Merida, Mexico

Advancing Children's Health

Program Full
Click to scroll down and read more

Information for term Advancing Children's Health

Application deadline, and cost information.

Application Deadline

Rolling Admissions

Program Deadlines and Pricing Info

  • Dates: Jun 9 – 29, 2019 (3 weeks)

Application Deadline

Rolling Admissions

Program Deadlines and Pricing Info

  • Dates: Jul 7 – 27, 2019 (3 weeks)


Click to Open

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), 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. 


    Gain experience working alongside NGO leaders committed to supporting children to adolescents with cancer and improving access to public health for all.


    Find rewards in supporting children to adolescents and their families while learning project-planning skills and tools to help other service organizations


    A Certificate of International Service Learning (50+ hours)

Location & Culture

Click to Open

Immerse yourself in the ancient culture and natural beauty of Mexico’s Mayan heartland.

Merida is known not only for its Mayan cultural heritage, Spanish colonial architecture and accessibility to some of the most amazing pyramids in the Americas, but it also boasts unique geology and biodiversity. You can swim in cenotes (underground freshwater lakes), and learn about the Chicxulub crater, which Merida sits in the middle of, formed by the impact of a large asteroid that fell to earth 66 million years ago, causing the fifth great extinction – including the dinosaurs!
Merida is also a lovely city to just stroll around in, sampling exotic regional foods like marquesita (a hard crepe filled with cheese or chocolate) or a champola (ice-cream made with coconut milk), or listening to local street musicians and hanging out in the zocalo or its numerous plazas full of shady trees and gazebos. You can practice your Spanish with friendly locals, and in so doing, learn to appreciate the different customs and social mores of Mexico’s largest indigenously-populated city. All of this will help you in your work with the children’s healthcare project as you immerse yourself and come to appreciate this unique society that has its own way of doing things.

Daily Life

Click to Open

Daily Life

"After my trip with CIEE I have definitely grown in ways I never could if I had stayed in the US."

Learn more about daily life on a high school study abroad program by reading our blogs.


    Carefully Screened Host Family


    24/7 Support from your CIEE program leader and in-country CIEE staff members


Click to Open

Activities & Excursions

Sample Activities

  • View the brightly colored colonial buildings along Paseo Montejo, the tree-lined street known as Mérida’s “Champs Elysees.”
  • Learn about the ancient art and history of the Yucatan at the Mayan World Museum. (You’ll be well prepped for group excursions to archaeological sites!)
  • Tour the Museum of Contemporary Art and city art galleries.
  • Birdwatch in Celestún Wildlife Refuge, home to mangroves and countless pink flamingos.
  • Shop for exotic fruits and tasty snacks at the bountiful Mercado Lucas De Galvéz marketplace.

Overnight excursions

  • Explore the ruins of Chichén Itzá – one of the most famous pre-Columbian cities built by the Maya. Nearby, discover amazing geological formations like the sacred Sacamucuy cenote (swimming hole) and then swim in its crystal-clear waters.
  • Venture to Campeche, an ancient Mayan city just two hours south of Mérida surrounded by the largest tropical rainforest reserve in Mexico.


Dates & Fees

Click to Open

Dates & Fees


  • Program open to all current high school students: Freshmen, Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors. 
  • For scholarship eligibility requirements, please check our Scholarship page.



Program scholarships and tuition include iNext Travel Insureance, but do not cover the cost of flights. More details about tuition inclusions can be found here.


Application Due

Start Date

End Date


Summer Session I 2019 3 weeks Rolling Admissions Jun 9, 2019 Jun 29, 2019


Summer Session II 2019 3 weeks Rolling Admissions Jul 7, 2019 Jul 27, 2019


Looking for funding?

Ready to change your life?