Programme: Volunteer with Children Playa Del Carmen Live and volunteer in Central America, in Mexico’s lively Caribbean beach town of Playa del Carmen. Volunteers on on this project will be working in a children’s center run by Save the Children. The focus is on empowering children to know and apply their rights as well as providing a safe environment in which they can learn and play.
Responsibilities are extremely varied on this project. Volunteers will be involved in the overall running of the center, from delivering health and safety sessions to ensuring the center is clean and tidy. The center's expert staff will provide close supervision. Volunteers may also get the opportunity to assist in community centers along the Yucatan Peninsula.
Save the Children is absolutely committed to ensuring that children are safe and know their rights. Many parents in this part of Mexico have to work long hours in order to support their families, meaning young children are often left alone and have to look after themselves for large parts of the day. Others may have been victims of aggression and are in need of support. The center gives children a suitable environment in which to play and learn.
This programme runs for 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 16, 20, 24 weeks. Contact us to find out the dates and start planning your adventure! Room & Board (any housing, food, and transportation included). During your project dates your accommodation and food are included in the project cost. Volunteers will be living on the outskirts of Playa Del Carmen with easy access to public transport routes and the project partners. Accommodation is basic and you will be sharing a (mixed sex) flat, loft or apartment. Food is basic. Volunteers take turns preparing the daily meals in the communal kitchen. There is mobile reception and volunteers are allowed to bring their laptops. There may not be wifi available at the accommodation but there are numerous internet cafes in the area.
Does the project require any special preparation? All volunteers are encouraged to learn more about local history, culture and customs before travelling. All training will be taught in the field.
Volunteers not fluent in Spanish will be required to participate in a minimum of 20 hours of Spanish once in the field. This is an additional cost.
Volunteers are required to be fluent in English.
Overview of the tasks and time commitment needed from the participant. While in Playa volunteers will be helping with homework, preparing posters and educational resources, tidying the center and playing games with the children. A lot of the work focuses on making children aware of how to keep safe; from teaching them how to identify different forms of violence to making sure they know their rights. Severe weather is a very real threat in this part of Mexico, so volunteers may also be involved in advising children of safety measures to take during a hurricane. Volunteers need to be flexible and adapt to the changing requirements of our local partners.
This expedition requires a full time commitment. Depending on your length of stay volunteers can expect to have a few free weekends to explore the surround islands and local sights.
What specific skills, education, or experience must the participant have? What skills, education, or experience are desirable? Volunteers need not have any specific skills just an enthusiasm and passion for contributing to the project and the local partner objectives. Volunteers need to be comfortable and confident swimmers and be physically fit and healthy.
Health and safety (site specific health and safety information). A change of environment, climate, food and lifestyle often results in minor, and occasionally more serious, illness.
Inclusions/things to do (trips or extra features). Volunteers are welcome to organize side trips for their free time or pre or post their project experience. Playa Del Carmen offers vibrant nightlife, restaurants and shopping. All associated costs and travel expenses are not included in the project fee and need to be factored into the volunteer's own budget. There are endless travel opportunities and adventures along the Yucatan peninsula available to volunteers. Many of these activities involve diving and are located very close to the expedition base; cenote diving near Tulum, diving with turtles in Akumal Bay, wall reef diving off Cozumel island or snorkel with whale sharks off Holbox island between June and September.
Rio Lagartos is also near by and is home to great flocks of flamingos and river crocodiles, while Bacalar is known as the lake of seven colours and is a must see if volunteers are happy to travel further afield. There are also many ruins and archaeological sites in the region which allow volunteers the opportunity to immerse themselves in the rich Mayan culture; Tulum, Coba, Palenque and Merida.
Orientation and Training (supervision and preparation the participant will receive). Staff in the field will provide training on the skills required, but you may benefit from learning more about local history, culture and customs before you travel.
Volunteers not fluent in Spanish need to complete a minimum 20 hour language course to prepare them for work in the field. This will be at an additional charge to the volunteer.
Costs (detailed list of what’s included/not included and per diem estimate). What's included: Pre-departure support and discounted services 24-hour emergency phone Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated) Long term experienced staff Welcome meeting Location orientation All necessary project training by experienced staff All necessary project equipment and materials 24-hour in-country support Alumni discount - 20% off if booking at the same hub within 3 months, 15% off if booking at a different hub within 3 months and 10% off thereafter Safe and basic accommodations (usually shared)
What's not included: Flights Medical and travel insurance Visa costs Personal kit Additional drinks and gratuities Extra local excursions International and domestic airport taxes Spanish lessons
Additional Information. Field staff advise that you enter the country using a tourist visa. For most nationalities this doesn’t need to be arranged in advance. Check with the immigration authorities of the countries you intend to visit.