Volunteers work with sea turtles in Mexico on a project for teenagers

Conservation Volunteer Work in Mexico for Teenagers

Live and work with a group your age and become part of our ongoing efforts to protect endangered sea turtles

Team up with a group your age and do conservation volunteer work for teenagers in Mexico. You’ll live next to a black sand beach and work with staff to protect endangered sea turtles and study the local environment. You’ll also have the opportunity to learn and practice Spanish everyday. This is a great way to help the environment, gain experience, and have fun, all at the same time!  


In Mexico, you’ll spend a lot of time working at El Tortugario Centro Ecológico de Cuyutlan, an ecological centre built next to a lagoon. You’ll help protect turtle nests and eggs, do biodiversity studies in the lagoon, and travel to a crocodile centre to study the animals there. You’ll work with conservation experts with years of experience in the field at all times.


You’ll live and work in Cuyutlan, and stay with your group in shared accommodation close to the beach and the centre of town. When you’re not working, we’ve organised social and cultural activities for you to enjoy, along with an exciting weekend trip. Throughout it all, Projects Abroad staff will be at your side to supervise and guide your group.  

When you apply you only pay AUD$495, which comes off the total price.

Looking to do more than one project? Call us on 1300 132 831 to see if we can offer a discount.

Project Overview

Start Dates:

Fixed dates during school holidays

Minimum Duration:

Two Weeks

Placement Location:

Cuyutlan (Read More)

Accommodation:

Shared accommodation Read More

Requirements :

This project is only for 15-18 year olds

What's included in the price?
  • Accommodation

  • Food (three meals a day)

  • Travel and medical insurance

  • Airport pick-up and drop-off

  • Full induction and orientation by an experienced staff member on arrival

  • Transport to and from your work placement

  • In-country support and 24-hour back-up from our team of full-time local staff

  • Emergency assistance from our international emergency response team

  • Project equipment and materials, including access to our database with thousands of resources

  • Training and workshops from our experienced local staff

  • Regular social events and community activities with other volunteers and interns

  • Access to our local office with internet connection

  • Certification of project completion

  • Access to our alumni services and discounts

  • Visa support and advice

  • Fundraising support, including your own personalised fundraising website

  • Pre-departure preparation by your own specialist Volunteer Advisor

  • Personalised MyProjectsAbroad website, with all the information you need about your project, accommodation and destination

  • A free cultural awareness course

  • Membership to our volunteer social media groups, to share information and to get in touch

  • Organised weekend tourism trips

  • Dedicated full-time staff members with you 24 hours a day

What's not included?
  • Flights

  • Visa costs (where applicable)

Is volunteering with sea turtles in Mexico for teenagers right for me?

Eager to team up with people your age to protect the environment? Can you picture yourself carefully scooping up a turtle egg from the sand and moving it to a safe nest until it hatches? Do you want to release a newborn turtle and watch it scurry over the sand and into the ocean? If you answered yes, then this is the project for you.


You’ll work with a group of teenagers, and get involved in hands-on work at our Conservation Project. You’ll also learn directly from conservation experts. Together with your group, you’ll be getting your hands dirty digging in the sand for turtle eggs, counting the animals you spot in the lagoon, and more. It’s the perfect combination of conservation work and adventure!


This High School Special gives you plenty of experience, which can help you decide if a career in conservation is for you. This is also a great way to add practical experience to your CV, and it will give you interesting points to talk about in applications or interviews. You’ll also develop your personal skills, like teamwork, planning, and communication. These skills can be applied to any career you pursue. 


You don’t need previous experience to join. You’ll be supervised by experts, and our staff are always available to provide guidance and advice. All you need to do is focus on working hard, learning, and having fun.

Conservation volunteer work in Mexico for teenagers involves lots of work with turtle hatchlings

What will I do on this project?

There’s a lot to be done at Cuyutlan for your group! Here are some of the activities you can get involved in:


  • Search for and move turtle nests to a protected area
  • Clean and maintain turtle tanks and care for sea turtles at the ecological centre
  • Participate on beach clean-ups during the afternoons
  • Take Spanish lessons with a qualified language teacher
  • Support staff at a crocodile park
  • Explore Mexico and learn more about the culture with your group

Your project will be divided into the following:


Search for and move turtle nests to a protected area


Coastal erosion is a big problem affecting turtles in Mexico. However, poachers have proven to be an even bigger problem. Once a turtle has laid eggs, poachers dig up the eggs to sell at local markets. To protect the nests, we do beach patrols everyday. When we find a nest, we move it to a safe location at the ecological centre we work with. This is a protected area, and the eggs will incubate in peace here. Once the eggs hatch, we release hatchlings into the ocean.


