Volunteer in an orphanage giving care and support to children in Mexico
This is a vibrant, professionally managed children’s orphanage based on the edge of Puerto Vallarta, on the Pacific coast of Mexico. The children are all officially referred to the home by government agencies, having been removed from broken homes, situations where they are under threat of abuse or from families no longer able to cope.
The refuge provides a caring and stable home for the children, offering discipline and structure that supports them back into education. The success of the programme has meant that an increasingly high number of children are finding foster homes, which is the ultimate goal of the projects.
Children are currently aged from 2-13 years old. They are homed in an attractive hacienda style building that has a reasonable number of facilities and play areas, thanks to the support generated by the Director.
The primary and secondary age children go out to school in the mornings, while the toddlers attend a kindergarten in the afternoon. Volunteers remain in the refuge to help with the youngest ones in the mornings, and then support the school age children who return to the centre in the afternoons.
The refuge is run by yet another inspiring woman who is a huge supporter of young volunteers – loving the energy they bring, how well they relate to the young children and the opportunity to try new ideas. It is a great place for volunteers to shape their own role, with the support of enthusiastic and professional staff. Volunteers are welcome to attend in pairs.
The Director of the orphanage is very keen that volunteers do not get used in general maintenance duties, but rather that they use their energy and talents to help educate the children of all ages through structured play, lessons, homework support, reading, arts & crafts, music, drama and games. A particular focus should be on activities that stimulate the children to speak and communicate with others.
The Director would expect volunteers to put thought and a degree of preparation into the types of activities they could deliver and how this would help the children of different age groups. This might be a simple objective of using arts & crafts to teach colours/shapes/animals with younger ones, or the use of music or drama to promote education in health or the environment. The only limit is your imagination. The Director is your biggest supporter.
Some of the children go out for physiotherapy and there is the opportunity for a volunteer to observe and practice these techniques so that simple physio can then be repeated more frequently back at the home.
The children of the orphanage are from difficult backgrounds of neglect, abuse & poverty. They have not had the best start in life and you have the opportunity to help improve things, little by little, by sharing your knowledge, care, energy and support in a respectful and considered way. The energy and additional resource you offer means more individual care and support to each child, which can make a real difference to their lives and yours.
Mexico is a beautiful country with a diverse environment, ranging from high arid desert to dense tropical rain forest. As for the Mexicans themselves, they're amazing people who love their country and will do all that they can to help you., Turtle conservation, Mexico