Cultural Festival Helper

High­lights Require­ments What's Included Dates & Fees Rev­iews
founded in 2001
Fundacion Aldeas de Paz
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Coordinator | Manfred
Coordinator | Manfred


make memories you never forget!
experience the Mexican style of live and chill by the rhythm of Caribbean music!
gain Spanish fluency and share daily life with locals!
become more passionate about your studies and propel your career with international experience!
Learn to conceive yourselves as actor of a common project!
A magic town in central Mexico - Help strengthen community ties, assist with social violence prevention & help organizing and preparing a major cultural & artistic event This volunteer program is especially suitable for:
Age 16+

Help organize a famous cultural festival in the Mexican town of Malinalco. Because of its colonial character, Malinalco is one of the "Pueblos Mágicos" (Magic towns). For the last five years the "Day of the Dead" has been a pretext for young people from Malinalco’s different neighborhoods to build and develop artistic and cultural activities in an environment free of violence, substance consumption, enhancing the meaning of community. Through the years, this day, as well as the preparations that take place during previous months, have become famous as the “Recorrido al Mictlán”, (Journey to Mictlán). 

With this years sixth emission the participation of many more communities is expected. To be able to carry out this initiative, we invite volunteers to participate in the preparations leading to the "Recorrido al Mictlán" and the parade that will run through some of the Malinalco neighborhoods on October 31, integrating more than 3,500 people! The volunteer opportunity consists of three months of preparation, the development of the cultural festival and the closure and evaluation of the event.

Quality artistic creation. More than 80 young people from Malinalco work throughout the year in a process of training with artists of various kinds to develop the skills and techniques that will enable them to lead the festival. During the months of preparation they visit the schools, community centers and meeting points of the municipal capital and the surroundings to create, with other children and young people, the essential elements of the Tour: giant puppets, masks, hats, lanterns, music, choreography. More than 1000 children and young people from 20 groups and organizations of Malinalco are directly involved in the creation process and are the protagonists of the festival.  

Learn to conceive yourselves as actor of a common project
During a comprehensive accompaniment project we work with people from marginalized neighborhoods to promote the development of their psychosocial skills throughout the year. The “Recorrido al Mictlán” allows us to strengthen the training process and ensure positive recognition by the rest of the community. The preparation and realization of the festival itself generates experiences of significant interaction between groups and diverse people. Each workshop and each meeting, is an opportunity to lower the barriers, identify with each other and conceive ourselves as actors of a common project.

A typical volunteer should be enthusiastic, proactive, willing to learn and ready for a challenge. Imaginalco seeks that the volunteer experience supports both a comprehensive experience for the person who participates and for all the members and beneficiaries of our community. We expect that volunteers adapt to program needs with flexibility, responsibility, commitment, patience and perseverance, among other significant qualities. It is necessary for volunteers to meet certain requirements:

  • At least 18 years of age at the start point of the volunteering period

  • At least intermediate Spanish competence (B1 completed)

  • Respect for the other and openness to discover new ways of life and cultural practices

  • Preference will be given to those candidates who have work experience with people in vulnerable situations

  • A valid medical insurance throughout your stay is mandatory 

  • Candidates will be interviewed through video call by the Imaginalco staff. 

  • An ideal volunteer is proactive, result-focused but still patient and willing to engage in activities autonomously while still having our support and supervision.

Note: The program only has the capacity to host a maximum of six volunteers simultaneously.

Financial Contribution & Benefits
Aldeas de Paz works hard to keep the required financial contribution to an absolute minimum and to offer financial transparency by practicing an open book policy. The calculation of your financial contribution or donation is set up so that the longer you stay the less you give per week. We do this to encourage longer stays, recognizing that longer stays lead to more significant volunteer work and more energy contributed in the form of donated time in place of money! The minimum contribution starts at €140 per week and includes Spanish language classes, double room at one of our fully equipped guesthouse apartments, a special program donation as well as a personal welcome service and pick-up at the airport, transfer to the bus, bus fare and free transfer to your placement location in Las Terrenas or Samana. If you wish a single room upgrade add €40 per week and an all in Host Family homestay upgrade is €145 per week, including a private bedroom and two meals per day. For more information about costs and benefits check out our webpage.

Typical day

What to expect
You work during 5 days of the week and have 2 days off. As some activities take place during the weekend, volunteers can choose their free days in agreement with the Imaginalco staff. Work days involve 5 hours per day full commitment. The number of activities and responsibilities to acquire will depend on the time the volunteer stays. Those who stay longer can get involved in more activities if they wish. During their stay and participation in the Recorrido al Mictlán volunteers will be able to experience and learn techniques on the following aspects:

  • Skills for working with people in vulnerable situations

  • Craft development skills such as giant puppets, torches, costumes, and masks.

  • Skills for the development of social violence prevention programs at community level.

  • Get access to knowledge about the cultural practices around the celebration of the Day of the Dead in Mexico and access to the community experience of this tradition.

  • Be part of the Day of the Dead celebration and its preparations from the perspective of the community with the possibility of sharing family intimacy and the centennial tradition.

