Destination Information for Mexico

Mexico is a wonderfully colourful and vibrant country, rich in culture, music and culinary delights! Historically, Mexico was home to some of the most advanced civilisations of the time, the Olmec, Aztecs and Maya all left their mark on the country and their towering temples can still be found deep in the tropical rainforests.

Today, Mexico is a proud and modern country that has still managed to retain strong links to its culture and it’s past. Music and dance are integral to the lively culture here and the Mariachi, Salsa and Merengue beats radiate from every home, shop and café.

Geographically Mexico forms a bridge between economically developed North America and the lesser economically developed countries of Central and South America and this is something that is mirrored in its development. However, although the country may be relatively prosperous, wide disparities still exist between those with and those without money.

Your home in Mexico will be the beautiful colonial city of Guadalajara centrally located for your weekend travels.

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The main base of our projects in Mexico is Guadalajara but we also operate projects in satellite locations in Puerto Vallarta. The accommodation depends on where you are based but it is either with local families or in group, hostel type, accommodation. We have home stay accommodation at our main base in Guadalajara and group accommodation in Puerto Vallarta. You will share this accommodation with others on our medical, media and volunteer projects.

The standard of the accommodation will be basic but good by local standards.  It won’t be quite what you are used to at home so please don’t expect all mod cons, but it will be clean and tidy. Accommodation usually has hot and cold running water and electricity, but both occasionally fail so cold showers may take some getting used to! Hot water for showers is not always important for local people used to hot climates and cold showers can be quite refreshing after a hot day at work.

We will place you with other volunteers, which means that you are never far away from someone to socialise with in the evenings. All our project locations are within easy travelling distance, so volunteers from all the projects usually get together at a central meeting point to go travelling at weekends or just chill out by the beach.

Our staff will be on hand during office hours if you have any general queries and only a phone call away outside office hours if there’s something much more urgent.

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Highlights – Guadalajara

Guadalajara is in the state of Jalisco, and home to Mariachi, The Mexican Sombrero and Tequila!

The town of Tequila is a popular weekend trip. Visit the factories and farms to see how the drink is made and maybe even try a drop – the good stuff is a lot smoother than the fire water you may have tried before!

Mexico sits on one of the most active fault lines in the world and the Jalisco countryside is dotted with volcanic domes. The more adventurous amongst you can trek the dormant volcano at Paricutin or the active and still smooking volcano at Colima!


Guadalajara usually experiences 322 days of sunshine a year and average temperatures between 68F (20C) and 85F (30C). Sometimes in the morning the humidity can make things a little uncomfortable, but this almost always eases off by the middle of the day. Rainfall is heavier in June and October, often, in these months, falling for one or two hours in the afternoon.

Money matters

You will have weekends free to travel and visit the sights so do take some spending money for food, accommodation and souvenirs.

Exactly how much to take is a matter of great debate but most who have travelled to Mexico recommend that you could probably get by allowing £75-£100 per weekend spending money. If you can, take a little extra just in case to allow for emergencies or those ‘must have’ souvenirs.

You cannot get Mexican currency outside of Mexico so it’s best to take your spending money as pre-loaded travel cards or cash. Credit and debit cards are also widely accepted in Mexico. You can usually draw money out on credit and debit cards from most ATM machines at banks in Mexico. This is probably the easiest way to access your spending money but shouldn’t be relied upon and bank charges for this can be high.

You can take cash as sterling, Euros or US dollars. All are easy to change in Mexico.

Arrival Information

You should arrange your flights to arrive at Guadalajara International Airport (GDL). A number of international carriers fly to Guadalajara, including Continental, American Airlines and Alaskan Airways. During the summer it’s also possible to find cheap deals from some UK airports direct to Guadalajara.

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Country Director – Ariel Duenas

Ariel Duenas is one of the most experienced overseas managers at Global Medical Projects. He has been arranging overseas placements in Mexico for over ten years.

A keen conservationist, Ariel was instrumental in setting up our turtle projects on the Pacific coast of Mexico and often visits the turtle camp with his family and faithful dog to help out at weekends, the ideal weekend getaway for those on our medical projects.

Ariel is passionate about Mexico and deeply committed to ensuring everyone who joins us in Mexico thoroughly enjoys the experience.

During his ten years arranging projects in Mexico, Ariel has built up and extensive network on contacts throughout Mexico which has enabled us to offer such unique and demanding programmes.

[/accordion-item][/accordion] Photos from our projects in Mexico (on Facebook, opens in new tab)