The Camino del Mayab is the first long-distance trail in Mexico with a network of 130 kilometers of trails developed in conjunction with 13 Mayan communities seeking to develop to improve their quality of life. The Camino del Mayab is a path similar to the more famous trail that exists in Spain called Camino de Santiago. The area is known for its natural beauty and hospitable communities of the Yucatan peninsula. The project highlights the cultural and historical legacy of Yucatan, taking its visitors through fascinating towns, haciendas, and cenotes south of the city of Merida.
This is the perfect program for the volunteer with a sense of adventure and desire to connect with local community members.
The objective of the Camino del Mayab is to generate direct benefits for the people of the communities that make up the Camino del Mayab. The main point is to grow tourism regenerative in these areas, and that women, men and young people may have opportunities for growth in guidance services, food, lodging, transportation, and many more.
During the program travelers will be able to live like locals, participating in life activities daily such as beekeeping, handicrafts, cornfield work, tending to livestock, and more.
There are three main problems that we work to eradicate: Social Inequality; Species Extinction; and Environmental Destruction.
It is estimated that when this project is in its fifth year of operation, it will generate benefits direct to 360 indigenous people; of which 216 will be women and 72 young people.
The conservation of the area of the Camino del Mayab is the most important for the recharge of the aquifer that supplies the City of Merida, so environmental protection is vital to the area. During the program different activities will be carried out on rural construction, cleaning of trails, sanitation of areas, agricultural work, rehabilitation of schools and environmental and animal conservation. Everything will depend on the needs of the community at the time the group travels.
Our Mexico program runs on a Monday-Sunday itinerary. Days 1-4 will be spent in the communities of Camindo del Mayab working on a variety of projects most mornings. Leisure and cultural activities are generally scheduled for the late afternoons/evenings. The last day of the program (departure day) will be a free day of sorts, though our coordinator will be happy to recommend places for you to visit during the day and often tag along with you. Regardless, they will be back around to transport you back to the airport in time for your flight home.
While volunteers will have the opportunity to walk along the path to various sites, the predominant mode of transportation will be by vehicle from community to community.
Food and Lodging
Accommodations will vary depending on the community that you are volunteering in. The first four days of community work you will be housed in either camping areas and/or homes of locals of the communities. On the fifth day volunteers will be transported to the City of Merida and stay in a mid-range hotel in the city center. Volunteers activities will take place in nearby communities in the morning on this day and the evening will be spent exploring the city with our coordinators. All meals are provided for the duration of your program. Keep in mind that while in the communities outside of Merida, accommodations will be rustic and simple. If camping, tents, sleeping bags and often a mattress pad are provided. In the homestays, the bedding is simple and probably not as plush as you are accustomed to back home. Washing facilities will vary in amenities based on location.
Leisure and Activities
This program offers a truly immersive experience for the volunteer. Not only will you have the chance to spend quality time with local coordinators and guides, but also take meals and participate and various duties and activities with community members as well while staying in a homestay. There are various unique archeological sites, biodiversity zones, and spectacular nature walks along the trail. Visits to archeological sites are included in the price of the program. Coordinators will arrange a variety of team/community activities ranging from bonfires to cookouts to team games.
Arranging your airfare
Volunteers should plan to arrive at the Merida International Airport the day your program begins. You will be picked up directly from the airport and transported to your accommodations. On the last day of the program you will be transported to the airport in accordance with your departure time.
Safety and Security
No vaccinations are required but you should always check with your personal doctor. There are nearby clinics and hospitals within an hour’s drive of the communities if needed. Additionally, there is a paramedic with the group that can tend to minor injuries or illness. Volunteers will travel as a team with Globe aware personnel. Please contact our office for any needs or concerns regarding safety on the ground.