Note: All volunteers who comply with the designated activities will receive a certificate of participation from Imaginalco that states the time and type of work performed. In those cases where university credits are required, volunteers will be responsible for carrying out the process at their universities; Imaginalco will support them as much as possible.

The activities to be developed by the volunteers
will be established during the interview that Imaginalco staff will carry out. A joint work plan will be drawn up upon arrival. Some of the activities in which you can participate can include but are not limited to:

  • Five hours of daily work in the cultural spaces of Imaginalco with our impact population as well as with the community for the elaboration of giant puppets, rap songs, scenography and shows to be performed during the Day of the Death Festival. A volunteer coordinator will help you prepare this activities. Some specific activities usually assigned to volunteers according to their preferences and abilities may be:

    • Development of individual or group sessions with young people to help them prepare their materials for the festival. 

    • Organization and implementation of artistic workshops for building masks, hats, dolls, and other material for the festival

    • Learn body paint techniques to help dress the festival participants

    • Direct involvement in the logistics and design of the festival (weekly meetings)

  • Attention and support to young people in vulnerable situations for the development of their school homework, improvement of their quality of life and the acquisition of new skills

  • Planning and development of the "Pasacalles", a walking tour of the town of Malinalco that takes place on October 31 as part of the Recorrido al Mictlán

  • Participation in other Imaginalco activities such as bicycle tours, film screenings, games with children, support for the development of tasks, training routines in the gym for young people and adults and in general activities carried out with children

  • Development of audiovisual material of the Recorrido al Mictlán and help develop the website for the program

  • Contribute to social violence prevention actions

Free-time activities



In order to join the program you need to be at least 16 years old on the program start date.
Language Skills
You need to speak Spanish (intermediate level)
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday

What's Included

Services by Fundacion Aldeas de Paz

Volunteer related spendings like recruitment, supervision and accommodation as well as language training and mentoring are the main spending making up for 65% of Peace Villages` allocated donations to Aldeas de Paz. About 30% is spend on Youth Care and Community Development and the remaining 5% go into administration, legal costs and office overhead. Since Aldeas de Paz is a small grass-roots charity it does not finance infrastructure projects in the community or village, but rather focuses on outreach, community attention and the development of its own programs in the Dominican Republic.

We are a registered tax exempted charity and all monetary contributions are referred to as donation since what you pay is generally 100% tax-deductible for you. Speak with your tax adviser to learn how the cost of international airfare can be tax-deductible as well. Please also read our Terms & Conditions. Check out how your donation is spent, and read our Financial Reports.

Airport Pickup at Benito Juarez International Airport

The airport is 100 km away and the drive to the placement in Malinalco will take us about 2,5 hours.


Living together with volunteers from all over the world is a unique chance for cultural exchange and can be an exciting and new way of living compared to anything you’ve ever experienced before. It has certainly been a key experience in the lives of many past volunteers! Volunteers work and live together and learn how to be empathetic and considerate of others’ needs. They share their free time, house cleaning tasks and cooking (optional). It means they also become close, develop lifelong friendships and have immense fun along the way! We feel that it is important to highlight that we have created an environment of respect and consideration. If you wish a single room upgrade add €40 per week and an all in Host Family homestay upgrade is €145 per week, including a private bedroom and two meals per day.

Bedroom (Single) Bedroom (Double)
Internet Access
Good access at the project site
What's NOT included?
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees. Food, snacks or beverages are at extra costs.
Flight Tickets
The nearest airport is Benito Juarez International Airport (MEX) in Mexico City. We assist you to find cheap flights to Mexico.
Travel Insurance
Going abroad is an adventure and it is always best to be prepared. Sudden illness or injury, cancellation or theft - a travel insurance for Mexico provides security and is a plus to have.
If you are intending to volunteer in Mexico you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Mexico.

Dates & Fees


Details on arrival

Availability: You can apply to volunteer at any time within the following dates: August 15 to November 15, 2019 Note: Although activities are carried out since August, the main celebration is between October 30 and November 2
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
12 - 50 weeks

Program fees

Costs: Prices in USD
12 weeks (min. stay)
$ 2,035
13 weeks
$ 2,188
14 weeks
$ 2,342
15 weeks
$ 2,495
19 weeks
$ 3,109
27 weeks
$ 4,336
50 weeks (max. stay)
$ 7,864
Average fees
$ 163 /week

Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. Fundacion Aldeas de Paz will let you know about the final price during your application process.
Deposit (15%)
The deposit is simply to reserve your volunteer placement. Payments are handled by PayPal, our trusted global payment provider. If you don't have a PayPal account, you can also pay using a credit card.
Final Payment (85%)
Your final payment will be agreed with Fundacion Aldeas de Paz during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.

Why book with Volunteer World

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We refund your fees if Fundacion Aldeas de Paz cancels your trip
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Our services are free of charge!
All program fees are charged directly by Fundacion Aldeas de Paz.

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  Americas Central America Mexico  Malinalco, Malinalco

Cultural Festival Helper

A magic town in central Mexico - Help strengthen community ties, assist with social violence prevention & help organizing and preparing a major cultural & artistic event


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