Mexico

MEXICO EARTHQUAKE RELIEF PROJECT


We are working around the clock to get everything set up as quickly as we can so we can provide relief to the victims impacted by the September 2017 earthquakes that hit Mexico, damaging Mexico City and the states of Puebla and Morelos. The most severely hit places are small villages surrounding our main program site in Mexico, Tepoztlan, Morelos. We immediately connected with our coordinators in the area and began relief aid by trying to coordinate the delivery of supplies for immediate assistance in the area.

Globe Aware has a deep connection with Mexico, and we have decided to change our program focus to incorporate the rebuilding effort in the villages of Hueyapan, Zaucalpan, Tetela del Norte, Jojutla and Yautepec, as well as our main program location, Tepoztlan. Our program will continue to be based in Tepoztlan and we will go to these nearby villages to provide much needed assistance. These are smaller communities that are not receiving as much help and we will work directly with the families in those locations, in order to help them rebuild their homes.

For those who do not have the time or ability to travel but still want to contribute to tehse rebuilding efforts, we have established the Earthquake Relief Fund – you can start to help by sharing with your contacts and social media (vouching for the organization personally always helps) and making a contribution if you would like – tax deductible of course. The link is : http://globeaware.org/fundraising/mexico-fundraising . Funds will go directly to the reconstruction of houses in the communities listed. Globe Aware volunteers begin their on-the-ground work October 1st to begin aiding the reconstruction effort.

We have not been able to fully update our program page yet to reflect al the details of the reconstruction , but we have identified the initial homes. We will be working one house, one family at a time. We are working with community members directly so the funds will go where they are most needed, and the construction methods will be sustainable solutions which will respect the local materials and customs of the area. Community buy in is terribly important for us as you know, so we want to make sure that we proceed as it should be, working with the communities in the best way possible for them.

As mentioned, for now the project details on our website will be different than what is shown, but there are already dates listed on our program page here : http://globeaware.org/destinations/latin-america-caribbean/mexico If you do not see your preferred dates listed please by all means let us know so we can open up a new date for you.

Magical Town of Tepoztlan

Tepoztlán is a very popular destination near Mexico City, designated a “Pueblo Mágico”, a program that recognizes special towns and villages in Mexico that offer visitors a “magical” experience – natural beauty, cultural riches or historical relevance. The towns must have a population of at least 20 thousand to be considered a Pueblo Mágico and be located no more than 2 hours away from a larger tourist destination. The program has been developed to also recognize the labor of its residents who work to preserve the cultural and historical riches of their hometowns.

The town of Tepoztlán is famous for the remains of El Tepozteco pyramid temple built on top of the nearby Tepozteco Mountain, as well as for the exotic ice cream flavors prepared by the townspeople. It is located about 60 to 90 minutes away from the Mexico City airport. There are a number of reasons why this town is unique. According to myth it is the birthplace of Quetzalcóatl, the feathered serpent god widely worshipped in ancient Mexico. The town and market are full of quaint restaurants, stores and art galleries and there is never a shortage of delicious food available so just walking around town is quite the experience. You will have the unique opportunity to learn about Mexico through its food. A renowned Mexican chef who is a resident of Tepoztlán will oversee your meals and this is a cultural experience in itself, and you will have the opportunity to take an optional excursion to the market with her and then a cooking class with your fresh market purchases. Other optional activities in the area include an excursion to El Tepozteco temple pyramid and mountain, a visit to the World Heritage Site of the Ex Convento de Tepoztlán, the archeological museum, local ice cream tastings and yoga classes.

While the residents of Tepoztlán do not live in abject poverty, there are still many needy communities and neighborhoods. The needs vary greatly and projects are chosen based on the most immediate priorities. While there are schools in the area, they are poorly funded, so our efforts focus primarily on supporting local schools and neighborhoods with improvements to infrastructure and school and neighborhood playgrounds. We also provide assistance to impoverished families to be able to have protein sources with chicken coops, as well as improve their living conditions and support local environmental efforts.

