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:
On November 5, I’m going to be hosting a Fundraiser at Hacienda Victoria, Casa de Refugio Orphanage in Rosarito Mexico. Please join me while we spread the Thanksgiving love with the children in need in Rosarito, Mexico.
The itinerary will be as follows, we will get to the orphanage at 8am on November 5, and we will be hosting games from 8-12pm. All ideas are welcome.
Here is how you can help:
Donating $50 for a kid, this will help the administration give them gifts for Christmas
Donating staple foods or lightly used clothing
Submit any game ideas suitable for children 4-15 years old
Please email if interested at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All contributions will be welcome. Help me be the change for our children of the future. God Bless!
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.
Lately, I’ve been more involved than ever in giving myself to volunteer work especially in orphanages. My mind has been consumed with the idea a pursuing the “pleasurable utopic life.” This idea of “pleasurablenes” comes from places of emptiness, that are fleeing and shallow. I found myself in this constant search of pleasure and satisfaction that left me empty and sad, more than I was happy. Then, as tacky as it sounds, “I had an epiphany,” and I asked myself, “What makes you happy?” What gives Lorena meaning and desire to do more in life that makes a difference, and has a purpose. That for me is sustainable happiness.
For months, I would be very happy and then very sad at times, but I would never show that I was sad to people, because I don’t want to bring people down and cause sadness. And then, I was AHA! Lorena, likes making people happy, especially children. Orphan children are often times abused, trafficked, and in poverty.
I’ve started going to Casa de Refugio in Rosarito, Mexico almost for three years. I visited them every three months, and now I go every other week. When I started going more often, I realized that I was impacting these children lives for the better. Just thinking about them and the idea of helping them out just brings me instant happiness. Happiness that I can sustain, and I would go back to in a matter of seconds.
There are 62 children in the orphanage. Ages range from 3-16 years old. They are the sweetest and well-mannered children I’ve ever interacted with. Every time I visit, I bring different activities such as bowling, scavenger hunts, coloring books, painting, and soccer matches. I have the time of my life with them. My mind is there and present in the moment. I don’t care about anything else that’s happening. Living in the present and feeling that present happiness is worth living for. Not living in the past nor the future. (Obviously, prepare for the future, you know what I mean )
Right now, they are in need of a metal staircase to replace a falling wooden staircase (that’s falling) to pass a “safety” license in Mexico. I talked the administration lady today and she said they quoted her $8,000 dollars, not pesos. That broke my heart because they don’t have that money, and no one is willing to help out in a pro-bono basis. Honestly, if I could build a 30+ steps metal staircase I would do it. I’m going back to the orphanage next week, please let me know if you want to help or donate. See how can you help below:
How can you help?
They are in constant need for food. There is 62 mouths to feed along with the volunteers that host the orphanage. They love pasta, lasagna, and doughnuts. Best food items to donate are: pasta, sauce, tortilla, beans, any canned food items.
Toiletries such as diapers, tampons, and wipes.
Shoes: they need black shoes to go to school
And last for not least, if you know how to build a metal staircase or know someone that knows how to do please contact me at: email@example.com.
If you are interested in volunteering with me feel free to contact me too. The more the merrier. You will have fun, I promise.
For more information, please contact their website at:
This year I had the opportunity to go to several orphanages and public schools in Latin America. It was a mind blowing experience to see the conditions these children are living in, and how happy and grateful they are. They didn’t care about the material stuff you brought, I mean yes they needed food and they appreciate that, but all they cared about was your presence. The “visitor’s” presence. When you think about basic human needs, the first thing that comes to mind is that underprivileged children would rather have their physiological needs met before anything else. I guess that statement is wrong. These children prefer to have their social needs met than anything else. The first thing they ask you when they see you is how long are you staying? I used to say I’m only staying a couple of days or so, and they will keep asking why I had to leave, why I can’t stay with them forever? Now when I go, I just deviate the question asking them if they want to play a game or something along those lines. Children around 4-6 years old just want to play and run around. On the other hand, I got the opportunity to interact with girls ages 8-14, and all they needed was my advice and someone to talk to. Essentially, children need someone they can trust. Honestly, if I could I would devote my life to help those in need, but at this point in my life I can’t do it. I don’t have the financial stability to be able to take off, travel the world, and provide for those in need.
Every time I come back home I tend to compare the under privileged children with the children around the community I live, and is just shocking. All these kids only care about their self-image, what people think, social acceptance, and good old WIFI. Children these days have a false sense of community and don’t get to live a normal childhood. I wish children just grow out of this phase and get involved with things and activities that are substantial for their well-being, and emotional growth.
I’ve been through thick and thin in life. From beating cancer, to loosing myself, the only thing that’s kept me going is the satisfaction I get from helping other people, especially children in need. My goal in life is to create my own Non-Profit Organization that helps children around the world and cancer patients. For that, I need an audience, people who are willing to be selfless and give, people that our willing to be game changers, and make a difference. I don’t know how I am going to do this, but I am a go getter, and nothing will stop me. STAY TUNED.
Interested in volunteering or donating? See below:
Ciudad de Refugio in Rosarito, Mexico- they are in need of comfort food mainly, but anything else if welcomed. They love toys, of course. 🙂
Escuela de Playa Grande, Guanacaste, Costa Rica- they are in need of ink for printers, books, and paper.
The Young and Brave Foundation: they need volunteers, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Orangewood Foundation: Southern California organization, email: JPatino@orangewoodfoundation.org
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!