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Recommended for anyone new to this group or volunteering for the first time:
Note: To help me save time, this is automatically posted once a month. If the title includes "[check date]" then it means the date needs to be confirmed. I'll try to check each month, but if I forget, refer to
Would anyone want to attend this event and help host?
Hosting isn't hard.
It involves being a point of contact in case others sign up and want to meet & volunteer together.
If your plans/availability change, and you can't attend anymore, that's fine, just let us know and maybe someone else can step up to host, but if not, it's okay and we can cancel this meetup.
Q: Why can't I just show up? If I sign up here on Meetup, why do I also have to register on another site?
A: I don't want anyone to show up to find out the bus is full. They want all volunteers to register & pay on their site - http://www.corazondevida.org/events
Q: What if the bus is full?
A: The bus has limited # of seats and accommodates people from LA, OC, and SD. If other people registered before you, and there's no more room, try signing up for a future trip.
Q: Is fundraising required?
A: Corazon de Vida is a non-profit, so financial donations help them support the orphanages. These trips help them raise $. I don't think anyone can force you to donate, so although they encourage fundraising, it's ultimately your choice to contribute or not.
Q: Can children attend?
A: Their answer:
"We do encourage families to attend our trips to the orphanages. 7 or older is recommended, younger is OK but depends on maturity level and ability to spend time in bus and possible 1+ hour border wait. Each attendee must pay $50 bus fee and needs valid passport to attend."
I try to spread the word about volunteer opportunities and raise awareness about non-profits/charities that do good work.
This bus trip is from Corazon de Vida.
Usually one Saturday a month, CDV brings supplies/donations and visits children at an orphanage in Mexico (in or near Tijuana).
They support over 10 orphanages, so each month they visit a different orphanage.
This 1-day trip is unique and involves traveling to another country, so please read carefully all their details and requirements.
The cost to participate is $50, which covers "transportation, lunch, and craft project."
There are 3 pick-up (and drop-off) locations to choose from: Los Angeles, Irvine, and San Diego.
Trips during January to November are usually on 1 bus. For December, sometimes 3 - 4 buses are used to visit more orphanages for a special holiday visit.
Due to distance and multiple stops, the majority of the day is spent traveling on the bus. The approximate time spent at the orphanage is about 3 hours or less. It's up to you to decide if it's worth the $ and time.
I've gone a few times and it was an eye-opening and heart-warming experience. The kids are fun to play & interact with.
Speaking Spanish is not required. Being Mexican, Latino, or Hispanic is not required either. The kids are accustomed to visitors of all backgrounds.
If nobody else signs up from this Meetup group, other volunteers who attend are usually friendly. During the bus ride, you should have an opportunity to talk with others sitting nearby.
One member sometimes goes, so if anyone doesn't want to go alone, feel free to ask her if she is going this month:
Since this is in Mexico, having a U.S. passport and/or other government approved, legal identification & documentation is required for re-entering the country.
To reiterate, this event occurs in Mexico. A driver's license is NOT acceptable for re-entry at the border. Please check your passport (or other id) has not expired.
TV & movies can portray Mexico in a distorted and inaccurate manner. Without a doubt, after crossing the border, what you'll see is distinct and different from America/California. Feeling nervous or apprehensive is normal and understandable. If it helps, CDV has successfully and safely done these monthly bus trips for many years without incident. They are organized and experienced, so if anyone decides to go, they'll take care of you and keep you safe.
To sign up, go to http://www.corazondevida.org/events
and click on "VIEW EVENT" for the respective date for more info/details and instructions on how to register and pay.
Redundant Reiteration: Signing up here on Meetup is insufficient. Registering with CDV and paying their fee is necessary.
btw, if going to the Irvine location, they usually meet in the back of a parking lot between two buildings, 2070 Business Center Drive and 2062 Business Center Drive, Irvine, 92612.
If you see other people standing around, then they probably are other volunteers and you're at the right location. The bus should be easy to spot.
Photo Source/Credit: Corazon de Vida