There are so many ways to give back to people who you love, who take care of you, who make you happy. We have been going to Maya Tulum for 12 years now. I am a firm believer in giving time, money, energy, and love directly. It is easy and often more convenient to send a check to an organization, yet you don’t always know exactly where it is going. In the years that we have been going to Maya Tulum, we have gotten to know many of the people who work there along with some of their families. They clean the cabanas and yoga rooms, make sure that all the participants have what they need, and most endearingly, take special care of my kids. They know them by name and are often making them special drinks or towel animals or teaching them words in Spanish. Steven and I decided that we wanted to thank them by bringing down gifts for their kids.
The first year, we just brought a few backpacks, toys, and art supplies for a couple families. We then realized that we would like to do this for all of the kids and grand-kids so we asked for help from all the lovely people who were coming down to the retreat. We kept building on this idea until 2011. Last year we brought down 12 laptops to donate to a local Children’s Center in Tulum. This year we went back to the backpacks. There were 58 kids on our list! It took us 2 days to make a backpack for each kid based on age and gender. We took three more trips into town to add supplies for kids that were lacking. We then labeled them, tied together the siblings’ bags and delivered them to the front desk. Special thanks to Elliott, Diana Milan, Carol Ciaravino, Steven, Dylan, Deven, and Lila Miller (Tim Miller’s daughter and good friend of my boys). It was a lot of work but so worth it. Thanks to all of you who brought down things for the kids. They were really thrilled.