RV Packing – Giving (Charities, Kindness and Kids)

RV Packing – Giving (Charities, Kindness and Kids)

Every trip is different but we usually run into some kind of adventure or opportunity to share a life moment with a Mexican or expat along our journey. Additionally we like to take things for children to play with or use at school instead of giving them money or buying Chiclets.

Before we leave we go to our local dollar store. We take about $25-30 Canadian and make a number of purchases. For example we buy 4-5 coffee mugs with a Canadian Flag. Or decks of playing cards. For the military we get a bunch of lapel pins. Tiny maple leafs or the flag. For the kids we buy bright pencils, felts, cards or hair clips. Sometimes the pencils or toys have the flag – but often they are just colorful. If it is Christmas we get tinker toys etc.

You can purchase small gifts in Mexico and help their economy down there too. Purchase lots of small bargains at markets!

We distribute our gifts in various ways. In a large city a taxi driver started honking at us and motioned for us to move over. “You are from Canada” he said, “and you are lost.” It turned out that he had visited Canada, liked it and met some nice people. The taxi driver then led us to our destination – a place we would have never found on our own – and refused to take any money. We then went into our rig and brought back a “regalo” or gift. A simple coffee cup with a flag.

Another time in Puerto Escondido, an expat made considerable effort to ensure we had everything we needed for our kids for Christmas and New Years. Days. He really spent the time. We gave him a number of Canadian decks of cards that he could distribute to his buddies for Christmas. He was a hit.

sign rekidsSign for Tourists asking them not to buy from children or give them money

Children should not have to beg. We used to give money to them or buy Chiclets but after reading signs such as this one from Valladolid, we changed our tactics. Instead we purchase pencils and toys. We get our kids to distribute them and Adam and Dylan are sensitive enough to make the kids feel good about it. It gives our kids a chance to try out their Spanish. The Mexican kids get to keep something for themselves.

We sometimes give the military checkpoint police a token gift after we are told we can move on. They are obviously not a bribe as who would be swayed to do anything illegal for a lapel pin. We distribute them because we think of ourselves as ambassadors. We think that if we treat authority with respect that they will treat other families and travelers with respect as well.

If you have room in your rig consider a gift of health. Wheelchairs are worth their weight in gold. Crutches and walkers are always needed. Drop off medical supplies at any public hospital.

Warning: Canadian and US coins are worth nothing in Mexico. No-one benefits. Not you. Not the kids.


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