I am always humbled by the generosity of Pack for a Purpose travelers. We became participants with Pack for a Purpose in April of 2017, and we have already received many supplies for a school in our community from very generous travelers. These children benefit, on occasion, by tourism companies providing food and funds for better facilities.
In the time that Banyan Tree Mayakoba has collaborated with the Vida y Esperanza School, several generations of students have already gone through our school, some of whom have continued to grow and learn outside the community. Banyan Tree Hotels & Resorts has a terrific Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program at each of our resorts. These programs give back and benefit the local communities as well as the natural environment and ecology.
Banyan Tree also has created “Seedling Mentorships” for locals. Launched in 2007 to nurture young people at risk of societal exclusion, Seedlings Mentorships aims to provide young people with the motivation and means for completing their education in preparation for entering the labor force.
Since our collaboration with Pack for a Purpose, we have continued to reinforce children’s curiosity and desire to learn and succeed year after year. When Pack for Purpose travelers take supplies to the community, they are aiding these children in their studies.
So far, the children have received over 60 kilos of school supplies, along with toys and clothes. We hope that in the years to come, the participation of travelers will increase. Everything we have received has been very useful, and of great benefit to the children in the surrounding communities. Next year, we plan to start introducing sports at the school. This will give the children a competitive spirit and the benefits of continuous physical activities.
We are all allies; tourists who decide to pack something extra, tourism businesses that receive and distribute the supplies, or the promoters of the projects in the local communities. Every time we arrive at the rural school with supplies, or when we simply get to partake in a social activity, we return home with the best gift – memories of the children’s smiles.
There are no words that do justice to the feeling that one gets in knowing that these children have the tools to achieve their goals. They are our hope. We hope to continue our Big Impact as a Pack for a Purpose participant. We are convinced that the partnership with Pack for a purpose and with each of our visitors and friends will allow us to take this idea and make it a wonderful reality.
The joint work from all those who give life to the socially responsible tourist industry promote truly sustainable development. We are a global community. We can be part of the solution or be part of the problem.