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Voluntourism and Cruising  March 2016
Nancy Schretter, Together for Good's Founder, is featured in a session entitled "Shorex and the Rise of Voluntourism" at Seatrade Global 2016, the cruise industry’s premier conference. This session covers how cruise lines and others are catering to travelers' interests in combining volunteer opportunities with leisure travel and ways ports can adapt and cater to this voluntourism trend.
Presenters include Tara Russell, President of Fathom & Global Impact Lead, Carnival Corporation & Plc; Daniel Skjeldam, CEO, Hurtigruten; John Stoll, Vice President, Land Programs, Crystal Cruises; and Yoshioka Tatsuya, Founder and Director, Peace Boat.

Great Press!

Together for Good was recently featured in articles in

  • Agent@Home magazine
  • Fox News
  • Travel Channel
  • Chicago Tribune
  • and other media outlets.
We've also been included in stories in Leisure Group Travel magazine, USA Today, the International Business Times, Porthole Magazine, and many other print and online publications. See our Stories page for links and more information. Thanks for all the media support.

Destinations:

Aruba
Bahamas
Barbados
Belize
Costa Rica
Dominican
   Republic

Grenada/
   Grenadines

Guatemala
Honduras
Jamaica
Mexico
St Lucia
St Martin
US

MEXICO

Acapulco, Mexico:

Alfred and Ray Lawrence Children's Home of the Salvation Army serves 50 children between the ages of 3-18. The Children's Home is in need of a wide variety of items including children's clothing, children's shoes, toiletries and personal hygiene items, children’s and adult’s Tylenol, children’s multivitamins, children’s cold/cough medicine, band-aids, toys, backpacks, pens, pencils, colored pencils, paper, rulers, school supplies, educational puzzles and games, children’s books, new underwear and socks, sports equipment, bath towels and washcloths, and bed sheets. Volunteers are also need to teach English to children as a second language or work with children on reading, mathematics and activities. Complete details are available on their website. For more information on the orphanage and their needs, visit their website at salvationarmyacapulco.org or contact them via email at sponsor@salvationarmyacapulco.org.

Casa Hogar del Nino de Acapulco was started over 40 years ago to help disadvantaged children in Acapulco. There are approximately 50+ children of all ages in the house, typically ages 4 and older. Items that are needed include children’s clothing for toddlers and children up to 18 years of age, children's shoes, toiletries and personal hygiene items, children’s and adult’s Tylenol, children’s multivitamins, children’s cold/cough medicine, band-aids, toys, backpacks, pens, pencils, colored pencils, paper, rulers, school supplies, educational puzzles and games, children’s books, new underwear and socks, sports equipment, bath towels and washcloths, and bed sheets. To learn more about the orphanage and its history, watch the movie at Micasahogarmovie.com The Home's address is Las Americas Esquina Gran Via Tropical #59, Fracc. Las Playas, Acapulco. The telephone number for the orphanage is 7444823231. Volunteers are needed to help at this orphanage as well. There are a number of YouTube videos online posted by college and church groups who have volunteered at this orphanage.

Marsh Children's Home provides shelter for about 55-60 children ranging in age from 2 to 18. Items that are needed include children’s clothing for toddlers and children up to 18 years of age, toiletries and personal hygiene items, children’s and adult’s Tylenol, children’s multivitamins, children’s cold/cough medicine, band-aids, toys, backpacks, pens, pencils, colored pencils, paper, rulers, school supplies, educational puzzles and games, children’s books, new underwear and socks, sports equipment, bath towels and washcloths, and bed sheets. The Children's Home also needs volunteers to help with a variety of projects. For more information, visit the Children's Home website at Marsh Childrens Home or call the Hogar Infantil Marsh at 520-777-1571 or email them at admin@marshchildrenshome.org.mx.