View a Sample Itinerary click here

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  • Tepoztlan (1)
  • Tepoztlan (2)
  • Tepoztlan (4)
  • Tepoztlan 6

Work Project

Tepoztlán is organized into 5 different “barrios” or neighborhoods. The town is unique in the sense that the residents from each barrio work together to improve their living conditions and those of their neighbors, and they work with other barrios to improve the entire town. The “faena” system – community volunteering - is led entirely by members of the community who work together for common goals. The community comes together and volunteers alongside us as equals in projects that will benefit their own – the level of community involvement is extremely high and they are well organized, they are well accustomed to working on their own projects for the improvement of their own community. This is an effort made purely and solely by members of the community.

Some of the possibilities of projects include:

  • Building chicken coops to provide protein sources for local families
  • Building and installing water tanks and water collection systems for local families
  • Reforestation and cleaning efforts
  • School maintenance, improvements and support
  • Installing concrete floors for impoverished families in nearby towns
  • Playground refurbishments
  • Special Needs school maintenance and improvements

Globe Aware volunteer vacations to Mexico - SIGNUP NOW!

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  • WhatsApp Image 2017
  • WhatsApp Image 2017
  • WhatsApp Image 2017

Food and Lodging

Volunteers will be lodged in a unique boutique hostel in which each individual bedroom is constructed inside a concrete tube. Each tube has a queen bed, a desk light, fan and under-bed storage. There are two very clean and comfortable bathroom houses with hot water, private showers and toilets. This has been named as one of the most unique places to stay in the world. It is located close to the town center and provides an easy access to the town, and has been built in an organic vegetable garden. There is an infinity pool right in front of your tube to relax in your off time, as well as a picnic area. Free Wi-fi is available. If you prefer a private bathroom there are upgrade options available, please contact the Globe Aware office.

Food is an incredible part of your program, and a cultural experience in itself. Breakfast will be taken at your hotel. Your lunch and dinner will be overseen by local celebrity chef Ana Garcia. Some of the lunches will be at the project site and you may have one or two meals at a local home. Your dinners will be either at your hotel or you will be invited to experience the chef’s home outdoor kitchen.

  • Enchiladas
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  • La Villa Bonita 1
  • La Villa Bonita 2
  • Tubohotel 1
  • Tubohotel 2
  • Tlacoyos

Leisure and Activities

Ample time has been included in the project itinerary for leisure activities. Volunteers will have the opportunity to hike to the Tepozteco, the Aztec pyramid situated on top of the mountain overlooking Tepoztlán. Also included in your itinerary is a visit to the Museo Ex Convento de Tepoztlán, or Museo de la Natividad, which was constructed by indigenous people under the Dominican rule between 1555 and 1580. In 1993, the building was restored and has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage site. Adjacent to the museum is the functioning church which is another cultural and architectural gem. You will also have time to sample the local Tepoznieves, more than 200 flavors of unique locally made traditional ice cream, the origins of which date back to pre-colonial times. Yes, you read right. Pre-colonial ice-cream! Walking around the town you will find many unique shops, art galleries, as well as the fantastic local market. Optional activities include a visit to the market accompanied by your chef Ana Garcia, followed by a cooking class. Other optional activities include getting a massage at a local spa, rappelling in nearby canyons or visiting a local unique outdoor movie theater.

  • Convento
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  • Tepozteco pyramid

Arranging Your Airfare

Volunteers will be picked up at the Mexico City International airport at 3 pm on the Sunday your program starts. Detailed instructions on a meet up spot will be sent to you 3-4 weeks before the program. If you plan to extend your visit we recommend you do so at the end of your program. The program will officially end at 11 am on the Sunday your program ends, so please do not book flights until after 3 pm on the day the program ends.

Safety and Security

Your volunteer vacation will take place in rural Mexico, where incidences of crime and violence are very rare. Travelers should be vigilant when in major cities or tourist areas.

Globe Aware volunteer vacations to Mexico - SIGNUP NOW!

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