Yucatan, Mexico

Youth Mentorship & Intro to Social Work

Summer '20 applications are now open!
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Information for term Youth Mentorship & Intro to Social Work

Application deadline, and cost information.

Application Deadline

Rolling Admissions

Program Deadlines and Pricing Info

  • Dates: Jun 14 – Jul 4, 2020 (3 weeks)

Application Deadline

Rolling Admissions

Program Deadlines and Pricing Info

  • Dates: Jul 12 – Aug 1, 2020 (3 weeks)


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Learn the ropes of successful Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) operation as you discover how supporting disadvantaged children can lift an entire community. During 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, aweinspiring 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. 


    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


    A Certificate of International Service Learning (50+ hours)

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 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

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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 Homestay


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


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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.

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


Application Due

Start Date

End Date


Summer Session I 2020 3 weeks Rolling Admissions Jun 14, 2020 Jul 4, 2020


Summer Session II 2020 3 weeks Rolling Admissions Jul 12, 2020 Aug 1, 2020


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Ready to change your life?