Destination: PEACE has announced the dates and posted a preliminary itinerary for its next Volunteer Vacation on Isla Mujeres. This unique retreat, scheduled for March 5 - 11 2011 will include Level I, Level II and Master Reiki Certification workshops and will include opportunities to engage in community activities benefiting the local residents of Isla Mujeres.

Volunteer Vacation 

This past August, I was invited to tag along with a group from Destination: PEACE for a few days of their retreat which was organized in cooperation with PEACE Isla Mujeres.  With accommodations in a luxurious private villa overlooking the Caribbean, this group was treated to daily Yoga workshops in a pristine oceanfront setting. During the course of their stay, attendees participated in a self-defense workshop organized for the women in the local community, a yoga workshop tailored especially for children and a dog wash/walk to assist a small no-kill animal shelter on the island. We also had time to sample local cuisine, visit the turtle nursery and sanctuary, check out the grounds of Mundaca's "castle" and explore the island by golf cart.

Volunteer on Isla Mujeres 

Volunteer on Isla Mujeres 

Volunteer on Isla Mujeres

Volunteer on Isla Mujeres

Volunteer on Isla Mujeres 

Volunteer on Isla Mujeres 

My scheduled only allowed me to spend two days observing and documenting the group's activities but in that time I was able to get a very good feel for the passion of the organizers and their commitment to the local residents. Katherine Fisher, founder of Destination: PEACE, spent many years as a volunteer and later board member for PEACE Mexico, a not for profit started by her sister Molly Mendez Fisher and based out of Nayarit. PEACE stands for Protection, Education, Animals, Culture and Environment and these are the areas of focus for each incoming group of volunteers. A successful business woman committed to community service, Katherine conceived Destination: PEACE as a way to provide an opportunity for travelers from all walks of life to experience different volunteer programs, to become immersed in another culture and work side-by-side with other volunteers and residents to create and maintain sustainable community initiatives. These wonderful trips offer meaningful, often life-changing, experiences for the participants and help the most needy segments of the population in Mexico, a country Katherine has grown to know and love over the past decade with a portion of the proceeds from each retreat going to support community based programs that benefit the residents of the area, both human and four-legged.

Volunteer Vacation 

Volunteer Vacation 

Volunteer Vacation 

If a vacation in Mexico is in your plans, why not make the time you spend meaningful? The Destination: PEACE groups are purposefully kept small so that the experience is more personalized. The next retreat on Isla Mujeres is in March but if you are unavailable at that time, contact Katherine@peacemexico.org to see if she can plan a Volunteer Vacation around the dates of your trip or connect you with a cooperating community service organization near your chosen destination. The vacations range in cost from $999 to $1399. The cost includes all activities, workshops, food and transportation on the Island. It does not include airfare or transportation to/from the airport. Private, customized vacations can also be arranged. There are so many ways to contribute to the lives of the local residents. Why not find your niche and see how rewarding this kind of vacation experience can be!