Volunteer in Mexico with GVI and give back to the under-developed communities and endemic local wildlife, while exploring the only country in the world whose cuisine has been given UNESCO World Heritage status!

Whether you are partaking in an internship, on an alternative springbreak program abroad, on your career break, gap year or summer holiday, you can be assured that your time on project will be worthwhile and make a long-term, sustainable difference to the lives and futures of community members.

Volunteer opportunities in Mexico

We have a range of volunteer programs in Latin America, including Costa Rica and Mexico. Choose from a range of exciting volunteering opportunities in Mexico such as:

  • Assisting local veterinarians on a variety of animal care projects
  • Contributing towards the conservation of endangered sea turtles
  • Earning your PADI Divemaster while contributing to valuable marine conservation initiatives or,
  • Spending time further inland on critical childcare and teaching projects.

Check out our exciting and insightful blog article about 7 Ways To Be A More Responsible Diver!

Where Does GVI Work in Mexico?

When you volunteer in Mexico be sure to make the most of the white sands, palm trees and deep blue waters of the Caribbean coast of the Yucatan Peninsula. Volunteer in Akumal and help us perform crucial research on the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, the second largest barrier reef in the world, its local fish species, as well as seasonal turtle nesting surveys.

If you're are more interested in community development, join us in Playa del Carmen to provide educational enhancement and make a lasting impact in the lives of disadvantaged children and vulnerable adults.

The Guide to Volunteering in Mexico

Intro to Mexico

Mexico is a vibrant country with a variety of cultural influences and a tropical landscape of palm trees, white-sand beaches, turquoise-blue water, and a welcoming vibe.

Volunteering in Mexico will allow you to better understand the country’s history, and how it impacts the culture still to this day. As it is considered a developing country, there are a range of volunteer opportunities in Mexico from community development to conservation projects.

Our Hubs

There are plenty of GVI Mexico volunteer opportunities that should be on your list. You could learn Spanish in Mexico whilst volunteering, take part in conservation volunteering in Mexico or even get your open water qualification in Mexico!

To volunteer abroad in Mexico, you can choose from one of our two unique GVI bases: Playa del Carmen or Akumal. Both locations have different program focuses, and local attractions and activities.

At Akumal, you will help perform crucial research on the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef (the second largest barrier reef in the world), gathering data on local fish species, as well as conservation projects for seasonal turtle nesting surveys. You can get your PADI Divemaster in Mexico with GVI too, giving your marine conservation career a boost! All of this will be done whilst surrounded by white sands, palm trees and deep blue waters of the Caribbean coast of the Yucatan Peninsula.

Our other base, in Playa del Carmen, has a range of community development projects that provide educational enhancement for local community members (children and adults).  You can also make a lasting impact in the lives of disadvantaged animals in the area by working at our animal care center. With GVI you can be sure you are involved in some of the best volunteer programs in Mexico!

Focus Areas

When you volunteer in Mexico, you can focus your time on a number of different volunteer projects. For instance, you can contribute to the conservation of endangered sea turtles, coral and fish species, or earn your PADI Divemaster while partaking in our various marine conservation volunteering initiatives.

For healthcare volunteering in Mexico you can spend time further inland in Playa del Carmen, working on critical childcare and teaching projects or assisting local veterinarians on a variety of animal care projects. Regardless of what you choose, even short term volunteering opportunities in Mexico allow you to contribute to the development of the region.

Local Costs

Mexico uses the Peso as its currency. Mexico volunteer programs abroad are affordable, as the cost of living in Mexico is low when compared to the United States. This makes it perfect for short term volunteering in Mexico or long-term volunteering!

It isn’t difficult to plan an affordable trip to Mexico, but like with any travel plans, it takes budgeting and financial planning! You don’t need to worry though – if you have saved a moderate amount of US dollars, you should be able to shop and live affordably throughout your time. That’s absolutely worth it especially as you’ll get to volunteer and learn Spanish at the same time!

The Accommodation

GVI’s volunteer projects in Mexico are set in the stunning Yucatan Peninsula.

Volunteers in Akumal stay on our remote base just outside of Tulum. Volunteers live in basic accommodation and shared housing, and partake in communal meals and various community activities (from volleyball to beach lounging or swimming). Facilities will be more basic than you are accustomed to – so please travel with an open mind and a willingness to adapt to local conditions.

Accommodation is in shared (mixed sex) huts with shared rustic bathroom facilities. There is bottled water available for cooking and drinking only – collected rainwater is used for showering and bucket flush toilet facilities. Participants share base duties including cooking, cleaning and other chores, and volunteers take turns preparing meals for the group. Food is a very basic, based about a mostly vegetarian diet with meat available about once a week.

In Playa del Carmen, GVI has a volunteer guest house for all community development project volunteers, with a similar shared living set-up. This kind of community housing offers volunteers a chance to build a community within their group and to really get to know their fellow volunteers.

Additional Information

Both of our Mexico bases are near Tulum and the Sian Ka’an Biosphere. Travelling outside of the Akumal base is reliant on taxis, costing a minimum US$40 one way per taxi, but larger taxis are cheaper depending on number of people going out. Public transport is easy and relatively cheap if you are travelling regularly between major towns.

During down-time from GVI volunteer programs in Mexico, volunteers can travel in the local area to a number of beautiful area locations. In your time off you could do daytrips such as visiting Tulum or Coba Mayan ruins, do some cenote diving or explore the city of Playa del Carmen. Before and after your program you could go to Merida, Chichen Itza, Chiapas or Central America – the possibilities are endless!


Volunteer work in Mexico is a great way to make a difference and to see a beautiful area. Whatever your interests for both your volunteering project and free-time adventures, Mexico can provide. The beauty of the jungle, water, and the warmth of the weather, along with the hospitality of the community will make for an unforgettable experience.



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Our Programs in Mexico