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)
hair nets for cooks in the kitchen
Desitin or buttpaste
girls underwear for ages 4-7
boys underwear for ages 4-7
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:
Lolo Cares Fundraiser on November 5th, exceeded my expectations and I couldn’t be happier with the results. One of my biggest dreams and goals came true. In times of turmoil, giving back to those in need really makes a difference. I want to really thank everyone that donated. I was able to supply donations to all the 65 children of the orphanage, the volunteers that reside there, and the community around the orphanage. Big shout out to my friends, Surfrider Newport Beach Chamber, and my amazing co-workers and friends at Viant Tech.
We had everything they needed and more. The day started with us providing them with breakfast and then followed by a scavenger hunt. These children literally broke a time record with all the items needed to win the scavenger. It was fascinating how creative they children got and how stoked they were.
I’m going back again on December 30th, please let me know if you are interesting on going of have any donations to give. Email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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:
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.
Puerto Rico has the longest Christmas vacations of the entire world. The Christmas season in the island starts after Thanksgiving and it ends with the Fiestas de la Calle San Sebastian Carnival in mid January. (http://www.puertoricodaytrips.com/san-sebastian-street-festival/ ) Puerto Rico is definitely my destination for Christmas. Not only I have my family and friends there, but its paradise.
For the last couple of months there has been negative news about my beautiful island on a daily basis. From a billion dollar debt to signature companies like Medalla (http://www.medallalight.com/) closing their factories in Puerto Rico and moving to the Dominican Republic because of the financial crisis in the island. This is not the Puerto Rico I grew up in nor the Puerto Rico I want the future generations to witness.
That is why I’m promoting my island with pride and giving you reasons why to visit my beautiful island, and witness where I am from.
Just 3,515 miles long, my little island has plenty to do, from waterfalls, sandy beaches, to amazing signature cuisines. This year I had the opportunity to do some domestic tourism and visit these places which I highly recommend:
1. Casa de Muerto Island Reserve, with Island Venture tours
2. Playa Vacia Talega
3. Playa Jobos- Please contact Burger: @burgerena best tour guide in town, and I am happy to call him my friend. He will take you surfing, sight seeing, hiking, delicious cheap restaurants, and lodging accommodations.
4. Mar Chiquita Manati Tide Pools
5. La Placita in Santurce- Best night life in San Juan. Here you will find cheap drink deals, delicious cuisines, and life music.
6. Crashboat, Aguadilla- Go Pier jumping
7. Tropical Treehouse- Literally you stay in a treehouse in the middle of the jungle. It’s wild, beautiful, and sexy.
See you back in Christmas time, my isla bonita. #PuertoRicolohacemejor
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: email@example.com. I am trying to connect the dots to generate more funds and help more children. PURA VIDA!
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:
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.
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 Olaat Turtle Bay Resort. Please don’t forget to stop at the Dole Plantation and get the best pineapple ice cream, obviously.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
Lanakai Beach and Hanuama Bay – beast beaches in the island. Great for snorkeling and diving. You must visit them.
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.