If you’re coming to Puerto Vallarta on vacation, consider volunteering with Compassionet Impact Development Canada. Knowledge of Spanish is useful but not essential.

Opportunities include:

  • teaching English as a Second Language (adults or children)
  • tutoring English
  • working on a home construction
  • helping out at the Library
  • providing transportation for other volunteers
  • interpreting Spanish and English

We also need volunteers to bring items down to Mexico from Canada. If you are coming to Puerto Vallarta please contact us in advance to see what supplies are immediately needed in the communities we serve. If you would like to bring goods to donate here is a partial list:

  • school supplies
  • over the counter medicines
  • children’s vitamins
  • children’s shoes
  • books in Spanish for adult and children
  • toothbrushes and toothpaste

Frequently Asked Questions for Volunteers:

Do I need a travel visa?

Check out these websites for information on passport and visa requirements:

What can volunteers do?

The types of activities for volunteers vary a great deal depending on the needs of the ongoing work of Compassionet Impact Development Canada as well as what skills and talents volunteers bring to situations.  Volunteers can:

Support the Compassionet Homes initiative by:

  • Taking on renovation or repair projects.
  • Joining the ongoing home build team.
  • Joining a building project of another organization such as a local church or charity.

Develop an event for the community/neighbourhood:

Events for children and youth:

  • children’s sports clinics
  • musical workshops
  • arts and crafts afternoons
  • a street carnival
  • a games day
  • basically something fun!

Events for women:

  • Many women don’t have much opportunity for fun get-togethers so the sky is the limit. Think crafts, music, theatre, food, hairdressing and esthetics and so on….
  • Skill training for women that may help their opportunities for employment.
  • Focus Groups for specific demographics of women.

Education:

  • Teaching English as a Second Language (ESL). Take on a group or just help out for a few days at the CIDC English Classes.
  • Tutor a high school student in English or another subject.
  • Help out with the Compassionet Impact Library or take out a box of library books for a neighbourhood reading circle.

Community infrastructure improvements:

This option is dependent on local needs and opportunities, the engagement of local people and leaders and, of course, resources.  Some recent ideas include:

  • a community garden
  • playground improvements
  • an art wall or art installation
  • local garbage storage

Health:

  • hold a two-or three day free medical clinic
  • public health education
  • women’s health education

What happens in case of injury or sickness?

Compassionet Impact Development Canada takes every precaution to ensure safe environments for our volunteers; however, you will be in a foreign country with different standards of safety and cleanliness.

All volunteers are requested to sign a release for Compassionet Impact Development Canada in case of injury while they are volunteering for CIDC. Volunteers should make sure they have adequate medical insurance to cover any sickness, injury or medical emergency.

What if I have more questions?

Please contact us by email or on Facebook and we will get back to you within 24 hours.

What is my time commitment?

Depending on whether the commitment is over several weeks or as short as one day, volunteers may offer themselves in a variety of ways.

  1. One week blocks:
    • volunteers can be occupied with some projects for the equivalent of four half days per week or more depending on the needs of that particular week and with the agreement of the volunteers.
  2. Half-days on a weekly or bi-weekly basis over a period of a few weeks:
    • appropriate for teaching, tutoring, peer support meetings or events that occur once or twice a week.
  3. Events or one time occasions:
    • might include planning, preparation for an event as well as follow-up.

What should I bring with me?

If you are going to be working on construction you must bring your own safety gear such as work boots, gloves and safety hat. We can supply most tools but you may bring your own if you wish. Keep in mind that you will need to pass through Mexican customs.

Please bring what items you need that will support what activity you will be doing. e.g. beads and tools for a jewellery workshop, your favourite ESL textbook, a soft ball and bat, soccer balls.

If you have extra room in your suitcase we always need:

  • over the counter medications
  • vitamins, especially for children and pregnant mothers
  • toothbrushes and toothpaste
  • school supplies
  • shoes, especially athletic shoes, for all ages and closed toe and heel shoes for school age children
  • books in Spanish for the library

Who looks after my travel and accommodation?

Volunteers are fully responsible for their own transportation and accommodation arrangements to Puerto Vallarta and while staying in P.V

Transportation to and from the CIDC site will vary depending on location but will generally be arranged by CIDC.

Will I get any training?

For volunteers coming for focused one-week blocks or longer weekly commitments, CIDC offers one half day of orientation, including:

  • visiting the neighbourhoods where CIDC has projects;
  • discussion and orientation on working with vulnerable people;
  • discussion on cross cultural issues and some anti-oppression training;
  • briefing on specific assignments.

CIDC relies on you to bring your gifts and skills to the activity you will be doing. We can help with context and logistics but we look forward to learning from you!

Will I need to pay anything in addition to my own expenses?

For those who are coming on a focused blocks of one week or longer, Compassionet Impact Development Canada suggests a donation of $300 per person/couple for the first week and $200 per week following.  These monies are used to purchase materials and supplies for the work the volunteers will be doing on home construction and repairs or to support the direct costs of the activities the volunteers are doing.

Tax receipts will be issued for all donations given by Canadians.