the  M e r m a i d    C h r o n i c l e s 
SOUTHEAST ASIAThe_Mermaid_Chronicles.html

One thing that is so enriching about travel is its ability to foster knowledge and compassion.  Knowledge in the histories and customs you absorb as you make your way through entire belief systems that differ drastically from your own, and compassion in the way that stories in newspapers become something much grander than stories-- the tangible lives of individuals whom you have met, who have opened their homes to you.  In a time when millions are still struggling to obtain the basic amenities of life-- food, water, education, safety-- and we encounter such struggles each day of travel-- knowledge and compassion can go a long way to bring about change.

We would like to highlight organizations that we have come across first hand that are striving to bring about change to underserved and developing regions.  Whether you are seeking a volunteer opportunity, a homestay, or just a cause worthy of donation, these organizations are changing the lives of real people, everyday.

We hope you will join us on our journey to lead more compassionate and conscientious lives.

1.) Makaibari Tea Estate.  Kurseong, India. Province of Darjeeling.

Nayan Lama

Volunteer in Makaibari (VIM)

+91 983 244 7774

Homestays: Over twenty families living in Makaibari tea villages have opened their homes to accommodate travelers seeking firsthand experience of life on a tea farm.  All food, water, and accommodation are provided for $10 per person per day, including, of course, endless cups of pure organic Darjeeling tea.  Makaibari is a unique example of a fair trade tea farm-- once a person works for Makaibari, they are provided with a plot of land for their home, building materials, grain, rice, medical care, retirement, and other monthly amenities.  The villagers pay a monthly sum to the community that is pooled to pay for weddings and other communal ceremonies.  Renewable energy is cultivated through the use of manure to power gas stoves. 

Eco Huts:  Makaibari also offers private eco huts situated in a tea village for the same price-- $10 dollar per day.  Meals are included and are prepared by women who have not been able to find work in other venues.

Volunteer:  Makaibari also offers various volunteer opportunities on the tea estate.  Duties range from picking tea to teaching English to adults, and all participants are housed either with a family or in a private hut, whichever suits their choosing.  Volunteer opportunities can range from one week to one year, and are flexible.

2.)  Ninos del Lago

Ramón Peneleu | Coordinator

Phone (502) 5715 4604
Phone (502) 7721 8176
Celular (502) 4257 7899

Hello folks this is the Merman King of the Merclan.  this is my first official entry to the mermaid chronicles website.  Thus far I have only contributed with photos.  The reason that I am breaking my silence is the Ninos Del Lago.  This is an organization I have witnessed first had as a pupil at San Pedro Spanish School. This program provides the children with a wide range of things from what we consider basic necessities i.e. tooth brushes and soap to afternoon tutoring or in some cases the only school sessions these kids receive. I have been in the homes of these children and some of then are 10 children to a family living in a one room dirt brick hut with done parent who is employed.  I know your gut reaction is that maybe birth control is what should be donated however education seems to be the best birth control that there is.  And that is what this program provides.  Besides birth control cannot help these kids they are already here and in dire situations. I have seen the children and seen where the money goes and you can trust me that is not wasted. it goes directly to the children. If you are interested in seeing this first hand you can go to San Pedro Del Laguna on Lago de Atitlan(these are the shores of what has been called the most beautiful lake in the world) in Guatemala.  You can live with a local Spanish Speaking Family of Mayan descent and take some very inexpensive one on one Spanish classes if you are interested.  But either way if you are interested in giving to an organization that truly benefits the impoverished children on Latin America this is a great one to do it through.

Conscientious Travel