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
  felicia.islas@esperanzaint.org
  (619)887-5102

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 Stanley

My name is Stanley Edmond.

First and foremost, I want to thank you all for joining me on this beautiful journey. This journey I have embarked has been nothing short of amazing. I have been allowed the opportunity to meet and work alongside inspirational people who are selfless, motivated, and share a similar mental model in being change agents that are making an impact on the world.

I am 37 years old and a long-term volunteer at Fundación Esperanza de Mexico, A.C. I was born in Haiti. One of the many blessings the Universe have bestowed upon me is the opportunity to live in the United States, of which has offered me a chance to experience different possibilities apart from what I would have experienced in Haiti. I had the honor of serving four years in the United States Marine Corps. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Long Island University C.W. Post, and recently I completed a Master’s degree in Liberal Arts from St. John’s Graduate Institute.

I am here in Tijuana, Mexico volunteering to help build communities and to also learn how to best tackle the degradation in my country. I know that we are all aware that our planet has much suffering, both physiological and psychological. That is why I have dedicated my life to public service to help relieve the distress of the disenfranchised.

My first time volunteering with Esperanza was in May 2014, of which was only for a short week. During that week, I became fascinated with the vision and structure of the organization and the open-handed communities that were collectively building, healing, and dignifying the lives of multiple families in Tijuana, Mexico. This fascination with the organization led me to apply for a long-term volunteer position.

I am in love with the individuals that are passionately developing their community. From Eduardo to Olivia, Graciela to Enedina, and everybody else in-between, they are indeed the backbone of Fundación Esperanza de Mexico. Without them I do not think the energy Esperanza receives from the international community would have been the same. The way the staff upholds and invests in their community has inspired me to continue dedicating my time, on multiple occasions, to come to Mexico and put my energy towards community building. As I develop my organization Humanity to the Rescue (HTTR), I pray that I find a crew that is just as dedicated and ambitious in building communities to positively change lives.

Thank you!

Meet Evan

Howdy,

My Name is Evan Absolor and I am currently a long-term volunteer for Fundación Esperanza De Mexico, Tijuana. I will be volunteering for 6 months from February-August 2019. This is my 7th time with Esperanza, coming down first in 2013 with Sacred Heart, Enumclaw, led by my former youth leader and friend Kelsey Harrington. I came down four times with Sacred Heart and twice with friend groups, all but one was led by her. I fell in love with Tijuana and this organization on that first trip. It was extremely eye opening and heart breaking, but in a good way. My first trip down was my first service trip, I didn’t know much about the program, and in my mind, I came down to build homes; and that was pretty much the extent of my pre-experience thoughts. I was pleasantly and unexpectedly surprised to find that this program is more than that, it’s about building community and helping those who want to better themselves, the lives of their families, and neighbors. For me this trip has always been the same as a vacation, good weather, good food, and good people. But more rewarding, the gratuity that the families have is overwhelming, what seems like nothing but a few hours of work, is huge for the families, it helps completely change their homes and life styles. It’s not just the houses, but the security it provides and the longevity of the homes which allows them to focus on the next step in bettering their lives. I truly believe that you get way more out of this program than you give, for me not only am I doing a good thing, but this program is helping make me a better person. Every day I spend here I am growing. I love having groups come down, each with their own unique cultures and reasons for being here, I love to share about myself and to hear from them, every different perspective widens my mind. Groups bring me energy and keep me motivated on tough days or when I’m a little low on sleep. I have always thought of myself as someone who is very fortunate and I blessed, being here allows me to strip away many material items and live a life of simplicity; allowing me to realize what is truly important and how much I truly do have and to be thankful for everything. The funny thing is that this life of simplicity is actually the one I prefer, I think when I’m in the US I have so much going on and there are so many distractions that I often forget to enjoy life in the moment. I’m thankful Esperanza has given me this opportunity to give back and receive more blessings and knowledge through this process. Hope to see you all down here! (: