Mexico

Projects Abroad

After spending months trying to decide which summer program to participate in, I chose Projects Abroad for the summer of 2017 because I wanted a program that really needed volunteers and would not just have us do busy work. The turtle conservation program in Mexico was the perfect fit!

All of the staff spoke both English and Spanish and were incredibly helpful! We started learning about our work at the Tortugario Ecologico (the nature reserve) as soon as we got there. The activities ranged from washing the adult and baby turtles to cleaning turtle tanks, feeding the iguanas, planting mangroves, completing a bird census, etc. The ther volunteers I was working with were super friendly. The majority of us were from the United States but there were also a few people from places all over the world, including as far away as Norway. We all got along extremely well and I am still in contact with a few of them today.

We spent the next two weeks doing hard but rewarding work with a small weekend trip to a beautiful beach town called Melake. The entire trip was amazing and passed in the blink of an eye. I was genuinely sad to be leaving both the other volunteers and the staff behind and I definitely want to go back next summer!

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Mexico
Posted: Jul 8, 2017
Overall:
10
Support:
9
Value:
10

Frontier

The central america trail was excellent and i thoroughly enjoyed myself. It all ran smoothly and there were no problems. The camp in Costa rica was also run incredibly well, and the store, showers, running water and toilet were all pleasant surprises.

Program: Gap Year
Location: Mexico
Posted: Jun 21, 2017
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Frontier

The project was a new experience. A lot of hard work but I think it's something that builds character. I'm hapy I did it, I feel a lot more world wise. After this I can do anything and eat anything! Thanks you Chloe for all the hard work you put in to the trail.

Program: Gap Year
Location: Mexico
Posted: Mar 14, 2017
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Projects Abroad

This winter, I had the privilege of spending two weeks volunteering through Projects Abroad in Guadalajara, Mexico. As a student pursuing a career in medicine, I knew I wanted to do medically-related volunteer work abroad. After looking at what felt like hundreds of different programs, I decided to go with Projects Abroad. As my first solo international trip, I was a little nervous about accommodations and safety. The Projects Abroad staff were incredibly helpful and kind, and eased any worries my parents and I had.

Once I arrived in Mexico, a Projects Abroad staff member met me at the airport and took me directly to my host-family's house. The second I walked in the door, I felt like I was home. The next day, a staff member showed me around my work site (one of the hospitals in the city) and introduced me to the workers in the hospital. Then I was shown how to use the bus system and how to get to the city center, along with some of the popular sights of the city.

In the hospital, I shadowed the medical interns and doctors in the Obstetrics and Gynecology department. Though I had originally intended to work in Pediatrics, I found a new love in "Gine". Through general care and surgery, my eyes were opened to just how different healthcare is abroad.

Volunteering with Projects Abroad was an amazing opportunity and one that I will never forget!

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Mexico
Posted: Feb 3, 2017
Overall:
9
Support:
10
Value:
8

Comments

Thank you for sharing your experience! Volunteering in a Medicine & Healthcare internship abroad in a developing country is indeed a great way for you to learn how differently Medicine is practiced in other cultures. It's good to hear you were exposed to a new department and that you enjoyed it so much! Our local staff is always happy to help make your experience as easy and enjoyable as possible. We are glad to hear you enjoyed your time in Guadalajara so much.

Sol Education Abroad

I had never been out of the country before going to Oaxaca, Mexico this winter. I can easily say now that it was the best adventure of my life. The food was great, the culture was different and exciting, the city was beautiful, and the classwork was actually interesting. I made some fantastic friends and I can't wait for my next adventure with Sol!

Program: Study Abroad
Location: Mexico
Posted: Jan 25, 2017
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Original Volunteers

I spent one month in the Original Volunteers Project in Mexico, two in their project in Peru and six weeks in their project in Ecuador. The first thing I will say is that I had an incredible time. I met some amazing people, had some incredible experiences and overall thoroughly enjoyed the projects.

However, if you are looking into doing any of these projects I would recommend getting in touch with the coordinators in the countries rather than using Original Volunteers for the following reason:

If you book directly with the coordinators out there you will be working on the same projects however it will be much cheaper. For example, in the ELIM orphanage in Peru I was paying much more than volunteers who had come directly and were paying the rate that the coordinator was asking for. Not only that, but the volunteers who had come through Original Volunteers (myself included) had paid the organisation before arrival and this money had not reached the orphanage. I was also told when I arrived in Ecuador that the coordinators there had had the same issue in the past with Original Volunteers not sending them the money the volunteers had paid.

