We were a small volunteer group visiting Casa de Paz (House of Peace). The director of the orphanage, Jonatán Lopez Sánchez, eagerly welcomed us and began a tour of the property.
Surrounding a mini soccer field, an outdoor basketball court, and a kid's dreamy jungle gym is a small cafeteria, a house for boys, another one for girls, and a home for special needs children requiring 24-hour care.
Casa de Paz is not only trying to complete two more houses — one of which is for infants, a rarity for Mexican orphanages — they are also planning for the future. Currently raising goats and growing vegetables and fruit, they look to increase efficiency in order to sell extra harvests and goat products.
It was impressive enough to see the outlay of Casa de Paz as it was, but then hearing about their plans on teaching their children how to operate the farmland and ultimately become completely self-sufficient blew us away. Casa de Paz didn't have the feeling of an orphanage, but rather a true home.
Directions. The group meets in Orange County and San Diego to carpool down to the orphanages.
Price. The volunteer group pays to stay the night at the orphanage and buys food that they later prepare on site for the kids — usually around $50 per person.
More Information. Be The Cause, bethecause.com, is an online social network that organizes these Mexico Trips. Simply sign up, and ask to be included in the next event. Can't make it down to Mexico? No problem — you can help with many other projects. Or if looking to donate to the orphanages visited, go to bethecause.com/_mex_donate..