Team up with a group your age and do conservation volunteer work for teenagers in Mexico. You’ll live next to a black sand beach and work with staff to protect endangered sea turtles and study the local environment. You’ll also have the opportunity to learn and practice Spanish everyday. This is a great way to help the environment, gain experience, and have fun, all at the same time!
In Mexico, you’ll spend a lot of time working at El Tortugario Centro Ecológico de Cuyutlan, an ecological centre built next to a lagoon. You’ll help protect turtle nests and eggs, do biodiversity studies in the lagoon, and travel to a crocodile centre to study the animals there. You’ll work with conservation experts with years of experience in the field at all times.
You’ll live and work in Cuyutlan, and stay with your group in shared accommodation close to the beach and the centre of town. When you’re not working, we’ve organised social and cultural activities for you to enjoy, along with an exciting weekend trip. Throughout it all, Projects Abroad staff will be at your side to supervise and guide your group.
When you apply you only pay €295, which comes off the total price.
Looking to do more than one project? Call us on 01 571 5080 to see if we can offer a discount.
Fixed dates during school holidays
This project is only for 15-18 year olds
What's included in the price?
Food (three meals a day)
Travel and medical insurance
Airport pick-up and drop-off
Full induction and orientation by an experienced staff member on arrival
Transport to and from your work placement
In-country support and 24-hour back-up from our team of full-time local staff
Emergency assistance from our international emergency response team
Project equipment and materials, including access to our database with thousands of resources
Training and workshops from our experienced local staff
Regular social events and community activities with other volunteers and interns
Access to our local office with internet connection
Certification of project completion
Access to our alumni services and discounts
Visa support and advice
Fundraising support, including your own personalised fundraising website
Pre-departure preparation by your own specialist Volunteer Advisor
Personalised MyProjectsAbroad website, with all the information you need about your project, accommodation and destination
A free cultural awareness course
Membership to our volunteer social media groups, to share information and to get in touch
Organised weekend tourism trips
Dedicated full-time staff members with you 24 hours a day
What's not included?
Visa costs (where applicable)
What will I do on this project?
There’s a lot to be done at Cuyutlan for your group! Here are some of the activities you can get involved in:
- Search for and move turtle nests to a protected area
- Clean and maintain turtle tanks and care for sea turtles at the ecological centre
- Participate on beach clean-ups during the afternoons
- Take Spanish lessons with a qualified language teacher
- Support staff at a crocodile park
- Explore Mexico and learn more about the culture with your group
Your project will be divided into the following:
Search for and move turtle nests to a protected area
Coastal erosion is a big problem affecting turtles in Mexico. However, poachers have proven to be an even bigger problem. Once a turtle has laid eggs, poachers dig up the eggs to sell at local markets. To protect the nests, we do beach patrols everyday. When we find a nest, we move it to a safe location at the ecological centre we work with. This is a protected area, and the eggs will incubate in peace here. Once the eggs hatch, we release hatchlings into the ocean.
Care for turtles at the ecological centre
At the ecological centre, the government has given them permission to keep turtles, especially those who have been injured and cannot be released back into the wild. They need your help to look after all the turtles living here. Your group will help clean the tanks, and make sure turtles are fed and cared for. Each turtle is also weighed and measured once a month.
Community beach clean-ups
Reducing litter in our oceans is vital for keeping marine life safe. Rubbish, particularly non-biodegradable plastic, is hazardous. The sea turtles that nest here can get caught in the discarded plastic. Or, they may mistake it for food, which can hurt and even kill them.
Your group will work together to keep the beach as clean as possible. With this many hands involved, you’ll be able to remove a lot of rubbish from the environment.
Take Spanish lessons
As a Spanish-speaking country, Mexico is a great place for you to either start learning, or practise what you already know. You’ll receive two hours of Spanish lessons every day during the week. Classes are taught in small groups and are extremely interactive. Your lessons are adjusted depending on your level, so you don’t need to worry about not being able to keep up.
Work with crocodiles
You will visit La Colorada Crocodile Centre, in Cofradia de Morelos, once a week. Here, you’ll help to clean and maintain the pens and the centre’s facilities. You will also be involved in taking biometric data and marking the crocodiles in nearby lagoons.
Finally, this project is also an opportunity for you to travel, learn, and grow in a safe environment with a group of volunteers your age. On the weekend, we’ll take you on a trip to a local beach resort to experience more of Mexico. Make the most of the opportunity to have some fun in the sun with your new friends!
Where will I work in Mexico?
During your time in Mexico, you’ll be based in Cuyutlan. With its black sand beaches, gentle waves, and laid-back attitude, Cuyutlan feels a world away from everywhere.
You’ll spend most of your time working at El Tortugario Centro Ecológico de Cuyutlan, and working directly on the beach or in a nearby lagoon. You’ll also work at La Colorada Crocodile Centre once a week.
You'll stay in shared accommodation close to the beach. The accommodation has several single and shared same-sex bedrooms, as well as a communal kitchen and a swimming pool. Only volunteers of the same sex are permitted to share a room.
We set out the aims and objectives of our projects in documents called Management Plans. We use them to properly plan the work you’ll do. They also help us measure and evaluate our achievements and impact each year.
Ultimately, our Management Plans help us make our projects better. This in turn means you get to be part of something that makes a real impact where it’s needed. Read more about our Management Plans.
Measuring Our Impact
Every year, thousands of High School Special volunteers and interns actively make a difference around the world. During their time abroad, they contribute towards achieving long-term goals and make a long-lasting positive impact on the communities where they work.
We produce an annual High School Specials Impact Report, which documents some of these achievements. Find out more about the impact of these projects, and read the latest report.
My favourite activities by far were bird watching and the patrols. The main focus of the camp is of course turtle conservation on the beach, but Projects Abroad aids the preservation of many other ecosystems and wildlife.
Conservation Volunteer Work in Mexico for Teenagers
Meet the team in Mexico
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