Goodness, Generosity, Altruism… Obsolete Values?
Values from ages ago?
On the contrary, they are coming back strong since positive psychology, also called the science of happiness, has shown that generous people are happier than others. Being generous can contribute not only to the happiness of others, but also makes us happier.
Daily life in Huatulco and Puerto Escondido can be really as active as you choose. You can really create your lifestyle with the events and social opportunities that interest you. Among all of those events, volunteer opportunities abound. Of course once you're in Mexico, you will gather with friends who will know about volunteer ideas. Contributing with generosity creates a better world where we also benefit.
What is generosity exactly?
Being generous is to act in the interests of others and not in one's own interest, in a selfless manner. It is giving without expecting to receive.
Generosity is prescribed by all religions then taking on a form of moral obligation. However, true generosity always results from free choice, not a moral obligation. Don't give up on the impulses of generosity that drive you… even the smallest gestures always count!
Here are 6 simple ways to become more generous
- Think about the benefits of being generous.
- Be thankful.
- Start small, give what you have to give.
- Donate stuff.
- Be creative. Being generous is not about money. You can lend support, you can share your time, give your talents.
- Find a cause. Look for opportunities to give that resonate with you.
- Get others involved. Involve your family, teach children and teenagers to be generous with their time and talents.
Volunteer Opportunities in Huatulco and Puerto Escondido
While volunteering is good for those in need, studies show that the generous person receives many benefits from a greater sense of well-being to improved emotional and physical health. Being generous makes us feel better about ourselves by building confidence and in the case of volunteering, by building bridges with others.
Various charitable groups and organizations in Huatulco and Puerto Escondido are always happy to welcome volunteers. Volunteer opportunities abound and likely you can find one doing something you enjoy.
Rotary International is an international service organization bringing together business and professional leaders. They provide humanitarian service and to advance goodwill and peace around the world.
The local Rotary Club is also extremely active in Huatulco and Puerto Escondido. They happily welcome volunteers. Some of the areas they support are the Rotary Park Library and free Dental Services. For more information, they meet every Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. in the Hotel Holiday Inn Las Bahías de Huatulco, Oaxaca, Mexico. Or you can contact the members and see upcoming options aon their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/rotario.huatulco/
The Bacaanda Foundation works in rural communities around the southern Pacific coast specifically in Oaxaca. The name “Bacaanda” comes from a Zapotec word meaning “dream”. The Foundation partners with local indigenous communities to assist with improving access to services and education. The Foundation has built dental clinics, schools, teachers' quarters and donated teachers' and students' school supplies. They always need volunteers to help with building projects, in their craft shop working with indigenous people and as sponsors for more school projects.
Their stated mission is to help eliminate inequality by helping transform education in the mountain and coastline communities of southern Oaxaca state. By doing this they hope to make a meaningful impact on well-being, development and empowerment of marginalized communities. You can learn more at their website: https://www.bacaanda.org/eng/about_us.php
They have a Facebook page for the organization: https://www.facebook.com/groups/996089073735791/
Susan & Richard's Derramadero School Project
One of the most active Bacaanda School projects is Susan and Richard's school in Derramadero. It is in the mountains and they have sponsored it from a three-sided primitive structure to a two-room brick building with a roof, bathrooms and places for the teachers to sleep comfortably. There is a playground and a garden. The children have computers and WIFI was recently installed.
There are still lots of volunteer possibilities for this project. You can learn to make bricks from the local soil (adobe bricks). The school was constructed with these bricks.
Contact them at their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1564769010467185/
Tierra Blanca Project
The Tierra Blanca Project is also one that is near and dear to our hearts. They raise funds to purchase teaching and student school supplies for some amazing children in the village of Tierra Blanca, approximately 40 kms west of Candelaria Loxicha, Oaxaca Mexico, about 2 hours into the mountains from Huatulco. Funds raised have and continue to help purchase much needed supplies including notebooks, pencils, scissors, geometry sets, teaching tools, paper and textbooks. It also goes towards items for physical education, art and music. Their mission is to create an enriching environment for children to learn and grow.
If you have questions, ideas or offers of help through any of the phases of this project, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or https://www.facebook.com/TierraBlancaProject
Red Cross Huatulco & Puerto Escondido (Cruz Roja Mexicana)
Volunteers and donations of all kinds are welcome by the group. They hold many events and assist people here in the community during earthquakes and hurricanes besides other assistance. You can find ways to contact them on their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/oficialHuatulco/
Un Nuevo Amanecer en Pro del Discapacitado A.C.
Since 1995, Un Nuevo Amanecer (A New Dawn) offers services to our local children with disabilities, special educational needs or developmental delays. They provide counseling services for diagnosis, rehabilitation and special education in order to promote their school and community integration.
Specifically, they offer services in the areas of Pedagogy, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, Early Stimulation, Language Therapy, Hearing and Sign Language, Functional Management and Supports, Community Detection and Early Intervention Program.
