I have been blessed to live for almost 20 years in a tiny fishing village Barra de Potosi, a wonderful small community of friendly people, in a relaxed rhythm, living close to family and the ocean. There is a lot of joy here. We are located on the Pacific Coast of Mexico surrounded by ocean and mangrove tree-lined lagoon on three sides and with one of the most beautiful beaches I've seen...great for swimming and occasional surfing yet only 20 minutes away from an international airport and 30 minutes away from a lively beautiful Mexican fishing town more developed for tourism, Zihuatanejo which has may of the more modern world kinds of things. I can say that after all these years, I still awake every morning feeling totally in love with Barra de Potosi...the beauty of it, the people, the pace and the magic.
I operate a small B&B in the village and am also the founder of a Children's Library Project a small ngo serving the children of Barra as a kind of activity and cultural center. The library is in a separate building across the street from the hotel.
Creating/ Cooking family meals
Help with Eco Projects
Help around the house
Help with Computers/ Internet
This village is the real Mexico in la 'Costa Grande' which is the birthplace of so much of the tropical Mexican culture as expressed in wonderful Mexican music, film and art. The opportunity to learn about the local culture and make friends with the villagers is an integral part of the experience. Added to that, the constant interchange with visitors in the hotel who come from other parts of Mexico and other parts of the world, makes the cultural exchange more widely varied. It will be possible to experience how people live in a rural coastal fishing village in Mexico. It will also be possible to connect with other volunteers working in area projects for weekend activities.
In the village of Barra, I have a small B&B of 6 rooms. I need a little help with the people part of the operation, occasionally greeting guests keeping communication going in case I cannot be there to make sure they are well attended and happy. I also need help with lighting candles and fairy lights at night and closing up at closing time. I have a great local staff for cleaning and cooking. Some help with gardening or maintenance projects are helpful at times. I could also use help with the internet aspect of promotion.. some site updates and upgrades etc.
I also am the founder of a small NGO here in the village which is the Children's Library Project. We have a small library on a property next door to the hotel full of wonderful books and art supplies. For over 15 years we have offered all kinds of educational after school activities for the children of the village in the library. I am also looking for volunteers interested in participating in the library. We have a local girl who volunteers daily at the library helping younger kids with homework and overseeing art and reading activities. Your work would be augmenting this working with her. This work can be focused on the areas of literacy, art or the permaculture project we hope to develop there with the kids. During Jan, Feb and March there is a team of biologists working on a whale research project in our area who have regular activities and workshops for the kids. Your work with the kids would blend with theirs when they are in the library.
Ideal would be volunteers who love meeting and interacting with people from all over the world and are bilingual in English and Spanish, (if you happen to speak Mandarin or French that's a big plus as I'm studying both), Hoping to find someone sensitive to cultural differences and who is a good team worker for occasional interaction with staff and good interfacing with neighbors and the community. For the library part, someone who loves children, can work with them and has an interest in literacy, permaculture, yoga or art.
I am hoping for someone who loves the idea of some combination of these skills and activities splitting between the library and the hotel.
Chinese (Mandarin): Beginner
I have a small room w double bed to offer to a single person or a couple. It has a private ensuite bath with hot water, a sweet patio area with hammock, fountain and the use of the adobe kitchen. I will provide a huge breakfast sometimes eaten with the guests plus two other meals which we prepare ourselves (together or separately). I am mostly vegan or vegetarian with some flexibility with fish but I generally do not buy or prepare meat. I'm thinking of a trade of 5 hours 5 days a week of work time. I mostly am looking for help during the months of December, January, February and March but other months may be possible also.
Close by in the village there are lots of activities that are nature oriented like ocean swimming, surfing, hiking, horseback riding, boat and kayak excursions on lagoon and ocean, snorkeling and fishing. There is very good inexpensive public transportation here. There is a lot to do in a range of traveling 30-40 minutes including other beaches and small towns, an active archaeological site with museum, Zihuatanejo and Ixtapa for shopping, other beaches, busier town energy, nightlife, many restaurants, music music places etc. There are fantastic places to visit by bus only 4-5 hours away where you can see another kind of Mexico...Colonial cities and cool mountainous climate. Mexico City is a half hour flight away.
I live very quietly, mostly stay within the village and the beach and lagoon nearby. On Saturdays I usually do the shopping in Zihua and take the opportunity to visit an eco-tianguis where there is live music, food and many friends gather. In the past, volunteers have enjoyed meeting some of my friends who live in Zihua and have been invited to stay with the them for a Saturday night to experience some of the nightlife there with other young people, often other volunteers in other projects. There are many opportunities to meet and make friends.
The B&B itself is not a place of late night noise, heavy drinking or drug use but we enjoy occasional gatherings with guests in the evening with cocktails and music, or sometimes accompanying them kayaking the lagoon or some other excursion activity. Sensitivity to and respect for the local culture is very important to us in both operations. I will always be available to give support and perspective for these details and general information about the cultural traditions of the area.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
5 hours a day, 5 days a week