Spicy Villa Eco-Lodges are located in the countryside of Chiang Mai province with a number of working hill tribe villages just a short drive away. Our staff comes from these villages and we all feel that it is our responsibility to give back to local communities as much as we possibly can.
Being a small accommodation provider, the only way we can do this is with the help of our wonderful guests, so we have set up a project called Share the Dream that mainly provides assistance to local village schools, but also helps villagers in other ways. Just by staying with us our guests are contributing to Share the Dream Project, but many of them want to do more than that and offer to donate their time, money, or supplies to help local villagers.
The help we have received from our guests and volunteers has had an incredible impact on the lives of local children and their parents in several ways. Our volunteers, by giving away their time, help teach in local schools, work on school renovation projects that make the schools safer and more fun for children and provide general medical assistance and advice to the villagers.
However, what has really made a great impact on our projects in the last couple of years has been our cooperation with Pack for a Purpose, an organization that encourages travelers to set aside some space in their luggage and pack some items they can donate to organizations all over the world that are, like us, looking for ways to help their local communities.
Some of our guests find us on Pack for a Purpose website and surprise us with donations as they come to Spicy Villa, others don’t have the time to stay with us or are perhaps looking for a different kind of accommodation, but they still want to do something good for our community, so they contact us when they’re in Chiang Mai area and we organize to meet them and collect their donations. However, we believe that our guests and local villagers are the happiest when the guests can personally bring the donations to the village, meet local children, spend some time with them, either playing games, or teaching them English.
Recently we had a family do just that. They contacted us after seeing our profile on Pack for a Purpose and asked if they could bring some donations for the school. They didn’t have the time to stay with us, but they did have a free day for a trip to the village, so we organized a visit to the school for them. They got to give their gifts to the children personally and see how happy they were to receive them, and they also got to spend the school day with them, playing, teaching, learning, and sharing lunch. It was a wonderful experience for everyone and one that really showed us how beneficial a straightforward program like Pack for a Purpose is.