Volunteers and donations are always welcome! You may contact them at their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Un-Nuevo-Amanecer-en-pro-del-discapacitado-AC-185242528169754/
I Care International
Volunteers from this group have held clinics in Huatulco. The most recent clinic was in February of 2018. Over four days the doctors and nurses examined and cared for many people in villages who had never seen an eye doctor. The overwhelming reaction from the villagers was gratitude!
We would love to have them return. You can contact them at their Facebook page to find out how to volunteer in our area or how to donate to them so they can continue their work in the rural areas. https://www.facebook.com/pg/icareintl/about/?ref=page_internal
Snipsisters in December of 2010, when Snip Sisters Heidi Wagner and Shelagh O’Brien decided to humanely tackle the overpopulation of dogs and cats in the Huatulco area. It is not common in these rural communities to have any companion animals sterilized and is not affordable. No Mexican government programs exist to humanely deal with this issue.
The Snipsisters began organizing free spay and neuter clinics in 2011. Encouraged by the success, Snipsisters continues organizing clinics each December and sometimes in between.
100% of the funds they raise are used to pay for all medical supplies as well as the Vet Team’s travel expense to Huatulco. The goal is to continue running free spay/neuter clinics in each year, moving from community to community. The Snipsisters support several rescue groups in holding these clinics and thousands of dogs/cats have been sterilized and vaccinated thanks to their efforts. The group also assists finding forever homes for dogs and helps find flight companions when animals are adopted in Canada or elsewhere.
Volunteers are welcome to help at the clinics and donations (money or supplies) can be sent to them through their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/SnipSisters-428720773821212/
Palmas Unidas Bahías de Huatulco
Palmas Unidas Bahías is a dog rescue organization also working hard to help dogs and cats in the area. Homeless animals multiply quickly. By sponsoring free sterilization clinics and helping sick and injured dogs, Palmas Unidas is helping the community to control the problem. They also work to find abandoned and homeless animals good homes and teach the new owners how to care properly for the animals.
By sterilizing one dog, the birth of 67,000 puppies can be prevented within six years; by sterilizing one cat, 11 million kittens can be prevented in the same period of time.
Palmas Unidas also has educational outreach programs to improve the conditions of co existence for dogs and cats. Volunteers can help at the free clinics and by donating much needed supplies and food to the group. The best way to contact them is at their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Palmas-Unidas-Bah%C3%ADas-De-Huatulco-AC-1660644514156774/
Huatulco Foster Homes
Huatulco Foster Homes is a group of people who assist in medical care of injured and sick street dogs. They foster the pups until real homes can be found. This means that dogs may be flown to other areas in and out of Mexico.
They work with several other rescues along the coast and with Snipsisters and Palmas Unidas to help the dogs, raising funds and finding care and transportation.
Volunteers can help by temporarily fostering a dog while visiting our area, by donating supplies (food, leashes, collars, bedding) and money to help with vet costs. And by becoming a Flight Escort to help the pups get to their new families. You can volunteer at the Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1530537373884833/
Encuentro de Cocineros
This is actually an event that happens on the last Sunday of each month in the Zocalo of Santa Cruz, Huatulco. It is an opportunity to ‘volunteer' to taste wonderful foods and at the same time to donate to a great cause. Some of our best chefs create delicious treats around a particular ingredient (i.e., shrimp, beef, local vegetable) and you can taste the ones you find most interesting. The donation for the event is $150 pesos and you will get 5 tickets to ‘spend' on your choices. All the costs and ingredients are donated by the chefs so all the money collected goes to a group or organization chosen for that particular month. Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/cocineroshuatulco/
Sigue Estudiando is a local scholarship program created to encourage young girls in the rural village of Zimatan to stay in school rather than dropping out. To volunteer or donate money or supplies please contact the founder, Jane Bauer at Café Juanita's Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Cafe.Juanita.Huatulco/
There are other possibilities that might take a bit more legwork.
Schools – Find a local school and offer to talk to a class, read a book or lead an art project. They love to have English speakers come in to help their students learn English. Learning to speak English can help students get better jobs.
El Manantial School in Puerto Escondido for example, is a PreK-Grade 9 school with a full English immersion program. If you are interested in volunteer opportunities at the school, you can connect with the staff through their website.
Hospitals – Hospitals often appreciate volunteers who will sit with a patient or help with translation of some simple conversations.
Wildlife Organizations – There are several groups that help wildlife. A few years ago, people were needed to feed small parrots that were confiscated by the police. It was a couple of months of steady work to feed about 500 baby birds. We never know when this type of opportunity arises, but asking around the community will often find you a way to help our wildlife.
Beach Clean-Ups – Every so often community members will organize a beach clean-up. It is a good time to meet people and a great contribution to our environment Notice is usually given by word of mouth or Facebook.
And one of the best ways you can volunteer is to be a good citizen and clean up after yourself and others … to make Huatulco continue to be the beautiful paradise it always has been.