Rescuing sea turtles or supporting the iguana center are just two of the options for volunteers of WAVES for development in Mexico.


WAVES for development believes that surf travel should benefit the people and the communities where it happens. Through community-based tourism and grassroots initiatives they contribute to local projects. Programs in Puerto Escondido, Mexico, include ecological initiatives, like rescuing sea turtles or helping at the iguana center. Their second focus is the childcare project with involvement in local preschools.

The idea for WAVES originated on the beaches of northern Peru and expended within the years into an international organization with branches also in Mexico and Nicaragua.

Waves for development (c) Volonteer Emily


You can choose between working with small children in a local school, organizing activities and academic lessons  with their teachers, or taking part in the turtle and iguana conservation project, supporting endangered local fauna. It is as well possible to combine these two options.


For your participation you have to apply online and pay for the package. For detailed information about the costs, please contact the team of WAVES via email ( or online.

The package includes accommodation at the beach hostel Nomad Republic (shared room) and meals as well as 2 surf-classes per week, all transfers (also to/from the airport), a local (English speaking) coordinator, excursions (to Chacahua, Mazunte, Reforma Waterfall, Lake Manialtepec), a donation to community programs and an emergency travel insurance.


Puerto Escondido has one of the most famous beach breaks in the world with waves throughout the year!  From barreling beach breaks to mellow point breaks – there are surf spots for everyone.

Your local coordinator can help you with all the surf information and there are two surf-classes included in a one-week-trip.

(c) Unsplash


Famous for its waves, Puerto Escondido is a small fishing town located amongst the tall mountains of the Sierra Madre Occidental between the state of Oaxaca and the Pacific Ocean. The town could be classified as a small city, but has yet to loose its old school Mexico charm and authenticity. Besides Surfing you can visit nearby attractions like Chacahua, Mazunte, Reforma Waterfall or Lake Manialtepec, or just enjoy the delicious seafood and chill on the beach.

You can fly directly into Puerto Escondido and then take a taxi or colectivo (shared taxi, which is cheaper) or you can fly into Huatulco (then drive 1 1/2hrs by taxi).  If you fly into Mexico City (minimum of 8 hours drive ) or Oaxaca City (minimum of 7 hours drive), you can take a bus or van to get to Puerto Escondido.

This region has a warm and subhumid climate all year long with average temperatures around 27°C and warm water temperatures.


Due to robberies it is recommended to stay off the beaches at night and when going for a drink carefullness is advised (getting drugged is not unusual for tourists). Another thing to watch out for are the poisonous scorpions, so better always check your shoes and clothes.


For more information about this nonprofit organization, feel free to visit their website or collect some more inspiration in our two other articles about the WAVES in Peru and the WAVES in Nicaragua.