Centro Infantil de los Angeles Community Center & Daycare in Mexico
98% Rating
(30 Reviews)

Centro Infantil de los Angeles Community Center & Daycare in Mexico

Centro Infantil de los Angeles is a community of caring people who gather to nurture children, serving the needs of the less fortunate, treating each person with dignity and respect as they work to make a better life for themselves. It began as a free daycare center in the heart of San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato on September 18, 2000. It is a safe haven for the children of mothers who come from the outskirts of town to work or to sell their wares at the local mercado. Often these children were being left home alone before this center was established.

Centro Infantil de los Angeles has grown to be a community center in which mothers find the support they need to make a better life for their families. Besides help with their children, these families receive medical care, clothing distribution, scholarship opportunities, transitional housing, summer camp, food bank . . . all done in a relationship of mutuality that respects the dignity of each individual.

Highlights
  • Working with young children
Locations
North America » Mexico
Length
2-4 Weeks
1-3 Months
3-6 Months
6-12 Months
Language
English
Timeframe
Year Round
Housing
Guesthouse
Starting Price
$35.00
Currency
USD
Price Details
$180 USD per week ($550 USD per month) included housing, breakfast, and lunch. Transportation expenses are not covered by our program.
Other Locations
San Miguel de Allende

Program Reviews

  • Impact
    95%
  • Support
    94%
  • Fun
    98%
  • Value
    97%
  • Safety
    97%

Program Reviews (30)

Default avatar
Esther
Female
32 years old
Ottawa, Canada
McGill University

Wonderful voluntereering experience

10/10

I had a very good experience with Casa de los Angeles in July 2015. Everything is well organized and what you do is very concrete. I felt useful working at the daycare and supporting the staff. A lot of support from the organization and an intense language immersion! A nice city with a lot of things to do. I will definitely go back. I am strongly recommending this organization for volunteering. Young or not, by yourself, with family members or friends, this is the perfect place to volunteer.

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Kara
Female
26 years old
San Marcos Tx
Texas State University

My time with Casa de Los Angeles----Mi tiempo con Casa de Los Angeles

10/10

I spent 3 months volunteering with Casa de Los Angeles this summer 2015. My motivation to live in Mexico was originally for immersion purposes. I wanted to improve my Spanish skills, but I had no idea just how much working with Casa would change my life. The opportunity to work with underprivileged children broadened my perspective, allowed me to appreciate and be a part of a new culture and spend time playing, laughing and loving those kids!! Not only is the staff at Casa welcoming but I grew to think of each and every one of them as a friend. Their passion for their career at Casa is obvious, and they grow to care for and love each little nino/a that comes through those doors. Not only did I meet and befriend natives of San Miguel/Mexico, but being a part of this organization allowed me to encounter other like-minded volunteers willing to give their time from all over the world. From ages 12-65, I met people in all different walks of life from various countries, and made friends who I continue to be in contact with today. We share a bond, an experience working with those children. An experience that truly opened my eyes and allowed my mind to understand the joy that comes with helping and working with children! Based on my time at Casa, I would absolutely work as a volunteer again.

San Miguel de Allende is a beautiful, colonial city that offers various events all over the city. From outdoor markets selling fresh food and flowers, to handmade goods and wares made by local artisans in front of your eyes to outdoor concerts, classes and community events---San Miguel has it all. The people are so amiable and while the town was busy and bustling, I felt a slower daily rhythm that creates such a relaxed atmosphere. While I used common sense traveling throughout Mexico, San Miguel really fosters a safe environment within the community. I did not feel the least bit scared at any point in time.

I cannot wait to return to Casa this December 2015 to visit the people who have become like a second family to me.

How can this program be improved?

I would foster more spanish speaking within the volunteer house to those who are interested.

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Chu
Female
21 years old
Seattle
University of Washington

Learn and enjoy with CASA

10/10

it's such a wonderful organization which I had my first formal internship in the summer of 2015. I am really glad to have the chance to gain practical experience working with young kids since I learned early childhood and family studies in college. Also I study Spanish too, so Mexico is a perfect option. The culture, the people everything here are so nice. the kids are really cute and adorable, you would love them. I strongly recommend this place to everyone, you will never regret to come!

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Jessica
Female
32 years old
Nashville, TN
Trevecca Nazarene University

Experience, connect, fall in love!

