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Is This The Country ILP Volunteers Love The Most?

Posted by Emily Henkel on 7/15/23 12:19 PM


ILP Mexico

We love all of our countries around the world, but we've noticed that we're consistently hearing rave reviews about this one in particular. And it usually starts with ... "Mexico was not my first choice but I absolutely fell in love with it during my semester!"

When you decide to volunteer with International Language Programs, you have just one really hard choice ahead of you ... which country do you choose?

There are several to choose from, but the country itself isn't the only deciding factor. Each program is unique, with perks that really shape your experience ... You may want to ask yourself  about the type of service you'll do abroad. Or if you want a larger group or a smaller one. Are you looking for a country full of history and experiences or one full of tons of travel opportunities? See what I mean about a hard choice? 

Take a look at all of ILP's countries here

If you need a little help deciding which ILP country to choose, I have a secret to clue you in on — it's a country where you have it all. The treats and snacks you can find around town are top notch, the culture and history are captivating, and there is so much traveling to do you can't fit it into a single semester (with beaches, cities, ruins, islands, jungles, and more). Oh, and the kids you teach will absolutely become your favorites. Have you guessed which country we're completely obsessed with yet? 

... It's Mexico that we're all totally smitten with. And it's not just the ILP staff saying that, it's the volunteers, too. Don't get me wrong, we have happy volunteers in every single country, but in Mexico? We hear things every semester that have unofficially (but officially) made Mexico the country volunteers are most satisfied and happiest with. 

Hear it right from our volunteers below! (We had to pick favorites and only share a few things we've heard ILP Mexico volunteers say about their semester here.)

"Discovering hidden gems ... and mango popsicles" 

"I loved Mexico because the people there were so kind and welcoming to us, and every time we took a weekend trip to a new city it felt like I was discovering hidden gems in this beautiful country with lots of cool history! I also fell in love with mango popsicles."

— Isaac, ILP Mexico volunteer 

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"I could easily revisit my favorite places" 

"My time in Mexico was amazing! I loved it so much. The people there are so hospitable and loving. We were invited to birthday parties, family gatherings, performances of the students, weekend trips ... I got a great taste of the culture.

"After looking into my various options, I applied to Mexico. It seemed affordable to get there, affordable to be there, and that it was a country with many fun places to visit. By the end of my time, I found all three of those observations to be true, and also realized that because it’s so close, I can easily return to the country later down the road! I could reconnect with my friends, revisit my favorite places, and go to new places that I missed. 

Mexico was a life changing experience, that I will never forget. I would highly recommend going there to anyone and everyone."

— Mica, ILP Mexico volunteer

ILP Mexico

"Mexico is the best option for you if..."

"I love Mexico for many, many reasons. Firstly the food is great, and it's really fun trying new places and ask locals what they like to eat. Secondly, I love the sites — there is so much to do here and you can do a lot of things for cheap. We like trying to figure out the local bus system and while it isn't perfect, the buses can get you where you need to go. There is also a lot of history here in Mexico and we have seen some beautiful churches and cathedrals. I also speak Spanish, and it is great to have the other teachers start to pick up the language and we have even had conversations in Spanish together. Lastly, I love Mexico because of the coordinators. The people I work with here are the best, they are super helpful and friendly! They are always willing to help us and take us to new places. We have spent a lot of time just chatting and laughing together.  
"Mexico is the best option for you if you want a fun, adventurous, and affordable place to live. Mexico has so many cool sites and adventures if you are willing to ask." 
— Andy, ILP Mexico volunteer 
ILP Mexico

"You will never run out of places to go"

"Mexico was not my first choice of country but I absolutely fell in love with it during my semester! Some people might think that Mexico is not the most exciting country because it's so close to the US. But the culture is so rich and vibrant and different that it becomes so exciting once you get there and experience it all. The people are very welcoming and loving and so fun to get to know! The kids are so lovable and crazy. I miss them so much!
"AND THE FOOD!!!! No other country that I've been to has better food than Mexico does. There is not a day that I don't dream of going back and having some fresh Naranja and street tacos. There is also so much adventure to be had in Mexico. From week-long beach vacations to exploring small, vibrant towns in central Mexico! There is so much to explore that you will never run out of places to go. I LOVE MEXICOOO!" 
— Alicia, ILP Mexico volunteer
ILP Adventure

"My favorite memory" 

"I loved my time in Mexico for so many reasons. The two main reasons were my kids and the food we ate! Almost every day we would walk to our taco place called 'El Carboncito' and it was the best food I have ever had in my life. We were friends with the workers and we called them our 'taco guys' and they would waive at us every day walking home from school. The locals in Mexico are such kind and warm people and also make the best food haha. I miss my taco guys all the time. 

"My kids, of course, were the best part of my time there. They just have so much love to give and are such funny kids. My favorite memory with the kids is our last weekend in Mexico, we did a picnic in the mountains and it was the cutest and most fun time in the world. All of our kids and their parents and siblings came and we just got to spend so much time together. Getting to feel like a local and be friends with them and hang out with them and just feel loved and welcomed into their country, is the best feeling EVER. We played soccer with them, had lunch, and hung out with them one last time! I would really recommend Mexico to anybody. Because of how inviting and loving the culture is, it's a life-changing experience, and I think about my kids and time there every day. Being a local in another culture is something I would never take back for anything in the world." 

— Bella, ILP Mexico volunteer 

ILP Mexico

"I wouldn't have switched over to another country even if a spot became available" 

"In my opinion, Mexico is one of the most versatile locations out there. In my semester we got so many different experiences at the beach, in the mountains, in cute little towns, etc. We spent a lot of our vacation time and weekends riding horses on the beach, hiking in national forests, exploring museums, touring churches & cathedrals, eating churros and tacos and candy, and, of course, meeting so many different people. 

"Mexico was last on my preference list so when I got assigned I was a little bummed, but after doing research on it and reading up on the ILP schools there,  I wouldn't have switched over to another country even if a spot became available for me. Mexico is so culturally rich with so much to experience — I think everyone needs to go at some point."

— Cali, ILP Mexico volunteer

ILP Adventure in Mexico

This could be you. 

If you're still looking for that one experience that is full of service, travel, new friends, and more, Mexico's waiting for you. Get the insider details on how to make it happen, here. 

Discover Mexico

Topics: Central America

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We are ILP, a Utah-based non-profit org that has service abroad opportunities for college-age volunteers. We love travel so we're sharing all our tips for making the most of your time living abroad + seeing the world, and how to do it all on the tiniest budget.

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