1. First, the trips are in a big, comfortable bus with reclining seats and a restroom. We aren't packed into little vans.
2. Second, the children are not pathetic. Before my first trip, I was afraid that the children would be hungry, dirty, sad and sick. Actually, the children are generally clean, healthy, bright and cheerful - and very friendly. Many of the children are very successful in their schools. They are a hard working, motivated group of students.
3. As to what we do when we arrive at the orphanages, the short answer is, "have fun." We don't paint the walls or repair anything or build anything. We play card games, do arts-and-craft projects with the children, kick soccer balls around with them, read books to them and carry the little ones around on our shoulders. And, of course, we eat a delicious pizza lunch with the children.
4. Finally, there is the big issue that is on the minds of everyone who has never gone on the trips before: Is it safe? The answer: YES! There are trips every month. There is never any violence. We never feel that we are in any danger. This is not a worry for people who have gone on the trips before.
One advantage of going on the trips is that you will see what is really happening such a short distance south of us. I can tell you here that Tijuana is a big place with a lot of normal activities, but you won't really get the idea from my words. And you certainly won't get the real picture just by visiting Avenida Revolución. Traveling though the different neighborhoods to get to the orphanages, you get a much better feel for what's really going on.
So, that's all that I will write here. I have gone on the orphanage trips with Corazon de Vida almost every month for the past two years. I agree with all of the other reviews about Corazon de Vida being amazing, awesome, and all that. I wrote more in a note on Facebook, at https://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=2733138975635
I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...
I have seen the children. I have talked to them. I have seen where they live.
Would you volunteer for this group again?
For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?
Did the organization use your time wisely?
Would you recommend this group to a friend?
When was your last experience with this nonprofit?
Did your volunteer experience have an effect on you? (teaching you a new skill, or introducing new friends, etc.)
It made me want to study Spanish more. Knowing Spanish isn't necessary, but if you go on a lot of trips, knowing a little Spanish is an advantage.
How did this volunteer experience make you feel?
It made me feel good. Very good. Tired, but very good.