Deciding where to donate money can be a tough call, and a new philosophy has caught on to give direction to donors, effective altruism. Effective altruism is a research field and practical community that aims to find the best ways to help others and put them into practice. This means that by thinking carefully about the best ways to help, we can do far more to tackle the world’s biggest problems.
Here are some ways that you can give back to the local community.
THE AARÓN COTA FOUNDATION / FUNDACIÓN AARÓN COTA A.C.
The Aarón Cota Foundation is a non-profit organization committed to health, teamwork, and the well-being of the community. They support vulnerable people–seniors, children and people with disabilities or abandoned; exchange with other Institutions with similar purposes; help with specialty medical consultations, ambulance transfers, funeral services, internment of people to centers for the treatment of addictions (respecting specific guidelines). They meet at 4:30 pm, Wednesdays at Rangel esq. Zaragoza in Todos Santos. Telephone: (612) 176 49 10, office hours: 4 to 7 pm.
AMGIOS DE LOS BOMBEROS
The Pescadero Bomberos service the communities of El Pescadero, Cerritos, and Elias Calles with all emergencies: fire, medical, environmental, animal, etc. These local first responders are all volunteers and receive no government funding. The department is funded through private donations and needs your help now more than ever. They are running an average of 3 to 5 calls a day with each call costing about $200 USD in gas, maintenance, and supplies. Monthly donations secure the resources they need to respond to emergencies safely and efficiently while providing the best outcomes for those who need their services. You can make an annual or monthly donation at: https://bit.ly/SupportPescadero All donations through this link are US tax deductible. If you would like to donate and receive a Mexican factura, email: PescBomberoFactura@gmail.com. If you are interested in being a volunteer firefighter or paramedic, please contact +52 624 235 6916. For more information visit www.pescaderobomberos.com
COMFORT CARE AND ASSISTANCE
Comfort Care is a resource outreach organization providing in-home services for Todos Santos and surrounding communities for those who require assistance during times of illness whether short, chronic, or advanced to end of life while helping to live that life in a meaningful way (see Journal del Pacifico, Summer 2022, #54). Their services include initial assessments, medical assistance, elder care support, palliative care, end of life doula care, bereavement counseling, volunteer services, and education/workshops. Donations of medical supplies and equipment are appreciated including adult diapers, canes, walkers, crutches, and wheelchairs. An updated version of their Adios Amigos booklet: Goodbye Made Easier for Family and Friends is available for purchase. To become a member or volunteer please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org and/or 612-127-2410 or visit their website at www.comfortcare.mx for further information.
GRUPO MADRE TERESA
Grupo Madre Teresa is a Mexican community organization of Mexican and foreign volunteers dedicated to meeting the needs of El Pescadero and the surrounding community. They provide the following services: food to hungry families including: maseca, flour, oil, oats, beans, milk, fresh meat, fruits, and vegetables; hot meals for the elderly and hygiene supplies like lotion, deodorant, and adult diapers; training and care for young mothers including diapers, clothes, pacifiers, cream, and feminine products. Afterschool introductory English program. School supplies: notebooks, colored pencils, erasers, sharpeners, and markers. Christmas toys, Emergency assistance. Cash donations are welcome as well as the above items.
To volunteer: visit Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GMTpescadero/?locale=es_LA
Mar Libre is an all-volunteer project based in La Paz that was formed in July of 2015 (see Journal del Pacifico, Winter 2022, #25). In addition to monthly cleanups of reefs and mangroves with 94 cleanups and counting and more than 180 tons of trash removed from the marine environment, the volunteers also visit local schools to do pollution prevention presentations. They have visited more than 120 schools from Kindergarten to Undergrad to talk to students about the importance of keeping the ocean clean. You can find out more on the Mar Libre Facebook page.
