Leadership & Service in Youth Development
Join a local NGO to support children and their families through social work initiatives. Come home with a greater understanding of your leadership style and societal issues in Mexico. Be prepared to take action in your own community.
Credentials for Your Future
Topics for your college essays; experience to inform your future career; a Service Reflection Presentation documenting how you investigated needs, resources, and perspectives during your service; and a record of your service-learning hours.
Life Skills and New Friendships
Return with greater self-confidence, independence, and improved leadership skills. Enjoy a broader worldview and diverse friendships from across the U.S.
Hours of Service-Learning
Weeks of Community Engagement
Welcome to Mérida, a small city known for its Spanish colonial architecture and archeological treasures.
Mérida, the capital of the state of Yucatán, is one of safest cities in the American continent, recognized as the Best Small City by Condé Nast Traveller, the American Capital of Culture by UNESCO, and one of the ten best cities to travel to by Forbes and Lonely Planet. A student-friendly city buzzing with cultural activity, Mérida also has 15 highly-ranked universities.
Out for a stroll, sample regional foods like marquesita (a hard crepe filled with cheese or chocolate) or a champola (fruit ice-cream with milk), listen to local street musicians, and hang out in the zocalo or its numerous plazas full of shady trees and gazebos. Appreciate the different customs and social mores of Mexico’s largest indigenously-populated city!
Yucatán is known for its Mayan cultural heritage and accessibility to amazing pyramids. It also boasts unique geology and biodiversity, like the Chicxulub crater, 30 minutes from Mérida, formed by the impact of a large asteroid that fell to earth 66 million years ago, causing the fifth great extinction—including the dinosaurs!
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.
Just imagine all the fun you’ll have!
- 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.
- 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.
- Visit beautiful Valladolid, known as “The Sultan of the East.” It’s designated as a Pueblo Mágico and it’s Yucatan’s third largest city.
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
- Participants must be 14 years old and above.
- Program open to all current high school students: Freshmen, Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors.
- For scholarship eligibility requirements, please check our Scholarship page.
For more information, refer to the detailed Program Essential Eligibility Criteria.
Program scholarships and tuition include iNext Travel Insurance, but do not cover the cost of flights. Find additional details about what’s included with your tuition.
|Program Summer Session I 2024 3 weeks
|Program Summer Session II 2024 3 weeks
(Dietary Needs Accommodated)
All Ground Transportation
Optional Flight Chaperone
(Flight Cost Not Included)