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Voluntourism Spotlight: Arts in Oaxaca with Adelante International

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You might know that Oaxaca is a hub for art and artisans, but you probably didn’t realize that the city is home to more than 60 museums.  In this week’s Voluntourism Spotlight, find out how you can give back and learn more about local arts and culture.  Check back every Wednesday for more voluntourism opportunities and tune into Peter Greenberg Worldwide Radio on Saturday for more information.

Oaxaca is a city full of culture and rich history located in southern Mexico. There is a lot to see and do in Oaxaca from hiking in the Sierra foothills to exploring the Zapotec pyramids and the surround high plains desert. But there is a way to be more than a tourist in the city’s museums and galleries.

The Adelante International Internship and Study Abroad program was established in 1999 to give its interns and volunteers the experience of living as a local in a foreign country and at the same time give them work experience and an education in a different culture and language.

In Oaxaca, the program focuses on work in medical clinics, day care centers and with the arts. Participants, who range in age from 18 to 52, work in the city year round with between five and 25 volunteers staying in apartments throughout the city at any given time. The program is flexible in the amount of time you can choose to volunteer in the city ranging from 1 to 12 months.

Once in Oaxaca you spend 4 hours every day volunteering at a workplace. Art focused options include volunteering in a museum, shadowing an artist, working with artisans, and helping sell art made my indigenous communities.

Adelante was originally only open in Spain ,but now has destinations in over 11 cities and 7 countries including Chile, China, and Mexico. Most of the cities focus on internships in a local business,  however the Oaxaca program differs in that is  more focused on volunteer work. Given the volunteer focus, it has the lowest programs rates, starting at $2,345 for one month and $5,545 for 6 months. Included in the price is 2 weeks of intensive language classes as well as excursions in the city and surrounding locales.

For more information about the Oaxaca volunteer work please visit, their website.

By Kevin Theale for