Free volunteer in Mexico

Since February 2019 we have presence in Zinacantan, Chiapas. We are currently teaching in the local primary school, in a Center for Social Integration, and in a local non-profit where we reach up to 800 kids.

Zinacantán is comprise primarily of indigenous Tzotzil Maya and is located approximately 11 km (6.8 miles) east of San Cristóbal de las Casas which is a vibrant city and tourist destination.  The people of Zinacatán speak primarily Tzotzil and Spanish.
Escuela Melchor Ocampo, Zinacantan
English is not mandatory in Mexican primary schools, which means that the children will not begin learning English until they are in secondary school. Only 44% of these children go to secondary school therefore, most of these children may never learn any English.  This will make them less likely to qualified for many jobs in the burgeoning travel, hospitality and tourist industries (especially in San Cristóbal de las Casas). This is what we want to start changing. 🙂

Volunteers receive instructions and academics materials upon their arrival. These materials are standard throughout our organization and they follow the ESL international levels.  All this work is organized and managed on-the-ground by our Volunteer Coordinator. He organizes the arrival, accommodation and teaching schedule of our volunteers in Mexico. The average workload is 16 hours per week (you should add some preparation time for each lesson).

Accommodation

Right now we offer two different types of accommodation: you can live with a local host family or you can come to live to the volunteer house, a three bedroom house where the volunteer coordinator and some other volunteers live.

The usual accommodation costs range from 100$ (USD) to 250$ month. The closest airport to Zinacantan is Tuxtla Gutierrez, we can arrange someone to pick you up there (ask our volunteer coordinator for the cost) or help you get to San Cristobal de las Casas, where you will meet the coordinator and go to Zinacantan.

Requirements

  • There is a minimum period of 4 weeks to volunteer with us. In any case, we give priority to longer stays.
  • Good level of English is not an essential requirement (as most English teaching is given to beginners).
  • You need a medium level of Spanish. Alternatively, you can enrole into one of our offered Spanish lessons while you are in the project.
  • When choosing the period to come, please take into account that holidays in Mexico go from July to late August.
  • Volunteers must get their own travel insurance.
  • You should also send us a police record issued by your local authorities certifying that you haven´t committed any child related crime.

What do we offer?

We offer recommendation letters, certificates of your volunteer stay or Linkedin recommendations for all those who work with us. If you are staying for a long period (eg three months or more), we will be happy to contact your university and arrange this work to be considered as an internship for your studies. Don´t hesitate to contact us if you need something else.

Check our project memorandum to know more about our project, including info about the locations, English methods, accommodation costs and other useful information!

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