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Animal Rescue and Veterinary Assistance

Playa del Carmen, Mexico

Agency | GoEco

Our team works on preventing the causes of animal suffering. We need volunteers to help in our daily activities like educating pet-owners and providing veterinary care.

The Program

Although some pet owners in Playa care for their dogs and cats, many lack the resources to give them proper treatment and attention. Furthermore, other pet owners neglect their pets, or abandon them in the streets altogether. There are many stray cats and dogs that were abandoned and suffer from easily preventable diseases, untreated illnesses and injuries, and are left to scavenge for food and clean water.

Our team in Playa is working on bringing together community stakeholders to address the root causes of animal suffering in order to improve dog and cat care, reduce the number of strays, and support humane approaches to population control. They are developing approaches that include education, the provision of veterinary care, research, outreach, and policy to improve the welfare of dogs and cats.

Your Contribution

On your arrival day (Friday) you will stay at a local hotel, and then on the next day (Saturday) you will move into the accommodations and receive an orientation, join a welcome meeting, and hear a brief introduction to the program. Further training will be provided during your first week in Playa del Carmen and some of it will be provided as needed, depending on the current activities at the program and on your past experience.

Tasks and activities on the program are wide-ranging and depend on the needs at any time and any specific skills you might be able to bring. You should be prepared for some degree of change in the field, but your role is likely to include:

  • handling dogs and cats
  • assisting in the preparation for daily neutering and spaying surgeries (always lead by local vets)
  • assisting in the recovery area by playing and taking care of the animals, cutting their nails, cleaning their ears and removing ticks
  • doing surveys or implementing animal welfare workshops in the community
  • supporting animal welfare awareness and humanitarian treatment in hotels and local communities
  • helping out in different fundraising activities
  • increasing awareness on cat and dog population control in different areas focusing on disadvantaged communities

All the necessary training will be done before any of the actual program work. Your activities at the program will, of course, depend on the need and requirements in the field, and on your past experience. If you do have relevant skills, please let us know after you register.

The Location 

The Yucatan Peninsula is a region in Mexico that is steeped in great natural beauty and ancient history. It is considered to be in the outer tropics and is home to hundreds of species of mammals, birds and other wildlife. Gorgeous white sandy beaches and the turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico surround its coastline.

The Yucatan Peninsula is famous for being the native home to the Mayan people until the 16th century. Still today you can visit the ancient ruins of the Mayan people in various places throughout the peninsula. 

Typical day

You will work on the program 5 days a week, spending the majority of the time fully immersed in program life. You will have two days off every week (those days might vary depending on activities on the ground).

Remember - working with animals can be physically and emotionally demanding, however, this is a very rewarding program. Also, your schedule is likely to have a good balance between work and downtime, with opportunities to enjoy the city and the surrounding area.

Details on Arrival

You can arrive on Fridays. Your flight should arrive between 2 pm and 6 pm for the airport pick-up.

Free-time activities

The Yucatan Peninsula is full of amazing travel and adventure opportunities. From the beautiful waters and white sandy beaches, to the astounding untouched Mayan ruins, scuba diving in the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, the second largest reef in the world, or snorkel with whale sharks, the opportunities are endless.

From the project location in the northeastern part of the peninsula, you can easily access and day trip to relax on the white sandy beaches and swim in the warm turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea. Also, the city of Cancun is only 35km away and easily accessible with public buses that run between all major towns. For more adventurous weekend trips the famous Mayan ruins in Tulum or Coba are only 5 hours.

For those who are interested in sea life the options for snorkeling and scuba diving are numerous. Snorkel with varying sized turtles in Akumal Bay or with whale sharks, the largest fish in the world, that migrate up near Cozumel between June and September. Scuba dive in one of the worlds top ten dive sites in Cozumel. For a totally different experience, snorkel or dive in the cenotes of the Yucatan, a unique system of underground rivers that flow beneath the entire peninsula.

Visit Merida, the cultural capital of the Yucatan, boasting many museums, galleries, restaurants and shops. Merida is also home to one of the best known and well restored Mayan ruin sites, Chichen Itza, which has been named a UNESCO World Heritage site as well as one of the "New Seven Wonders of the World". Merida enjoys one of Mexico's largest historic centers and contains beautiful old colonial buildings and the oldest cathedrals on the continent.

If you have the time for more travel after the program, the rest of Mexico offers a variety of experiences. Surfing on the pacific coast in Puerto Escondido one of the worlds best surf beaches. Or visit the colonial town of Oaxaca on the pacific coast to see some of the countries most spectacular architecture and home to many archeological sites including the Zapotec, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. For those wishing for some city life a visit to the ever bustling Mexico city is a must.


Program Requirements

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).
Language Skills
You need to speak Spanish (fluently)
Criminal Background Check
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Other Skills
Ability to work in a team,
love for animals.
Time Commitment
Regular working hours are hardly predicable. It mainly depends on the work force. Get in touch with GoEco straight ahead to get more infos about current to dos and objectives.

Suitable for


Any questions? Just ask. We at GoEco are happy to help you.

Contact Project Coordinator
Contact & Reservation

Included Services

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We refund your fees if GoEco cancels your trip
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Our services are free of charge!
All program fees are charged directly by GoEco.
Services by GoEco
  • accommodation
  • food
  • airport pick-up
  • local in-country team and 24h emergency support
Airport Pickup at Cancun International Airport

Volunteers are picked up on arrival (if arriving Friday 2pm - 6pm).


The accommodations will be in shared rooms in an apartment or a house.

Food & Beverages

Groceries are included in this program. All meals during the working week are prepared by the volunteers (in groups). During the weekends you will be free to organize your schedule and cook at your leisure.

Internet Access
Limited 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 Cancun International Airport (CUN) in Cancun. 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.
Costs (Prices in USD)
2 weeks (min. stay)
4 weeks
6 weeks
8 weeks
12 weeks (max. stay)
Average fees

You can volunteer at the project site in Playa del Carmen/Mexico between 2 weeks and 12 weeks. Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. GoEco will let you know about the final price during your application process.
Crowdfunding Service
Generally, volunteering abroad involves certain costs. In case you need financial support, we will assist you to fundraise your volunteer program in Mexico.
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 GoEco during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.

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