Founded in 1992, Projects Abroad now serves about 8,000 volunteers annually in 27 countries. Since 1998, the organization has been working in Mexico and now runs programs out of Guadalajara as well at the on the Pacific Coast in Tecoman in the state of Colima.
Each year, hundreds of volunteers head to Guadalajara where they participate in a projects including teaching, child care, cultural and community work, medicine and healthcare, journalism animal rehabilitation, and more. The Guadalajara programs can run from one month to upwards of four months. No Spanish language or other skills are required, but participants can arrange for Spanish lessons while abroad.
Separate from or in conjunction with the Guadalajara programs, Project Abroad also has a Conservation Program on the Pacific Coast right next to the ocean at Tecoman in the state of Colima. Volunteers work with local experts with conservation and environmental projects to protect turtles, crocodiles, and birds. You can volunteer for a week or longer and the program is well-suited to families.
For those interested in working with turtles, the program operates year-round. Note, it’s best to visit between June and December with September being peak time. In the Conservation Program, volunteers work approximately five hours on rotation with some night work.
Jim Kelly described his experience:
“I wasn’t sure what to expect from the turtle camp out in the middle of nowhere, but as time went by I fell in love with it more and more each day. I’ve always loved the countryside, but with the nearest village or town 40 minutes away, this was the real thing. Words do no justice to the views and scenery out there, one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been. I never thought I’d wake up in the morning, step outside and have a cowboy ride over to see how things are going.”
By Lily J. Kosner for PeterGreenberg.com