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MEXICO

Through our research, we have located schools, orphanages, charities and organizations that welcome in-kind donations to assist in their endeavors. A number of these organizations have been visited. In many cases, we have relied on the information provided by volunteers, directors, and other individuals involved with these groups and we do not guarantee the completeness or accuracy of the information provided. Use the information you find here as a starting point for doing independent research on these organizations and determining which, if any, you would like to help on your travels.

Although these schools, charities and other organizations are listed on this site, neither the Family Travel Network nor its assigns or officers are responsible for the activities of these organizations or their members. Contact the organizations directly for more detailed information on their work. The Family Travel Network has no financial involvement in these organizations.

Acapulco, Mexico: 

Alfred and Ray Lawrence Children's Home of the Salvation Army is in need of a wide variety of items including children's clothing, children's shoes, toiletries and personal hygiene items, children’s and adult’s Tylenol, children’s multivitamins, children’s cold/cough medicine, band-aids, toys, backpacks, pens, pencils, colored pencils, paper, rulers, school supplies, educational puzzles and games, children’s books, new underwear and socks, sports equipment, bath towels and washcloths, and bed sheets. For more information on the orphanage and their needs, contact Lucille Lawrence Weiss at luweiss@comcast.net.

Casa Hogar del Nino de Acapulco was started over 40 years ago to help disadvantaged children in Acapulco. There are approximately 60 children of all ages in the house. Items that are needed include children’s clothing for toddlers and children up to 18 years of age, children's shoes, toiletries and personal hygiene items, children’s and adult’s Tylenol, children’s multivitamins, children’s cold/cough medicine, band-aids, toys, backpacks, pens, pencils, colored pencils, paper, rulers, school supplies, educational puzzles and games, children’s books, new underwear and socks, sports equipment, bath towels and washcloths, and bed sheets. For more information on the orphanage and their needs, visit their website at www.casahogaracapulco.com or contact them via e-mail at casahogar@aca.cableonline.com.mx. The persons at the orphanage do not speak English, so it is helpful to speak some Spanish if you are going to visit. The Home's address is Las Americas Esquina Gran Via Tropical #59, Fracc. Las Playas, Acapulco.

Marsh Children's Home provides shelter for about 55-60 children ranging in age from 2 to 18. Items that are needed include children’s clothing for toddlers and children up to 18 years of age, toiletries and personal hygiene items, children’s and adult’s Tylenol, children’s multivitamins, children’s cold/cough medicine, band-aids, toys, backpacks, pens, pencils, colored pencils, paper, rulers, school supplies, educational puzzles and games, children’s books, new underwear and socks, sports equipment, bath towels and washcloths, and bed sheets. For more information, visit the Children's Home website or call the Hogar Infantil Marsh at (01744) 444 5505 or (01744) 444 5149.

Cabo San Lucas, Mexico:

Los Ninos del Capitan (The Captain's Kids) is a day care facility for the children of single parents in extreme circumstances of poverty. The Center cares for 65 children between 1-5 years of age. The day care facilities needs crayons for preschoolers, coloring books, glue sticks, colored construction paper, craft items, children's educational toys, children's blunt end scissors, children's Tylenol, children's multivitamins, children's clothing, children's shoes and socks, new children's underwear, dolls, children's toys, balls, and other preschool items. For more information, visit the Center's website at www.ninosdelcapitan.com.  To arrange a visit, e-mail info@ninosdelcapitan.com in advance or call (624) 173-3807.

Cancun and Isla Mujeres, Mexico:

La Casita Children's Home is located in the Cancun area.  The Home serves orphaned children, many of whom have been neglected or abused.  The Home needs English books, Spanish books, a wide variety of school supplies, backpacks, children's clothes, children's shoes and socks, toiletries and personal hygiene items, children’s and adult’s Tylenol, children’s multivitamins, children’s cold/cough medicine, band-aids, toys, educational puzzles and games, sports equipment, stuffed animals and children's toys. For more information, contact publicrelationslacasita@yahoo.com.mx.

The Little Yellow School House on Isla Mujeres is an educational institution for about 35-50 children with special needs. The school welcomes donations of school supplies and short visits. Needs include such items as white paper, stickers, coloring books, pencil sharpeners, wooden puzzles, children’s blunt end scissors, educational games, craft supplies, balls, and Elmer’s glue or glue sticks. For more information, contact Paula Salas de Salub or Esther Orozco Uribe, Little Yellow School House (Centro de Apoyo Psicopedayogico) http://www.isla-mujeres.net/school/home.htm, Centro de Apoyo, Attn. Paula Salas Acosta, Lote 1 Mza. 202 Fracc. La Gloria, Isla Mujeres, Quintana Roo, Mexico, C.P. 77400 The school can be contacted by e-mail at anisla98@hotmail.com or by phone in Isla Mujeres at: 877-0477. A complete list of desired school supplies and items is contained on the school’s website: http://www.isla-mujeres.net/school/home.htm.