NOT JUST TOURISTS
“Not Just Tourists” is a medical aid program that provides travelers with free suitcases of donated medical supplies that they can bring with them when visiting Baja California Sur. The Volunteers of Pro Paramedicos will receive the supplies and distribute them to the 25 paramedic teams that they support in the state. So far more than 300 “Not Just Tourists” suitcases or boxes of medical supplies have been received and distributed by Pro Paramedicos in just two years. For more info contact Pro Paramedicos on Facebook or by WhatsApp at +32 612 154 9859
PADRINO CHILDREN’S FOUNDATION
Padrino Children’s Foundation is a community focused non-profit organization providing access to professional healthcare and wellness services for economically disadvantaged children in Todos Santos and the surrounding area (see Journal del Pacifico, Winter 2023, #57). They are both a US based 501c3 and a Mexican AC, Fundación Padrino Todos Santos. Since 2016, they have changed the landscape for how children receive medical care though programs: pediatric medical services, psychological evaluations and therapies, children with special needs therapies, genetic testing and social work. Spanish speaking volunteers are often needed to help with events and activities, working with the children, and staff. Their most pressing need is always financial donations. Contact Nancy Naigle at email@example.com to inquire about volunteering or donating.
SAVING BAJA PAWS
Saving Baja Paws started as just a small rescue in Todos Santos in 2020 with only three volunteers, and founders Victoria Timm and Gelacio Villalobos. Since then, it has grown into an organization helping over a thousand animals a year through their programs and shelters. They offer free spay and neuter clincis for Todos Santos and the surrounding area. They support two dog shelters, one located in La Paz and the other in Todos Santos. Saving Baja Paw’s top priority is to drastically reduce pet homelessness in Baja California Sur. In 2023, over 50 dogs have been adopted, and over 400 animals have been sterilized. Volunteers are needed to help walk dogs, foster, transport, and help organize community events. They are a registered 501(c)3 in the United States. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, foster, or donate visit: https://www.savingbajapaws.org/. email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Facebook.com/savingbajapaws, IG & Tiktok @savingbajapaws
THE PALAPA SOCIETY OF TODOS SANTOS
Supporting The Palapa Society can help make a lasting impact on the education of students. You can donate towards various projects such as upgrading internet equipment, purchasing solar panels to support environmental protection education, and converting land into playing fields for physical education. Cash donations can help provide students with better learning experiences by contributing towards items such as laptops, interactive boards, air conditioners, printers, tablets, and equipment and software for audiovisual classes and robotics. The Palapa Society’s science lab, classroom, weather equipment, and forces and motion materials are also in need of additional equipment like beakers, test tubes, microscopes, seeds, thermometers, and pulleys. Your support can help provide these essential items and allow students to learn and grow. To donate in kind please email: email@example.com. To donate money please follow this link (donations via ICF are US tax deductible: https://palapasociety.org/donate/
Pro Paramedicos is an all-volunteer project formed at the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020. The first goal was to ensure that all the Paramedic teams in Baja California Sur had all the Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) that they needed to safely do their jobs. More than 2 million pesos worth of PPE was distributed to 25 paramedic teams on an as needed basis. Pro Paramedicos also operates two “Ambulancia Comunitarias.” This unique project loans ambulances to any community when their local ambulance breaks down. The loaner ambulances stay in service at no cost to the paramedics or the community until the local ambulance is reactivated. To find out more please visit the Pro Paramedicos page on Facebook or by WhatsApp +52 612 154 9859.
THE PESCADERO FOOD BANK
Volunteers pack and distribute nonperishable food items, and fresh vegetables donated by Sueño Tropical, each month to needy families in El Pescadero and the surrounding area. They also hold clothing and household item drives, provide toys during the holidays, and adult health needs for the aging. They work closely with Grupo Madre Teresa. Donations are always needed to continue their work, along with clothing for children and adults, household goods, and personal hygiene products. Clothing drop-off boxes are located in El Pescadero at Casa Maya restaurant, Shaka’s Cantina and Zócalo. Volunteers can help pack and distribute every 3rd Wednesday of the month at 8 am at the building behind the Catholic Church in El Pescadero. No gift is too small, please share your talents and time. Donations are US tax deductible through a 501c. They host several fundraising events throughout the year where people can attend and support. Raffle items and silent auction items donated by the local businesses and supporters help to secure funds to continue their work. For more information visit: https://www.pescaderofoodbank.org/