Climate Change Awareness and Action Volunteer

Currently, departure timelines are not available. If selected to serve, applicants will have a minimum of three months' notice between invitation and departure.

The information provided for each assignment is subject to change.

Project Description

Climate change knows no borders. The viability and sustainability of our natural resources, including the air we breathe and the water we drink, depend on collective and cooperative action that transcends social, cultural, or political differences. As a Climate Change Awareness and Action Volunteer at Peace Corps Mexico you will build bridges of peace and friendship between Mexico and the United States of America through technical cooperation and intercultural exchange.
Climate change impacts have been unexpectedly evident and rapid in Mexico in terms of severe weather and varying local climate. Rural communities inside or in proximity to Natural Areas (NAs) and that are dependent on natural resources and eco-system services for survival are particularly vulnerable. Conserving such natural areas while promoting socio-economic development for the communities in and around them are priorities for the Mexican government. Peace Corps Mexico’s main Mexican host agency, the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT), has identified priority activities for Peace Corps Volunteers in Mexico. Climate Change Awareness and Action Volunteers will work with community members to increase knowledge and awareness of climate change and to co-facilitate the implementation of adaptation measures.

If selected to serve in Mexico, you will work with community members of all ages to:
• co-guide the development of environmental education resources
• co-facilitate educational activities for community members to increase their knowledge and awareness of local climate change impacts and nature appreciation
• co-train community members on techniques to increase climate change resilience and
• co-guide community members to implement and adopt adaptation practices to climate change on the topics of soil and water conservation, handling solid waste and appropriate biodiversity conservation practices.

COVID-19 Volunteer Activities

In the past year, the world has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. As a Volunteer, you will be trained in how to best protect yourself from COVID-19 exposure and understand the impact of and steps to reduce stigma related to COVID-19. You may also have the opportunity to engage with your community on implementing or enhancing COVID-19 mitigation activities, such as COVID-19 prevention and risk reduction strategies including social distancing, hand washing, mask wearing, addressing myths and misconceptions related to these practices, and vaccine hesitancy. Activities will be tailored to address the COVID-19 circumstances in the communities where you will serve.

Required Skills

Qualified candidates will have an expressed interest in working on climate change and working with community members from all ages, from children to adults and at least one of the following criteria:

• Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science degree in any field
or
• Five years professional work experience

Desired Skills

Competitive candidates will have one or more of the following:
• BA/BS in Environmental Science, Environmental Studies, Environmental Education, or related fields
• One or more year professional work experience in environmental education, environmental activities and climate change resilience or adaptation activities
• Experience organizing and/or facilitating environmental activities
• Experience teaching environmental content to all ages, including effective classroom management skills and informal education
• Strong social/interpersonal skills

Required Language Skills

Candidates must meet one or more of the language requirements below in order to be considered for this position.
A. Completed 4 years of high school Spanish coursework within the past 8 years
B. Completed minimum 2 semesters of Spanish college‐level coursework within the past 6 years
C. Native/fluent speaker of Spanish

Candidates who do not meet the language proficiency levels above can take the language placement exams to demonstrate their level of proficiency. Competitive applicants typically attain a score of 50 on the Spanish College Level Examination Program CLEP exam or a score of Novice‐High on the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL OPI).

Candidates must meet the minimum language requirements to be considered for an invitation. Candidates that have more Spanish than the minimum requirement, and meet the required and desired skills for the position, are highly competitive. Spanish language is essential for a successful service. There is limited but high-quality in-person language instruction during Pre-Service Training. Trainees are expected to integrate as much as possible during Pre-Service Training both in and with their host-families so as to maximize exposure to Spanish through the ten-week immersion program that is Pre-Service Training. Every Trainee will take a Language Proficiency Interview exam at the end of their pre-service training, and must achieve an ACTFL-certified level of Intermediate Mid in order to swear-in as a Peace Corps Volunteer.

Living Conditions

The U.S. and Mexico are so interdependent and share so much more than just a border. Should you be accepted to serve in Mexico, you will have an incredible opportunity to build bridges of peace and friendship between Mexico and the U.S.

Most community assignments are in central Mexico. Volunteers will either work in small rural communities or small-to-medium size towns. Volunteers placed in medium-sized towns may travel frequently to rural sites to work on local community projects and to give support to rural-based Volunteers living nearby.

In most of the central region of Mexico, and throughout the mountainous areas, it can be cold in the evening through much of the year. Daytime highs can get very hot, but a rain jacket and hat are often useful in the evenings. Layering is a good strategy year round. Mexico also has regional differences, in that some cities or towns are known as more traditional and others as more progressive. Rural areas and most small towns of Mexico are characterized by more traditional and conservative cultural and societal values. Volunteers should learn and be respectful of their practices, customs, and way of life.

Host family stays are required during the 10-week Pre-Service Training (PST) and during the first three months of service. After living with a host family for the first three months of service, you may arrange to stay with your host family if they are able to continue hosting you, or you can seek other options which may include a room in a shared house, an unoccupied house for rent, or a section of a family’s house. Your host family may be a two-parent family with kids, a grandmother living alone, a single parent who works all day, or any other variation of a host family you can think of based on the people who are willing and able to host a Volunteer in your community.

Peace Corps Mexico seeks to reflect the rich diversity of the U.S. and bring diverse perspectives and solutions to development issues in Mexico. During Pre-Service Training (PST), multiple sessions and guidance will be provided to discuss diversity and inclusion. For more specific information about serving as a diverse Volunteer in Mexico and the support networks in place, please visit https://www.peacecorps.gov/mexico/preparing-to-volunteer/diversity-and-inclusion/.

SPECIAL NOTICE ABOUT CITIZENSHIP: Candidates who are either dual citizens of Mexico and the U.S. or who were born in Mexico and became U.S. citizens after 1998 are not eligible to serve with Peace Corps Mexico. Volunteer safety is of paramount importance, and the protections of U.S. citizenship promote volunteer safety. Under Mexican law, anyone born in Mexico who became a U.S. citizen after 1998 or anyone holding dual U.S. and Mexican citizenship is considered a citizen of Mexico, and not of the United States. If such an individual faced a legal, safety or other emergency situation in Mexico, the Peace Corps' ability to intervene would be limited. If you fit either of these categories, we encourage you to look at other opportunities with Peace Corps.

Serving in Mexico

Learn more about the Volunteer experience in Mexico: Get detailed information on culture, communications, housing, health, and safety -- including health and crime statistics -- in order to make a well-informed decision about serving.

Couples Information

Mexico can accommodate couples serving together in the same sector. Therefore, your partner must apply and qualify for the following position:

Climate Change Awareness and Action Volunteer

Couples can have a very positive and productive experience serving in Mexico. During the 10-week Pre-Service Training, couples have the option of living with the same host family or living separately in order to maximize Spanish language learning. During the first three months of service, couples live together with the same host family. After the first three months, couples may live together in a rented room inside a family’s compound or rent their own modest apartment. Some couples may encounter situations such as being asked questions about having children or being the subject of comments or jokes about being monogamous. During Pre-Service Training, staff and Volunteers address these issues and Volunteers formulate their own strategies to be resilient and adapt to such realities.

Medical Considerations

Before you apply, please review Medical Information for Applicants to learn about the medical clearance process.


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