Children's Refuge Supporter

Misiòn Mèxico is a children’s refuge providing love, life and hope to 24 children in our home in south Mexico. We'd love you to help give them the future they deserve.

Volunteers are needed all year round at Misión México and people from all over the world come to donate their time to us.

We consider a volunteer to be a ‘friend with authority’ here at Misión México. The children need love and fun but also guidance and discipline.

Every volunteer has some talent that they can share. You don’t need to be an engineer or a certified child psychologist. A genuine love for children and an enthusiasm to work is a basic requirement.

We need people who are loving but also can discipline the children. These children come to us from very poor, abusive, uneducated households where they have had no discipline and have not learned many manners. Part of their education with us is not only going to school, but also learning how to be respectful, look after their things and learn to live with others as a family. 

Volunteering at Misión México is not a holiday but a busy work time; however it is incredibly rewarding and you will walk away from the place with the satisfaction that you have made a difference in the lives of the children.

Suitable for

Couples
Singles
Groups

Typical day

As you can imagine, a family with 24 children can be occasionally quite chaotic and busy! Living at Misión México is an intense but wonderful time for volunteers. We cover every day from 5.30am until 9.30pm (split into two 8 hour shifts) and are responsible for helping with the daily running of the orphanage - such as wake-up, chore supervision, homework, meal supervision, getting ready for school, bath-time, bedtime and
other activities like sport, art and craft or whatever skill you want to bring to the house.

A normal work day is split into 2 shifts - the morning and the afternoon.

The morning shift begins on a weekday at 5.30am. It consists of:

● Preparing breakfast for the children
● Waking the children and getting them organised for school
● Ensuring children complete morning chores
● Completing our own morning chores (cleaning the apartment/bathroom)
● Any extra tasks as directed by the house parents while the children are not home
● A morning exercise programme or organised activities/games after home-school

The morning shift, once the children are at school, can prove very quiet. Use the time productively and ensure you have exhausted any and all morning tasks and to-do lists and that the house is presentable. This is also a great time to prepare activities that you may want to run concurrently with our project schedule.

The afternoon shift, beginning at 1:30pm, is busier and more scheduled. Once the children arrive home the afternoon shift volunteers ensure the children hang their school bags up in the area provided, or put them away. They should then collect their clothes from the laundry that were washed during the day, change, wash their hands and are sitting in the dining room for lunch. After lunch the children are to complete their chores before any other activity.

Then homework is to commence or study for those without homework. The schools attended by the children
will fail a child if their homework is not complete, so it is very important we make sure all children complete
their homework each night. We have Homework Club from 3-4pm in the comedor for the Pequeños and 8-
9pm for the Grandes/Medianos. If children claim they do not have any homework, they must still stay in the
comedor and read a book or magazine.

The children are then showered, fed and prepared for bed according to the scheduled times for their age
groups. Chiquitos and Pequeños are in bed by 7.30pm. The Medianos and Grandes are in bed by 9.30pm. On
Friday nights they can stay up a little later and we generally look to alternate games nights with various board
games, Quiz nights or Movie nights.

On Saturday both shifts start and end later. The children go to their respective church lessons with the
chaplain in their respective age groups throughout the day. Saturday is a good opportunity to run organised
activities, sports contests, games, craft projects etc. as there is more concentrated time available.

On Sundays it is preferred that all volunteers and children go to the beach at around 8:30am. We return at 2:00pm and all the volunteers are requested to come and lifeguard, even if you work the afternoon shift. For this reason we try to alternate the Sunday afternoon shift 
for volunteers so that they are not worked consecutively.

Volunteers will have at least one full day off every 2 weeks to rest, though we often have enough volunteers to give at least one day off per week.

