Category Archives: tourism

Lolo’s 2017 Initiatitive with Hogar Niñito Jesús – Puerto Rico

Happy 2017 Friends!

As the year unfolds, my mission is to get more involved in helping those in need particularly children.  One of my objectives is to partner with my home country, Puerto Rico, and provide aid to Fundación Hogar Ninito Jesús.  

Fundación Hogar Ninito Jesús is an organization that provides housing to children victims of abuse from ages  0-7 years old.   They offer these children the basic aids necessary for their healthy growth,  and provide a home environment where love, security, trust, good treatment and moral training. Every year,  they remodel the children’s bedroom to make sure they have everything they need and the feel just like home.  Check them out:  http://fhnj.org/

Currently,  they are in urgent need of the following:

  •  8 dresses for girls
  •  full set of bed sheets (preferably matching)

They are always in need of:

  • moisterizing lotions (Cetaphil)
  • baby cologne
  • baby diapers
  • hair nets for cooks in the kitchen
  • Desitin or buttpaste
  • girls underwear for ages 4-7
  • boys underwear for ages 4-7
  • laundry detergent
  • cleaning detergent
  • paper towel and toilet paper
  • plastic boxes for storage

If you are in Puerto Rico or United States and interested in donating for this amazing cause and these children please email me at:  Lorenagomez07@gmail.com or contact Ana Ivette  at:

(787) 748-5682 (oficina)
(787) 748-5633 (oficina)
(787) 206-2322 (cellular)
desarrollo@fhnj.org
tosadoanaivette@gmail.com

Remember, It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving. -Mother Theresa

Bless you all!

Giving back in Panama

Going to Panama without an agenda, just to volunteer and give back, was one of the best experiences of my life.  I experienced everything I wanted and more.  The first day we went we met the coolest taxi driver that took us around Panama City, and got the opportunity to visit Hogar Divino Niño.  Hogar Divino Niño is an orphanage for children ages 0-3.  I’ve never been to a toddler orphanage before.  It was interesting to see to how devoted the ladies were to this infants.  Admission in the orphanage was quit interesting you have to wait to chat with the director and then you’ll get a tour of the premise.  However, if you have donations you can just go drop it off and the “nannies” will take care of them.  They are very in need of the following:

  1. Diapers
  2. Baby Food
  3. Powder mild
  4. Canned foods

That night we took an overnight bus to Almirante, and from Almirante we took a boat to Bocas town.  After arriving to Bocas Town aka Isla Colon, we took another boat to go to Bastimentos Island which was were we stayed.  Bastimentos island was very primitive, with a population of 1,954 people to be exact.   The locals were known as Ngöbe and Buglé, and they spoke their own language known as Guari-Guari, which is a combination of English, Spanish, and local indigenous languages.    I thought Bastimentos Island  was going to be more touristy, but I’m glad it wasn’t because this gave the opportunity to get very submerge with the culture and learn about Ngöbe and Buglé.   I felt like I was in an episode of Naked and Afraid but with clothes.  Little did I know I found out that they filmed of Naked and Afraid there.  There isn’t streets in Bastimentos just a long side walk and lots of jungle, and muddy trails.  The hike to Wizards Beach is quite the experience you have to go barefoot, yes in the mud and slime.    I fell twice, it was AWESOME!  I thought I was pretty adventurous until I went to that trail.   It was very sad to see the conditions people live in Bastimentos Island, they are relatively poor and the drug trade is pretty prevalent.  Young kids are hustling trying to sell you drugs 24/7.  Its pretty overwhelming but you have to shot them down strategically because otherwise they will get a tad bit aggressive.

We took an unbelievable tour with Total Adventures and we went to Cayo Zapatillas,  Dolphin Bay,  Hollywood Island, Cayo Coral, and Sloths Mangroves.  On the tour we met people from London, Spain, China, and Holland.  Being in a tour which such a diverse group was very  cultural enriching.   We definitely made really good friends abroad.

My favorite part of the trip was being able to volunteer with Give and Surf.  Give & Surf aims to provide substantive, hands-on, real world assistance and programs to a hundred and thirty children ages three to sixteen. Give & Surf has constructed and developed two schools in Bahia Honda and Bahia Roja that provide the following: a daily preschool and kindergarten, summer school, surf outreach mentorship program, after school program, Adult and Elementary School english programs, music program, and community involvement initiatives.  Please read more about their non-profit:  http://giveandsurf.org/

Volunteering with Give and Surf was incredible.  Drew, Volunteer Director, will pick you up at 8am at the Bastimentos Island port, and will take you to Bahia Honda school.  Upon arrival we will sing songs with the kids, do activities, and read to them.  My  favorite part of volunteering was teaching the kids how to swim.  They were so stoked on life it was incredible.  I will recommend volunteering abroad to everyone.  Its life changing.  You get to interact with the local community, help them out, and be part of they day-to-day life.

