The orphanage in San Cristóbal de las Casas in Mexico needs your help! This loving institution is home to children who have been separated from their families or are parentless. In the orphanage they find a new home, affection and security. But in order to take their lives into their own hands in adulthood, they need education. Here you can become active and teach the children in the facility. Together with two teachers and other volunteers, you will set up the educational program for the little ones. You can contribute your own skills and ideas and teach various subjects yourself. You want to get a taste of the teaching profession and help where help is really needed? Then become a volunteer in the coolest colonial city in Mexico and support this unique heart project.
Type of program
Educational project for children and teenagers
San Cristobal de las Casas, Mexico
approx. 5 hours (09:00-14:00 / 16:00-19:00), Mon-Fri
Every 1st Saturday of the month
Spanish (basic knowledge)
Fond of children and responsible
In a small town
Shared room in volunteer housing
English-speaking contact person via WhatsApp
Mobile Internet with SIM card from WanderWorld Travel
From 1070,00 €
Type of program: Educational project for children and teenagers
Program location: San Cristobal de las Casas, Mexico
Working hours: Approx. 5 hours (09:00-14:00 / 16:00-19:00), Mon-Fri
Program start: Every 1st Saturday of the month
Duration: 1-6 months
Minimum age: 18 years
Language: Spanish (basic knowledge)
Requirements: Fond of children and responsible
Location: In a small town
Accommodation: Shared room in volunteer hostel
Meals: Not included
Support: English-speaking contact person via WhatsApp
Internet: Mobile Internet with SIM card from WanderWorld Travel
Price: from 1.070,00 €
The children’s aid project runs an orphanage in the city of San Cristóbal de las Casas. The orphanage provides a home for approximately 24 children between the ages of 2 and 16. The children have often experienced traumatic events, have been separated from their families by the Mexican Youth Welfare Office, are parentless, or are unable to live with their families due to health or psychological conditions (e.g. children with disabilities).
The orphanage was founded 4 years ago by a married couple who wholeheartedly care for the little ones and offer them not only a roof over their heads, but a real home. The couple, together with other staff, takes care of the children all day long, providing meals and housekeeping. Two teachers and the volunteers devote themselves to teaching. The children do not go to school, but receive their education alone at the orphanage.
Some children are temporarily in the orphanage and can eventually be reunited with their families, others live permanently in the facility. There they are provided with loving care, receive attention, have a safe home and an environment where they do not have to be afraid.
The main goal of the facility is to ensure that the children can continue and complete their schooling so that later on they have a chance to have a job and a better life.
In order to change the lives of the children, they need education. Education changes everyone’s life and future and is the key to a better perspective. Therefore, the educational program is the focus of the volunteer work.
The institution does not receive any financial support from the government, but relies on donations and the volunteers. So you can make a big contribution and have a direct impact on the lives of the children. Get involved where your help is needed!
The volunteers implement the educational program in the home together with two teachers. The primary goal is to accompany the children in their academic development. Thus, a large part of the work consists of attention and teaching in the various subjects, but especially: Spanish and mathematics.
The lessons are fully adapted to the age, abilities and needs of the children. Depending on how many children with similar or different levels of knowledge are in the institution, you can teach one child alone or a group of up to 6 children. Some children have never been to school before and therefore are not at the same level of knowledge as other children their age. They need special attention and often one-on-one instruction.
The lessons will not only be adapted to the children, but also selected according to your personal abilities and interests. For example, you may teach the youngest children reading, writing and basic mathematics, or you may prefer to teach English to the older children.
As a volunteer, you can assist in these areas:
Motor development with younger children. Children of kindergarten age are supported to develop their motor skills, so for example how to hold a pencil, how to use scissors. You teach them colors and they can practice with fun tasks like coloring and crafts.
Teaching different subjects, for example reading, writing, math and English to children of different ages. Using Mexican textbooks, you teach them how to read and write. You teach basic math and for the older children, English.
Workshops to develop different skills. Your skills and creativity are needed! The children are very happy when you offer one or more workshops. Do you play an instrument? Are you artistically talented? Set up your own workshop and teach the kids new skills through play. Whether it’s music, dance, art, cooking, crafts, theater, sports or English, your ideas are welcome.
Encourage recreational activities. In addition to learning, it is also very important for the children to move. At least once a day there is a sports activity.
