Natural Resources Management Volunteer

Before You Apply

You can only have one active Peace Corps Volunteer application, so choose a position that best fits your skills and interest. You have the opportunity to tell us if you’d like to be considered for other openings and more about the ones that interest you most! See application process

Project Description

Your assignment will be to work with one of the following agencies: CONANP (http://www.conanp.gob.mx/), akin to the U.S. National Park Service or USFWS; a SEMARNAT state delegation (http://www.semarnat.mx/conocenos/delegaciones), akin to the U.S. E.P.A.; CONAFOR (http://www.conafor.gob.mx/portal/), akin to the U.S. Forest Service; a municipal/state level environmental office; or directly with one of the many NGOs or communities with whom they partner. These agencies function under the larger SEMARNAT umbrella where you may work to provide education, outreach and extension assistance, training and mentoring to your colleagues and community members. Your role will be to work directly with one or more of the many rural communities with whom they partner, build local capacity amongst community members, and strengthen the partnerships and collaborations between the local community leaders and members, and the SEMARNAT agencies.

Volunteers will focus on providing climate change mitigation and adaptation assistance to the Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources (Secretaría del Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales - SEMARNAT) by delivering technical assistance to SEMARNAT’s network of environmental offices and protected areas throughout the central region of Mexico in the following areas: soil conservation and restoration, water conservation, agroforestry practices promotion, forestry management, wildlife monitoring and biodiversity conservation.

Volunteers also work to establish or build the capacity of existing community groups to strengthen natural resource management and monitor local biodiversity. This is accomplished by teaching local communities about biodiversity conservation and appropriate natural resource management technologies to encourage to sustainable practices and discourage deforestation.

Required Skills

Candidates will have one or more of the following criteria:
• Bachelor of Science/Associate degree in Forestry, Watershed Management, Natural Resources, Environmental Science, Ecology, or related fields
• Bachelor of Science degree in Wildlife Biology, Wildlife Management, Natural Resource Management, Recreation/Park Administration, or related fields
• Bachelor of Science/Bachelor of Arts degree in any discipline plus 3 years’ work experience in related fields

Desired Skills

• Forestry: agroforestry, soil and/or water conservation, reforestation, Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD), GIS biodiversity monitoring and conservation
• Natural Resource Management: conservation/restoration of ecosystem services, Ecotourism
• Wildlife Biology: Wildlife management, monitoring, and research and conservation
• Watershed Management: conservation/restoration of ecosystem services
• Climate Change: experience in the implementation of mitigation and adaptation measures, and resilience at a local level
• Conversational Spanish language skills
• Good communication and interpersonal skills to establish strong working relationships with counterparts and community members
• Flexibility, adaptability, initiative, emotional maturity and ability to overcome challenges, cross-cultural awareness, resourcefulness and sincere commitment to Peace Corps service

Required Language Skills

There are no pre-requisite language requirements for this position. Please take a moment to explore the Language Comments section below to find out more on how local language(s) will be utilized during service.

Additional Language Information

Competitive candidates for this program will have at least a minimum level of Spanish. Candidates that have an intermediate level, combined with the required technical skills for the position, are highly competitive. Peace Corps Mexico strongly encourages all applicants to our program to begin studying Spanish as soon as possible. Language skills are key to integration as well as a safe and productive service. The more Spanish you have before arriving will only positively contribute to a productive service.

Living Conditions

Most placements are in central Mexico. Volunteers will either work in rural communities or nearby protected areas assigned by CONANP (the Natural Protected Areas Management Commission), or in medium size cities or rural communities, assigned by CONAFOR (the Forestry Commission) or SEMARNAT's state-level offices. Sites generally range from 1,000 to 10,000 inhabitants. However, some sites are in medium size towns of 5,000-25,000. For those Volunteers placed in medium sized towns, you may travel frequently to rural sites to work on local community projects and to give support to rural-based Volunteers living nearby.

Host family stays are required during the 11-week Pre-Service Training (PST) and initial 3 months of service at site. Host family accommodation during PST in Querétaro provides a private room in a family home with basic furniture and private or shared bathroom facilities. The Volunteer will live with the new host family for 3 months in site. After the first three months of service, other options for housing may include a room in a shared house, a private apartment or house, or a part of a family house. Whenever possible, we encourage Volunteers to continue living with their host family, which will help them integrate in the community.

You can expect to travel/commute via public transportation and to occasionally travel in partner agencies’ vehicles. Most positions require 40 hours a week in relatively unstructured work environments.

Peace Corps Mexico seeks to reflect the rich diversity of the U.S. and bring diverse perspectives and solutions to development issues in Mexico. Once Volunteers arrive at their sites, diversity and inclusion principles remain the same but take on a different shape, in which your host community may share a common culture and you are the outsider. 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/.

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. 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.

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 in 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 assignments.

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

Medical Considerations in Mexico

  • Mexico may not be able to support Volunteers with the following medical conditions: ongoing counseling.
  • The following medication(s) are not permitted for legal or cultural reasons: Adderall.
  • Volunteers who should avoid the following food(s) may not be able to serve: none identified.
  • After arrival in Mexico, Peace Corps provides and applicants are required to have an annual flu shot and to receive mandatory immunizations.

Before you apply, please also review Important Medical Information for Applicants [PDF] to learn about other health conditions typically not supported in Peace Corps service.


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