Volunteers | Piña Palmera’s necessities
“If you are coming to help us, we would prefer that you stayed home. If you are coming to work with us, welcome,” a community in the Philippines.
Currently, we require support in the afternoons for some of our activities, such as: elaborating handmade products using coco; helping in the handicrafts store, the special care area and in the garden. Therefore it’s very important that you are willing to also help out a few hours in the afternoon on some days. Thank you!
Immigration laws have changed!
Now you have to complete the formalities of your FM3 directly in the Mexican embassy in your country.
If you need any require letter from Piña Palmera, please let us know.
Since the founding of Piña Palmera, we have welcomed volunteers from all over the world to join us and work with us in our programs.
Generally, volunteers take part in the day-to-day work of Piña Palmera. That is to say, they participate in running all the areas of the center: the kitchen, the special care unit, the store, the recycled paper workshop, the orchard, the maintenance department, the carpentry shot and the therapy and community-based rehabilitation areas.
If the volunteer is a physical therapist or a rehabilitation professional, we still believe that it is important that they integrate with the other volunteers in all the areas, irrespective of their specialty. We work in the field of inclusion and each of our activities represent an aspect of daily life for persons with disabilities.
An important part of these daily activities is living and working side by side with people with disabilities. These shared experiences offer opportunities to understand, reflect on and discuss topics that have value to all participants on both personal and professional levels.
The volunteer position is flexible and the specific activities each volunteer engages in will depend on skills, abilities, profession and the centers needs. Flexibility and patience are two of the most important qualities we value in our volunteers.
You will find further expectations of our volunteers as well as more information about each work area and living conditions at Piña Palmera in the Volunteer Manual and in the sections below on this page.
For those who may be considering coming to Piña Palmera as a volunteer, the Volunteer Manual is required reading. Within this manual there is detailed information on the following topics:
- What is Piña Palmera?
- The life of the volunteer
- Programs within Piña Palmera and the volunteer’s role and activities
- Information on the rights and obligations of the volunteer
- Safety rules to follow within Piña Palmera and within Zipolite
For answers to any other questions, please contact us. We normally ask that volunteers stay six months, but if that is not possible, we can explore other possibilities.
- Volunteers must be 20 years of age or older.
- Volunteers must have read the Volunteer Manual and comply with the requirements listed therein.
- Volunteers must be open to new communal living experiences.
- Volunteers must be interested in the topics of disability and rural issues. It is not necessary to have experience working with these issues!
- Volunteers must be willing to share their time with everyone in Piña.
- Volunteers must be willing to learn and speak Spanish. (The locals do not speak English here!)
And the most important, yet often-forgotten, requirement: Be willing to ask questions before judging.
There are some required legal procedures for those arriving from other countries. The required visa for volunteers in Mexico is called FM3. Volunteers must contact the Mexican embassy in their home country in order to apply for such a visa. It’s important that you have your visa BEFORE entering Mexico. Once you have started the application process Piña Palmera can send the documents to you via email that will be requested by the embassy.
In the case of a student wishing to conduct a research study, fieldwork, or social service in Piña Palmera, a letter from the school or institution which explains the objectives of the project will be required.
Room and Board:
For $300 pesos per month (US $20) we offer the volunteers staying here at least six months the opportunity to live within our center during their stay. This symbolic amount helps to pay for utilities, cleaning products, and other costs of maintaining the dormitories. Volunteers who opt for this choice will share a dormitory style room with one or two other volunteers of the same sex. The kitchen and bathrooms are shared among all the volunteers. The Center offers coffee in the mornings, one humble meal at midday and tea or atole in the evenings for the volunteers.
The kitchen is open from 8am to 4pm.
For immigration purposes, the officials want to see that volunteers have approximately US $1000 in a bank account from their country of origin, which can be proven by supplying a copy of a bank statement. In Zipolite we do not have a bank or an automatic teller machine. The closest banks and ATM´s are in Pochutla, a 30-minute drive from Zipolite.
We recommend that volunteers are current on their routine vaccinations. In addition, the United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the following vaccinations for travelers to Mexico: Hepatitis A and B, Typhoid, and (in certain cases) Rabies (as seen at http://wwwn.cdc.gov/travel/destinationMexico.aspx, on May 23, 2008). For any further questions, we recommend that volunteers visit a clinic which specializes in travel medicine for the tropics.
Simply write an email in Spanish to Flavia Anau, the General Coordinator at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Explain briefly who you are, why you are interested in coming to Piña Palmera, and when you are interested in coming. It is important that you contact us at least three months before you plan to arrive.
We look forward to working with you!