Volunteer in a Christian orphanage

Mexico (M18) | View map
PRICE FROM
£211 p.w.

Price is based on 3 months
MINIMUM DURATION
2 months

Volunteer in this christian orphanage to support disadvantaged children

  • Use your skills and talents to improve the lives of children in this christian orphanage caring for children from disadvantaged backgrounds
  • Broad experience of child care suitable for all volunteers
  • Volunteer to work with children in a care home in Mexico
  • Located near the Pacific Ocean and a wonderful opportunity to sample Mexico
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Project summary

This christian orphanage is a refuge for disadvantaged children. Strictly speaking it is a ‘residential centre’ rather than an orphanage as most of the children have relatives. Some of the poorest and most neglected children of the town have been abandoned, others have their parents in jail, have been sexually assaulted or come from difficult family backgrounds of neglect and have nowhere else to live. It offers the children a caring home and base for growth and education. The older children go to school each day but return to the centre after school. It currently offers a home to 35 children.

Sister Maria, who co-ordinates the project, tries to offer a well-resourced centre to a small number of children rather than taking in more than she can look after properly. Their lack is sometimes financial but more importantly they lack the staff capacity to get involved with play and recreation with the children; something that most young people are offered by their parents. It is sited in an old colonial building, perched on the side of a steep hill, approximately 500 metres from the Pacific Ocean. This project is well resourced with a play area, a few computers and small library. The nuns and the children really appreciate the volunteers who stay for three months or longer.

This project is ideal for anyone who wants to work with orphans and disadvantaged children in general, including mature gap year students and those wanting to volunteer in social care, working with children and teaching English as a foreign language

Volunteer roles and responsibilities

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Volunteers are needed to assist the few permanent staff at the centre with a wide range of activities, including feeding, cleaning, playing, teaching, supervising activities, facilitating excursions, taking the children to school, domestic work (the laundry is massive) and the visits of outside donors. Volunteers will have very close contact with Mexican staff, other volunteers and Mexican children in this highly rewarding project.

As with many volunteer projects, your enthusiasm and interests will be the deciding factor of how much you become involved in its multiple activities. Due to the vulnerable nature of the children, volunteers need to be totally dedicated to the orphanage and providing love care and attention to the children.

How you can make a difference

The children are from difficult backgrounds of neglect, abuse & poverty. They have not had the best start in life and you have the opportunity to help improve things, little by little, by sharing your knowledge, care, love and support in a respectful and considered way. The energy and additional resource you offer means more individual care and support to each child, which can make a real difference to their lives and yours.

What is distinctive about this project:

Set in a lovely building It is based on the edge of Puerto Vallarta, this long-established and lively orphanage provides less experienced volunteers with an opportunity to get involved in multiple aspects of child care and educational support.

Blue Tiger Features:

A well equipped, well funded, well organised refuge in a wonderful location. Volunteers need to be proactive and focused on creating worthwhile activities within a dynamic environment, if they are to make the biggest impact. This is a less structured role, but there is a real need for the help and support of productive volunteers.

Season:

The project is always open, with the number of children requiring support varying over different holiday periods.

Languages:

The children and staff speak Spanish, as will your host family, so speaking intermediate Spanish will help you make a bigger impact.

Experience required:

No specific experience is required to work in this placement, but experience of working with children and a desire to work with disadvantaged children or in social services would be appropriate. Your positive energy and commitment are the biggest factors that will make for a successful volunteer.

Good to know:

Puerto Vallarta enjoys more than 300 days a year of sunshine with an average temperature of 25 degrees C, which can make for warm working conditions but explains why Puerto Vallarta is a popular tourist destination for those attracted by the beach, water sports, nightlife and culture.

Price table

8 weeks12 weeks16 weeks20 weeks24 months
£2,125£2,525£2,920£3,345£3,745

Includes: Comprehensive travel insurance (supplements may apply to older travellers). Accommodation, food, airport transfer, travel to projects, in-country support. 20 hours of 121 Spanish tuition.
Excludes: Flights, visas, vaccinations

Things to see and do

  • Whale watching
  • Beaches
  • The Old Town
Greta Ruiz

Country co-ordinator

Greta Ruiz

Greta lives close to our project base in Puerto Vallarta and has been working with us since 2006. She lived in London for three years where she completed her MSc in veterinary science. In addition to supporting our volunteers she now works as a Pilates instructor. She is brilliantly organised and works relentlessly to improve our programmes and offer support to the Mexico volunteers.

About Mexico