Cabo San Lucas, Mexico:

Los Ninos del Capitan (The Captain's Kids) is a registered Mexican non-profit organization helping children living in poverty and children from single parent families. The daycare center cares for 100 children between 1-10 years of age in several programs: a nursery for ages 1-3; a preschool program for ages 3-5; and an elementary school for ages 5-10. The day care facilities needs crayons for preschoolers, coloring books, glue sticks, colored construction paper, craft items, children's educational toys, children's blunt end scissors, children's Tylenol, children's multivitamins, children's clothing, children's shoes and socks, new children's underwear, dolls, children's toys, balls, and other preschool items. Volunteers are also needed at Los Ninos del Capitan. For more information, visit the Center's website at Los Ninos Del Capitan. To volunteer or arrange a visit, call 624-122-4499 or 624-100-6680, or email info@losninosdelcapitan.com. Los Ninos del Capitan is located at Domicilio Conocido 89 Mesa Colorada Segunda Etapa, Cabo San Lucas.

Casa Hogar is a boys home for kids in need located in Cabo San Lucas. It is a registered non-profit in Mexico and is also a registered 501c3 non-profit in the United States. Casa Hogar needs shoes, new or gently used children's clothing, school supplies, sports equipment, games, food items and more. When the children's home receives an abundance of donations, it also serves as a distribution point other orphanages, children's feeding programs and shelters in Cabo San Lucas, San Jose, Todos Santos and La Paz. A complete needs list is contained on Casa Hogar's website which includes socks and underwear for boys and youths, shoes, t-shirts, shirts, pants/jeans, shorts, backpacks, pencils, pens, computer paper, shampoo, soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste, food items, toys, board games, puzzles and more. Casa Hogar also needs volunteers to help with programs, education and activities. For more information, visit casahogarcabo.com. They can be contacted by phone at 52-624-123-1285.

Casa San Juan Diego provides education and resources to homeless and severely impoverished children and families. Between 100-200 children per day come to Casa San Juan Diego for a morning meal and to have a safe place to participate in sports and activities. Classes are also taught here as well. Casa San Juan Diego needs a number of supplies including art supplies, sports equipment, toys for babies and young children, disposable diapers, baby wipes, diaper ointment, children's vitamins, shampoo, hand soap, toilet paper, food of any kind (especially basics such as flour, cornmeal, sugar, rice, beans, etc.), milk, infant formula, cleaning supplies, new and gently used children's and adult clothing, shoes, baby blankets and more. Volunteers are also needed to teach skills to adults and children, teaching sports, painting, repairs, reading, and other activities. Casa San Juan Diego can be reached at Casasanjuandiego@hotmail.com or by phone at 624-12-45-978.

The Solmar Foundation was launched in 2011 by the son of the founder of Solmar Hotels & Resorts. The Solmar Foundation focuses on helping communities in and around the Los Cabos area. The Foundations offers a free Helping Hands tour, which allows guests and others the opportunity to pitch in and help. Vacationers can also bring supplies, toys and other items to donate to projects supporting children. Travelers must be at least 12 years of age to participate. The Helping Hands tour is offered on Wednesdays and Thursdays, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. for both Solmar Hotels & Resorts guests and non-guests. Additional volunteering times can also be arranged. Sample projects include pitching in to help at a local shelter, an orphanage and a nursing home. Families can serve breakfast to the homeless, teach an English class or dance class to seniors at the Senior center, read books at the orphanage, and other activities. For more information, visit the Solmar Foundation website at Solmar Foundation. The Solmar Foundation may be contacted by email at info@solmarfoundation.com or by phone at 624-145-7540 or from the US at 310-209-8430.

Cancun and Isla Mujeres, Mexico:

La Casita De Cancun is a non-profit that serves children in the Cancun area, providing close to 100 victims of abuse and exploitation with a home, education, health services and more. La Casita needs English books, Spanish books, a wide variety of school supplies, backpacks, children's clothes, children's shoes and socks, toiletries and personal hygiene items, children’s and adult’s Tylenol, children’s multivitamins, children’s cold/cough medicine, band-aids, toys, educational puzzles and games, sports equipment, stuffed animals and children's toys. La Casita is located at Avenida Mexico, Region 510, Manzana 2, Lote 2, Cancun. Their telephone number is 52-998-886-83-21. For more information, visit: Cancun Pro Kids.

