Volunteer Information

Volunteer with Esperanza

Esperanza International works with our partner, Fundación Esperanza de México (FEM), to provide international service experiences for our volunteer groups in Tijuana, México. FEM hosts groups of volunteers to help build homes and work on other projects in the under-served communities of Tijuana. Volunteer groups work for three to ten days in an immersion experience of Mexican culture, socio-economic development, and leadership building.

Plan a service experience for your group or for yourself! We offer opportunities for groups and for individuals.

For Organized Groups

3 TO 10 DAYS

We work with organized groups from high schools, colleges, churches and more to provide a unique international service experience that develops the global citizenship of group members. Working directly with our partner, FEM, volunteers work hand-in-hand with Mexican families to build homes. In addition, groups have the opportunity to learn more about the local culture through after-work activities such as experiencing a local cultural event, visiting other non-profit human service organizations, and more.

“Esperanza means being inspired by watching women meet to create communities for their families and children and plan for their future.”
–Kathy, Group Leader

For Individuals

3 TO 10 DAYS

Independent volunteer trips are one of the best ways that interested individuals can volunteer with Esperanza International. These mixed- groups incorporate volunteers from different locations, experience-levels and backgrounds. Contact the group leaders (below) directly if you have interest in participating in the trips and they will provide information about prices and logistics.

“I was caught completely off guard by the great disparity between media portrayal of Tijuana and actually experiencing it.”
–Rodney, independent volunteer

Upcoming Independent Groups

Become a Long-Term Volunteer

To apply for a Long-Term Volunteer position, send cover letter & resume to

Felicia Islas, Program Director

We offer long-term volunteer positions (six months to one year) in which volunteers live and work in Tijuana. Long-term volunteers assist in coordinating volunteer groups and families in home building through FEM’s community program. The ability to speak Spanish is required since one of the functions is to help with communication between the volunteers and the families. Other responsibilities include construction duties, organizing and accompanying the volunteer groups in a variety of activities that enrich their experience in Tijuana, and administrative tasks. Serving as a long-term volunteer is an opportunity to immerse yourself in the culture of Tijuana and better understand the complex issues surrounding the border region, develop leadership skills, work towards social justice, and exemplify global citizenship.

Meet Destry

My name is Destry and I will be working as a Long Term Volunteer with Esperanza April through July, 2018.  I first visited Tijuana to work with Esperanza in 2008 with St. John Vianney’s high school group from Kirkland, Washington.  I immediately fell in love with the program, the communities, and the culture.  I volunteered with Esperanza six times before I became a Long Term Volunteer during the summer of 2013.  I graduated with a degree in Civil Engineering and it was so much fun to apply some of the things I was learning in school to the work sites in Tijuana. Esperanza is what first inspired me to begin civil engineering and development work, and it continues to be the model I hold all new experiences up to as I continue my education. I am also a returned Peace Corps Volunteer, having just finished my service in Panama. I am so excited to return to Tijuana and spend the summer with this awesome organization and its incredible volunteers!

Meet Rod

Rod is currently serving as a long-term volunteer living at La Posada Esperanza in Tijuana, Mexico. With a background in construction management and a love of Esperanza, his role as a long-term volunteer was a natural fit. Originally from Lynnwood, Washington, Rod first visited Esperanza with the Trinity Lutheran Church group. Since 2003, he visited Esperanza four times. In the summer of 2016 he decided that one week was simply not enough time and he applied to be a long-term volunteer beginning in the summer of 2017. For Rod, the best part of the job is meeting new people and making new friends. He shares, “I truly feel blessed to have Esperanza in my life.” Thank you Rod for your service with Esperanza!