My other issue with Original Volunteers was the vagueness of the descriptions of the projects themselves. I went out to Mexico not really knowing what to expect but assuming I would be working with underprivileged children. This wasn't the case. We were working on three projects there; one in a kindergarten, the second with disabled teenagers and adults and the third in a women's home. The children we were working with three times a week in the kindergarten came from wealthy families and the center itself was well-staffed, clean and catered to the children's every need. It was clear that our help was not needed there and we spent most of our time just sitting in the classroom while the teachers taught the children. The other two projects were great and I would have liked to have spent more time working on those ones had there been a bit more structure.

My time in Peru was excellent and if you do choose that project be prepared to get totally attached to the children in the orphanage (they are so adorable!) I would highly suggest taking part in this project; accommodation is provided and they are happy for you to explore Machu Picchu and all the amazing sights nearby in your spare time. Again, I would suggest you book it directly via their website; I will put the links at the bottom of my review.

Lastly, the projects in Ecuador were fantastic- totally different from anything I had ever experienced. If you like a bit of adventure and being taken out of your comfort zone this would be the place for you. I was working in the jungle with rescued animals for one month and then spent two weeks living with a community and learning about their customs and traditions.

So overall, I would highly recommend the projects I took part in but I would not recommend using Original Volunteers to do them.

Here are the links to the projects themselves:

http://www.fairien.at/english/volunteer-peru/

https://www.ecuadorvolunteer.org/en/

Program: Gap Year
Location: Mexico
Posted: Aug 23, 2016
Overall:
6
Support:
5
Value:
6

Sol Abroad

There's no way possible to write a review that can accurately capture the marvelous experience that is SOL. I actually studied abroad in Costa Rica the semester before going to Mexico, and they were both fantastic! They're completely different, but both worth every minute. The program is extremely affordable yet still manages to offer everything a student studying abroad could imagine: cultural activities, excursions, immersion, awesome classes, and fantastic teachers. The support system is incredible as well! Sol also lets you basically design your own program. You choose your classes, housing situation (if you want apartment, dorm, or host family), and activities. Sol really sets you up to experience the cultural in a way that works for you yet also brings you to a higher level of confidence and independence. I highly recommend Sol Education Abroad for any level of Spanish speaker and world explorer!

Program: Study Abroad
Location: Mexico
Posted: Apr 26, 2016
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Projects Abroad

My experience with Projects Abroad in Mexico was great! It gave me the opportunity to met likeminded people from all over the world and make friends for life. Projects Abroad set me up with an amazing host family. They were so welcoming and taught me about Mexican Culture while improving my Spanish.

The Projects Abroad staff was very helpful during my time there. They showed me around the city, organized group activities and were there to answer all my questions.

For my project I worked with a local organization that promoted community rights. Here I was able to learn about local issues as well as use my skills to help their projects. The project was everything I was looking for!

Overall I loved my time with Projects Abroad and in Mexico!

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Mexico
Posted: Apr 18, 2016
Overall:
8
Support:
10
Value:
8

Projects Abroad

Our week-long alternative spring break trip was focused on public health in Guadalajara, Mexico. I was a bit nervous to travel by myself, especially because I didn't know exactly what I would be getting myself into at first. The PA staff had been in contact with me prior to my departure, but I feel the online guide could've been more useful and pertain to my trip specifically, instead of encompassing all trips as a whole. Once I landed, I felt incredibly safe with all the staff members, as well as my host family. I never once felt that my safety was in danger, even at our different outreaches or at night. Rosa, a staff member, was with us the entire week helping us get settled in, attending every outreach, giving us a tour of Guadalajara, and so much more. At our outreaches, we interacted with local doctors to perform head to toe assessments and administer medication. I was able to be as involved as I desired and utilized my Spanish quite a bit! PA gave me a week that I will never forget through incredible programming, a wonderful staff, and a fantastic host family.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Mexico
Posted: Apr 4, 2016
Overall:
9
Support:
9
Value:
9

Projects Abroad

Projects Abroad provided me a way to see the medical field in Guadalajara,Mexico. I was fortunate to see so many cool things. It really affirmed my career path and made into a strong, young woman. As soon as I signed up, Projects Abroad supported me every step of the way. The host family I stayed with was incredible and I really enjoyed getting to know them. The only thing I would have done differently would be to extend my trip!

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Mexico
Posted: Jan 23, 2016
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

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