At a glance
- Gain hands-on work experience at NGOs and help address different issues that affect the population, from women’s rights to immigration.
- You’ll get involved in all kinds of practical work, from fundraising for the NGOs, to field work in the communities themselves.
- There’s plenty to see and do in your free time, and you’ll also have the opportunity to learn or practice your Spanish!
16 or over
You need to speak basic Spanish.
Is an International Development internship in Mexico right for me?
Are you planning to pursue a career in international development? Perhaps you’re a recent graduate or current university student looking to gain practical work experience. If so, this may be the ideal internship for you.
Joining this project is an opportunity to gain insight to the problems that a developing country can struggle with. You’ll learn directly from professionals who are working to address these issues. You’ll obtain international work experience, while using your knowledge and skills to assist local NGOs. It will boost your CV, and give you interesting points to talk about in interviews and applications.
While you don’t need previous experience to join, you do need to speak basic Spanish. This will enable you to communicate directly with the people in the local communities where you’ll be working.
The internship is available year-round, apart from a short time over Christmas and Easter. You need to join for a minimum of four weeks. However, our start and end dates are flexible, so you can choose a time that suits you.
What will I do at my International Development placement in Mexico?
The work you do on this project depends on the area you wish to focus on. You can expect to get involved with these kinds of activities:
- Support immigrants travelling through Mexico
- Work to empower women in marginalised communities
- Help to address child malnutrition
- Get involved in community land rights issues
Support immigrants travelling through Mexico
People travelling through Mexico en route to the United States face a perilous journey. Our partner NGO works to support these immigrants with food, shelter, and clothing, as well as with legal matters.
As an intern, you’ll help to distribute supplies, fundraise, and promote the work of the organisation. This will involve writing press releases or running social media campaigns. You may also assist with interviewing immigrants and get statements about human rights abuses that have occurred.
Work to empower women in marginalised communities
Another one of our partner NGOs works with women in marginalised communities, helping them to start up their own small businesses. Here you have the opportunity to work on fundraising initiatives, do some translation, and organise educational workshops. If you have previous business experience, this will be an asset. You will then be able to assist the women with the design and implementation of their business plans.
Help to address child malnutrition
Those with an interest in socioeconomics and public health may find this particular option ideal for them. You’ll intern with a local NGO that has been working for over fifty years to reduce levels of child malnutrition. You’ll assist with their campaigns to promote health education and good eating habits.
Get involved in community land rights issues
One of our partner organisations is an NGO that provides legal services to communities whose land is threatened by the construction of dams and mines. You’ll work on initiatives that keep the community active and engaged, and promote democracy and human rights.
Where in Mexico will I work?
You will be based in the city of Guadalajara which is located close to the centre of Mexico, near to the west coast. It’s a vibrant city, and an economic and cultural hub. There’s plenty to do here, with numerous museums, a thriving art scene, and restaurants serving up delicious local cuisine.
We have partnered with a number of different NGOs in Guadalajara. They are all located in and around the metropolitan area, and focus on supporting disadvantaged communities.
A typical day at my International Development placement in Mexico
Once you’ve enjoyed breakfast at the home of your friendly host family, it’s time to head to work. You’ll travel there by bus, which is extremely affordable. On your first day, a local staff member will show you the way.
A typical day on this internship runs from Monday to Friday, with around six hours of work per day. Your exact working hours depend on your placement, but in general you will be busy between 8.30am and 4pm. There is also the possibility of weekend work, as well as work trips.
Your specific work activities and daily schedule will vary according to the organisation that you are working with. You will usually find yourself assisting with their current projects. On any given day, you may spend time on administrative tasks and fundraising proposals, or take part in field work within local communities.
With so many different activities to get involved in, you’ll never be bored. But it’s not all work and no play. When you’re finished for the day, it’s time to explore your new surroundings.
Why not spend some time getting to know your host family over a delicious Mexican-style dinner? Or discover the delights of Guadalajara, one of the most important cultural centres in the country. We also organise regular social events for our interns, such as barbecues or cooking classes. This is a great way to make friends while learning about the local way of life.
What are the aims and impact of this project?
There are two main aims to this project: providing you with a practical, insightful work experience, while helping to address issues affecting development in Mexico.
Many of the interns who join us are looking for hands-on experience in their field of study. We provide you with the opportunity to learn from skilled local professionals and gain first-hand insight into the issues facing Mexico. By sharing knowledge and experiences, you’ll participate in valuable cross-cultural exchange. This will help prepare you for your future career.
The goal of international development is to improve the wellbeing of local communities by working on sustainable solutions to their problems. On this internship, you can choose to focus on a range of different issues, from immigration to human rights. Working with local NGOs who have expert knowledge of the situation, you’ll contribute towards their efforts in protecting and empowering vulnerable groups of people.
Help to create long-term positive change in local communities on this internship, while gaining invaluable international development work experience in Mexico.
Measuring our impact
Our projects work towards clear long-term goals, with specific annual objectives. Every volunteer and intern we send to these projects helps us work towards these goals, no matter how long they spend on our projects.
Every year we take a step back and look at how much progress we've made towards these goals. We put together a Global Impact Report, which documents our achievements. Find out more about the impact our global community of volunteers, interns and staff make, and read the latest report.
Food and accommodation
You'll stay with a host family in Guadalajara. They'll welcome you into their home, eager to share their customs and learn about yours. This is the best way to immerse yourself in the culture of Mexico and have a unique experience.
We'll try to ensure you live with other Projects Abroad volunteers or interns at the same host family. Your room will be modest, but comfortable, clean, and safe.
Your program fee includes three meals a day. This is great news because nothing beats authentic Mexican food. Get ready to sample the most delicious tacos, enchiladas, and quesadillas.
Find out more about our accommodation.
Leisure activities and free time
With beautiful beaches, arresting art galleries, and buzzing restaurants, there’s something for everyone in Mexico. You’ll have plenty to do during your free time on your project in this dynamic country.
There’s something captivating about touring through old buildings. If you’re into neo-gothic architecture, treat yourself to a trip to the Templo Expiatorio del Santisimo Sacramento. It’s a work of art with its ornate steeples and glowing stained glass windows.
There are also plenty of museums, giving you the chance to immerse yourself in the country’s rich history. For something different, you can spend the day appreciating the wildlife and lush vegetation of Las Peñas Ecological Park.
You can’t take a trip to Mexico without tasting authentic Mexican cuisine. You can spend an evening enjoying pozole or tamales at a local restaurant and watching the vivid orange-red sun melt into the horizon.
We have a host of different projects in Mexico so there’ll likely be lots of other volunteers in the area during your trip. So you can choose to travel and explore in a group or on your own.
Safety and staff support
Your safety and security is our prime concern. We have many procedures and systems to ensure you have the support you need to enjoy your trip with peace of mind. Our Projects Abroad staff are available 24 hours a day to help, and will be on-hand to make sure you settle in well at your accommodation and placement. If you encounter any problems, they will be available to help at any time.
Find out more about safety and backup.
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