The La Gloria English School is a school located in Isla Mujeres, a small island just off the coast of Cancun. The school teaches English to about 300 local children and adults, and it welcomes donations of school supplies. Items that are needed include notebooks, scissors, glue sticks, colored pencils, markers, highlighters, rulers, compasses, backpacks, copy paper, bilingual books, and other items. In addition, there is an ongoing need for gently used clothing for babies, children and teens. The La Gloria English School is located at Mza. 156, Lote 20, Colonia La Gloria, Isla Mujeres, Quintana Room, Mexico, E-mail: lagloria@gmail.com, Telephone: 52 99 88 88 06 66. For more information and a complete list of desired supply donations, visit the organization's website at www.folges.org. If items cannot be brought to the school, they may be dropped off in the downtown area at the Francis Arlene Hotel on Avenida Guerrero, the Nauibeach Condominium office, or DigaMe! On Avenida Guerrero. E-mail lagloria@gmail.com to let them know that items have been dropped off. Isla Mujeres can be easily reached by ferry from either Puerto Juárez & Gran Puerto Cancun in Cancun.

Give a Toy, Get a Smile is a non-profit organization devoted to improving the lives of less fortunate children in and around Cancun. During the latter part of the year, the group organizes and operates a children’s toy drive similar to the popular Toys for Tots programs in the United States. Information is contained on the organization's website: www.giveatoygetasmile.org. Visitors to the Cancun area are encouraged to bring a new toy or another appropriate gift for the children in the area. These can include stuffed animals, dolls, sporting goods and equipment, coloring books with crayons, hair ribbons, make-up kits, nail polish, model cars, etc. Please do not bring battery operated toys or items requiring electricity, since these children may not have access to either of these. Drop off sites are generally available in Cancun, Playa del Carmen and Tulum. For more information, contact Nancy and Andrew Myers at Give_A_Toy@yahoo.com.

Costa Maya Mexico:

Majahual is a little fishing village about a five-minute ride from the cruise ship pier. This area was completely devastated by Hurricane Dean in 2007, and all cruise ship visits to the port were suspended. In the past, many cruise ship passengers visited the town, and buses and taxis ran regularly directly from the cruise ship pier. Prior to Hurricane Dean, there was a kindergarten, a primary school and a high school in the area. If you go, take a backpack or shoulder bag of school supplies. If you are planning to take anything larger than a backpack, check with your cruise line in advance to make arrangements and make sure it will pass through customs. Here is a list of what the schools needed: Kindergarten: scissors, coloring books, paint, tape, pencil boxes, crayons, puzzles, and flash cards with numbers and letters. Elementary School: pens, pencils, crayons, paint materials, spelling books, educational puzzles and games. High School: notebooks, white lined paper, pencils, erasers, calculators, colored pencils, pencil boxes. The children and teachers at the schools speak some English, but it is very helpful to know some Spanish. The schools are generally available for visits from 8 a.m. until about noon. Short visits are welcomed and teachers are very appreciative of donations. Schools are closed during the summer months and on holidays. In addition, sometimes one of the schools is open while the other two are closed, so check at all three before giving up. Given the devastation caused by Hurricane Dean, it is very likely that families in the area will need children's clothing, children's shoes and other supplies as well.

Cozumel, Mexico:

Ciudad de Angeles orphanage provides a family-oriented living environment for over 20 children in Cozumel. The orphanage is located in multiple rental homes, each with a mother figure to help look after the children. The children come from all over Mexico from a variety of situations, including being abused, abandoned or orphaned. The organization’s website, www.ciudaddeangeles.org, provides more information on the orphanage, including a wish list of what they need. Needs include new or gently used clothing (children’s sizes 5-16, Junior girls’ sizes 3-9), sandals, shoes, coloring books, toys, dolls, shampoo, toothbrushes, hair combs and brushes, school supplies, puzzles, games, and children’s videos and DVDs. For more information, contact Gary Gardner, Director, at director@ciudaddeangeles.org. The phone number is 404-551-5129. If resort guests or cruise ship passengers would like to drop items off, they should e-mail or call Gary Gardner at least 48 hours in advance and he will give them the address and the best time. If visitors would like to come to the orphanage and meet the children, they should contact Gary at least 2 weeks in advance for permission and more information.