Stay tuned to my next adventure.  Email me if you want to be a part of my adventures and volunteering trips.

Email: lorenagomez07@gmail.com

Cheers!

 

be the change, kindess, help children around the world.

Costa Rica – A Pura Vida Way of Life

Pura vida Mae, as the people would say in Costa Rica.  There’s no better way to describe a way of living than “Pura Vida.” It encompasses the “no worries”, “all good”, “this too shall pass”, and beyond.  I went to Costa Rica with an agenda and stressed because I want to do more than I was able to on a daily basis, but then a wise person said, “Lorena, sit down in a hammock, lay back, relax, and Pura Vida.”  That’s when I realized that not only I should be doing this on every vacation, but that I should be doing it on a daily basis.  Don’t sweat the things that are beyond my control, work to earn a decent living,   be kind whenever possible, and is trust me is always possible.

I started my vacation in Playa Grande Guanacaste.  We stayed at Palm Beach Estates at the wonderful Casa Cameleon: https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/250371 (Check it out) Murat was the property manager and he couldn’t be more hospitable.   From there, we took a boat to Tamarindo and met with the local surf school crew, and the hooked it with surfboards and amazing Guaro.  (Guaro: sugar cane rum, must try)

After a couple of days we ventured out to Playa Santa Teresa.  WOW.  Best waves, people, and scene.  We were greeted by Dave, owner of The Greenrooms: http://www.the-green-rooms.com/.  Great host and chef.  He showed us around town, gave us decent pricing on room rentals,  and treated us like family.  Great guy, if you go to Santa Teresa, please at least stay a night there.  Don’t forget to say hi to Eva and Tiffany.   Make sure you visit the best beachfront bar in town, Banana Beach, (Where dreams come true) visit Tiffany, best bartender in town.  She has a loose pour.  https://www.facebook.com/Bananabeachrestaurant

Lastly, a couple of days before we left we visited the Playa Grande elementary school.   I talked to the director of the school, and she told me the children needed school supplies, toys, and games.  Since the school is low on funds there isn’t budget for teachers and the director is also the children’s teacher. It is very sad.  But trust me this lady does miracles, and the children are very happy to be there.  What also surprised me about the school is the it was gated and locked in chains.  I asked why was that the case and she told me children were getting kidnapped and killed.  I asked more questions about it and I was horrified.

People in Costa Rica are one of the nicest and most humble people I have met.   People that come to visit and stay in Costa Rica acquire the same cultural attributes, they are happy and stress free.   Costa Rica is on my top favorite places to go to visit as of right now.  Will definitely visit again soon.  Especially go back to Playa Grande School and bring more supplies to the children.

If you are interested in donating or become part of part of this good cause and helping children around the world, please email me at: lorenagomez07@gmail.com.  I am trying to connect the dots to generate more funds and help more children.  PURA VIDA!

 

waikiki beach, summer, paradise tourism.

A Hawaiian Getaway

A couple of weeks  ago, I had the opportunity to go to Oahu,  Hawaii.  Surfing Waikiki has been in my bucket list ever since I was kid.  I am blessed to have had the opportunity to visit this pristine island, and be welcomed  and catered by the amazing locals.  Every second spent in Oahu felt like a dream, I asked to be pinched a couple of times to realize it was real.  Check out the what to do in Oahu list below:

  1. Waikiki Beach – if you want to get submersed in the touristy, cultural flow of the island, you have to at least visit downtown Waikiki once.  If you want to surf long easy waves Waikiki Beach is where is at.  Clear blue waters and soft waves.  Keep in mind is extremely crowded, so be courteous and cautious.  If you like shopping, you definitely need to go to Waikiki Beach,  Best shopping in the island, again super crowded and parking may be a challenge and expensive.  If you want the Luau experience please get the Diamond Head Luau package.  Amazing show and a complimentary tickets to the Waikiki Aquarium. 
  2. NorthShore – biggest waves in the island.  Very touristy, but less commercialized.  Visit Waimea Bay, Waimea Bay Falls, Pipeline, and don’t miss the Haleiwa Farmer’s Market every Thursdays.   If you want beachfront dinning visit Ola at Turtle Bay Resort.  Please don’t forget to stop at the Dole Plantation and get the best pineapple ice cream, obviously.
  3. Waihe’e Waterfalls- if you are feeling adventurous and want to get a good workout and chase waterfalls, please go to Hamama Falls.  Locals hiking track, please email me if interested in going: lorenagomez07@gmail.com
  4. Lanakai Beach and Hanuama Bay – beast beaches in the island.  Great for snorkeling and diving.  You must visit them.
  5. Dining – Must go to Heavenly Cafe, (downtown Waikiki) and get the Acai french toast and dine at The Pig and the Lady, (downtown Honolulu) order the fried chicken.  In case you are wondering where to have lunch, go to any food trucks, they are cheap and delicious.  I was usually full from breakfast.

Hawaiian was a dream… Mahalo!