Overview

Promote children’s health and well-being while learning how to run social service projects in the scenic Yucatan Peninsula.

Gain lifelong skills working with a reputable NGO. Learn first-hand about creative solutions to improving access to public healthcare for families. During your 3-week stay you’ll learn about global health and social issues in Latin America, build a formidable skill set for organizing and fundraising, elevate your Spanish language skills, and brighten the day of a few special children along the way.

In the cosmopolitan city of Merida, you’ll work with Hogar de Angeles, an NGO that supports children with cancer by providing overnight housing and support during their hospital visits. When a child is ill, it’s hard enough to deal with chemotherapy treatments, let alone the transportation and other obstacles that come with living far from the nearest hospital. This organization makes it possible for children from remote indigenous communities and low-income backgrounds to get the medical services they need. Families are able to stay with their children (ages vary from 0 to 19 years old) as well, so they all can be together during difficult times.

During this program, you’ll play or interact with children to adolescents, pitch in where needed and be exposed to all aspects of the organization. Working with NGO leaders, staff and peer volunteers, you’ll engage in everyday administrative tasks and learn how to plan a social project or fundraising campaign to advance public health. These project-management skills will be beneficial in any type of activism, community or professional work, wherever the future leads you.

What’s a typical day like? You’ll wake up to breakfast with your host family, and head to Hogar de Angeles for your morning workshop covering a range of topics — from sustainable development, social policy and environmental concerns to project planning and fundraising. You’ll have an hour of Spanish class as well as time to practice with a native speaker. During afternoons you’ll take part in a variety of activities with the children or adolescents in residence and continue work on your projects. There are plenty of cultural activities sprinkled throughout your schedule, so there’s never a dull moment!

Weekends are for fun and adventure. What can you do in this island nation of beaches, history, and tropical forests? Explore ancient Mayan culture and amazing archaeological sites. Swim in cenotes (underground freshwater lakes), climb the El Castillo pyramid, visit a preserve for pink flamingoes and a breeding ground for endangered sea turtles. The list goes on.

About Hogar de Angeles
This NGO in Merida, Yucatan provides housing and support services for children to adolescents with cancer who travel to city hospitals for chemotherapy. The organization also provides housing, hospitality, transport, food and emotional support for the children's families as well, as they travel from remote villages. Yucatan State estimates that around 400 children have been diagnosed with cancer in these areas.

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