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Exchange your skills for accommodation
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Hostel Guadalajara, Mexico
Check the complete Worldpackers Mexico travel guide.
Most people enjoy sipping margaritas at Mexico's most touristy vacation spots, such as the poolside five-star resorts located in Tulum, Cancun, and Cozumel. However, becoming an active part of this amazingly diverse country will enrich your Mexico travel experience far more than relaxing at a fancy resort ever will. You'll never be bored in a country with so many culturally-diverse activities to get involved in, and what better way to see it than through volunteering in Mexico?
You'll find something new and exciting to be a part of in each region of the country. There are a ton of fascinating things to do here! You can experience the bustling environment of Mexico City, walk through ancient Aztec and Mayan ruins, surf along the countless beaches that line the shores, and immerse yourself in the outdoors in the forested mountains of the Sierra Norte .
Don't forget to visit one of the Seven Wonders of the World, Chichen Itza, in the southern half of the country! Becoming a Mexico volunteer will open the door to understanding this beautiful country and help you meet some of the friendliest locals on the planet.
Long-term travel is the perfect way to find volunteer opportunities all over the country as you live and work in Mexico. Popular volunteer experiences in Mexico will involve helping poor communities and assisting in environmental projects.
This country is always in need of volunteers with skills in the rural, educational, and health care fields. Not to mention you can easily find plenty of volunteer programs in the big tourist destinations, such as helping out at a Cancun hostel or becoming a tour guide in Guadalajara. The sky is the limit, especially if you speak Spanish to help you throughout your time there. Don't speak Spanish? That's no problem. Try teaching English in Mexico!
Exchanging your skills for accommodation in Mexico is one of the most rewarding ways to explore a new destination. If you decide to volunteer in Cancun as a cook, you will be able to learn the secrets of what makes Mexico's world-renowned cuisine so incredibly delicious. There are always new skills to develop through volunteer work, kind locals to positively impact, and authentic ways to travel through Mexico that could be life-changing.
Fortunately, many nations don't need a Visa in order to stay in Mexico. If you are from Canada, the United States, South America, Europe, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Australia, and a few other areas around the globe, you can live and work in Mexico for a total of 180 days without a Visa. If you are staying longer than 72 hours, you will need to obtain a Forma Migratoria Multiple document to present at different checkpoints within the country. You can get an online copy of this document for a small fee.
Basically, you can find volunteer work in Mexico that will keep you busy for about six months! If you'd like to try your hand at multiple different volunteer programs in Mexico to determine what you're good at and what you love doing, you can choose to hop between different volunteer opportunities throughout the country. This is a great way to see as much of this beautiful region that you can while you help people of diverse backgrounds and traditions.
Every unique community you stay in is bound to contribute to the atmosphere of your work experience. Should you choose to stay in the lively metropolis of Mexico City, you will discover how artsy and spirited the neighborhoods you visit really are. If you're looking to connect with nature while traveling through Mexico, you can choose to backpack between volunteer jobs through the untamed wilderness near Oaxaca or trek through the lush Lacandon Jungle in Chiapas. If your goal is to fully immerse yourself in one area of Mexico as you practice slow travel, you might choose a more relaxed seaside beach town around Tulum to get to know better.
Whether you decide to volunteer in Mexico for just a few weeks or maximize your stay for the full 180 days, there are sure to be loads of work exchange programs, eco hosts, and social impact programs you can be a part of. If you can dig deep and harness that passionate spark that travel ignites within you and apply it to your volunteer work, you will be surprised at how much you will learn, grow, and positively impact the kind locals that host you.
Your contribution to and engagement with the Mexican communities that need assistance will only strengthen your resolve to volunteer more and explore the country as much as possible.
One of the most enjoyable, hands-on volunteer experiences you can have in Mexico is through working at an animal reserve. Many areas in Mexico suffer from poverty and its residents live in communities that cannot sustain good living conditions. This forces both people and animals to fend for themselves in the streets until they can find better accommodations to help them survive.
It is the unfortunate reality of this gorgeous country, but you can always do your part and help them through active, committed volunteer work. While these issues cannot be fixed or reversed overnight, positive change can still be set in motion by just one person.
You can find a variety of fulfilling volunteer opportunities in beach towns like Puerto Vallarta, Cancun, and Tulum after earning your PADI diving certificate. If you've never snorkeled or had a chance to dive below the ocean's surface, this is the perfect time to get your diving certificate! Mexico is home to countless sunny beaches where you can practice diving and get involved with lots of cool conservation efforts.
