Horseback riding and ecotourism assistant

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Coordinator | Beatriz
Coordinator | Beatriz
Book with Flex Option! Choose new departure dates or change to a different volunteer program at no extra costs.


Experience a way of living where horses and people are strongly connected in Manialtepec, they call themselves "caballerangos", the whole village are horses caretakers
Learn from a ecotourism project based on hikking and horseback riding. The local group can teach you how to ride a horse, their daily needs in freedom and other activities in nature
Show your passion helping the community to learn english, to reach more people through social media for their sustainable development, give environmental workshops to the children, ...
Immerse with a family in the traditional way of living, buying handmade tortillas, eating eggs from happy chickens, drinking milk from free cows...
There are plenty places to enjoy in Manialtepec: the bioluminiscence in the lagoon, the thermal waters, the mountain with amazing views, the beach Puerto Suelo, ... And Puerto Escondido is close by!
Be part of a traditional coastal community surrounded by horses living in freedom. Support with respectful environmental activities and connect with horses and nature. This volunteer program is especially suitable for:
Age 18+

Manialtepec is a small village governed by custom and practice. They are their own authority in the village, they produce fruits, vegetables, milk, cheeses, corn, ... They are kind and warm to visitors as they like to show what they built in their community.

Most of the community were focused on livestock farming and agriculture, but your host family, started to develop ecotourism. They were the first family who started to bring visitors to Manialtepec, showing the community that it's possible to live from the land without exploiting it. After that, many groups started to develop some activities to show the beauty of their community and landscapes, starting ecotourism as a way to live without exploiting their land. Before that, they were using horses to carry tools, harvests, or themselves, and they changed their function to do horseback riding, as a way to do ecotourism a few days per week, while horses are living ifree in nature the rest of the time.

During the tours, they talk about nature, traditions, the importance of the ecosystems, the needs to care the enviroment and their community... They show the true beauty of the planet.

This local group owns 50 ha of a forest full of wildlife, where they need hands to make reforestatons and to improve their conservation activities.

The main activities of this volunteering program are:
  • To support in ecotourism activities such as: caring horses, giving support during the tours, cleaning along the way to the beach or thermal waters, ...
  • English lessons to local guides, helping them with material for social networks, ...
  • To make environmental workshops in the school
  • To support in activities in the land: sometimes, the village and people has to do volunteering work for the community, called tequio, and you will participate in those actions.

Typical day

In the community, the day starts very early, at 7, when the sun is rising, you will hear the sounds of the rural life: birds, women making tortillas early in the morning... Let's prepare yourself for the day.

After having a small breakfast, you will cross the river to check the horses in the morning, giving them some water, and preparing them for the sunset, when it's planned to walk with them to the beach. If you don't know how to ride a horse well, you sill use this time to learn it until you can help the group how to help visitors to manage their horses. Some of the guides can talk a bit in english, but sometimes, your knowledge of the place as you were a bit more than them living in Manialtepec, will help them to explain things that they have a hard time to express

Enjoy the sunset in the beach, ride with your horse, love the moment, enjoy the people, listen the Pactific Ocean, look at the crocodiles hidden into the mangroves and be amazed by the colored birds along the way. Manialtepec has a lot to offer.

Most of the days, there will be extra activities that will depend on the community work: you can support in giving some english lessons to people, environmental workshops with the children, making traditional cheese or bread, cleaning hikking routes, reforestation activities, ...

Free-time activities

There are plenty of options to enjoy your free time just inside the community. You can go to the river, to the beach, you can hike to thermal waters, there are tours to see bioluminiscence in the night in the lagoon (the water shines!)... You can enjoy living with the community, learning to do mexican food.

Nearby, there is Puerto Escondido, a surfer city full of life, nice bays to swim, and nice restaurants to eat.



In order to join the program you need to be at least 18 years old on the program start date. There might be exemptions if you can provide the permission of your legal guardian(s) or if your are accompanied by your parents.
Language Skills
You need to speak English (intermediate level)
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Other Skills
Any skill that you would like to share will be helpful for us :)
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday

What's Included

Services by Tartarukus
With your contribution you will be provided of:
  •  Airport pick-up
  •  Accommodation and food. If you are vegan or vegetarian, or you have any allergies, sometimes you will have to make your own food, since you will eat what your family is eating.
  •  A coordinator who lives in the community and can help you with communication issues.
  •  Horseback riding activities when there is any group to attend.

After paying the reservation through Volunteer World, the best way to make your economical contribution is Mexican pesos in your arrival date. If you would like to do the payment by bank transfer in euros, is also possible, but it will be 10% more because of currency exchange and bank commissions.
Airport Pickup at Puerto Escondido Airport
We can pick you up in Puerto Escondido airport or bus station :) from 9.00 am to 15.00
The place where you live will be some rooms prepared for visitors. The owners are people from the community who works in the conservation of sea turtles, You will cook and live with them.
The rooms can be shared between two or three volunteers. Usually, they have two double beds per room.
Bedroom (Double) Guest Family
Food & Beverages
Your host family will provide you: 
  • Breakfast: a coffee or tea with a bread or fruit.
  • Lunch and dinner: These meals will be the same as they eat, usually they are typical oaxacan food (entomatadas, quesadillas, soups, pozole, fish, black beans, rice, eggs,...)
If you are vegetarian or vegan, you will have the possibility to cook your own food, but you will have to buy the things that you would like to prepare.
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.
Flight Tickets
The nearest airport is Puerto Escondido Airport (PXM) in Puerto Escondido. 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

We can pick you up from monday to saturday in Puerto Escondido airport between 10.00 to 15.00 

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
1 - 10 weeks

Program fees

Costs: Prices in USD
1 week (min. stay)
2 weeks
4 weeks
10 weeks (max. stay)
Average fees
$503 /week

The organization charges its fees in EUR. The price table in USD is subject to currency fluctuation. Tartarukus 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 Tartarukus 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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Quality Assurance
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Change your reservation at no extra costs
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We refund your fees if Tartarukus cancels your trip
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Our services are free of charge!
All program fees are charged directly by Tartarukus.

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Horseback riding and ecotourism assistant

Be part of a traditional coastal community surrounded by horses living in freedom. Support with respectful environmental activities and connect with horses and nature.


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