Magic Moments in Mexico
(Mexico, North America)
In a Nutshell
Beaches, ancient traditions, unique gastronomy, jaguars, jungles and a vibrant culture define Mexico, the country where magic overcomes reality. Famous for its regional cuisine and its warm people, the Yucatan Peninsula will be the host for this adventure.
Prepare to fall in love with a culture that strives to be better by embracing its natural and historical richness, and of course, its invaluable, ancestral wisdom.- We will surely be enlightened by the Mayan present and past.
As for the future, we invite you to play a role in the region’s social empowerment through positive-impact tourism, and return home with a heart nourished by your engagement in meaningful community work.
Our contributional days will be spent in Merida, a growing city with juxtaposing inequality. On one hand you have the cosmopolitan north, with skyscrapers, malls and restaurants, and on the other hand you have the south, where you will find that homes are built with rocks,found wood and whatever materials people can find to build a roof. Opportunities in southern Merida are bolstered by social engagement through learning and the establishment of meaningful skills.
Education is always the key to self empowerment. We will partner with a development project in southern Mérida to teach English and Environmental Studies to children, enabling them to keep pace with the growing city with better tools and opportunities, while maintaining the marvelous ecosystem that lays within.
Day 1, Monday: Arrival at Mérida Airport (MID) and transfer to a cozy, boutique hotel. There we will receive an introduction to the Yucatan Peninsula, its social context, vibrant history and complex natural dynamics. An initial “survival Spanish” lesson is sure to boost our upcoming contributional work.
Day 2, Tuesday: Buenas dias, México.
We’ll start with time travel, and return to present day for the beginning of our contributional work: We will spend the morning in the Hacienda Sotutta de Peon, where we will take a truck ride into Yucatan’s history. In the afternoon and evening, we’ll teach English and Environmental Studies using stimulating learning tools. After dinner, we will enjoy our second Spanish lesson, which will be super useful, as it will focus on our first encounter with the children.
Day 3, Wednesday: We will have a guided city tour in the morning, visiting Merida’s historic center, Paseo Montejo and many more places of interest. Merida is the heart of Mayan culture, which thrives in the jungle surrounding this beautiful state. Then we will spend a playful evening with the kids (since games are one of the most powerful learning tools.
Day 4, Thursday: This morning we will visit the local market to select the ingredients for our traditional, Yucatecan cooking class. Hint: this is a great way to practice our Spanish. In the afternoon we will give back to Merida’s children, with more contributional work, as we continue to partner with one of the city’s leading development centers.
Day 5, Friday: Today we visit Uxmal, one of the most important archeological sites in the Yucatan Peninsula. Then we will have lunch in the beautiful hacienda of Ochil, before working again with the kids.
Day 6, Saturday: This is our last contributional day, so we spend the morning with the children at a farewell party complete with piñatas, hugs and a diploma. Afterwards we will travel to Valladolid, a cultural remanent of colonial times.
Day 7, Sunday: After an early start, we will visit one of the Seven Wonders of the World: Chichen Itza! After exploring the ruins, we will enjoy a thermal bath in Cenote Ik Kill. Cenotes are unique to the Peninsula and exist thanks to the same meteorite that lead to the extinction of dinosaurs. These are freshwater bodies present both in caves and out in the open, enriching the jungle’s landscape. They were sacred to the Mayans, a fact that will be easily understood once you have enjoyed a soak in one of them.
Day 8, Monday: After a hearty breakfast, we will hit the road towards Ría Lagartos, where we will take a boat trip that will transport us into a realm of flamingos, pink lakes, crocodiles and medicinal sand. We will also spend some time at one of the least explored beaches in the area. We will visit one of the largest jungle reserves in the country, which is a hub of wildlife and natural abundance.
Day 9, Tuesday: Today we will visit a monkey reserve in Cobá, where we will learn how to care for them and how to make conservation efforts succeed. At the reserve we will meet Chef Don Julio, who will prepare a superb meal using organic and locally-sourced ingredients.
Day 10, Wednesday: We will spend the morning helping out at a local reforestation project and see how it impacts the well-being of children. Then we’ll head back to our boutique hotel to enjoy the beach, a walk along the famous Avenida Quinta and some shopping time, offering a relaxing end to this tranquilo day.
Day 11, Thursday: Sian Ka’an, a biosphere reserve consisting of beaches, mangroves, coral reefs and more, was once the beating heart of Mayan commerce. Today, it remains one of the most untouched places in Mexico. We will spend the day uncovering its secrets while navigating one of the most important natural ecosystems in the country. We will also visit the archeological sites of Tulum, with its turquoise sea and amazing vistas.
Day 12, Friday: After several days of intense cultural stimulation, nature and community engagement, it is time for some good old-fashioned comfort and self-indulgence… After a morning meditation workshop, we’ll head to a spa where you’ll relax and enjoy. You’ve earned it!
Day 13, Saturday: Our final day, and what a day! Izamal is the yellow pearl of the Yucatán Peninsula. Its colonial abbey is one of the largest in the world and it interacts nicely with the older Mayan ruins that dot the town. It is also an artisanship stronghold. Prepare to craft your own henequen jewelry, visit a traditional Mayan kitchen and enjoy a final gastronomical experience that will elevate your senses one last time before we say goodbye.
This is a good time for group and self reflection, since by now, you will have experienced a very inspiring adventure and positively impacted each of the places you have visited. Hopefully, you’ll be nourished by the kind of magic that lifts souls.
Day 14, Sunday: We will head back to Merida from which we will fly back home.
- Location of the Project: Merida, Yucatan, Mexico
- Project length: 14 days
- Arrival and Departure airport: Merida Airport (MID)
- Contributional Work: Teaching kids English and Environmental Studies at a development in southern Merida through fun activities such as memory games, outdoor activities, card games and much more.
- Family Option: This project accepts families with children as young as 6 years old.
- Number of participants: This adventure requires a minimum of six participants.
- Accommodations: All accommodation in Mérida, Valladolid, Playa del Carmen and Izamal for 13 nights. 4-star-plus accommodation in upscale resorts and boutique hotels throughout the adventure.
- Food: Three meals each day, (non-alcoholic)beverages and snacks.
- Airport Transfers: All transportation is included
- Support: Comprehensive and professional pre-departure travel guidance, 24/7 emergency hotline, experienced local field team.
What’s Not Included
Flights, visas (if required), travel health insurance, personal expenses, alcoholic drinks.
Adventure Departure Dates
- May 20th, 2019
- June 17th, 2019
- July 22nd, 2019
- August 19th, 2019
- September 16th, 2019
- November 18th, 2019
Adventure Cost : $3,350 USD