The Little Yellow School House on Isla Mujeres is an educational institution for about 35-50 children with special needs. The school welcomes donations of school supplies and short visits. The school’s needs include such items as white paper, stickers, coloring books, pencil sharpeners, wooden puzzles, children’s blunt end scissors, educational games, craft supplies, balls, and Elmer’s glue or glue sticks. The school can be contacted by e-mail at info@littleyellowschoolhouse.org  or by phone in Isla Mujeres at: 877-0477. A list of desired items is contained on the school’s websites: Old Website,The Little Yellow School House New website,The Little Yellow School House. Visits are welcomed by prior arrangement.  

The La Gloria English School is a school located in Isla Mujeres, a small island just off the coast of Cancun. The school teaches English to about 100 local children and adults at any given time, and it welcomes donations of school supplies. Items that are needed include notebooks, scissors, glue sticks, colored pencils, markers, highlighters, rulers, compasses, backpacks, copy paper, bilingual books, and other items. In addition, there is an ongoing need for gently used clothing for babies, children and teens. The La Gloria English School is located at Mza. 156, Lote 20, Colonia La Gloria, Isla Mujeres, Quintana Room, Mexico, E-mail: lagloria@gmail.com, Telephone: 52 998-274-0243.

Cozumel, Mexico:

Cozumel Chrysalis Group is a non-profit organization that helps low-income families in Cozumel with scholastic assistance, including classroom supplies, some books and uniforms. The Cozumel Chrysalis Group welcomes donations of school supplies, such as backpacks, individual pencil sharpeners, rulers, geometry sets, liquid white out, and other items. A current list of needed supplies is available on their website. In addition, donations of gently used children’s and adults clothing are greatly welcomed. These clothes are sold at low prices to provide local residents with inexpensive clothing, and the proceeds are used to purchase school supplies. Items can be dropped off at the Cozumel Chrysalis office located at Calle 10 between Avenidas 10 y 15 on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Donations can also be dropped off at Tony Rome's Restaurant at 5 Avenida between AR Salas and Calle 3 Sur on Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; at Hotel Aguilar located at Calle 3 Sur between the waterfront and 5 Avenida; and at Paradise Beach Club - a popular beach club for cruise ship passengers and vacationers located about 9 miles south of downtown. Paradise Beach is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. For more information on the Cozumel Chrysalis Group or on arranging drop-offs of donations, visit their website at cozumelchrysalisgroup.org. The Cozumel Chrysalis Group can also be reached by email at cozkids@hotmail.com. Due to customs regulations, it may be easiest to purchase donation items at the Mega, Sam's Club, or Chedraui stores in Cozumel. Please attach your name or your organization's name, email address and mailing address so that the Cozumel Chrysalis Group can acknowledge your donations.

Ciudad de Ángeles is an orphanage located on the island of Cozumel, off the Yucatan peninsula of Mexico.  The children’s home provides a safe & healthy environment based on Christian principles for about 40 orphaned, abandoned, abused and needy children. The home raises children to become Christian adults who are responsible citizens in their local communities. The orphanage is located on a five acre, secure campus, which is about 15 minutes by taxi from the tourist and cruise ship sections of town.  It is safe and convenient to visit the home.  Those visiting Cozumel on vacation – either staying on the island, on the mainland, or arriving by cruise ship – are welcome to tour Ciudad de Ángeles. For more information, visit:  ciudaddeangeles.org. Those who wish to visit must contact Ciudad de Ángeles least two weeks prior to planned arrival by registering on their website at: CiudadDeangeles.org Plan a Visit.  Volunteers in the USA will assist in further planning and coordinating your visit. The orphanage does not facilitate adoptions. For those who wish to bring in-kind donations, a complete wish list is posted on the organization's website. Needed items include bath soap, shampoo, sunscreen, toothpaste, body lotion, laundry detergent, fabric softener and all sizes of socks. Due to customs regulations, it may be easiest to purchase donation items at the Mega, Sam's Club, or Chedraui stores in Cozumel.

Transportation to both of these organizations, either from a resort or from the cruise ship pier, can easily arranged by taxi.

Huatulco, Mexico:

La Crucecita Elementary School needs a wide variety of school supplies including pencils, pens, pencil sharpeners, crayons, colored pencils, colored markers, bilingual and Spanish reading books, backpacks, erasers, staplers, paper clips, glue sticks, rulers, calculators, flash cards, educational CDs, puzzles, coloring books, activity books, construction paper, sports equipment, and other items.

