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Merida, Mexico - Voluntary work

Description

Mérida is Yucatan’s capital. Appreciated by tourists, it is renowned for its cleanliness and the safety of its streets. The white city offers everything for everyone: history, culture, nature, sports and an easily accessible beach. Mérida is also a true Mexican colonial town where one can live in harmony with the spirit of the country. Mérida reveals itself as a jewel that deserves to be discovered. This package is spiced up by sightseeing tours. It is a good balance between the humanitarian aspect and the pleasure of exploring.

The humanitarian involvement can be achieved in three places: in a shelter for youths from 8 to 18 years old, at a primary school and in a hospital for people with very low income. The chores can range from building maintenance to animation for the youths or assisting a social worker in organizing an event for the community.

The host families offer a room with 3 meals per day. They are upper-middle class families. The houses are often large and spacious and offer many rooms. Note that the families are experienced in welcoming and lodging foreigners. It is expected that 2 to 4 students will be placed with one family. The accompanying adults are located as to be able to quickly get to the lodging of the students for which they are responsible. Upon their arrival at the airport in Mérida, the students will be welcomed by the guide and the host families which will also accompany them to the airport at the end of their stay.

Sample package

Merida 10 days / 9 nights

Day 1

Flight towards Mérida.

Dinner at your expense in an airport.

Arrival at the airport, meeting with your guide and the host families, and transfer with the families


Day 2

Breakfast with the host family.

Visit and swimming at the Cuzama Cenotes, bathing on site (underground lake).

Boxed lunch provided by the families.

Return in late afternoon. Free time to visit the Mérida markets.

Dinner and evening with the host family.


Day 3

Breakfast with the host family.

Visit of the Uxmal pyramids and of the Tabi Hacienda. The meaning of the name “Uxmal” is built three times. It is one of the most important former Mayan cities. The site is divided in three structural groups, the Pyramid of the Magician, the Nunnery Quadrangle, so named by Friar Diego because of its similarity with the cloisters of convents, and the Governor’s Palace including the House of the Turtles and the Ballcourt. (Optional: guided tour)

Boxed lunch provided by the families.

Visit of the Caves of Calcehtok before going back to the host families.

Return at the end of the day.

Dinner and evening with the host family.


Day 4

Breakfast with the host family.

Community work in a youth “shelter”.

Boxed lunches provided by the families.

Afternoon: Sightseeing tour of Mérida. This colonial town was built by the Spanish conquistadors over its own ruins. It was finished on the 6th of January 1542 by Francisco Montejo. Throughout the years, Mérida has transformed into a city open to new ideas and to foreigners. Its center is the Plaza Mayor, green and shady. The Plaza Mayor is surrounded by the famous cathedral with its twin towers dating back to the 16th century, le Palacio de Gobierno and the Casa de Montejo which was built in 1549 by Francisco de Montejo, the conquistador of the area. Mérida is famous for its atmosphere and its animated markets where you will find local products and handcraft.

Dinner with the host family.

In the evening, Yucatan folkloric dance show.


Day 5

Breakfast with the host family.

Community work in a primary school or a kindergarten. This will give you an opportunity to interact with the youths of the community.

Boxed lunches provided by the families.

Afternoon and evening at the beach for the Lunada (bonfire, games, music, dance).

Dinner and evening with the host family.


Day 6

Breakfast with the host family.

Community work at the O’Horan hospital. This hospital is a public institution dedicated to those with very low income. There, you will have the opportunity to spend some time with the kids and offer them gifts. There is also an oncology department which will welcome your help.

Boxed lunches on the road provided by the families.

Excursion to Celestún. Located 90km from Mérida, on the Mexican gulf coast, the bird reserve in Celestún is a nice occasion for a stroll. Thousands of pink flamingos dwell in this lagoon, as well as pelicans and egrets.

Dinner and evening with the host family.


Day 7

Breakfast with the host family.

Community work in youth “shelter”.

Boxed lunches on the road provided by the families.
Afternoon at the beach in Progresso. Dinner and evening with the host family.


Day 8

Breakfast with the host family.
Community work in a primary school or kindergarten. This will give you the occasion to interact with the youths of the community.

Boxed lunches on the road provided by the families.

Possibility of visiting the zoological garden in the afternoon or free time for shopping.

Dinner and farewell evening in a typically Mexican restaurant.

 


Day 9

Breakfast with the host family.

Departure in early morning for the tour of the Chichen Itza ruins. Chichen Itza is one of the most important Mayan sites in Mexico. The main building is “El Castillo”, its summit is adorned with the symbol of Quezacoatl. Admire the ballroom with its high walls, walk along the sacred path until you reach Cenote Sagrado, the Well of Sacrifice. In old Chichen Itza, where the new town buildings can be found, you will come across “El Caracol”, or the observatory.

Boxed lunches on the road provided by the families.
Return to Mérida at the end of the day.

Dinner and night with host family.


Day 10

Transfer to the airport (early in the morning) to return to Québec.
Return flight from Mérida.

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