Working alongside Save the Children, the aim of these childcare projects are to improve the life quality of children. About 25% of the population in Quintana Roo are children; most of these children suffer from some kind of temporary abandonment, sexual abuse or exploitation. 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 centre gives children a suitable environment in which to play and learn. The time you will spend volunteering really can make a difference to the health, safety and futures of these children.
By helping with homework, making posters and educational resources, preparing the centre and playing games with the children, you will be focusing 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. At the Ludotecas or “Toy Libraries” you will be teaching children through playing games, talking to them and organising workshops.
This type of work might at times be mentally and physically demanding, but also extremely rewarding. The volunteering that you will be doing helps protect children that have been affected by abuse, abandonment or the drugs trade and equips others with the knowledge of how to be safe should they come into contact with these kinds of threats in the future. Common activities include dancing/aerobics, drawing and colouring, playing games, helping children to do their homework from school, workshops on different topics and helping teachers at the ludotecarias to organise games and activities as well as sports sessions. The more Spanish you have, the more you might be involved with the delivering of a section of a daily workshop or sharing the experiences of Irish children with the Mexican children.
You will be sharing a flat or house with other international volunteers and will be based in Mexico’s lively Caribbean beach town of Playa del Carmen. There are social events organised once a week and there is plenty of opportunity to explore the area on your free weekends. Visit Mayan ruins, including Tulum, Coba and Chichen Itza, snorkel in a cenote, explore the Caribbean’s magical reefs or just take it easy on the white sand beaches of Playa del Carmen.
What you need to know
If you opt to stay more than 8 weeks, you have an option of doing an extra 80 or 120 hours of Spanish lessons whilst on the project, but for those who are not fluent we advise you to have at least 20 hours of Spanish lessons to fully prepare you for life on the project.
You need to be aware that you will be working with vulnerable children and young adults and will need to respect and abide by the Child and Vulnerable Adult Protection Policy. It is important that all Volunteers are culturally aware and respectful at all times when working with the children. You will need to be flexible and understand that some of the children attending the centre might be living in difficult personal circumstances.
- Placement and pre-departure help
- In-depth travel advice on how to get to where you need to be
- Full training and orientation upon arrival
- Shared accommodation, safe and to good standard
- Meals when on base
- Onsite support by experienced staff
- 24-hour emergency phone
What’s Not Included?
- Travel and health insurance
- Visa costs
- Local transport and spending money
- Vaccinations if required
- Spanish lessons