Un Nuevo Amanecer, "A New Dawn" is a non-profit organization to assist special needs and disabled children located in the Huatulco area. Approximately 70% of the families of the children seen at Un Nuevo Amanecer are below the poverty level for the state of Oaxaca, the second poorest state in Mexico. The non-profit serves approximately 80 children between the ages of 5 month to 16 years. The school needs a wide variety of school supplies including Ensure or Pediasure nutritional supplements, powdered baby formula, learning materials including puzzles and wooden blocks, pencils, pens, pencil sharpeners, thick crayons, colored pencils, colored markers, bilingual and Spanish reading books, backpacks, erasers, staplers, paper clips, glue sticks, rulers, new toys, new games and puzzles. Donations of children's clothing, socks, shoes, personal care items, children's Tylenol, and children's vitamins are also welcomed. For more information, visit the Un Nuevo Amanecer website at Nuevo Amanecer. The organization is located on Jazmin Street in the township of La Crusecita, on the second floor above the "Ferrealianza" hardware store.

Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo, Mexico:

Casa Para Ninos del Pacifico was created by the Pacifica Resort in Ixtapa to assist with the education of children ages 6-12. There are workshops in subjects such as computer sciences, English and reading. Donations such as working computers, school supplies, backpacks, calculators, and other scholastic items are greatly appreciated. New and gently used children's clothing is also welcomed. The Casa Para Ninos del Pacifico is located at (I.A.P.), Calle Mar Caspio #135, Col. Centro, Zihuatanejo, Guerrero México c.p. 40880, ph: (01 755) 554-5982. For more information, visit the resort’s website: Casa Para Ninos del Pacifico. You can also contact Marlene Teresa via email at casa.pacifica@pacifica.com.mx/

Potosi Children's Library is located in Barra de Potosi, a small town with a practically undeveloped 9 1/2 mile beach and some interesting wetland areas. This little library is in need of children's books in English and Spanish. The library also accepts children's clothing and toys, which are distributed to the children of local families in the area.

Manzanillo, Mexico:

The Casa Hogar Los Angelitos is an orphanage and clinic that provides housing, food, and educational support for children and families in extreme poverty. The ages of the children are from birth to 18 years of age. In addition the Casa Hogar Los Angelitos also manages an outreach and assistance program that provides food, water, clothing and shelter to hundreds of families in the Manzanillo area as well as others further south in the state of Guerrero. The contact information for the orphanage is: Casa Hogar Los Angelitos, Av. Pedro Flores #16, Col. Las Palmas, Manzanillo, Colima, Mexico. Phone: 011-52-314-334-0878. US Contact: The Children's Foundation, P.O. Box 1443, Loveland, CO 80539-1443, Phone: 1-888-934-3733, Fax: 1-970-663-5175. E-mail Contact:childrensfoundation@yahoo.com. Website: ChildrensFoundationInc.com. The orphanage appreciates donations such as children’s clothing (babies through 18 years of age), pencils, sharpeners, crayons, subject books, reading books, backpacks, erasers, staplers, paper clips, glue sticks, flash cards, educational CDs, puzzles, coloring books, activity books, construction paper, sports equipment, toys, band-aids, adult’s and children’s aspirins and ibuprofen, anti-bacterial creams, and baby items. This website also provides additional information on this children's home: Gomanzanillo.com.

Mazatlán, Mexico:

Ciudad de Los Ninos Orphanage was founded in 1970 by Padre Lucas Carvajal Lopez and is currently run by nuns belonging to the Institute of Missionary Sisters of the Christ Child. The orphanage is located just north of Mazatlan on the west side of the two-lane highway to Culiacan. There are approximately 35 children and young people between the ages of 3 and 30 living at the orphanage. The young adults all have mental and/or physical challenges, which is why they are permitted to live at the orphanage beyond the typical 18-year period. The orphanage needs food supplies, backpacks, pencils, pens, notebooks, binders, colored pencils, crayons, coloring books, colored pencils, markers, rulers, calculators, and other types of school supply items. In addition, the orphanage needs children's and young adult clothing, shoes, personal care items, and school uniforms. Visits to the orphanage are welcomed. For more information, visit the orphanage's website at: Laciudad De Los Ninos Orphanage.

