Our Center in Oaxaca offers students the option to participate in one of our selected volunteer activities. We have visited each of the sites located in the city of Oaxaca to meet the administrators of the programs and to know the sites personally. Following is a list of the programs we have selected:
1. Patronato Pro Casa
Description: An orphanage for abandoned or mistreated boys between the ages of 5 and 16. Patronato Pro Casa provides schooling, lodging, clothing and meals to these youngsters. As they meet with a psychologist in the mornings and attend school from 2pm to 6pm, the schedule when the orphanage most needs our help is from 11am to 12:30pm and from 6pm to 9:30pm for a total of 5 hours each day.
Activities: Organize and help with art classes (Mondays and Wednesdays) and Physical Education classes (Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays) from 11am to 12:30pm. Help with homework, organize games and activities and help out with the nighttime meal. The orphanage is also in need of a great deal of maintenance and organization.
2. Milpas de Oaxaca
Description: A non-governmental agency that works with rural and indigenous youth to offer positive and educational activities, encouraging participation between youth and adults in their communities.
Activities: Volunteers would assist in organizing and presenting workshops on topics such as the following: agriculture, health, sports, education, ecology, reforestation, conservation of natural resources, human rights, carpentry, nursing, medicine, art, cooking, recycling, politics or social organizations. Milpas is also restructuring its website, so those volunteers who know about graphic design or web design may prefer to help in that area.
3. CANICA (Centro de Apoyo al Nińo de la Calle de Oaxaca)
CANICA is a large organization and offers many activities for volunteers. Each activity has a different set of requirements (professional requirements or minimum time limits) for the volunteers. Except in the case of workshops, any activity in which the volunteer is in direct contact with the youth has a minimum time requirement. As many of these children have been abandoned by their families or taken from their families due to abuse, CANICA does not want the children to feel emotions of abandonment by changing volunteer workers any more than necessary; however, they are very excited to receive volunteers and will do their best to find a role acceptable to both parties. Please contact us, giving a description of how you would like to help and how long you will be able to volunteer, and we will tell you what activities are available through CANICA.
4. Patronato Estancia Fraternidad
Description: A home shelter for families of those who are ill and being treated in the General Hospital of Oaxaca. The shelter receives an average of 110 people each day and provides food and lodging to all in need.
Activities: This home provides food and lodging for up to 150 people, so there is always cooking, cleaning and distribution of food to be done. However, as many of those lodged here are suffering from depression, Patronato Estancia Fraternidad tries to create activities–games, songs, dance, arts and crafts, etc for them. These volunteers would need to be self-motivators to come up with activities to lift the spirits of those suffering. It is probably better that the volunteers work in pairs to create activities.
5. Mundo Nuevo
Description: A non-governmental, non-profit organization that promotes environmental conservation. Mundo Nuevo finds the most adequate ways to treat all types of pollution (pollution of the water, air pollution, trash, etc). The organization's only form of income is by selling the paper it recycles.
Activities: Volunteers would collect and separate the products to be recycled; actually recycle paper goods, market and sell the recycled paper; and explore other uses for aluminum, plastics, glass and organic goods. Those who have experience with computer programming or graphic design can also help with the website.
Description: A small, ecological tour company providing trips throughout the state of Oaxaca. Their goal is to show visitors the "real" Oaxaca, and create a sustainable tourism by helping the communities. They specialize in tours in the mountains, along the pacific coast, the Sierra Mixteca and the northern and southern Sierra, and take a maximum of six people, so they are able to personalize trips and gear them more to their client's needs.
Activities: Volunteers will help with the organization and promotion of the tours, join the guides on several tours until they feel comfortable beginning to give tours on their own. Tierraventura works with some of the larger ecological companies, such as Bioplanet, so the volunteer will also do some administrative and sales work with these companies.
Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca (Six hrs. from Oaxaca City)
1. Casa Hogar Nueva Vida
Description: An orphanage for children living on the streets between the ages of 1 and 18. They provide lodging, meals, clothing, medical services and education. The children attend school in the mornings, so the volunteers are needed in the afternoon hours.
Activities: Help with homework, organize games and sports activities, read to and with the children (they can not watch television on school nights), help prepare the nighttime meal and clean up afterwards.