written by Lorenza Seldner
Rebuilding and replacing the window in the house of a family deeply affected by hurricane.
Jacques Cousteau called the Sea of Cortez “the world’s aquarium”; with one of the most biologically diverse bodies of water on the planet, and sunsets named as the most beautiful view by the National Geographic, San Carlos, Mexico represents a paradisiacal dream of leisure for locals and foreigners…
But reality hits very differently for the most vulnerable part of the population: the poorest people in Guaymas (that’s the actual Town name) who live marginalized, struggling to put food on the table and, basically to make ends meet. People living under desperation, knowing that the future for their children is not promising, either falling in drug dealing activities or taking underpaid jobs due to lack of education and opportunities.
And amidst that hopeless cause came Castaway Kids; a non-profit organization dedicated to fight poverty through education. The organization is formed mostly, by senior citizens from Canada and USA, who decided to spend their retirement years in this beautiful, small place. Moved by the hardships of the locals, and have fallen in love with the culture and Country, decided to take upon in this heroic task.
Castaway supports the community in three different ways:
1) They sponsor low-income, high-achievement students to finish school. They have helped over 100 kids who were at risk.
2) They provide vocational training to adults and are building their first Community Education Center. Guaymas’s two main sources of employment are fishing and the maquiladoras” (factories) which are an excellent option for skilled adults; hence the importance of the center.
3) They supply essential assistance to the Guaymas Community such as disaster relief and aid to build community centers or reconstruct houses. (Guaymas people have been victims of several powerful hurricanes in the past, including “Jimena” which tore the town apart).
Castaway volunteers at work helping in disaster relief.
The organization raises money through several channels: the foremost is the donations made by the sponsors, in which one of the members (or a volunteer) takes one or more students and absorb all expenses related to their education: from tuition to shoes and even food and medical bills for the most desperate cases. This charity has a very high percentage of donations that go to cause - 98% - because all the work is done by volunteers. The second channel is through their Thrift Store which receives donations in kind from anyone in the community; their personnel classify and organize the goods received and put them for sale.
The last channel, and the most heart-warming one, is by hosting beach parties in which the stars are the same students they help. The parties have raffles, games, prizes, exquisite local food and the performances are made by these kids. These kids, whose lives are being changed, dance and sing for a group of people who, do not share their blood, color or even language, yet care for them more than anyone else ever has.
The easiest way would be to ignore them, to enjoy their last golden years… they surely deserve it after all. But Castaway Kids members feel different; they may have come down for the fun, but instead raised a beacon of hope, in this beautiful, struggling town.
Please help them make a difference.
For more info on Castaway Kids, donate or how to become a sponsor please check their webpage:
https://www.castawaykidsmx.org/ (all donations are tax-deductible)