Excellent Location

We're located in the safest city in Mexico, Merida Yucatan

Merida at a glance...

Merida is the capital of the Mexican state of Yucatan. This Spanish Colonial city has a growing population, and known for its family-centered tranquility and modern amenities, like shopping malls. The Yucatan is home to one of Mexico's indigenous population with people who are descendants of the ancient Mayas.

Volunteer Inn Merida works with a variety of private and non-profit organizations to provide much-needed help to the social, environmental and practical needs of the community each serves. Volunteers can choose between SIX different areas and select from up to TEN different programs (read on for details below). Additional opportunities are available to participate and learn from community works projects around the city, as new requests come to our office daily. For the most part volunteer assignment are the functional equivalent of "internships" where learning and service are the primary goals.

Volunteers are also strongly encouraged to supplement their volunteer work with afternoon Spanish classes (extra fee) at the Institute of Modern Spanish. For more information, please see our volunteer programs.

Volunteer Dormatories (included in program fees)

The accommodations at the volunteer dorm, we call "Casa Colibri", are very nice. The dorm has eight bedrooms (dormitory style) with shared bathrooms. Guests can swim in the pool (rules posted), receive free WiFi and there's a small kitchenette area where volunteers can fix small meals.

Dorm living requires sharing. Volunteers from all over the world must understand they will be sharing a room with at least one other volunteer. The large rooms accommodate as many as five volunteers.

The rooms are comfortable, but we do not have hot water showers. Most of the time we do not need hot water as the weather is hot and the water tank warms up with the heat in the afternoon, but cool water can be uncomfortable to some people.

Volunteers staying at the guest house, are served breakfast at 6:30AM to 7:30AM weekdays (a bit later on the weekends). Breakfasts are cereal, milk, bread and fruit. It is self-service, but we do provide eggs in the morning for volunteers who wish to cook. Lunch is available at (or near) the volunteer placements. We use local kitchen services and diners for these lunches.

Dinner is served at the volunteer house between 7:30 and 8:30 PM. We have a local woman (experienced cook) who prepares dinners most evenings during the week. She is an excellent. Dinners come from local establishments in the area on weekends.

Homestay Option (+$70USD per week, $110 with AC)

In order to obtain the most benefits from the immersion opportunities of your volunteer program, we invite you to consider staying with a local family. We select families for their willingness to welcome students and volunteers into their homes. This is an excellent opportunity to practice Spanish and conversation, and experience the local culture firsthand. All host families are experienced and invaluable in providing city orientation as well as an insiders view of customs and traditions.

Our administrative staff maintains an extensive listing of carefully selected host families. We choose the host family that will be the best match for each student not only in physical accommodations, but also taking into consideration a students interests and preferences.

With such families, volunteers and students are provided with a clean, private room and three delightful, home-cooked meals daily. Safe water for drinking, warm water for bathing, clean sheets and bath towels are also provided. Any special dietary needs including vegetarian diets can be met by providing requirements in advance.

Volunteers who are interested, please let us know that you wish to upgrade to the host family homestay. The upgrade to family homestay is an extra US$70 per week and US$110 with AC per week.

Fees depend on the amount of time that a volunteer chooses to stay in a program. A registration fee of $300USD is required for all volunteers. Half of this deposit is donated to the volunteer's placements. The other half is used for administration expenses and promotion, to ensure each volunteer has the best possible experience. Additional 5% banking fee applies for international payments. Please see our Fees page for more details on program fees

What's Included

Along with Institute of Modern Spanish's professional program management, multi-lingual team, and great 24/7 support, our volunteer programs include:

  • Airport or bus station pick-up (in Merida)
  • Dormitory Accommodations (shared room) with a pool.*
  • Breakfast and dinner 7 days/week
  • 3-6 hours/day volunteer work
  • Program and safety orientation
  • Walking tour of historical downtown
  • Official certificate of volunteer service
  • Letter of recommendation
  • Free WiFi in dormitories
  • Institute is open 6 days/week
  • Emergency contact number 24/7
  • Program management
  • *Costs of Mexican family homestay are an additional $70USD or $110 with A/C per week.

