Volunteering is a great way of giving back to local communities. In the Yucatán there are various organizations that welcome any help they can get, from environmental and wildlife-conservation NGOs to social programs. You can always look for opportunities at your local hostel or language school, some of which offer part-time volunteering opportunities. Most programs require a minimum commitment of at least a month, and some charge fees for room and board.

Volunteer Directories

Go Abroad (www.goabroad.com)

Go Overseas (www.gooverseas.com)

Idealist (www.idealist.org)

The Mexico Report (www.themexicoreport.com/non-profits-in-mexico)

Transitions Abroad (www.transitionsabroad.com)

Yucatan-based Programs

Centro Ecológico Akumal (www.ceakumal.org) Accepts volunteers for its environmental and protection programs.

Flora, Fauna y Cultura de México You can help with turtle conservation in Xcacel from June to October.

Junax (www.junax.org.mx) Works with indigenous communities in Chiapas; volunteers must speak Spanish.

Pronatura Mérida-based environmental organization sometimes seeks volunteers to work on various projects in the Yucatán.