Cozumel Chrysalis Group is a non-profit organization that helps low-income families in Cozumel with scholastic assistance, including classroom supplies, some books and uniforms. The Cozumel Chrysalis Group welcomes donations of school supplies, such as backpacks, calculators, pens, pencils, blunt end scissors, highlighters, glue sticks, colored markers, colored pencils, liquid white out, and other items. In addition, donations of gently used children’s and adults clothing are greatly welcomed. These clothes are sold at low prices to provide local residents with inexpensive clothing, and the proceeds are used to purchase school supplies. Items can be dropped off at the Cozumel Chrysalis office located at 75 Avenida entre Calle 8 y Calle 10, #424 on the days when the office is staffed. Donations can also be dropped off at the Cozumel Putting Course, located downtown at Calle 1 Sur and 15th Avenue, or at Paradise Beach (www.paradisebeach.com). For more information on the Cozumel Chrysalis Group or on arranging drop-offs of donations, contact Alicia at 1-866-511-1014 (toll-free from the U.S.) or 872-5478 (from Cozumel) or e-mail: alicia@gis.net or cozkids@hotmail.com.

Transportation to both of these organizations, either from a resort or from the cruise ship pier, can easily arranged by taxi.

Huatulco, Mexico:

La Crucecita Elementary School needs a wide variety of school supplies including pencils, pens, pencil sharpeners, crayons, colored pencils, colored markers, bilingual and Spanish reading books, backpacks, erasers, staplers, paper clips, glue sticks, rulers, calculators, flash cards, educational CDs, puzzles, coloring books, activity books, construction paper, sports equipment, and other items. Items can be brought to the school or dropped off with the Concierge or the Public Relations staff at the Dreams Huatulco Resort and Spa.

Un Nuevo Amanecer, "A New Dawn" is a non-profit school for the treatment of disabled children located in the Huatulco area. Approximately 70% of the families of the children seen at Un Nuevo Amanecer are below the poverty level for the state of Oaxaca, the second poorest state in Mexico. The school needs a wide variety of school supplies including pencils, pens, pencil sharpeners, crayons, colored pencils, colored markers, bilingual and Spanish reading books, backpacks, erasers, staplers, paper clips, glue sticks, rulers, calculators, flash cards, educational CDs, puzzles, coloring books, activity books, construction paper, sports equipment, and other items. Donations of children's clothing, socks, shoes, personal care items, children's Tylenol, and children's vitamins are also welcomed. For more information, visit the Un Nuevo Amanecer: website. The school is located on Jazmin Street in the township of La Crusecita, on the second floor above the "Zaro" hardware store. Donations can also be dropped off at the Hurricane Divers shop in Huatulco.

Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo, Mexico:

Casa Para Ninos del Pacifico, (I.A.P.), Calle Mar Caspio #135, Col. Centro, Zihuatanejo, Guerrero México c.p. 40880, ph: (01 755) 554-5982, e-mail contacts: Emmy Chávez emmy.chavez@pacifica.com.mx and Yadira de la Peña yaya@pacifica.com.mx. For more information, visit the resort’s website: Welcome to Pacífica Resort Ixtapa. The Pacifica Resort in Ixtapa created this house to assist with the education of children ages 6-12. There are workshops in subjects such as computer sciences, English and reading. Donations such as working computers, school supplies, backpacks, calculators, and other scholastic items are greatly appreciated.

Potosi Children's Library is located in Barra de Potosi, a small town with a practically undeveloped 9 1/2 mile beach and some interesting wetland areas. This little library is in need of children's books in English and Spanish. The library also accepts children's clothing and toys, which are distributed to the children of local families in the area.

Manzanillo, Mexico:

The Casa Hogar Los Angelitos is an orphanage and clinic that provides housing, food, and educational support for children and families in extreme poverty. The ages of the children are from birth to 18 years of age. In addition the Casa Hogar Los Angelitos also manages an outreach and assistance program that provides food, water, clothing and shelter to hundreds of families in the Manzanillo area as well as others further south in the state of Guerrero. The contact information for the orphanage is: Casa Hogar Los Angelitos, Av. Pedro Flores #16, Col. Las Palmas, Manzanillo, Colima, Mexico. Phone: 011-52-314-334-0878. US Contact: The Children's Foundation, P.O. Box 1443, Loveland, CO 80539-1443, Phone: 1-888-934-3733, Fax: 1-970-663-5175. E-mail Contact: childrensfoundation@yahoo.com. Website: www.childrensfoundationinc.com. The orphanage appreciates donations such as children’s clothing (babies through 18 years of age), pencils, sharpeners, crayons, subject books, reading books, backpacks, erasers, staplers, paper clips, glue sticks, flash cards, educational CDs, puzzles, coloring books, activity books, construction paper, sports equipment, toys, band-aids, adult’s and children’s aspirins and ibuprofen, anti-bacterial creams, and baby items. If you would like to visit the orphanage, volunteer or obtain more information, visit the website and fill out the volunteer form or send an e-mail to childrensfoundation@yahoo.com.

