Giving and Volunteer Opportunities
Many people have the custom of giving to organizations or those less fortunate when they travel. With this in mind we are passing on a list of places you might want to consider when you are thinking about where to offer your charity. You can make one-time donations or become regular donors. Many of these organizations also have opportunities for volunteers.
Mayan community support
Hacienda Chichén has three projects going on that support the Mayan children, families and community needs in villages close to Chichén Itzá.
They work with Yucatán Adventure, a volunteer website dedicated to helping out. You can help them continue their Children's Malnutrition Prevention Program at the Xcalacoop Health Center by pledging food donations, old clothes donations, or by placing a one-time sponsor fee spot ad in their social volunteer website www.yucatanadventure.com.mx. They recently purchased and installed new state-of-the-art, eco-friendly septic systems for the children's bathrooms at the Xcalacoop primary school.
Chichén Services and Yaxkin Spa at Hacienda Chichén have joined efforts to support the Yodzonot Cenote and Eco-Park Community project that a small group of local Mayan women have organized with utmost care and personal commitment. They continue promoting online news and articles of these women's eco-park, their efforts and dedication to make it happen. This is a true story of faith, determination and hope. For more information please contact: [email protected]
Scholarship Programs For Children in Progreso
In Progreso, there is a fantastic program, Progreso Apoyo (help/support), which helps keep kids in public schools who otherwise would not be able to pay for their studies. School is free, but all students need uniforms (skirts/pants, blouses/shirts, socks, shoes), backpacks, and all their school supplies. The money received from each child's specific sponsor is used for the shopping. Each sponsor gets photos and thank you letters from their sponsored children. The program also accepts one time gifts of money which goes into a general fund, which is available for any child who exceeds his apoyo limit. The program began in 2002 and the number of sponsored kids is growing every year. Students must have an 8 grade average (on a scale of 1 - 10, 8 is like a B.) For more info contact: [email protected]
Scholarship Programs For Children in Cholul
In Cholul, there is a program called "educaTE Yucatan" Contact: [email protected]
Scholarship Programs For Children in Telchac Puerto
In Telchac Puerto, there is a program where the kids get their backpacks, school supplies and uniforms. School supplies include lined, unlined and squares notebooks, lead and colored pencils, red, blue and black pens, white-out, a calculator, a ream of bond paper, a geometry set, glue sticks, scissors, modeling clay, etc. Contact: [email protected]
The Chicxulub Food Bank began operating in November 2005 to respond to an identified need in Chicxulub. In the village of Chicxulub (pop. 6,000) the main industry is fishing, work that is at the mercy of the weather, where between the hurricane and the norte seasons the port often is closed so there is no opportunity to go out fishing -no fishing, no money. There are also elderly people who rely on their children to care for them. For this project a family can mean a single mom with children, an elderly person living alone, families with the usual complement of people and anyone in need. On the 15th of every month these families receive a despensa/food bag that contains beans 900 gms, rice 900 gms, oil 500 ml, sugar 900 gms, cookies 500 gms, detergent 500 gms, powdered milk 2 liters, sopa (pasta) 400 gms, and salt 250 gms. You can help by adopting a family for one year (cost is $600 pesos per family at the current despensa distribution of once per month), and donating shoes, jeans, school supplies, and blankets. Contact Chix Food Bank Tel. (969) 934-0558
Emai: shelgason@ho[email protected] Website: http://chixfoodbank.com/index.htm
Save the Children
Save the Children is an international organization with presence in more than 120 countries, working to defend children's rights. Their work contributes to the integral development of girls, boys, and teens, with focus on the most vulnerable social groups, so that they obtain, in thier formative years, the knowledge, habits, and understanding of their rights, as well as ethical values to lead them into productive, self sufficient lives. They have projects in four towns of Yucatan with attention to more than 5300 children. They are always looking for volunteers to help them with their important work. Mission: inspire advances in how the world treats children, and achieve immediate and long-lasting change in their lives. Vision:a world where each child has the right to survival, protection, development, and participation. Save the Children Yucatán, Calle 25 No. 198A x 16 y 18 Colonia García Ginerés, Mérida. Tel.999 920 55 33. Web: www.savethechildrenyucatan.com Facebook: Save the Children en Yucatán. Twitter: @MIDsavechildren. Make a tax-deductible monthly donation on your credit card. HSBC account number 4042165936.
