Ever since I was a child, I was mesmerized by the natural world, which I enjoyed during our family´s trips to the countryside. These places were often immersed in the lush vegetation close to my hometown in the Gulf of Mexico. As I got older, I became aware of the hardships that many of these places as well as wildlife and its habitat endure. Today I am committed to help in every possible way, but I cannot stop thinking that my awareness has been shaped by sharing experiences and learning from people’s wisdom from all sorts of backgrounds in my own country and from traveling and living abroad.
You will probably agree growth and transformation are core to our lives and when in doing so we share our experiences, values and knowledge to help others, especially if they appreciate the natural world and are committed to empower less privileged communities, then the journey is highly enriching for all involved.
Wherever you are in your path as first timer interested in volunteering or looking for a second or even a third experience, we want to share the passion that the organizations we work with have. Their work started against all odds in many cases, but they all share this child-like spark of believe it all inspiration to do whatever their dream is. They are small, out of the spotlight but committed to work well and very much want to share their love for what they do and exchange experiences with you.
Come along to join us!
Vision, Mission & Values
We believe in the power of synergies to improve social, environmental and economic wellbeing where human dignity and nature’s intrinsic value are at the forefront.
Our mission is to be a catalyst for volunteering experiences where both volunteers and hand-picked organisations involved in conservation and sustainability have a rich and meaningful sharing of knowledge, values and passion.
Warm, caring, truthful, committed to sustainability and conservation.
- Local independent provider
- We aim to establish and nurture a close relationship with each organization where volunteers are placed
- As a result, we are aware that each organization has its own journey and we have learnt about their commitment and hard work towards sustainability at grassroot levels and conservation
- Every organization is committed to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in their rightful way
- Your contribution includes a donation that goes directly into their work when a minimum number of volunteer work reaches a minimum period, therefore ensuring it is not a burdensome for you
- For stays of 8 weeks or above, it also includes a contribution towards funds for capacity development for the organization you volunteer
- We truly believe in our work and are passionate about it as our journey speak for itself, combining experience in environmental education, community development, conservation, sustainability capacity building and international mobility
- 15+ years of combined experience in sustainability projects
- 10+ years’ experience in environmental education, community development and conservation
- 15+ years’ experience in international mobility
Esther has worked and travelled in different countries. Having settled back in her home country more than a decade ago, she longed for an opportunity to bring together her experience and skills at the service of others working on conservation and community projects, while fostering volunteering options to share with the international community about the work carried out in Mexico. Hands Up Volunteers is her response to her desire. She has done so with the support of Neil, Moni and Josh.
She currently oversees Hands Up Volunteers operations as well as continuing bringing new organizations onboard to grow the network of volunteer options throughout Mexico.
ZINTHIA LOPEZ VAZQUEZ
Since her youth years, Zinthia has enjoyed watching, smelling and touching nature; as well as listening and connecting with people. Because of that, Zinthia started a professional journey that harmoniously links social and environmental aspects. For over 10 years, she has been working with organizations that have included both aspects in their work agenda through education, community participation and partnerships. She is a true believer that collaborative work has extraordinary results and that in order to achieve more, there is a need to build a more participatory society. Zinthia loves birdwatching and for her is the perfect combination of her two passions, spending as much time as possible in contact with nature and teaching others to appreciate it. Zinthia is currently interested in boosting the work carried out by groups of birdwatcher women through the set up of partnerships that can get them the benefits and opportunities that their work deserves. At the same time, she is working on the her personal project related to community tourism on birdwatching.
|Hugh Maynard - Global Manager at IFAJ International Federaton of Agricultural Journalists
"I worked with Esther in various capacities at LEAD Internatoinal where we were engaged in leadership training for mid-career professionals involved with aspects and issues of sustainable development and the environment through their work. She was well organized and worked in concert with a team of colleagues from around the world. I was motivated by her dynamic enthusiasm and benefitted from her perspective formed through a cultural and work lens that differed from my background. I have no doubt she has brought similar qualities to her work at Hands Up Volunteers."
|John Valencia - Regional Director LATAM at Centre of English Studies (CES)
"My experience working with Esther was as a partner in the education sector. I found Esther very professional, transparent and was very efficient in all her working practices."
|Paola Romero-Crespo - Sustainable Finance Partner Northern Europe at ERM (Environmental Resources Management)
"Esther was always diligent with her work and clients, she always kept good communication and had a good understanding of our services. She had good connections with the clients and always shown good team work and behavior."
|Willard Phiri - Project Manager / Architect. Botswana Housing Corporation Project Management Institute
"I first met Esther Zamudio-Rayson at the 2004 Leadership for Environment and Development (LEAD) International Session held at Imperial College, Wye Kent, UK.
She was part of the Session’s facilitating team ‘involved in everything from research, presentation of topics, responding to questions to facilitating group work and follow up after the sessions.
Esther has such a warm winsome personality. Many of us found it easy to engage in conversations with her from our first interactions. I had thereafter several interactions with Esther discussing various sustainability, North-South Cooperation, career and social topics even after I had long returned to my native land in Zambia.
Esther takes what she does seriously, she is a great motivator and has great natural ability to relate with people of various economic and cultural backgrounds..."
|Martin Staffolani - Executive Director of Recruitment at Brookes Westshore
|"Esther Zamudio-Rayson is a reputable leader that I have the opportunity to work with for the last 10+ years.
Challenges: She enjoys challenges, the bigger the issue, the more creative the solution is. She would dive deep, find reasons, see things from a different perspective, question it and and rebuild from there. She would never accept a definite answer if it has not been analyzed to the bone.
Fairness: If something defines Esther is her work ethics and fairness; she always treats business partners, coworkers and upper management with respect and fairness. She is highly respected in the industry.
Focused and Energetic: Wonder woman? Yes! Unstoppable... She would get anything done, mountains are not high, just a bump to go over.
Coach: She would always have the time to share her experience with passion and vision.
Esther is a great master!"