Mazatlán, Mexico:

Ciudad de Los Ninos Orphanage was founded in 1970 by Padre Lucas Carvajal Lopez and is currently run by nuns belonging to the Institute of Missionary Sisters of the Christ Child. The orphanage is located just north of Mazatlan on the west side of the two-lane highway to Culiacan. There are approximately 35 children and young people between the ages of 3 and 30 living at the orphanage. The young adults all have mental and/or physical challenges, which is why they are permitted to live at the orphanage beyond the typical 18-year period. The orphanage needs food supplies, backpacks, pencils, pens, notebooks, binders, colored pencils, crayons, coloring books, colored pencils, markers, rulers, calculators, and other types of school supply items. In addition, the orphanage needs children's and young adult clothing, shoes, personal care items, and school uniforms. Visits to the orphanage are welcomed. For more information, contact the Tres Islas Orphanage Fund at email@orphanagefunds.org or call them at 1-888-459-8463.

Orfanatorio de Mazatlan currently houses 22 children from 4-17 years of age. The orphanage can use donations of children’s clothing, shoes, sheets, pillowcases, blankets, towels, backpacks, school supplies, shampoo and conditioner, toothbrushes, toothpaste, hairbrushes and combs, art supplies, toys, Spanish reading books, and other items. The orphanage is located at Zaragoza 227-A, Centro, Mazatlán, Sin. 82000 Tel. 981-22-14, From U.S.A. 011-52-669-981-22-14. E-mail:orfamaz@hotmail.com. Tourists and cruise passengers are welcome to visit. Rafaela or Diana will help with any questions. For more information, visit the orphanage's website at www.orfamaz.pacificpearl.com. Donations are also accepted at the Pacific Pearl Office at Av. Camaron Sabalo No. 10000L4 (behind the Farmacia Moderna) in the Golden Zone.

The Hogar San Pablo Orphanage is a home for street boys in Mazatlán. The home houses 36 boys ranging in age from 9-18. The home provides housing as well as food and educational assistance. Hogar San Pablo is located at Paseo del Centenario No. 9. Tel: (669) 982-3720 or (669) 981-6121. For further information in English about the Hogar, contact Lenda McKay at (669) 985-2925 or via e-mail at lendamck@netscape.net. The orphanage can use donations of boys and teens clothing, shoes, sheets, pillowcases, blankets, towels, backpacks, pens, pencils, crayons, colored pencils, rulers, flashcards, composition books, art supplies, toothbrushes, toothpaste, shampoo and conditioner, combs, Spanish reading books, sporting goods equipment, soccer balls and cleats, basketballs and sports shoes, computers, and other items. Donations can be dropped off at Hogar San Pablo or at the Pacific Pearl offices (www.pacificpearl.com, Pacific Pearl Magazine, Av. Camaron Sabalo No. 1000 L4, Golden Zone, Mazatlán, phone: 669-913-0117). For more information on Hogar San Pablo, visit this page on the Pacific Pearl website.

The Pacific Pearl Back Pack Program donates school supplies to needy children in the Mazatlán area. Donations that are needed include backpacks, pencils, pens, notebooks, binders, colored pencils, calculators, and other types of school supply items. Donations can be dropped off at the Pacific Pearl’s offices in Mazatlán. The location of the offices is Av. Camaron Sabalo, No. 1000 L4, Golden Zone, Mazatlán (across the street from Bing’s Ice Cream and behind the Farmacia Moderna). For more information, call 01152-669-913-0117 (from the U.S. and Canada) or (669) 913-0117 (from Mexico) or e-mail: ppbp@pacificpearl.com, Attention: Mike.

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico:

Casa Hogar Maximo Cornejo Quiroz is an orphanage that cares for 50-60 children from infants through children up to 17 years of age. Due to the laws in Puerto Vallarta, these children cannot be adopted. Older children attend school, but the younger ones are often confined within the walls of Casa Hogar. The orphanage is in need of children's clothes (infants through teens), children's shoes and socks, children's toys, school supplies, backpacks, children's vitamins, children's Tylenol and Motrin, neosporin, soap, shampoo, toothbrushes and toothpaste, and other personal care items. The orphanage is located at Carr. Tepic Km 9 #1100, about 2 miles north of the airport in Puerto Vallarta. Visits are welcome during specified hours. If you follow the frontage road exit signs for "Central Camionera," you will drive past the front entrance of Casa Hogar. For more information, visit www.MaximoCornejo.org, e-mail the orphanage at info@maximocornejo.org or call (52) 322 221-1908. Glogal Volunteer Projects has also been assisting this orphanage and can provide more information. They can be contacted at 044-322-127-8878.