The mission of Brazos Abiertos (Open Arms) is to empower the people of Yucatán to respond to AIDS. They are accomplishing this mission by understanding the extent and impact of the HIV pandemic in the Yucatán, educating the local communities about HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in culturally-relevant ways, decreasing the transmission of HIV and other STIs in the Yucatán, and improving access to health care and the overall quality of life for those people already living with HIV. The organization does HIV detections and rapid testing at the villages and in Mérida targeting the youth and people at risk. They are also offering personalized, free, confidential and anonymous counseling and following up with clients.
Brazos Abiertos is always in need of volunteers to help implement their programs. They would be grateful for:
Another organization which is in desperate need of help for people with HIV/AIDS is the Oasis of San Juan de Dios, a non-profit organization which began its work in 1993, through a group of people who were directly or indirectly affected by the pandemic of HIV/AIDS. Their work is completely free. They offer integral attention in their shelter, rehabilitation, defense of human rights, prevention and teaching, political impact, advocacy, and funeral services. Contact: Carlos Renan Mèndez Benavides, Email: [email protected] Calle 11 No. 101 X 22 Carretera a Chicxulub Col. San Isidro, Conkal, Yuc.
A private non-profit aid institution, Fundación K’inich Ajaw I.A.P. was formed in 2013 to help low-income people in vulnerable situations, with various programs aimed at decreasing various illnesses which are prevalent, as well as promote PREVENTION, EDUCATION, NUTRITION. The idea is to promote awareness, educate, and assist vulnerable people. With your donations and volunteer assistance, we will be able to prevent and diagnose brest cancer with our mobile medical unit equipped with mastography equipment. Immediate analysis will be provided for this and other illnesses. Calle 10 #251 Col. Vista Alegre, Merida, Tel. 999 196 1013. Toll free (01 800) 841 8213 www.kinichajaw.com
“Artistas de La Playa” is a group of artists who have joined together to make a difference in the Villages of Chuburna and Chelem by offering free art classes once a week in each village. They focus on making art out of recycled items that are donated to us by the community. They have about 35 children in each village. Please donate your cardboard, plastic, ribbons, buttons, cloth etc. They enjoy new art supplies too! Cel. 9991 44 47 92 Ginnie Laroi.
EVOLUCIÓN is a sanctuary for abandoned, abused and neglected dogs located just south of Mérida, Yucatan on the road to Uman. They are home to more than 140 dogs and cats who are in need of loving homes. They have many, many wonderful dogs (and sometimes kittens) available for adoption, so before you buy, consider adopting. Evolución is a small, not-for-profit organization consisting of founder Silvia Cortes and a handful of volunteers. They receive no government assistance, and the sanctuary exists only through the kindness of individuals who care for the welfare of these animals. While Evolución exists as a shelter and sanctuary for unwanted animals, their focus is primarily on education. They promote spay/neuter clinics and community outreach programs, as well as anti-violence and environmental awareness campaigns. Tel. Silvia - 9991-93-06-28 (Spanish or English). Email: [email protected] Web: http://www.evolucionyucatan.com/ Click here to see their pet adoption of the week.
YAPA: Yucatan Ayuda Para Animales is a group of people who lend support to the animal shelters, AFAD and Evolucion, and the stray and abused animal situation here. Contact: [email protected]
PROTECCIÓN DE PERROS Y GATOS DE PROGRESO
In Progreso, the organization Protección de Perros y Gatos de Progreso is working on the construction of their clinic near Rancho San Pedro in Chicxulub. Their immediate goal is to neuter as many animals as they can catch, and after recovery, return them to the area where they were found so they can live out a dignified life. From the funds which have been raised, and a large donation in January 2014, the clinic is now a reality. However, donations will always be needed for their ongoing costs. The organization's president, Veterinarian Beatriz Carvajal, generously performs sterilizations and provides other medical services to many strays. Many of the volunteers help to place the rescued animals in new homes. The Association now meets on the first Saturday of every month at 6:00 p.m. at Barlovento’s Restaurant on Main Street (Calle 80). Discussions have been focused on construction and fund raising, as well as developing an operational plan for the clinic. These gatherings are always open to the general public and you are cordially invited to come and share your thoughts and ideas, especially in the areas of education and fundraising. Help us make the dream come true of a low cost community animal clinic to serve Progreso and the surrounding beach communities. If you want to help, you can mail your US or Mexican check, payable to Protección de Perros y Gatos A.C., to Apartado Postal 30, Progreso, 97320, Yucatán, Mexico. Email: [email protected]
Read our article about these three organizations that help the stray cats and dogs in Yucatán.
The Greening of Mérida
Old Age Home
We also want to thank all the travelers who have contacted us asking "what is needed in the Yucatán" so that they can bring it along on their trip...