I am an industrial designer. I am traveling around the world, and my goal is to learn and help in lots of projects.
I worked with the Sexto Sol Center for over a month when I was living in Mexico, a few years ago. The center is very efficient in their activities, both local and global.
Their impact is two fold.
One the one hand, they develop community action programs, focussed on solving concrete problems. For instance during my time there, we worked on connecting with locals who needed water systems to enable them to have access to good water in their homes. Since then, 7 projects have been completed, helping 9 villages, or over 6,000 people.
On the other hand, the Sexto Sol center has an important educational role. They teach (among other things) permaculture farming techniques to locals in Mexico, empowering them to farm in a way that improves the quality of the soil they farm on, and creates a greater yield of nutritional food. This educational role also extends to the volunteers that they work with. In my time there, I learnt a vast variety of skills and gained a lot of knowledge about both permaculture and water systems, which I have been able to apply in various locations around the world, including in projects in Peru, Chile and Argentina.
The people running the Sexto Sol Center are hugely passionate about what they do, as well as knowledgable and efficient in the management of their projects. I highly recommend them.
I'm working with Sexto Sol, once in a while, for around two years helping Tamara with technology solutions. Sexto Sol have made a lot of types of works in Mexico, Guatemala and most recently Nepal. The most impressive things about Sexto Sol for me is how they can manage such different type of work and how Sexto Sol works, not just helping people giving them the solution for the problems but also teaching them. They aren't just giving men a fish but also teaching them how to fish, so they can manage the improves by themselves later. They do an awesome work even with very limited funds. It shows they can manage well they funds being responsable and really doing the Sexto Sol's proposals.
I was able to volunteer a few years ago at Sexto Sol in Chiapas. I was so impressed with the breadth of local, regional and international projects including a recycling program in the town to water delivery projects in regional villages to a response to the Nepal earthquake, to name a few. While I was only there for a few days, I witnessed the director's respect for the dignity of all the recipients. The focus is on empowering people to help themselves, in their own way. We need more organizations like this in the world!
Sexto Sol is a NGO living and working there where the action is. On an everyday basis you are able to learn as much as you want by talking to Tamara, reading her books, and doing interesting work. As a volunteer you totally embed yourself into the local culture as a free tourist observing and experiencing unmediated reality. Personally this was a life changing step towards a broader view on traveling and life in general. To be able to work and make a long term difference in such an environment inspired me to broaden my way of thinking and living in the future. If you want to really help and inspire other people, this is the place to be! Thank you so much!!
I volunteered for Sexto Sol in the summer of 2003, before I started graduate school in hydrology. I was simply looking for a safe opportunity to contribute in a developing country and learn some Spanish. Instead, I had a life-enhancing experience that continues to provide me with positive inspiration, and I gained insight that improves my empathy in my daily life. I also gained two new best friends (the co-directors). Instead of pursuing an academic career in hydrology, I have chosen to teach high school math at a Title 1 (AKA poverty-stricken) school in Texas. It has been 9 years, but the psychological/sociological insight that I gained during my two months in Motozintla is being used to positively impact my students today. Sexto Sol is beyond efficient in its use of funds, and accomplishes WAY MORE than any other non-profit could accomplish with the same budget. There are very few non-profits that I choose to financially support; I could count them on my hand (my church, my college, and Sexto Sol). However, my loyalty lies with Sexto Sol, and any spare dollar I have will go to them for many years to come. After 9 years, after getting married and having a child and gaining many other responsibilities, I have decided to return this summer to assist them again, in their work to support the communities around them. Is Sexto Sol ethical and responsible? YES! Is Sexto Sol making a positive impact? YES! Should you support Sexto Sol? Resounding, emphatic, YES!
In the time I spent volunteering with Sexto Sol in May 2012, I was amazed to see the sheer breadth of projects and successes this dedicated team accomplishes in Chiapas and Guatemala. We learned how to install bottle lights into dark classrooms, helped start a single mothers cooperative, made recycled aluminum cans into efficient kitchen stoves, and spent many rewarding hours working in the vegetable garden. I was sought out Sexto Sol because not only do they employ sustainable agriculture and permaculture techniques in their garden, but their goal is to share these techniques with the surrounding community to increase food security in Motozintla, a town where fresh local produce is a rare and expensive commodity. They are a great team, worthy of support!
Tamara Brennan and Francisco Barrios are two of the most dedicated and energetic people I have ever met. Their tireless work has empowered vast numbers of rural Mexican and Guatemalan citizens to overcome poverty and injustice. The breadth of their work is amazing, ranging from reforestation and teaching permaculture to organizing coffee-grower and other cooperatives to their latest work addressing disaster-induced psychological trauma.
To say I was impressed on a brief visit in 2002 would be a vast understatement. Since then I have done all I can to assist them both financially and as a volunteer and encouraged others to do the same.
If any organization deserves a seal of excellence it is The Sexto Sol Center for Community Action.
My experience as an intern at the Sexto Sol Centre in 2006 was life-changing. I was amazed by the dedication of the staff and the tangible results achieved on the ground - from improving food security by teaching permaculture, to improving livelihoods by helping coffee farmers obtain fair trade certification to treating hurricane victims for post traumatic stress disorder with auricular acupuncture- each project that they undertake is developed based on the needs of the communities they serve. I feel that the work they do really has an impact on the people of the Sierra Madre in Chiapas as well as the repatriated refugees in Guatemala. It is very rare to see a small NGO produce such a large impact - and this is possible due to the dedication and patience of their staff. Since my time there i have continued to keep in touch with the Dr Brennan, and I am constantly amazed by how they are able to achieve so much with very limited resources.