Care for turtles at the ecological centre


At the ecological centre, the government has given them permission to keep turtles, especially those who have been injured and cannot be released back into the wild. They need your help to look after all the turtles living here. Your group will help clean the tanks, and make sure turtles are fed and cared for. Each turtle is also weighed and measured once a month.


Community beach clean-ups


Reducing litter in our oceans is vital for keeping marine life safe. Rubbish, particularly non-biodegradable plastic, is hazardous. The sea turtles that nest here can get caught in the discarded plastic. Or, they may mistake it for food, which can hurt and even kill them.


Your group will work together to keep the beach as clean as possible. With this many hands involved, you’ll be able to remove a lot of rubbish from the environment.


Take Spanish lessons


As a Spanish-speaking country, Mexico is a great place for you to either start learning, or practise what you already know. You’ll receive two hours of Spanish lessons every day during the week. Classes are taught in small groups and are extremely interactive. Your lessons are adjusted depending on your level, so you don’t need to worry about not being able to keep up.


Work with crocodiles


You will visit La Colorada Crocodile Centre, in Cofradia de Morelos, once a week. Here, you’ll help to clean and maintain the pens and the centre’s facilities. You will also be involved in taking biometric data and marking the crocodiles in nearby lagoons.


Exploring Mexico


Finally, this project is also an opportunity for you to travel, learn, and grow in a safe environment with a group of volunteers your age. On the weekend, we’ll take you on a trip to a local beach resort to experience more of Mexico. Make the most of the opportunity to have some fun in the sun with your new friends!

Where will I work in Mexico?

Cuyutlan

During your time in Mexico, you’ll be based in Cuyutlan. With its black sand beaches, gentle waves, and laid-back attitude, Cuyutlan feels a world away from everywhere.


You’ll spend most of your time working at El Tortugario Centro Ecológico de Cuyutlan, and working directly on the beach or in a nearby lagoon. You’ll also work at La Colorada Crocodile Centre once a week.


You'll stay in shared accommodation close to the beach. The accommodation has several single and shared same-sex bedrooms, as well as a communal kitchen and a swimming pool. Only volunteers of the same sex are permitted to share a room.

AIRPORT PICKUP, FLIGHTS AND VISAS

When you arrive at your respective airport, a member of Projects Abroad staff will be there to meet you. You can find more detailed information on arrival airports, orientation, and visas on our Mexico Arrival Procedures page.

What are the aims for this project?

The aim of this project is to bring teenagers together to become part of our ongoing efforts to protect endangered sea turtles in Mexico. We are also working to preserve the ecological well-being of the surrounding area.


The endangered turtles we work with can only lay their eggs on the beach. Unfortunately, these nesting areas are disappearing rapidly. This is because of climate change and increased human development. This is why we are working to protect as many of these nests as possible. And we need the help of volunteers like you to do it.


By joining this High School Special, you’ll provide us with another pair of much-needed helping hands. You’ll help identify and relocate nests to safe, protected corrals. You’ll monitor the eggs, and help release the baby turtles into the ocean once they’ve hatched.  


Join our Sea Turtle & Coastal Conservation with Spanish High School Special today, and become part of our long-term efforts to protect Mexico’s ecology.

A volunteer cleans a sea turtle in Mexsico on a project for teenagers

Management Plans

We set out the aims and objectives of our projects in documents called Management Plans. We use them to properly plan the work you’ll do. They also help us measure and evaluate our achievements and impact each year.


Ultimately, our Management Plans help us make our projects better. This in turn means you get to be part of something that makes a real impact where it’s needed. Read more about our Management Plans.

Measuring Our Impact

Every year, thousands of High School Special volunteers and interns actively make a difference around the world. During their time abroad, they contribute towards achieving long-term goals and make a long-lasting positive impact on the communities where they work.


We produce an annual High School Specials Impact Report, which documents some of these achievements. Find out more about the impact of these projects, and read the latest report.

FOOD AND ACCOMMODATION

You'll share accommodation with other Projects Abroad volunteers during your stay in Cuyutlan. This is a great way to get to know your fellow volunteers, share experiences, and explore your surroundings in your time together.


On our High School Specials, we will always try to have you share a room with at least one volunteer or intern of the same sex and approximate age. Your room will be modest, but comfortable, clean, and safe.


Your programme fees include three meals a day.


Find out more about our accommodation.

SAFETY AND STAFF SUPPORT

Your safety and security is our prime concern. We have many procedures and systems to ensure you have all the extra support you need as a young person travelling abroad. Our Projects Abroad staff are there for you 24 hours a day during the week and over weekends to provide constant support and guidance. Our staff also make sure you feel comfortable and safe at your placement and accommodation. If you encounter any problems, they will be available to help at any time.


Find out more about safety and backup.

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