Program Requirements

Minimum Age
21 years
Language Skills
You need to speak English (basic level)
Health Declaration
required
Criminal Background Check
required
Required Documents
CV, passport copy, two references, police check and application form
Other Skills
Conversational level of either English or Spanish
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday

Do you have any questions concerning this volunteer opportunity in Mexico? Volunteer World directly connects you with Misión México

Children's Refuge Supporter Children's Refuge Supporter The results of a successful cooking lesson Children's Refuge Supporter Children's Refuge Supporter Children's Refuge Supporter Children's Refuge Supporter Children's Refuge Supporter

Free-time activities

Though Tapachula isn't on the tourist trail, nor is it easy to find information online (in English or in Spanish), we're happy to say that there is plenty to do during time off.  Nearby activities and attractions include:


  • The Izapa ruins
  • San Francisco and El Aguila waterfalls
  • A butterfly sanctuary
  • A waterpark
  • Playa Linda beach
  • Puerto Chiapas
  • Great markets for shopping
  • A 50m outdoor swimming pool with high diving board (4 blocks away and 30pesos entry)
  • Numerous restaurants and street food stalls with authentic, delicious (and cheap!) Mexican cuisine
  • Small villages and towns outside the city for lovely day trips
  • Chocolate tours in Tuxtla Chico
  • Coffee farms with accommodation and tours (e.g. Finca Argovia or Finca Hamburgo)
  • The second-highest volcano in Central America, Tacana, which can be climbed in 1-2 days
  • Easy access to Guatemala for longer trips

Water Sports
Swimming
Hiking
Sports

Services

What's included?
The Volunteer Contribution Fee goes towards your on-site private accommodation (full sleeping, shared bathroom and shared kitchen facilities), one main meal a day and administration costs relating to application processing, training and volunteer documents and post-volunteering follow-up.

We have kept the volunteer fee as low as possible and do not profit from it.  There is no extra charge for staying longer than the minimum six weeks.
What's NOT included?
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees.

No worries, Volunteer World supports you in raising funds, checking your visa regulations and travel insurance. We also assist you in finding the cheapest flights for your journey.
Accommodation
The volunteer apartment is on-site though is self-contained and separated from the main house by a locked gate.  It has 4 bedrooms. Three are one flight of stairs up from the ground floor, one is up a further set of spiral stairs.  Two are twin rooms, (possible to be used as a double) and the other two are singles. All bedrooms have fans.  

There is a living room area and we also have a roof terrace (great for watching the sunset!) with tables, chairs and a barbecue.

The shared bathroom is downstairs on the ground floor and has a shower, sink and toilet.

The kitchen area has a fridge, freezer, two-ring electric cooker, electric frying pan, blender, coffee machine, microwave and kitchen utensils, crockery and cutlery.  You are also welcome to use the big kitchen in the main house when it is not in use.

Bedroom (Single) Bedroom (Double)
Food & Beverages

We have a chef that prepares lunch (our main meal), 6 days a week.  All volunteers are welcome to eat every day, whether on shift or not.


On Sundays, we have a family barbecue (hamburgers or hotdogs) that all volunteers are most welcome to join.

Internet Access
Good access at the project site
Costs
6 weeks (min. stay)
$160
7 weeks
$160
8 weeks
$160
9 weeks
$160
14 weeks
$160
22 weeks
$160
50 weeks (max. stay)
$160

You can volunteer at the project site in Tapachula/Mexico between 6 weeks and 50 weeks. Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. Misión México will tell you your final price during your application process.
Average Fees
$15/week
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 Misión México during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.

Get ready to volunteer in Mexico

Check out first

Visa Regulations
Depending on your nationality, you have to arrange your visa for Mexico. Please check the visa regulations for Mexico.
Budgeting
Generally, volunteering abroad involves certain costs. In case you need financial support, we will assist you to fundraise your volunteer program in Mexico.

What's next?

Airport
The nearest airport is Tapachula International (TAP) in Tapachula. 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.
Vaccine Checker
If you are intending to volunteer in Mexico you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Mexico.
Packing List
Packing our bags is important to prepare your trip, but often turns into a last minute horror. Make sure you don't forget the essentials by creating a personalised packing list for your volunteer program in Mexico upfront.
Tapachula, Tapachula, Mexico