Yucatan, Mexico

Youth Mentorship & Intro to Social Work

Summer '23 applications open!
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Information for term Youth Mentorship & Intro to Social Work

Application deadline, and cost information.

Application Deadline

January 18, 2023
weeks
days
hours

Program Deadlines and Pricing Info

  • Deadline: January 18, 2023
  • Dates: Jun 18 – Jul 8, 2023 (3 weeks)
$4,450

Application Deadline

January 18, 2023
weeks
days
hours

Program Deadlines and Pricing Info

  • Deadline: January 18, 2023
  • Dates: Jul 9 – 29, 2023 (3 weeks)
$4,450

Overview

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MENTOR CHILDREN AND SEE WHAT MAKES AN NGO TICK

Learn the ropes of successful Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) operation as you discover how supporting disadvantaged children can lift an entire community. For three weeks, you’ll brighten the way for some special youngsters as you build valuable social work skills.

The scenic Yucatán is home to dazzling beaches, awe inspiring Mayan ruins, and the cosmopolitan city of Mérida. It’s an incredible place to work with a well-established NGO, dedicated to supporting disadvantaged youth. Get a firsthand look at the various key staff roles and skill sets required to make an international NGO hum smoothly, as you pitch in with different aspects of day to day operations.

Support and play with children as they learn critical life skills, from effective communication to self-care to sportsmanship. It all adds up to valuable experience you can transfer to any community or professional role you pursue.

On a typical day, you’ll wake up and enjoy breakfast at your homestay, then head to your daily workshop to learn about social policy, fundraising, health initiatives, and more! Partake in activities with youngsters your NGO benefits and advance your special project. Each week features special cultural highlights – you might learn traditional Yucatán dance or explore Mérida’s historical center – so there’s never a dull moment!
 
Weekends are for fun and adventure, not hard to find in a nation known for its beaches, history, and tropical forests. Explore awesome architectural achievements left by the ancient Mayans. Swim with a brand new view in a cenote – an underground freshwater lake. Visit a preserve for pink flamingos and a breeding ground for endangered sea turtles. The Yucatan has wonders everywhere. 

COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement

CIEE is requiring all participants to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before traveling on programs. Read more ›

The Take-Aways

  • LEADERSHIP EXPERIENCE

    Gain experience working alongside NGO leaders committed to supporting youth mentorship and social work initiatives. Find rewards in supporting children to adolescents and their families while learning project-planning skills and tools to help other service organizations.

  • LIFELONG SKILLS AND FRIENDSHIPS

    After just 3 weeks away, you'll build self-confidence, gain a broader world view, improve your interpersonal communication skills and make lifelong friends from all across the U.S.

  • CREDENTIALS FOR YOUR FUTURE

    Topics for your college essays, experience to inform your future career, a Certificate of 50 hours of Service Learning.

Location & Culture

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In the heart of the Yucatán peninsula, Mérida is a small city known for its Spanish colonial architecture and archeological treasures.

Yucatán 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 homestays, 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.

You will be living in a beautiful city, Merida, that was ranked the second safest city in the American continent in 2020, the Best Small City by Condé Nast Traveller, acknowledged as the American Capital of Culture by Unesco, and recognized as one of the ten  best cities to travel to by Forbes and Lonely Planet. Mérida also has 16 highly-ranked universities and research universities. Besides these achievements, Mérida is also a student-friendly city buzzing with cafés and cultural activity.

CIEE wants all our students to feel welcomed, supported, and empowered to succeed while studying abroad. Local CIEE staff have provided details about conditions and cultural attitudes that students with specific identities might encounter in Yucatán.

Daily Life

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Daily Life


Every day brings new discoveries and fun, but you can always count on a perfect balance between interactive instruction, excursions and free time! Here's what to expect on a typical day:

  • 7:00 am: Get up and have breakfast at your dorm/hotel
  • 8:00 am: Walk or take public transportation to CIEE for morning instruction
  • 9:00 am - 12:00 pm: Interactive class with a local teacher. Format may change to workshops or guest lectures, depending on the day.
  • 12:00 pm - 1:00pm: Find a fun spot to grab lunch with your friends (your program tuition includes a stipend for lunches).
  • 1:00 pm - 1:30 pm: Gather back at CIEE to go on today's cultural activity or excursion.
  • 1:30 pm - 5:00 pm: Each activity or excursion is designed to echo what you learned in class that morning.
  • 5:00 pm - 7:00pm: Free time! Hang out with your friends and shop. Commute back to your hotel/dorm.
  • 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm: Dinner
  • 8:00 pm - 9:00 pm: Wrap up any homework. Usually just readings or personal research for your project.
  • 10:00 pm: Lights out!

DOWNLOAD A SAMPLE ITINERARY ›

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

  • HOUSING

    Carefully Screened Homestay

  • LOCAL SUPPORT

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

Program Blogs

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Program Blogs

Activities

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Activities & Excursions

Sample Activities

  • Enjoy 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 Music Palace and city art galleries.
  •  Take a trip boat at El corchito, a natural reserve where you’ll immerse yourselves into the mangroves.Shop for exotic fruits and tasty snacks at the bountiful  Lucas De Galvéz marketplace.

Sample 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.


​​Please note this list of activities is based on past programs and subject to change at CIEE's discretion to both adapt to local circumstances and participant feedback. Our goal when revising itineraries is always to enhance your experience. Every activity is designed to provide you with a deep immersion in your topic, local culture and sights. Get ready for maximum fun!

Dates & Fees

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Dates & Fees

Program

Application Due

Start Date

End Date

Costs

Summer Session I 2023 3 weeks Jan 18, 2023 Jun 18, 2023 Jul 8, 2023

$4,450

Summer Session II 2023 3 weeks Jan 18, 2023 Jul 9, 2023 Jul 29, 2023

$4,450

Looking for funding?

Ready to change your life?