VolunQuest is a volunteer tourism company based in Isla Mujeres, Mexico.
VolunQuest is a volunteer tourism company based in Isla Mujeres, Mexico.
With VolunQuest, volunteers can experience the rich culture and hospitality of one of the most beautiful destinations on earth, Isla Mujeres, Mexico. They can do this while gaining valuable experience and references for their future educational and vocational goals. VolunQuest only participates in projects that enact meaningful change and focus on the advancement of the local communities and environment.
One of the many things that sets VolunQuest apart from other similar programs is that our educational projects are housed in the governemnt accredited school systems. This means that a volunteer is actually working with the Department of Education of the state of Quintana Roo, Mexico. Additionally, our ecological projects are organized through the Secretaria de Medio Ambiente, which is the government agency responsible for protecting the reefs and aquatic life. These esteemed organizations validate the authenticity of the volunteers' experiences with us.
Volunquest works directly with the Secretary of Education of the state of Quintana Roo, Mexico.
Volunquest places all of its volunteers in the local public primary schools. This is a unique opportunity to teach English in actual nationally accredited schools with little or no previous teaching experience. Our volunteers are given certificates of participation from the Secretary of Education of the state of Quintana Roo that they can later reference on future educational or professional applications. We follow a strict national curriculum, include one week of training (20 hours), daily supervised lesson planning, supervision and materials.
We also provide a volunteer lounge with computers, printers, copy machines, materials, and free Wi-Fi. Volunteers are required to go to one hour a day of supervised lesson planning at the lounge, but are otherwise welcome to use it as little or as often as they like during scheduled hours of operation.
All educational packages include one week (5 hours) of one on one language lessons, a home stay placement, breakfast and dinner at your homestay 5 days a week and a packed lunch on the project 5 days a week. We also include a volunteer ID card that offers you local discounts at the island's best restaurants, bars, parks, activities, transportation, etc.
July through August participants work in the local primary school summer language programs, which include in class lessons, along with recreational, cultural, and ecological activities. We take a holistic approach to teaching language and believe that creating opportunities for the children to use the language in a meaningful way outside of the class allows them to improve faster and remember longer. That is why even during the school year August-July, we also offer students after school activities that each volunteer can create and coordinate themselves based on their own personal skills and talents. If you are not interested in starting your own afterschool program, you can assist another volunteer on their project instead.
24/7 support is included in all of our packages. The island also boasts a hospital, English speaking doctors, and a tourism office where all complaints and inquiries can be filed.
I wish I could give this program zero stars. Take caution in applying to volunteer (technically work in all senses of the word) for this organization. VolunQuest is irresponsible and unprofessional, the expectations for your personal life are clear -- that you have no personal life.
I was told over TEXT MESSAGE that I was being let go, they stated they had "reports" I had mistreated the children, and although this is completely false, they still have yet to present these to me. I have conversations with the people they claimed they had reports from that this is not true, that I did not mistreat the students.
They then emailed me a letter of my termination that stated it was due to a Facebook post I posted on my personal page. They claimed it was hostile political posts and that it put the community in danger, yet this individual over 10 political posts in the last month about their stance on American politics. They then went on to attack me as a person, posting online that I was pregnant (completely false) and stating on social media the "father" was not going to pay for an abortion. They even went on and posted personal conversations on FB and illegally posted my contract on social media as well.
VolunQuest will attempt to hurt you at all costs, this organization needs to be investigated. I know that the incoming interns are being promised dormitory style housing but as of today there still is no ground even broken for such housing or office spaces, so if that is not brought to your attention I would ask about that.
If you end up living in the intern house provided by the government know that the bills are often times not paid on time, although it is more than common to have a water heater in a house you do not have one and they will state things like this are "the way locals live".
VolunQuest promises once-a-month VQ trips or bonding experiences, and the whole 4.5 months I was there we only went on a catamaran for the going-away party for the previous director. You will also be promised uniforms and we never once received such a thing.
Please do your research, there are others who have quit or been let go due to ridiculous treatment by VolunQuest. Nothing adds up and it seems pretty at first, but this is not a reputable or positive organization to "volunteer" for.
If you want to be sure of these things, contact local businesses in Isla, and the reputation VolunQuest upholds on the island is not one to be admired. Be careful.
Isla Mujeres is a beautiful place to give back to and live in, but please for your own good find another means of doing so. VolunQuest is a power-hungry, drama seeking organization and it is a shame they have a vision for a good cause yet they can't seem to walk the talk they advertise.
Be aware of this company and the woman that runs it !!!
This is a very questionable organization, please do a lot of research and ask a lot of questions even though they will never tell you the truth and you will end up very dissapointed.
There are much better companies out there, BE AWARE OF THIS COMPANY !
Do not believe what you are told ! This company is not a reputable company !
Lies, lies, lies !
This company VOLUNQUEST is a scam, they take money from the government and do not use it for what is intended, they will promise you everything but they do not deliver !!!!! Be very careful with the person that is the director her name is Kristen she is not a nice person and nobody in Isla likes her, the locals talk very bad about her because they know she is doing things that are not right or legal. She will tell you to lie about your status in Isla because she knows you can't work with a tourist visa so you will be working illegally. The places where they put you to live in are nothing of what they promise or tell you they will be, this is NOT what they tell you, they make it look nice on the website but it is nothing like that at all !!! You will regret working for this company !!! You have been warned !!!
I found my experience with VolunQuest to be very disappointing. I taught in Playa del Carmen (Volunquest no longer has the contract) and considered the living situation intolerable. When I moved in, there were broken beer bottles all over the walkway and yard, no working shower, the house could not be locked as the backdoor was put on backwards, and it was infested with bugs.
There was no internet, telephone, radio, or any way to communicate with the outside world. We did not have textbooks or materials and received no help or support from the program’s leaders. We were required to work over the weekend and often given no notice when meetings would occur. As far as leadership goes: I experienced manipulation, false accusations, and harassment. While I believe the initial intentions of the program were good, the program currently is very poorly run and lacks professionalism.
I would not recommend this program under any circumstances. Not only is it difficult to teach classes of 35-40 rambunctious children, the compensation comes to about $1 USD per hour, and the company is not trustworthy.
Have you booked with VolunQuest? Please share your experience and submit your review.