Orfanatorio de Mazatlan currently houses 22 children from 4-17 years of age. The orphanage can use donations of children’s clothing, shoes, sheets, pillowcases, blankets, towels, backpacks, school supplies, shampoo and conditioner, toothbrushes, toothpaste, hairbrushes and combs, art supplies, toys, Spanish reading books, and other items. The orphanage is located at Zaragoza 227-A, Centro, Mazatlán, Sin. 82000 Tel. 981-22-14, From U.S.A. 011-52-669-981-2214. E-mail:orfamaz@hotmail.com. Tourists and cruise passengers are welcome to visit. Rafaela or Diana will help with any questions. For more information, visit the orphanage's website at orfamaz.org.mx  Donations are also accepted at the Pacific Pearl Office at Av. Camaron Sabalo No. 10000L4 (behind the Farmacia Moderna) in the Golden Zone.

The Hogar San Pablo Orphanage is a home for street boys in Mazatlán. The home houses boys ranging in age from 9-18. The home provides housing as well as food and educational assistance. Hogar San Pablo is located at Paseo del Centenario No. 9. Tel: (669) 982-3720 or (669) 981-6121. The orphanage can use donations of boys and teens clothing, shoes, sheets, pillowcases, blankets, towels, backpacks, pens, pencils, crayons, colored pencils, rulers, flashcards, composition books, art supplies, toothbrushes, toothpaste, shampoo and conditioner, combs, Spanish reading books, sporting goods equipment, soccer balls and cleats, basketballs and sports shoes, computers, and other items. Donations can be dropped off at Hogar San Pablo or at the Pacific Pearl offices (PacificPearl.com, Pacific Pearl Magazine, Av. Camaron Sabalo No. 1000 L4, Golden Zone, Mazatlán, phone: 669-913-0117). For more information on Hogar San Pablo, visit this page on the Hogar San Pablo website.

The Pacific Pearl Back Pack Program donates school supplies to needy children in the Mazatlán area. Donations that are needed include backpacks, pencils, pens, notebooks, binders, colored pencils, calculators, and other types of school supply items. Donations can be dropped off at the Pacific Pearl’s offices in Mazatlán. The location of the offices is Av. Camaron Sabalo, No. 1000 L4, Golden Zone, Mazatlán (across the street from Bing’s Ice Cream and behind the Farmacia Moderna). For more information, call 01152-669-913-0117 (from the U.S. and Canada) or (669) 913-0117 (from Mexico) or e-mail: ppbp@pacificpearl.com, Attention: Mike.

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico:

Casa Hogar Maximo Cornejo Quiroz is an non-profit organization that cares for 50-60 children from infants through children up to 17 years of age. The orphanage is in need of children's clothes (infants through teens), children's shoes and socks, children's toys, school supplies, backpacks, children's vitamins, children's Tylenol and Motrin, neosporin, soap, shampoo, toothbrushes and toothpaste, and other personal care items. In addition, the orphanage needs groceries and cleaning supplies. A complete list of items is provided on their website. The orphanage is located at Carr. Tepic Km 9 #1100 between the Puerto Vallarta Airport and the Bus Station, about 2 miles north of the airport in Puerto Vallarta. Visits are welcome during specified hours. If you follow the frontage road exit signs for "Central Camionera," you will drive past the front entrance of Casa Hogar. For more information, visit Puertovallartachildrenshelter.org, e-mail the orphanage at info@maximocornejo.org or casahogar_maximocornejo@hotmail.com. Their Spanish language telephone number is 11-52-322-221-1908.