New Life Mexico is a charity that supports children and young people who have been physically, sexually or emotionally abused. The organization is in need of school supplies, backpacks, children's vitamins, personal care products, as well as clothing and shoes for children and teens. For more information, visit the organization's website at www.newlifemexico.com, e-mail pvp@newlifemexico.com, or call 44 (0) 20 7604 4408.


Refugio Infantil Santa Esperanza (R.I.S.E.) is a non-profit shelter for abused, neglected or abandoned babies and children under the ages of 14. These children have been turned over to R.I.S.E. by DIF, the Mexican government organization that is the legal representative for children under the age of 14. R.I.S.E. currently has 47 children at the orphanage. They welcome visitors from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., and from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. The orphanage’s address is R. Flores Magnon #251, Colonia Benito Juarez, Puerto Vallarta, and the phone number is 222-7857 (from the U.S., dial 011-52-322-222-7857.) If you call the orphanage directly, you must speak Spanish. Information in English can be obtained through e-mail. For more information, visit the orphanage’s website at www.refugio-infantil.com. For more information about the orphanage and needed supplies and donations, as well as to arrange a visit, contact Sudy Coy at sudycoy@yahoo.com or Carmen Galvan Berkowitz at carmengalvanpv@msn.com.

Greater Puerto Vallarta Area:

La Casa de los Ninos is a scholastic resource center for the children of the Lo de Marcos, specifically designed to assist children in grades 1-6. Lo de Marcos is located north of Puerto Vallarta. The center needs bilingual or Spanish books for children, pens and pencils, crayons, colored paper, glue sticks, flashcards, children's scissors, craft materials, colored pencils, and other items. For more information, visit the center's website at www.lacasaninos.org, e-mail them at casalodemarcos@yahoo.com or contact them at (52) 327 275 0315.

Riviera Maya and Tulum Areas of Mexico:

Give a Toy, Get a Smile is a non-profit organization devoted to improving the lives of less fortunate children in the Riviera Maya, Tulum and Greater Cancun areas. During the latter part of the year, the group organizes and operates a children’s toy drive similar to the popular Toys for Tots programs in the United States. Information is contained on the organization’s website: www.giveatoygetasmile.org. Visitors to the Riviera Maya region are encouraged to bring a new toy or another appropriate gift for the children in the area. These can include stuffed animals, dolls, sporting goods and equipment, coloring books with crayons, hair ribbons, make-up kits, nail polish, model cars, etc. Please do not bring battery operated toys or items requiring electricity, since these children may not have access to either of these. Drop off sites are generally available in Playa del Carmen and Tulum. For more information, contact Nancy and Andrew Myers at Give_A_Toy@yahoo.com.

Gran Bahia Principe, Tulum is sponsoring an ongoing toys and clothing drive for the children of town of Chemuyil, where many of the workers at the Gran Bahia Principe, Xcaret and Xel Ha live. All donations can be dropped off with the Guest Services Managers in the Tulum lobby. Needed items include children’s clothing, children's socks and shoes, pencils, pens, erasers, sharpeners, crayons, Spanish and bilingual reading books, backpacks, staplers, paper clips, glue sticks, flash cards, educational CDs, puzzles, coloring books, activity books, construction paper, sports equipment, toys, band-aids, children’s aspirins and ibuprofen, anti-bacterial creams, and baby items. For more information, contact the Guest Services staff at the Gran Bahia Principe.

Hekab Be Library is a small community library in the town of Akumal. The library is in need of children's and adult books in Spanish, bilingual books, teaching aids, educational toys and games, and other materials. For more information, visit their website at www.hekabbe.com.

Puerto Morelos' El Mundo para Puerto Morelos is a charitable foundation established to help improve the conditions of the Puerto Morelos community. The organization needs a wide variety of school supplies for its kindergarten, primary school and high school.  Needed supplies include pencils, pens, markers, calculators, arts and crafts supplies, children's scissors, paper clips, glue sticks, Ibuprofen, children's vitamins, and other items. Supplies can be dropped off at Mama's Bakery or at Dive In Puerto Morelos. Both are located on the first block north of the square on Ave. Javier Rojo Gomez. For more information, visit the charity's website.




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