10/10

Casa is such a wonderful place and it serves as an incredible value to the community of San Miguel de Allende. All the people involved in the organization are kind, friendly, and passionate about the children and families that they serve. It was such a cool experience getting involved and learning about this place. It is hard to describe the feeling being there each day seeing, hearing, and feeling the love and compassion shared at Casa. They even serve some children from local orphanages.Their mission is to help the families to help themselves. Great things are happening there. I would totally recommend that others learn about it, give to the cause, or even better, go and volunteer! I hope to go back some day!

How can this program be improved?

It is hard to find something that I think should be improved. This organization has been around long enough to figure out what works best and it runs itself very smoothly.

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Nina
Female
24 years old
Denmark

Casa de los Angeles

10/10

Casa is a truly Nice place. To see the happy kids, and the even happier moms when they come to the daycare. They have a place where their kids are safe, and can be kids. In the park, at the playground or in the classrooms.
The teachers are so patient even when you Can see that a volunteer almost have given up, the teachers are Always there!
The fact that every Day is special is Amazing. That some days are park days, some days are for dancing and a Day for honoring the flag. My personal favorite was wedensdays with the songs, the kids were either laugning or concetrating on remembering the songs, and when they get to pick the song or when you finally found put what the song was about, it is truly Amazing!
I would highly recomend this place and San Miguel is and Amazing, beautiful and safe City to be in. So that casa is located here, is even better. The staff, the teachers, the kids, the moms and the other volunteers, truly makes it a good experience!

Default avatar
Sandra
Female
42 years old
I am in Washington, DC

Casa provides a welcoming center for the families it helps & the volunteers it hosts.

10/10

I visited San Miguel de Allende, a beautiful colonial town in Mexico to volunteer with Casa de Los Angles. Casa is an organization that provides free daycare and meals for children of single mothers and also to some poverty stricken families. During my time there, I assisted the teachers of the daycare with meals, playtime, lessons and field trips. The teachers are loving and so concerned with the children's well being. The experience was very rewarding, made it so hard to leave when my two months came to an end.

How can this program be improved?

The volunteer home had a few issues when it rained, but a new volunteer home is being built so that should not be a concern for too much longer.

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Krista
Female
24 years old
USA
University of Delaware

Excellent Experience

10/10

Casa de Los Angeles is the best-run small nonprofit I've encountered. Its impact on the community is profound, with a grassroots, genuine, organized, and authentic approach. Donna, the founder, is happy to meet up, whether discussing approaches to nonprofits and answering questions or simply hanging out with volunteers; so much to learn from her and everyone else. Accommodations are clean and the volunteer house is spacious with a nice, friendly vibe. I felt safe the whole time. I loved working with the children. It's a wonderful feeling to be apart of something that truly, humbly supports its community.

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Chelsea
Female
24 years old
Ellensburg, Washington, USA

In LOVE with this Community

10/10

I have never volunteered with such a positive and family like community. The children, teachers, and staff were all so happy,energetic and helpful. This opportunity not only builds up the community, but also helps build up individuals. I am very glad that I choose to volunteer here at Casa de Los Angeles. The experience taught me about volunteering, other cultures, and about the Mexican dialect of Spanish. Volunteering here did not feel like work at all. I just had a blast playing with the children! I hope I will have another opportunity to volunteer here in the future.

How can this program be improved?

I honestly have no idea what I would change about this program. I had a fantastic time and can't think of one negative aspect about my time here.

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Kate
Female
32 years old
Brooklyn, Australia
University of Technology

Volunteering in San Miguel

9/10

I had a great time volunteering in San Miguel. The staff are helpful even when I was sick and I really enjoyed the day to day activities at the centre! The community itself is very accustomed to westerners therefore it super easy to get the things you need and want to remind you of home. I highly recommend getting out of San Miguel to see more of Mexico as it is a phenomenal country!

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Dianne
Female
57 years old
Walnut Creek, Calif.
University of Southern California

Older volunteer had great time at Casa.

10/10

Ok I'm not that old...in my 50's...and this was a great volunteer experience. I came for a few weeks to visit my daughter who was volunteering for a few months.

I was very impressed with the mission and the execution. The children are well cared for while their moms work. The moms are helped and guided, not getting a handout. This helps empower both generations to value education and perseverance.

I continue to support financially until I can come back for a longer stay.

The volunteer accommodations are wonderful and the sharing of meals make this great for a solo volunteer or a group.

How can this program be improved?

I wish I had learned more Spanish.

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Maree
Female
32 years old
Melbourne, Australia
Deakin University

Great experience!!

