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Volunteer & Help Children in an Orphanage - A Day to Help Spread Holiday Cheer!

For those of you who have missed trips to play with some amazing kids in Baja California orphanages through this meetup group, here is another chance to do something loving and positive for some children that are not as fortunate as our own. The minimal cost of your time and attention will pay deep rewards for someone in need - as well as you.

This trip will be to the Hacienda Orphanage. The home was founded in 1996 with 25 children in a particularly tough area of Tijuana. Today it serves 65 children, most of whom are dropped off by their families, although a few are referred by DIF, the Department of the Mexican Government that controls orphanages.

The charity, Corazon de Vida, is the home's primary support at the moment. This home is in tremendous need of great resources for utilities and housing. While the basics food costs are covered, there are no funds for electricity, water, septic pumping etc. Corazon de Vida is a 14-year old organization that supports 14 orphanages in and around Tijuana, Mexico. Each month, Corazon brings 50 volunteers to one of the orphanages to play, eat and hug the children. This outing will be the most memorable, moving and inspiring event that you have or will have ever attended... PROMISE.

Many people ask about the safety of crossing into Tijuana. Visits take place to the orphanages in Tijuana with Corazon de Vida nearly every month and each trip has been safe and secure. We travel to the orphanage in an extremely nice, air-conditioned, chartered bus. We will be brought to and picked up directly at the Sion Orphanage entrance. We do not wait in line with all the cars when we return home to cross the border. We take a special bus lane. Very fast and secure.

Here are the details: 1. YOU MUST HAVE A CURRENT PASSPORT!! A driver's license is no longer accepted by Homeland Security to get back into the United States. You MUST have a current PASSPORT. 2. YOU DO NOT NEED TO SPEAK SPANISH!! 95% of the volunteers do not speak a word of Spanish and we all still have a wonderful, amazing time with the children. 3. Corazon de Vida rents an air-conditioned, very comfy chartered bus to pick up volunteers at three different locations (Los Angeles, Irvine and San Diego -- specific locations in each of these areas is written below.). 4. Each volunteer pays $40 to cover the cost of renting the chartered bus, gasoline, lunch for the children and ourselves.

Volunteers are also welcome to bring stuff to the orphanages -- like toilet paper, hair gel, hand sanitizers, diapers, etc. Corazon will send you e-mail with list of stuff that the orphanage needs. Again, bringing stuff is totally optional not required). AVAILABILITY ON THE BUS IS FIRST-COME, FIRST SERVE. PLEASE PAY ASAP THROUGH WEBSITE LISTED BELOW TO RESERVE YOUR SEAT. 5. We visit with the children for about four hours -- we do arts and crafts, or play basketball, soccer, dodgeball, etc. We walk around for an hour with a child holding a child whose legs are wrapped tight around our hips. We play dice or marbles with them. Or maybe hide-n-seek or tag. We hug them. We show them love. We cherish them. We serve them lunch. We eat with them. We clean up after them. We hug them some more. 6. At 1:30 p.m., we start saying our goodbyes to the children. At 2 p.m. sharp we are back on the bus. We drive to the border -- not long wait. We have a special bus lane so we are over the border in less then 20 minutes. We are back in San Diego by 4 p.m., in Irvine by 5 p.m. and in Los Angeles by 7 p.m.

The bus will pick up volunteers starting at 5:30 a.m. at the Los Angeles location (directions will be provided by Corazon after you have paid the $40). The bus will then head south and pick up volunteers at 6:15 a.m. at the Irvine location at 2062 Business Center Drive (this is the location where Roberto will be). The bus will then head south and pick up the rest of the volunteers around 8:15ish a.m. at Mission Bay in San Diego (specific directions provided by Corazon via your email).

IMPORTANT: To pay the $40 click on this link below:

FIRST COME, FIRST SERVE -- PLEASE RESERVE YOUR SEAT WITH YOUR PAYMENT AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. For more information about Corazon de Vida, please visit their website at

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  • Roberto

    An amazing day! Thank you everyone!

    December 2, 2012

  • Cindy S

    I'm so sorry that I won't be able to attend I have no passport maybe some other time

    November 27, 2012

  • Roberto

    Just a reminder, make sure you reserve to ensure your seat. As of today there are less than 20 seats available. Make sure you have a passport and bring it!

    November 27, 2012

  • Roberto

    Email from yesterday sent to those that rsvp'd:

    The Mexican government has recently changed how charter buses enter Mexico. Now, everyone must exit the bus and carry the items they brought through Mexico customs via the pedestrian crossing. Bus must be empty as it enters Mexico. Please limit the items you bring to the orphanages to what you can carry. If you were planing on buying supplies, please consider making a donation instead so we can buy these items in Mexico. This new process will hinder our ability to deliver much needed supplies and is out of our control. Thank you for understanding. See you on December 1.

    November 21, 2012

  • Roberto

    A few program notes - please see my cellphone number posted above. Also, make sure you both click on the link, pay, and sign up to be able to reserve your spot on the bus.

    October 8, 2012

  • Roberto

    Elaine: From the US Dept of State website: "Since March 1, 2010, all U.S. citizens – including children – have been required to present a valid passport or passport card for travel into Mexico. "

    October 8, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    I would love to do this... I do not have a passport would a birth certificate work ?? I have done that in the past.

    October 8, 2012

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