We Are Volunteering to make the world a better place In Mexico.

Aiding Nocturnal Birds Conservation


Youaltecuhtli (lord of the night), Youalejekatl(night wind) and Papantlanemini (flying animal) are the names of three lovely owl chicks successfully released to the wild in a protected area after being born in captivity. According to the IUCN brown owls (Ciccaba virgata) are a species among those technically of least concern, yet at the same time they are listed as one to watch with a worryingly decline in population by the same IUCN. The three chicks were born in 2020 in Xalapa at a Conservation and Sustainable Use of Wildlife Unit (UMA in Spanish) which focuses on the plight of nocturnal birds of prey. One of their goals is to raise public awareness of the contribution that nocturnal birds make to the environment.

We would all love more nocturnal birds of prey, including the beloved owls, to be recognised for their contribution to our environment; and we certainly all love happy ending stories. Supporting and helping the work carried out by restless organisations is fundamental and thrilling.

Get inspired by this three owl chick story and come and join this UMA in Xalapa to experience and share in their amazing work with nocturnal birds of prey and their environmental education program.


UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG´s) 2030 Agenda

  • image
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image Gulf of Mexico
image +18 yrs old
image From 2 weeks
image From 69 USD/DAY
image Studio apartment or Host family
image Included
image Arrival transfer
image From main city airport to final city destination (4 hours drive)

Nocturnal raptors as all birds, play an important role in their ecosystem. Unfortunately for them, they have been labeled with all sorts of witch-like magical powers. Becoming therefore, the target of non-stop hunting practices. The program aims to shift the paradigm of these attractive and elegant birds, by raising awareness and sharing with the population their contribution to the local ecosystems; while providing environmental enrichment to help in the recovery of those individuals that have been subjected to malpractice. Whenever possible, birds are released back into the wild. Those which not only arrive at the premises but also ones which are born in captivity.

Project Goals

  • To provide a safe space for rescued nocturnal raptors
  • Assess those individuals that can be released into the wild and help them through a rehabilitation process
  • Whenever breeding takes place the program aims to maintain natural conditions so as to release chicks back into the wild as and when they are ready
  • To enhance the understanding of their behavior through their study to increase the number of successful interventions
  • To raise environmental awareness among the general public regarding the importance of raptors in a healthy ecosystem


  • No previous experience or specific education required
  • Interested in birds especially nocturnal raptors
  • Keen on hands-on projects
  • Willingness and desire to help and learn from others
  • Team player and able to follow instructions
  • Level of Spanish: Intermediate. English is desirable but not required.

Your help

  • Maintenance of the vivarium (food enrichment)
  • Maintenance of nocturnal bird enclosures
  • Helping with environmental enrichment for captive birds
  • Monitoring nocturnal raptors behavior 

Virtual Orientation

We are deeply commited to help you be as prepared as possible to enjoy and fulfil your expectations for joining a program in Mexico. For that reason, there is an orientation comprising three distinct aspects prior to your arrival. Dates and time will be agreed upon the HUV team and the volunteer in advance.

The aspects to cover include:

  • Mexico and its culture
  • Volunteering in Mexico and learning about your chosen destination
  • Follow up throughout your chosen project

Arrival and Onsite Orientation

Coach ticekt from the nearest city airport to your project city & local transport at your final city destination.

You will be instructed to arrive at the nearest main city airport. A coach ticket will be provided to transfer to the city where your project.  A member of a local transport service will meet you at the coach station.  He will be happy to help you with any immediate needs you may have.  You will be driven to the city of your final destination about 1.5 hours away. Arrange for a flight that arrives no later than midafternoon. If your arrival is before midday, once the transport has driven you to your accommodation, you will be given the option to meet a member of your host organization shortly after or later in the early evening. If your arrival is in the afternoon, the transport will drive you to your accommodation for a well-deserved rest. The following morning you will be joined for breakfast by a staff member of your host organization. 

Orientation will take place on Monday morning after a light breakfast.

Accommodation and meals

Volunteers will be hosted at a nearby studio apartment or host by a family (based on accommodation availability) nearby the organization. In either case volunteers will be place at single rooms. They  are basic, but they have all standard amenities for a comfortable stay.

All meals are included (full board), except for Sunday when only breakfast is provided.  Some of them are self-service and others will be taken at a local and small family-run restaurant where breakfast and lunch are served. Mexican people have a high appreciation of mealtimes, and it is a special time to relax and socialize, thus be ready to enjoy the experience.

Project Availability: All year round

Duration: You can choose dates from a minimum of 2 weeks up to 24 weeks. Arrivals are expected on a SUNDAY, and you can choose the minimum stay and subject to availability (and visa conditions) you can extend your stay through arrangements with the local team.

** if the fees for the time you are interested in volunteering for the project of your choice is not listed, please send us an enquiry and we will get back to you as soon as possible.  

For this program you will have the organization premises as your main working site. You may need to help the team to environmental education sessions offered at schols or other places. Or you may help joining in a queest to rescue and rehabilitate a bird if the organization is asked to help. 

Below a typical day of activities at the organization:




Typical activity

  8:30 am

Breakfast at designated location

10:00 am

You will join the team to start activities at the organization premises. You will have previously agreed with the team what the priorities are for each day/week. The activities will be related either to address the needs of the nocturnal raptors kept at the dedicated enclosures for their study/recovery or preparing material for the environmental education activities. One of the most interesting activities you will be helping with related direcly to birds is their environmental enrichment


 1:30 Pm

Lunch at designated location

2:30/3:00 pm

After lunch you can either go back to the organization to resume activities or you may have some personal time and start at 3:00 pm. Once you have returned for your remaining time in the afternoon, you will continue with the activities according to previously agreed-upon schedule

4:00/4:30 pm

You will finish your day at either time depending on the length you have taken for lunch. You can now return to your accommodation of take advantage of the several activities the city can offer you such strolling in the one the park or downtown, enjoying a movie in the cinema, spending some at a café or attending one of the cultural activities you can enjoy here.

8:00 pm

Self-prepared light dinner. Time is suggested and you may adjust it according to your personal preferences.

Project Fees

2 weeks $955.00 USD
3 weeks $1300.00 USD
4 weeks $1645.00 USD
5 weeks $1990.00 USD
6 weeks $2335.00 USD

Registration Fee to secure your place

  • 75 USD when sending application
  • 224 USD when accepted

Included in the cost

  • Project Placement
  • Onsite follow up& support
  • Orientation: cultural, at placement and safety related
  • Airport pick up on arrival
  • Accommodation as described (see details)
  • Meals as described

Additional to consider

  • Round International Flight
  • Domestic flights if required/chosen
  • Visa if required
  • Local transport (if needed)
  • Return airport transfer
  • Personal items
  • Mobile expenses
  • Additional meal and snacks
  • Any other cost no listed above (“included in the cost”)

projects snapshots