    Additional Costs

    Flights (usually into Merida International or Cancun International), travel insurance, individual snacks and drinks, daily transportation, vacation travel and educational tours, transfer back to the airport, and personal spending money.

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    Volunteer Inn Bacalar

    The Institute of Modern Spanish’s newest project is Volunteer Inn Bacalar. This program gives volunteers the opportunity to help solve (as interns) one of Mexico’s greatest needs – for environmental renewal and ecological balance. Volunteer Inn Bacalar is developing an ecological headquarters complete with an environmental research center and a permaculture farm located right at the edge of Bacalar’s famous 42K-long lagoon in the southeast Yucatan (see map).

    Our Volunteers can join in an important regional stand against man-made climate change – and learn while serving the mission of monitoring, protecting and conserving the flora and fauna in and around the lagoon.

    Volunteers will also work in community development projects in the small city of Bacalar, a resort destination for Mexican nationals. The Mexican Government calls Bacalar a ‘Pueblo Mágico’ or Magical Town for its beautiful scenery and vibrant local culture. Volunteers will be housed in town near the city center and assigned work in childcare projects, schools, animal shelters, and NGO projects. As a volunteer, you will be helping the local community adapt to the recent rise in international tourism on the nearby Maya Riviera.

    The volunteer dormitory in Bacalar has three bedrooms with 2 shared bathrooms. The house is located in the town center with nearby lagoon access, volunteers receive free WiFi and there’s a small kitchenette area where volunteers can fix small meals.

    Dorm living requires sharing. Volunteers from all over the world must understand they will be sharing a room with at least one other volunteer. The large rooms accommodate as many as five volunteers.

    The rooms are comfortable, but we do not have hot water showers. Most of the time we do not need hot water as the weather is hot and the water tank warms up with the heat in the afternoon.

    Volunteers staying at the guest house, are served breakfast at 6:30AM to 9AM weekdays (a bit later on the weekends). Breakfasts are cereal, milk, bread and fruit. It is self-service, but we do provide eggs in the morning for volunteers who wish to cook. Lunch is available at (or near) the volunteer placements. We use local kitchen services and diners for these lunches.

    Dinner is served at the volunteer house between 7:30 and 8:30 PM. We have a local woman (experienced cook) who prepares dinners most evenings during the week. She is an excellent. Dinners come from local establishments in the area on weekends.

    Volunteer Fees Overview

    Fees depend on the amount of time that a volunteer chooses to stay in a program. A registration fee of $300USD is required for all volunteers. Half of this deposit is donated to the volunteer's placements. The other half is used for administration expenses and promotion, to ensure each volunteer has the best possible experience. Additional 5% banking fee applies for international payments. Please see our Fees page for more details on program fees

    What's Included

    Along with Institute of Modern Spanish’s professional program management, multi-lingual team, and great 24/7 support, our volunteer programs include:

  • Airport pick-up in Chetumal or overland pick up from the ADO/Mayab bus station in Bacalar
  • Dormitory accommodation (shared room) or campground accomodation(tents)
  • Lagoon access
  • Breakfast and dinner 7 days/week
  • 3-6 hours of volunteer work per day
  • Program and safety orientation
  • Walking tour of historical downtown
  • Official cetificate of volunteer service
  • Free WiFi in dormitories
  • Letter of Reccomendation
  • Onsite coordinator available
  • Emergency contact number 24/7
  • Program management
  • Additional Costs

    Flights (usually into Chetumal International or Cancun International), travel insurance, individual snacks and drinks, daily transportation, vacation travel and educational tours, transfer back to the airport, and personal spending money.

    Cuba Location - Coming Soon!

    Volunteer Inn Mexico is proud to announce our newest project – Volunteer Inn Cuba! We will be opening placements in the areas of Childcare and Teaching English by the end of the year.

    With the changing political structure of Cuba, this is an exciting time to volunteer make a genuine contribution to the lives of Cuban youth and adults through community projects and teaching English to the local people of Havana. Stay updated with new information by joining our mailing list!