Non-Profit We Support
Every penny that is donated to this section goes into funding a self-sustainable local program. Below is a project that has been started and funded by this online publication so that you see where your money is going.
Healthy Eating Project
How it all started…
When Do Good As You Go community leader, Saya, researched and reached out to me on Instagram to develop a program on teaching the children of La Casa de Las Nubes about healthy eating choices, how could I say no? Over a period of months, we worked together on the structure of the program to make it sustainable and effective. Finally, I wrote the program, flew down to Guanajuato, and began something I never dreamed would develop into what it is now.
What is the Healthy Eating Project
It started with a $200 donation to the blog by a dentist living in Dallas, Texas that I took with me to Guanajuato to provide groceries for every single family that attended the first four workshops.
The first workshop was for children and involved teaching them the correlations between the color of fruits and vegetables and the diseases the colors prevent. For example: orange fruits are high in Vitamin C and prevent scurvy and help your immune system.
The children were first taught about a color and given the chance to name fruits and vegetables with that color. Then they were given colored markers to fill in a worksheet and the body part these foods aid in maintaining. They were also taught how to read nutrition labels and what was really inside “fruit juice”.
At the end of the workshop, the children were taught about cost. The cost of a Coke and a bag of chips were the same price as a bag of groceries. So we gave them the option of either taking home a Coke and bag of chips or a bag of groceries. We’re proud to say, not one person touched the bag of chips or Coke!
This class has since been replicated in Ecuador by a volunteer who took the lesson plan and continued on his journey.
If you’d like a copy of the lecture and to replicate it elsewhere on your travels in Spanish with a local partner OR if you’d like to teach this lecture again in Guanajuato, Mexico, please email email@example.com.
The second workshop was taught by a local named Penny, who is certified in cultural cooking and nutrition. Her focus was on diabetic-friendly meals. Diabetes is a huge problem in this community, so the workshop was geared towards women who have family members with diabetes, although anyone was welcome to join.
Chef Penny taught them about diabetic friendly and preventative ingredients, gave them four recipes, and they practiced, cooked, and ate together.
At the end, they were all given a week’s worth of groceries to go forth and cook the meals they were taught in the workshop. The donations of this online publication supplemented all of the costs involved in this workshop.
The third workshop involved a local medical doctor named Clara who came to the community and taught them about hypertension. All of the attendees, for the first time in their lives, got their blood pressure taken and explained.
They were then taught and given a recipe on salt-free seasoning and sauces. As well as given a week’s worth of fresh groceries. The doctor was available for individual consulting as well.
The fourth workshop was another diabetes workshop taught by Chef Penny where the women were given another four recipes to try, practice, eat, and then take home.
As usual, they were given a week’s worth of groceries to test the recipes. But more importantly, these women weren’t only learning, they were practicing community building by sharing over food. Many of the women brought notepads to take notes.
The fifth workshop was done by Chef Penelope who taught the community a natural alternative to Coke. Coco-Cola has taken over Mexico and Mexicans are the highest consumers of Coke on the planet.
The intake of sugar sweetened beverages has been attributed to a number of health problems such as diabetes and obesity. Therefore, Chef Penelope came up with a tea recipe made with natural Stevia to address this issue.
This time even men showed up! And everyone was sent home with fresh food and everything needed to make 4 liters of coke + a kilogram of lentils.
If you’d like the Coke recipe for an upcoming workshop you are performing, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The sixth workshop was put on by a dietician from Austria named Jazmin. The lesson was to focus on three substitutions with olive oil, arroz integral, and stevia. Since it was close to Mother’s Day, the kids made a healthy oatmeal desert for the moms.
The moms made an alternative chile relleno, grilled instead of battered and fried. We gave out fruits and seeds (like chia, flax, etc.), 1kg of brown rice and olive oil – of which they brought their own containers and we will fill them up every time. And we explained why these substitutions were important.
During this workshop we also gave out cutting boards, ladels, spoons, and other household items to aid in cooking.
The seventh workshop was a focus on grains with protein. Groceries supplies were 15kg of lentils, quinoa, oats, and 45 bell peppers. It was put on by a licensed nutritionist and university professor for nutrition from the town of Irapuato (50 minutes away) named Claudia Cruz.
During this workshop we made ceviche de lenteja y una ensalada de quinoa (using grains as protein) and repeating the general principles of “el plato del bien comer” and on Coca-Cola. We gave out olive oil again.
Every single cent of the $2000+ donations we’ve received for this project has gone directly back to the Healthy Eating Project where the money is used for buying groceries for an entire week for the 40+ families that attend the workshops now. It also provides all the food and recipes and supplies for workshop leaders and chefs to perform their classes. In addition, all food is bought at a local grocer in order to maintain the community stability of the program.
What is Do Good As You Go?
Do Good As You Go is a travel volunteer platform that links long-term or short-term travelers with volunteer projects and partners within the area they are traveling to so that you can…do good as you go. However, it is important to note that a background check is required with at least two references. And they DO CHECK. In addition, you must be qualified in the area that you are volunteering in. For example, I could teach nutrition, because I have my Ph.D. in Nutrition. I won’t be building houses or teaching English if you catch my drift. In addition, it’s imperative that you speak the language that is dominant in the area as you won’t always have an interpreter to do the translating for you. On the other hand, Do Good As You Go hires individuals to vet local partners to make sure they are doing what they say they are doing and they do check-ups to constantly verify before sending more volunteers. All around, it’s a great program, I highly recommend it whether you’re a local partner or a volunteer.
What is La Casa De Las Nubes?
La Casa De Las Nubes is a community driven project that seeks support from individuals and groups that can bring educational and skill-based workshops to the youth and adults that live in the unregistered zone of Guanajuato.
The community boasts an entire generation of youth that were born into this space and know no other home. The people live a very challenging existence because of the terrain, the lack of access to water and the tumultuous cultural dynamics of poverty. But they have incredible spirit and the children are full of life, curiosity and an insatiable desire to learn. The children attend local public schools along-side the neighboring community’s youth.
You can find updates on them at @lascasadelasnubesgto
For An Inside Look At The Behind The Scenes Of This Project, Check Out Our Interview With a Global Health Research Scientist.
How Can You Help?
If you’d like to get involved and volunteer, please email Saya at email@example.com.
If you’d like to donate, please scroll down and click the Paypal donate button. WE ARE NO LONGER TAKING DONATIONS AT THIS TIME.
If you’d like to chat more about growing this program in your community or spotlighting it on your platform, please email Kiona at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This project would not be possible without Saya Des Marais who finds and vets the volunteers to teach the classes, those of you who donate to this online community, and most importantly La Casa De Las Nubes whose strength and determination are what make this project successful.