Special Education Project (Barra de Navidad)

volunteer in special education project in mexico
  • Brighten up the lives of children from impoverished backgrounds
  • Work alongside healthcare professionals to provide adequate care and support to children
  • Immerse in the local culture through carefully-screened homestays
  • Practice Spanish while connecting with the rich history, vivid culture and fantastic cuisine in Mexico in your downtime

Do you want to work with disabled children in one of the most rewarding projects while enjoying the warm hospitality of the local people? Volunteer in New Hope's Special Education project in the province of Jalisco in Mexico, and help the school there to take care of children with disabilities. The school is the only place in the region that offers special education to children who suffer from several forms of disabilities. As a result, children have traveled from far and wide in order to com to school. This project focuses on giving children the adequate support they need. Disabled children can sometimes require extra assistance, and this project is designed to be that helping hand. Just some of the disabilities that have befallen the children include autism, cerebral palsy, down syndrome, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and hearing disability. Although the school is financially supported by the Mexican government, it still lacks enough resources and funds to initiate programs that can help the children to improve further. While emotionally challenging, this project is also one of the most rewarding. Volunteer in Mexico to help change the futures of children with special needs, and provide them with the love and support they need.

Volunteers' Responsibilities

As a volunteer in Mexico, you will be working as assistants to the teachers and therapists in the classrooms/workshops. You will be involved with all levels of education, from pre-school and primary to preparation for the workplace, both in and out of the classroom. Depending on your individual skills and interests, and the needs of the local staff, your daily activities include:

  • Assisting the teachers and therapists in the classrooms and workshops
  • Planning and executing fundraising events
  • Spending time with the disabled and having fun with them
  • Organizing extracurricular activities such as games, sports, art, music, dance, etc.
  • Helping to monitor the physical and mental health of the disabled
  • Assessing the physical and mental health of the disabled
  • Supporting organizational and management tasks
  • Assisting staff with routine tasks and chores
  • Assisting staff with rehabilitation activities such as working for institutional development, fundraising, administration, event management research, communications, and program development
  • Reinforcing the information taught in workshops or classes
  • Assisting the children with rehabilitation and therapeutic activities
  • Leading educational classes or workshops
  • Support program development
  • Working on the maintenance of the facilities
How You Can Make a Difference

This project is most ideal for those interested in a career in special education, general education, or in specialized subjects. The initial role of the volunteer is to provide support to the teachers and therapists in their specialized services such as speech therapy, physical therapy, psychology, work place preparation and integration into the regular school system. The teachers in the school and the parents also work closely together to organize events that can benefit the disabled children. These events become a lot easier to organize with the help of the volunteers. Besides playing an active role in the education and rehabilitation of the children, you'll also be able gain experience in this niche industry in a different backdrop.

Skills and Qualifications

A basic level of Spanish is preferred for this placement, in order to communicate with the staff and students. If you have an interest in special education, general education, or any of the specialized subjects such as speech therapy, social work or physical therapy, this project will benefit greatly from you. However, just passion for the cause is enough to succeed; anyone with an interest in showing support to this excellent cause will be welcomed into the school. Volunteers should also be enthusiastic, reliable, flexible and have much patience to deal with disabled children. Volunteers must also respect the locals and the host organizations, along with their rules and projects.

Project Location

The school is based in Barra de Navidad, which has a population of about 7 thousand people.

The host families are located in Melaque and in Barra de Navidad, both of which are small towns located on the Pacific Coast right next to the beach. The towns are known for its stunning beach and the pristine streets, and a popular destination for foreigners seeking refuge from the northern snow. In your free time, you can swim, surf, go cycling, horse-riding, fish, snorkel, and even learn how to boogie-board. They can also visit larger towns like Manzanillo and Puerto Vallarta.

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