Vallarta Living | December 2007
|Vallarta Volunteer Vacation Memories|
A sixteen-year-old visitor tells how volunteering for the Ayuda Los Animales free animal spay and neuter clinic run by Molly Fisher's non-profit organization, PEACE, was one of the greatest, most rewarding experiences of her life.
|Ayuda Los Animales (Help The Animals) - decreases the number of unwanted animals by holding high-volume spay and neuter clinics in the Banderas Bay area.|
Animals have been a heartfelt passion of mine since I was little. I have always loved and cared for them and dedicated myself to helping them in any way that I could. Volunteering for PEACE was an easy decision for me; little did I know that it would become one of the greatest, most rewarding experiences of my life.
Molly's sister was my neighbor, but I had never met nor spoken with Molly. However, I knew that she was the head of a brilliant, organization in Puerta Vallarta. After much persuasion my parents heeded to my desperate pleads and for my 16th birthday my Mom took me to Mexico.
Before I knew it I was gazing out over the ocean, observing the early morning sun piercing the slowly receding mist. The car pulled up to a charming pink house inundated with several energetic and enthusiastic dogs voicing their curiosity.
Molly and her husband Eduardo stepped out of the house and greeted me with welcoming smiles. I knew instantly that Molly and I would become good friends. This was probably due to the mewling ball of fur that she handed to me upon my arrival. As the puppy curled up in my arms, I bid my Mom farewell and drove off to Punta Mita with Molly and Eduardo.
When I arrived at the clinic I was overwhelmed with a sense of purpose, which was further enlivened as the animals and their owners began to fill the small courtyard. From that morning until my Mom arrived at the clinic at five later in the afternoon I was the center of a life-changing whirlwind.
I learned to take temperatures, register the owners and their pets, and prep each animal for surgery. The aspect of my day that I treasured the most was taking care of the animals before surgery (giving them food and water) and after-surgery (TLC!)
However, one of the most enriching experiences that I had at the clinic wasn't just taking care of the animals, but communicating with the people. I was able to translate for the doctors when the curious school children next door came over and, most importantly, I made lifelong connections with the kind people of Punta Mita and the caring, generous veterinarians.
Thanks to Katherine, Molly, Eduardo, P.E.A.C.E, and my Mom I went on the journey of a lifetime. I realized a lot about myself while also helping others in need. My trip to Mexico will always have a place in my heart and I can only hope that P.E.A.C.E. will continue to enrich the lives of others like it has enriched mine.
A Banderas Bay non-profit organization, PEACE acts as an umbrella organization for four charitable programs, Casa Comunidad, Ayuda Los Animales (Help The Animals), a Women's Co-Op (Manos de Mujeres Unidas) and Community Pride. It is a U.S. non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, which accepts tax-deductible donations and a Mexican Civil Association that issues facturas for donations. For more information, please visit PeaceMexico.org or click HERE to read more about PEACE