Refugio Infantil Santa Esperanza (R.I.S.E.) is a non-profit shelter for abused, neglected or abandoned babies and children under the ages of 14. These children have been turned over to R.I.S.E. by DIF, the Mexican government organization that is the legal representative for children under the age of 14. R.I.S.E. currently has over 50 children at the orphanage. The children's home is in need of a wide variety of items. A list is included on the organization's website and includes disposable diapers, baby wipes, cereal, milk, flour, pasta, rice, beans, lentils, toothpaste, shower gel, shampoo, soap, cleaning products, fabric softener, soap, toilet paper and other items. Volunteers are urgently needed to help with homework and assist with a variety of tasks and activities. If you are interested in volunteering, email risevoluntariado@gmail.com. The orphanage’s address is R. Flores Magnon #251, Colonia Benito Juarez, Puerto Vallarta, and the phone number is 322-222-7857 (from the U.S., dial 011-52-322-222-7857.) If you call the orphanage directly, you must speak Spanish. Information in English can be obtained through e-mail. For more information, visit the orphanage’s website at refugio-infantil-santa-esperanza (English) or risepv.com (Spanish).  For more information about the orphanage and needed supplies and donations, as well as to arrange a visit, contact Sudy Coy at sudycoy@yahoo.com or Carmen Galvan Berkowitz at carmengalvanpv@msn.com.

Greater Puerto Vallarta/San Pancho/Riviera Nayarit:

Entre Amigos is a non-profit organization for children in San Pancho. The organization increases learning opportunities for children and families through a wide variety of programs. There are a number of ways to help Entre Amigos, both with in-kind donations and volunteering. A complete list of current needs is available on their website and includes school supplies, backpacks, art materials, food donations, gently used children's and adult summer clothing, shoes and more. Volunteers are also needed for projects, programs and other activities. For more information, please visit the organization's website at entreamigos.org.mx. Entre Amigos is located at Avenue Tercer Mundo #12, San Francisco, Nayarit. Their phone number is 52-311-258-4377 and their email address is info@entreamigos.org.mx.

Manos de Amor Por Bahia Casa Hogar is a non-profit organization that exists to help the less fortunate children of Bahia de Banderas. The children who are served by Manos de Amore Bahia Casa Hogar are homeless children whose parents are cannot care for them for many reasons. This organization receives no assistance from the Mexican government and is privately funded. They need volunteers to assist the children with homework and other activities as well as assistance with home activities such as laundry, painting projects, yard work, and special activities. The children's home needs a wide range of items and a complete list is available on the website. It includes laundry detergent, trash bags, toilet paper, paper towels, Kleenex, toothpaste, toothbrushes, hair brushes, combs, shampoo, body soap, liquid hand soap, cereal, rice, beans, and a wide variety of other items. For more information, contact casanicole2010@gmail.com. Manos de Amor is located at Calle Rio Balsas y Rio Copostela, Colonia El Tule Dorado, Bucerias, Nayarit. Visit Manos De Amor for more information.

Riviera Maya and Tulum Areas of Mexico:

Gran Bahia Principe, Tulum is sponsoring an ongoing toys and clothing drive for the children of town of Chemuyil, where many of the workers at the Gran Bahia Principe, Xcaret and Xel Ha live. All donations can be dropped off with the Guest Services Managers in the Tulum lobby. Needed items include children’s clothing, children's socks and shoes, pencils, pens, erasers, sharpeners, crayons, Spanish and bilingual reading books, backpacks, staplers, paper clips, glue sticks, flash cards, educational CDs, puzzles, coloring books, activity books, construction paper, sports equipment, toys, band-aids, children’s aspirins and ibuprofen, anti-bacterial creams, and baby items. For more information, contact the Guest Services staff at the Gran Bahia Principe.

Hekab Be Library is a small community library in the town of Akumal. The library is in need of colored pencils, Scotch tape, colored tape, washable markers, notebooks, pencil sharpeners, children's scissors, children's and adult books in Spanish, bilingual books, teaching aids, educational toys and games, gently used lightweight clothing for infants and children, athletic gear, and other materials. For more information, visit their website at hekabbe.com. There is another site that has a current wish list as well: Hekabbe Blogs. For more information on current needs, contact akumallibrary@gmail.com.

Additional Resources in Mexico:

Pack for a Purpose works with a number of hotels, resorts and accommodations in Mexico to positively impact local organizations and communities. Check out the supply lists and drop off points listed on their website: Packforapurpose.org Mexico.

ShoreTrips is an operator of tours and cruise shore excursions in locations around the world. The company offers a ShoreTrips GIVE excursions in Cozumel. See their website at ShoreTrips for more details.

Note: From the United States, dial the international country code access number 011 when making telephone calls.