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Q: Why isn't the address posted?
A: I don't want anyone to show up (without registering & paying) to find out the bus is full. So if anyone is serious about attending, read their event page for info/details and instructions on how to register. www.corazondevida.org/events
Q: What if the bus is full?
A: The bus has limited # of seats and accommodates people from LA, OC, and SD. If other people registered before you, and there's no more room, try signing up for a future trip. www.corazondevida.org/events
Q: Is fundraising required?
A: Corazon de Vida is a charity/non-profit, so financial donations help them support the orphanages. These bus trips help them raise $. I could be wrong, but I don't think anybody can force you to donate $, so although their website & emails may encourage fundraising, it's ultimately your choice to contribute or not.
Q: Can children attend?
A: Corazon de Vida's answer:
"We do encourage families to attend our trips to visit the orphanages. 7 or older is recommended, younger is OK but depends on maturity level and ability to spend time in bus and possible 1+ hour border wait. Each attendee must pay $50 bus fee and needs valid passport to attend."
Usually one Saturday a month, Corazon de Vida visits children at an orphanage in Mexico (in or near Tijuana).
They support over 10 orphanages, so each month usually is at a different orphanage.
This 1-day trip is a unique event and involves traveling to another country, so please read carefully all their details and requirements.
The cost to participate is $50, which covers "transportation, lunch, and craft project."
There are 3 pick-up (and drop-off) locations to choose from: Los Angeles, Irvine, and San Diego.
Trips during January to November are usually on 1 bus, but for December, sometimes 3 - 4 buses are used to visit more orphanages for a special holiday visit.
Due to distance and multiple stops, the majority of the day is spent on the bus. The approximate time spent at the orphanage is about 3 hours or less. It's up to you to decide if it's worth the $ and time.
Personally, I've gone a few times and it was an eye-opening and heart-warming experience. The kids are fun to play & interact with.
Speaking Spanish is not required. Being Mexican, Latino, or Hispanic is not required either. The kids are accustomed to visitors of all backgrounds.
If nobody else signs up from this group, other volunteers who attend are usually friendly. During the bus ride, you should have an opportunity to talk with others sitting nearby.
A friend named Renata frequently goes, so if anyone doesn't want to go alone, feel free to ask if she is going this month or look for her on the bus:
Since this is in Mexico, having a U.S. passport and/or other government approved, legal identification & documentation is required for re-entering the country.
To reiterate, this event occurs in Mexico...a driver's license is NOT acceptable for re-entry at the border. Please check your passport (or other id) has not expired.
TV & movies can portray Mexico in a distorted and inaccurate manner. Without a doubt, after crossing the border, what you'll see is distinct and different from America/California. Feeling nervous or apprehensive is totally understandable. If it helps, CDV has successfully and safely done these monthly bus trips for many years without incident. They are pretty organized and well-managed, so if anyone decides to go, they'll take care of you.
To sign up, go to www.corazondevida.org/events
and click on "VIEW EVENT" for the respective date for more info/details and instructions on how to register and pay.
Redundant reiteration: Signing up here on Meetup is insufficient. If anyone wants to participate, registering with CDV and paying in advance is necessary.
Questions can be answered by CDV via