Volunteer in Oaxaca, Mexico
High Schools • Colleges • Organizations • Faith Communities • Clubs • Families • Individuals
Volunteering with Simply Smiles in Oaxaca, Mexico is nothing less than a life-changing experience -- for you and for those whom you are traveling to help.
The people of Oaxaca (pronounced Wa-Ha-Ka) inspired the creation of Simply Smiles when our founder, Bryan Nurnberger, first volunteered at the Casa Hogar Children's Home in 2003. Your time with us among the children, families, and communities of this extremely impoverished state will allow you to have a real impact and to have that kind of formative or transformational experience.
During your week in Mexico, you will not be a tourist, an onlooker, or a passerby. You will be fully immersed in the culture, in people's lives, and in the vital process of helping to provide the bright futures that everyone deserves.
Oaxaca is located in the southern most region of Mexico and is a state roughly the size of New England.
The landscape is diverse and stunningly beautiful. During your time in Oaxaca, you will live and work in both urban and rural settings. You will experience the historic and densely populated Oaxaca Valley as well as a region of remote mountain villages. You will travel through arid open spaces and traverse mountain passes where you can look down on the clouds.
Oaxaca is rich with beauty and culture. But tragically, Oaxaca is also stricken with an extreme poverty that serves as an ever present dichotomy and a clear reminder as to why we are there.
programs you'll support
As an individual volunteer or as part of a group, you will spend a week working with Simply Smiles across our project locations. Your time with us will be divided into two halves, designed to share with you the scope of the organization and the variety and complexity of the needs in Oaxaca.
First half of the week: You will arrive in Oaxaca City and immerse yourself into our current urban programs including our Center of Operations facility, the city garbage dump, and the Casa Hogar Children's Home.
Second half of the week: After an unforgettable road trip across the state you will spend the second half of the week in the mountain village of Santa Maria Tepexipana. You will help us with programs like our emergency food aid distributions, medical clinics, and the building of schools.
Our volunteers are the driving force of the organization. Your presence and hard work are vital to the success of all of our programs.
You will work side by side with the people you have traveled so far to help. You will learn new things (like cement mixing) and push yourself to do things you may never have thought you could do (like build a school on the side of a mountain).
You don't need any special skills to have a meaningful and successful week. Simply Smiles staffers will be right there with you to teach you the skills you'll need. Be prepared to be surprised at how well you learn to lay bricks or use a power-tool!
Volunteers just like you have built homes, schools, children's homes and more!