Collaboration in the maintenance of a small greenhouse and in the upkeep of the facility.
As you can see, there are many different areas in which you can support the children. You will learn a lot of new things yourself and improve your language skills permanently. The orphanage depends on the help of volunteers, as two teachers alone cannot provide the individual education of the children. In return, you will experience a lot of gratitude from the staff, but especially from the children.
Depending on how many volunteers are currently helping in the facility, the working hours will also be flexibly adjusted. You will work from Monday to Friday either from 09:00 to 14:00 or from 16:00 to 19:00. You can also stay longer at the orphanage and help in both shifts. The weekend is at your free disposal.
SAN CRISTOBAL DE LAS CASAS
In the highlands of the southernmost Mexican state of Chiapas, at 2100 meters above sea level, lies the picturesque town of San Cristóbal de las Casas. Chiapas is home to many indigenous people, the descendants of the ancient Mayan culture. Colorful colonial-style houses, many churches and cobblestone streets characterize the cityscape. Backpackers from all over the world and many Mayan women, who want to sell their handicrafts and wear traditional clothes, stroll through the alleys. The people here are extremely friendly and helpful, you feel immediately welcome and do not want to leave so quickly.
A highlight of the city is the colorful market where you can buy beautiful handicrafts. San Cristóbal has a diverse restaurant scene with something for everyone. You should also try the chocolate from Chiapas and the highland coffee. For the night owls among you, there are many casual bars with live music and various small clubs. San Cristóbal magically attracts backpackers from all over the world, so the variety of exceptional hostels is wide. So, a great opportunity for a volunteer project in one of the hostels. Likewise, many interesting NGOs are located in the region.
You should not miss a visit to the Casa Na Bolom museum. Here, culture and nature lovers will get their money’s worth. The home of the Danish-Swiss Blom couple features an exhibition about their Mayan research, to which they have dedicated most of their lives.
You don’t need any special requirements for the program, but you should be fond of children and helpful, enjoy being around many people and have a good basic knowledge of Spanish. You should have the desire to work with children and young people and the motivation to make a lasting difference in the lives of the children. Be aware that the children come from poor backgrounds and have partly experienced very bad things. Also, openness to new cultures and a different way of life is especially important. Living in a foreign country always requires a certain willingness to adapt, which will be very rewarding for your development.
You should also have a certain amount of independence and self-confidence, as you will also be teaching the children on your own. You will be perceived as a teacher by the little ones and should be happy to take on this role.
The national language in Mexico is Spanish. The children at the orphanage learn English, but do not speak it fluently. Therefore, it is absolutely necessary that you already have some knowledge of Spanish in order to be able to speak with the kids. Your Spanish does not have to be perfect and you will easily improve it on site. However, you should be confident enough in the language to hold a conversation and explain simple things in Spanish when teaching. One of the project staff members speaks English.
In order to acquire the necessary knowledge and to be well prepared for the successful execution of your project, we recommend that you take a Spanish course before or at the same time.
sse aneignen kannst und bestens vorbereitet wirst für die erfolgreiche Ausführung deines Projektes, empfehlen wir dir, vorab oder parallel einen Spanischkurs zu absolvieren.
You will live together with other volunteers in the volunteer house in the center of San Cristóbal. In the house you will share a dormitory with bunk beds, the bathroom and the kitchen. The house can accommodate up to 12 people. In the shared kitchen you can prepare your own food every day. Often the volunteers cook together. The volunteers are responsible for the household themselves. Once a week there is a cleaning day where everyone helps to tidy up and clean the house. Volunteers from many countries around the world live in the accommodation. They participate in different volunteer projects in San Cristóbal.
The house is furnished very typical for the country and the standard is not comparable with Germany.
The orphanage is located on the outskirts of the city, you can go there by public bus for about 1 Euro per day.
YOUR CONTACT IN MEXICO
Silvia is originally from Munich and she liked it so much in Mexico during a world trip more than 15 years ago that she moved her life center to the Rivera Maya in Quintana Roo a few years later. She is very involved with the lived traditions and rituals of the locals. She knows the area very well and always discovers the beauty of the diverse nature and likes to share this with everyone who lands in Mexico for the first time. She speaks German, English and Spanish.
Silvia will take care of you during your orientation in Playa del Carmen. For questions of any concern during your stay in Latin America, an English-speaking contact person is available via WhatsApp in the same time zone.