do the same good will
  • Challenge of thinking outward, not inward
  • Be welcomed with loving arms and open hearts
  • Have a special story to share with friends
  • Return home with new energy and a new outlook on life

Volunteer, Destination:PEACE

Many organizations offer volunteer opportunities ranging from one week up to a year, and some options require fees for accommodations, food and supplies. The main thing is to do all of your research, decide which options work best for you, your family or group and then pre-arrange.

Meet Katherine Fisher, the face behind the newly formed volunteer vacation company, Destination: PEACE, headquartered at Sagrada Wellness Mexico in San Miguel de Allende.  Sidenote: (Sisters Molly Mendez Fisher and Katherine Fisher came up with the concept of PEACE Volunteer Vacations.) Each of their five-day vacations combine volunteerism with activities such as yoga, cultural activities and adventure activities including fresh food creations using native plants, whale watching or even guiding baby turtles into their new world. Here are some resources to help you get started:

Also please visit The MEXICO Report’s list of non-profits doing amazing work in Mexico.

Whichever option you might choose, volunteering enriches your soul, makes our world a better place and you a better individual. And as Maya Angelou puts it, “We are at our greatest when we encourage and connect with another human being.”

Have a great trip!

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Susie Albin-Najera
Susie Albin-Najera is the creator and editor of The Mexico Report, an award winning travel blog showcasing news, deals and resources for the modern traveler. Najera is a writer, author, travel blogger, marketing and public relations specialist and producer. Najera serves on the host committee for Maestro Cares, founded by singer Marc Anthony and producer Henry Cardenas; and on the advisory board for Corazon de Vida, providing aid to children in Mexico. She is also the creator of 'The Real Heroes of Mexico' showcasing community heroes in Mexico and producer of Latino Thought Makers. Najera has been recognized by the Mexican Consulate and Mexico Tourism Board for fostering positive relations between countries and her dedication to showcasing Mexico as a premiere destination. She can be reached at info@themexicoreport.com

8 comments for “Volunteering on Your Next Trip to Mexico

  1. 2010-10-23 at 5:25 pm

    nice!!

    could you add angelnotion.org to your list of non-profits??
    we are a clinic serving the local population of playa del carmen
    most of our patients have no other recourse for medical or dental care
    we have performed over 100 life saving heart surgeries on the local children
    among many other incredible missions

    please visit out web site

    • 2010-10-24 at 8:31 am

      Thanks so much Steve, I have added your org to the list! Thank you for the amazing work you are doing in Mexico!

      • 2010-10-24 at 9:41 am

        thank you, susie!!

        right now we have a matching donor
        every donation up to $5000 he will match to angel notion
        so now is a great time to make a donation
        our benefactor will deposit an equal amount

        he has matched almost $4ooo already
        please consider a donation to angel notion
        check the website

        angelnotion.org

        thanks

  2. terry raumschuh
    2010-04-22 at 2:28 pm

    please add me to the subscription list.

    • 2010-04-22 at 2:36 pm

      Hi Terry – you can subscribe to the blog and you will receive email updates when I post new articles. Cheers!

  3. 2010-04-15 at 7:30 pm

    At La Casa de los Ninos in the village of Lo de Marcos(about an hour north of Puerto Vallarta) there are volunteer opportunities. Please visit lacasadelosninos.wordpress.com

  4. Elaine
    2010-03-05 at 2:21 pm

    I’m so impressed with this concept. I hope to participate in one this year! What a way to nourish both your body and soul!!!!!

  5. Lisa Zion
    2009-12-08 at 5:01 pm

    Great information and a good idea to those who wish to give back. Mexico is such a beautiful country. What a great way to harvest good will between us.

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