9/10

My experience at Casa de Los Angeles Community Centre was fantastic. It really opened my eyes to the work that people can do for others, and how sharing knowledge, skills and love is so important. I was only there for a short time, however, it was truly enriching. The founder, Donna, is a very inspirational women, full of wisdom and love. At the time, there was a great group of volunteers from America and Australia, and we were able to spend time together and get to know each other and learn from our experiences.

The day care centre has many classrooms, all different ages. During my time, I assisted the teachers in classes, learning activities and at meal times. Meal times were my favourite, as it was a chance to bond with the staff and children. They are so adorable, you will fall in love as soon as you meet them! The school itself is so well maintained and colourful just like the staff. They are lovely and open their arms to volunteers.

The volunteer house is so great! It has a great open kitchen and a large living area which is colourful and clean and has everything you need. There is a large open outdoor area where you can play ball or sun bake with a book.

San Miguel is a bright, captivating city full of culture. I was there in November and there were two fiestas in two weeks! Amazing. A great way to taste the local culture!

I would recommend basic and if possible intermediate Spanish language skills to ensure your time is valuable to both the staff and children. I would also recommend bringing small stationary and gifts from your country of origin to share with the children.

How can this program be improved?

I was there in 2012, so I am sure things have changed. However, I would suggest more educational programs of different topics - for example, healthy eating. As a dietitian, I feel this would be important and it would be great as there is a kitchen on site. It would be a good opportunity for staff to be involved in healthy eating practices and teach the older children this too to share with their families.

As there are volunteers from all different professional / education backgrounds, I am sure there would be other valuable programs volunteers could run. It would empower the volunteer even more, and it would expand the skills and knowledge of the organisation

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Lindsey
Female
24 years old
United States
University of Central Florida

Best experience of my life!

10/10

The days start with dancing and singing by the kids, too cute! I loved taking them to the park and watching them learn during their lessons. The teachers are very helpful and kind and SO good with the kids. The town is so beautiful and the people are some of the nicest people I have ever met in my life. The directors of the organization were there to help every morning and the volunteers I met and lived with were AMAZING. I have never been around so many people with such big hearts and I can't wait to return. I highly recommend Casa de Los Angeles. :)

How can this program be improved?

If I had to change anything I would get better toys as many of them are old or broken. Other than that tiny thing, there is nothing else I would change. Donations are needed.

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Klara
Female
32 years old
Tacoma, United States
University of Washington- Seattle

Amazing experience.

10/10

I've gone two summers in a row because this is such a great program- and opportunity! Most volunteer experiences expect a huge payment- this is affordable and really great housing! The guest house is beautiful and so fun to be with a fun mix of volunteers from all over the world. Breakfast and lunch are included everyday- and are delicious homemade Mexican meals by the cook, Anna, who is fantastic!
Time with the kids is the best part- great chance to practice Spanish, play with the most energetic, fun, positive group of kids. It's obvious how safe each child feels there.

How can this program be improved?

More concrete activities/plans/lessons to complete with the children. A lot of the time is just spent watching movies.

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Kathleen
Female
32 years old
Boston, Massachusetts
Salem State University

Two Great Weeks at Casa

10/10

I spent 2 weeks volunteering at Casa. Staying in the volunteer house was a great opportunity to meet others from all over the world and build a sense of community between the volunteers - especially as I traveled by myself. Every morning the volunteer coordinator would walk with us to the site where we went to our classrooms and our kids. There were options for the age group we liked, and the assignments changed each week. There were lots of parties and celebrations with the kids which really welcomed us into the Mexican culture .We worked alongside the parents, local teachers, and the founder of the charity (Donna). There were homemade meals and snacks provided for us during the day made by the parents.
After the day with the kids, around 3:00 we had the afternoons to spend in beautiful San Miguel. There are lots of cafe's, artisan shops, hiking, culture, restaurants/bars, and parks. Every day Donna was sure to welcome us, let us know how happy she was that we were there to help, and she invited us to a dinner at her home.

How can this program be improved?

It would be great to have more safe outdoor space nearby to take the kids during the day.

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Elio
Male
24 years old
Moraga, California
Saint Mary's College of California

A life changing month.

10/10

I absolutely loved everything about Casa de los Angeles. The children, the mothers, staff, and the teachers made my experience a life changing one. I was always looking forward to the next day but dreading the day that I would depart. You learn so much from these beautiful people. Each day I felt so blessed and privileged to be working with such a wonderful organization.

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Magaly
Female
24 years old
United States
Saint Mary's College of California

Life Changing Experience!

