Become a volunteer at Piña Palmera
“If you come to help us, better to stay home. If you come to work with us, we welcome you.”
A community of the Philippines
Since our founding, Piña Palmera has welcomed volunteers from around the world to live with us and collaborate in our work.
Volunteers generally participate in all of our daily activities. This is to say, they involve themselves and collaborate in every part of the organization: the kitchen, the store, the coconut oil workshop, the orchard, maintenance, the carpentry shop, and in the RBWC work in the communities.
You do not have to have training related to disabilities to be a volunteer. On the contrary, even if you have such a profession, it will be important that you contribute in all of the areas like everybody else, independent of your professional knowledge. We work in the business of inclusion and you must be able to view every activity from the point of view of people with disabilities. This will also give you the chance to get to know our history, our methodologies, and to become a part of the Piña Palmera community.
An important part of our culture here is the co-working and co-living between people with and without disabilities. The exchange of ideas and experiences you will be exposed to will give you opportunities to learn new things, reflect and discuss, which will serve you in both your personal and your professional life in the future.
What you do on a daily basis as a volunteer is flexible and depends on your knowledge, abilities, professional training, and the needs of the organization. Flexibility and patience are two of the most important qualities that we expect of our volunteers.
More information about each work area, the daily activities of volunteers and the conditions here are available in the volunteer manual and in the corresponding sections of this website.
For those who are considering coming to volunteer at Piña Palmera, reading the volunteer manual is required. In it, you will find information on the following subjects:
- What is Piña Palmera?
- Life as a volunteer
- Work areas at Piña Palmera and the responsibilities of a volunteer
- Information about the rights and the expectations of a volunteer
- Security precautions to follow inside and outside of Piña Palmera
If you have further questions after reading the manual, do not hesitate to contact us!
Generally we ask that all volunteers stay at least six months, but in case this is not possible, please contact us to see if there are other arrangements that we can make.
1. Be at least 20 years old
2. Have read the volunteer manual and agree to follow the rules
3. Be open to having community experiences that may be new for you
4. Have interest in the topic of disabilities in rural areas (although experience is not required)
5. Be willing to work alongside everyone at Piña
6. Be willing to learn Spanish (here the people do not speak English)
7. Contact us via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
And maybe the most important, but often overlooked requirement:
Have the integrity to ask before leaping to judgment
There are legal processes required for those who come from other countries. To work at Piña Palmera as a volunteer, you will need to obtain a visa, and to get it you must contact the Mexican embassy in your country of origin or residence in advance. Once you started the process in the Mexican Embassy in your country, Piña Palmera can provide you with a letter confirming your stay in our center to support your request.
If you are a student, and you plan to engage in a research project, internship, or social service at Piña Palmera, you will need to present a certificate from the school or institution in which the project has been developed or a letter explaning what you plan to do.
Room and board:
For a monthly fee of MXP$300, (USD$20), you have the option of living on the grounds of Piña Palmera during the time that you are a volunteer (for those that stay six months). This fee is mostly symbolic, but will serve to cover simple costs for maintaining the area of the volunteers. The volunteers all share rooms with one or two others of the same sex. The kitchen and bathrooms are also shared among the volunteers. The center offers coffee in the mornings, a simple lunch at noon, and tea or atole in the evenings for the volunteers, from Monday to Saturday. Sunday, no food is offered.
The hours of the kitchen are from 8:00 to 16:00.
In Zipolite, there is no bank, nor an ATM machine. The closest ones are in Pochutla, about 30 minutes away.
If you arrive by plane:
- From Puerto Escondido airport, there are two options:
- Taxi leaving the airport direct to Zipolite (Between $ 700 and $ 900).
- Take a collective urban from the airport (Approximately $ 40) and ask him to drop you off at the bus stop that go to Pochutla. There you take a bus or an urban route to Pochutla (white with blue line) for a cost of approximately $ 40, you ask him to drop you off at the cruise of San Antonio (“Crucero de San Antonio”). On the cruise you take a collective van to Zipolite ($ 15) that will drop you off at the entrance of Piña Palmera.
- From Huatulco airport:
- Taxi leaving the airport direct to Zipolite (Between $ 700 and $ 900)
- Exit walking from the airport to the highway, take a collective urban (in direction to Pochutla city) that charges around $ 40, you ask the driver to get you off at Pochutla cruise (“Crucero de Pochutla”). There you take a red and white collective taxi ($ 20) or a van that goes direct to Zipolite ($ 12), either of both options leaves you in front of Piña Palmera.
If you arrive by bus:
- From Pochutla bus terminal:
- When leaving the terminal ask where is the bus stop of the passenger vans that go straight to Zipolite ($ 20).
- You take a collective taxi to the Pochutla cruise (“Crucero de Pochutla”) ($ 30) and there you take a collective taxi ($ 20) or passenger van ($ 12) that go straight to Zipolite.
We recommend that you are up to date with your vaccines. If you have questions about this, we suggest visiting a vaccination clinic in your country.
To sign up:
Simply send an email to Flavia Anau, the general coordinator at: email@example.com. Briefly explain who you are, why you are interested in volunteering at Piña Palmera, and when you would like to arrive. It is important that you contact us at least three months before you anticipate arriving.
· Volunteer Manual (VolunteerManualENG)
· Community Volunteer (Voluntarios en Comunidad)