You might opt to live right on the beach as you work with endangered sea life or help conserve the ecosystem of the stunning coral reefs. On days when you're not diving, you'll be able to remove marine debris from the beaches, aid in training sessions, and help with general tasks that need to get done at your host's facility.
In the wilder areas of Mexico, you could learn about different species of birds such as falcons, treat their injuries, rehabilitate them, and successfully release them back into the wild. There's something for every animal lover.
A widespread problem that Mexico currently faces is the abandonment of domesticated dogs and cats, forcing them to roam the streets without proper care. You could find volunteer work with non-profit organizations and animal shelters that would give these animals a better life.
You'll be able to help prepare these animals for adoption by bathing, training, walking, and playing with them so they become more trusting of humans. Additionally, there are several eco-friendly animal activist groups in Mexico where you can connect with like-minded people that you can turn to for support. Completing a Worldpackers volunteer experience at an animal reserve or shelter is one of the best ways to help make animal rights a more accepted part of Mexico's way of life.
In order to actively immerse yourself in Mexico's culture and history, you should first take steps to learn all you can about the country. Spending time in museums, participating in hands-on classes, and visiting historic landmarks will all help you learn how Mexico has developed over the years.
As you participate in volunteer programs throughout Mexico, you can use your free time to get to know the area you're staying in a bit better. You'll get to connect with locals who will be more than happy to swap stories with you and, if you're lucky, teach you some of their family's long-standing traditions.
One major festival you should absolutely attend in Mexico City is the Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead. This lively festival takes place annually on the first two days of November and celebrates the lives of family and friends who have passed away but are not forgotten.
Elaborate costumes are worn and spectacular parades float down the streets, showering the city with joy as they pay tribute to their late loved ones. This spirited festival is the perfect way to get a real taste of Mexican culture, and your experience will truly be unforgettable.
A huge way to cultivate a deep love and appreciation for Mexican culture is via your taste buds. Food is such an important part of Mexican culture and you will stumble across countless authentic local restaurants and eateries. You won't ever want to leave! You can't leave Mexico before trying chilaquiles, pozoles, tacos al pastor, mole, and elote.
Search through our volunteer programs and you'll no doubt come across a host in need of cooking expertise, where you'll learn how to make these mouthwatering dishes for yourself. Mexico is one of the most iconic food centers of the world, which is to say they pride themselves on how their meals are cooked, seasoned, and presented. The best thing about food in Mexico is that it brings people together in one shared, enduring memory.
Connecting with the locals is just as important as getting up close and personal with the historic cultural sites in Mexico. Everything you see and do here will add to the magic of what makes this country so special and inviting.
Mexico is a developing country that has a rich history that is preserved in fascinating museums, scattered ruins, and beautiful art galleries throughout the region. Visiting these culturally significant places within the country will provide you with an in-depth background on how Mexico was settled by indigenous civilizations in the 1600s.
Guadalajara has plenty of museums to wander through to help you learn about the country you are exploring. If you want to walk in the footsteps of ancient civilizations, you'll definitely want to check out archaeological sites like Chichen Itza, Templo Mayor in Mexico City, or see the Aztec pyramids of Teotihuacan.
Be sure to visit the city of Oaxaca near the Sierra Norte mountains to be right in the heart of indigenous culture in Mexico. This colonial town is known for its vibrant arts community, exciting festivals, and natural beauty. If you're more into the party scene, Cancun is the place for you. This resort town has big influx of tourists coming and going, so you're likely to make some friends as you experience the fun nightlife there.
The best part is that Cancun is not only great for its wild parties, resorts, and beaches. There is a calmer side to this city where you can see
If you're hoping to do more than just sit on the beach, you're in luck! Mexico has some of the best diving spots in the world due to their large coral reefs and thriving marine life. Plunge into the bright turquoise, warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico or take your aquatic adventure to the second-largest reef ecosystem in the world, the Great Maya Barrier Reef.
The water has perfect visibility for seeing the ocean life, and you can do all kinds of other activities in the water like snorkeling, fishing, and more! The best beaches to visit in Mexico can be found in:
Consider setting aside a day to see Mexico City's Chapultepec Park. It's one of the world's largest city parks. The capital has a lot to offer, so be sure to pace yourself as you visit museums, roam through the colorful markets, or spend the day at La Feria amusement park.
From backpacking to relaxed sightseeing, you'll never run out of fun things to explore in Mexico while you volunteer with Worldpackers.
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