As a family we feel so grateful that we can experience a life of living, loving, and learning on the fly. To “pay it forward” we try to volunteer or give back to the world whenever we can. While living in La Paz, Mexico we found that there was no shortage of charitable organizations that we could volunteer our time to. Below we have listed three of the organizations that we were fortunate enough to volunteer with during the past three months.
Care For Kids La Paz provides school scholarships and a breakfast program for children living in the impoverished neighborhood of Vista Hermosa on the outskirts of La Paz. We spent several Saturdays shopping for and delivering the groceries that would be used to feed school children breakfast three times a week. Without this program many of these children would start off their day at school without a nutritious breakfast. As a family we loved that this volunteer opportunity allowed us to practice our Spanish while grocery shopping, meet and speak with local residents, and visit a part of La Paz that few tourists ever make it back to.
Rancho el Camino offers programs for local children and teens in need, from street children to at risk youth. They provide camps throughout the year and offer programs at their ranch which center around caring for and riding horses. We volunteered our time with some of the staff of Rancho el Camino to clean up a playground in one of the neighborhoods where they work with children and families in need. When we arrived the park was in need of a major clean-up, but with many hands the job was quickly finished leaving the kids extra time to play on the now super clean playground.
Pack For A Purpose is an organization that Five String discovered before we left the United States for the Baja Peninsula. This organization operates around the world asking vacationers or travelers to pack a few donatable supplies that can be dropped off to charities or non-profit organizations in the area where they are visiting. Five String went to the Pack for a Purpose web page and entered our destination as La Paz, Mexico. He was then directed to Tailhunter International, a restaurant in La Paz, that collects donated goods from tourists and supplies them to local La Paz groups and charities. The Tailhunter International site listed the supplies needed by Fundacion Ayuda Ninos La Paz A.C., an organization providing the basic support of food and education for children and adolescents from impoverished areas of La Paz. We picked these items up when we were still in Montana and tucked them under a seat in the Mazda5 to drop off at Tailhunter when we arrived in La Paz. This was such a great find on Five String’s part because through Pack for a Purpose we can easily find out what donations are needed by charitable organizations in each new area that we travel to.