10/10

I have had the pleasure of working with the kids at Casa de Los Angeles. Looking back on my experience at Casa de Los Angeles, I can’t help but feel an overwhelming sense of joy. I knew that nursing was the profession my heart was set on but after my time at San Miguel de Allende, I realized that it truly is a pleasure to work alongside these little angels. My little angels actually helped me more than I helped them. The warm smiles and joyous embraces I was welcomed with every day by my little kids helped me realize that pediatric nursing is truly my calling. I remember a specific time when Rosa held my hand to go to the park. She went down each and every bush picking up small blue flowers on the way. As we reached the park, she turned towards me and gave me her tiny bouquet. This innocent gesture filled my heart with joy! I feel truly blessed because my kids at Casa de Los Angeles allowed me to enter their colorful and innocent world filled with play and laughter, and that is one experience that I will forever cherish!

It is so easy to fall in love with this place. Casa de Los Angeles is an incredibe and once of a lifetime experience. I would recommend it to anyone in a heartbeat.

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volunteersunite
Female
24 years old
Long Island, New York
Other

Amazing Experience

10/10

I volunteered at Casa for 7 weeks and it was the most rewarding and exciting experience of my life. The joy that the kids brought to my day is unmeasurable and their smiles light up the room. Everyone at Casa is there for the right reasons and they have the biggest hearts. I would definitely recommend Casa to anyone, no matter your age or spanish level.

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samantharyan
Female
24 years old
Moraga, CA
Saint Mary's College of California

Absolutely fantastic...will surely go back!

10/10

Casa de los Angeles was the best possibly experience I could have wished for. I went alone as a 19 year old and never felt unsafe or unsure of what I was doing. I was so well cared for and spending all day with the babies was perfection. The town of San Miguel is so safe and beautiful...the people are kind and generous. The impact Casa de los Angeles has on this area is really remarkable...the women seem very grateful that some place like this exists. The house you stay at is awesome...cook dinners for yourself and safe a lot of money! I am definitely bringing my boyfriend back here sometime soon to spend some serious time with my [now grown up :( ] babies!

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Cale
Female
24 years old
Australia
Australian National University

What a beautiful place.

10/10

Thankyou very much to Casa for providing such an amazing opportunity. Casa is an incredible place with a wonderful, friendly community. I am very glad to have been able to volunteer with Casa as it allowed me to learn a lot, to laugh, to value my work, to make friends, to help and to explore an interesting country.

The team are very honest, caring and very good at what they do. They truly inspired me. The application process was very smooth. The volunteer house is a good system and great way to share the experience with other international volunteers.

If I had the opportunity to return to Mexico and to Casa, I would be there in a heartbeat.

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student
Female
24 years old
La Crosse, Wi
Indiana State University

Casa de los Angeles

10/10

Volunteering at Casa was probably one of the best times of my life. The staff is always friendly, the children are adorable, and the city is beautiful. I always felt safe in San Miguel and I would recommend Casa to anyone looking to make an impact on a group of people who truly need and appreciate your help.

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Padraig
Male
32 years old
Athlone, Co. Westmeath. Ireland
Other

2006 Opened my eyes

10/10

I worked in Casa de los Angeles in 2006 it was truly life changing. In 2006 I was taken a year out from college I was doing hotel management. However, now in 2012 I am a Social Care Working in Ireland and I am about to move to NYC to become a SNT in Brooklyn. Casa de los Angeles changed my life in so many ways. Donna has set up a program that will give children the skills to make it in this world. As someone that was only there for a few months helping out she opened my eyes to a world I would not have known was out there was it not for her program. I wish them the best in all they do and some day I wish to return for a trip. Padraig Pearse Hegarty, Athlone, Ireland.

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MD
Female
32 years old
Eugene, Oregon
Henderson State University

My internship at the Casa launched my career!

7/10

I could write a really sappy description of the Casa de los Angeles and the smiling faces and comfortable atmosphere but the bottom line is that my internship at the Casa de los Angeles launched my career.

At the age of twenty-one I taught ESL english classes, conducted research in Spanish for a thesis, worked with multiple aged groups in a preschool setting, organized fundraising projects and learned about non-profit management. The directors allowed me to operate way beyond my prior experiences and in so doing greatly increase my personal capital.

In large part of my experience at the Casa I was accepted to Teach for America, which in turn greatly strengthened my law school applications. In addition, I was hired on at the University of Oregon during a down economy BECAUSE of experiences interviewing client mothers and doing home visits.

The Casa is an excellent place to challenge yourself and grow. You have to be able to define your own experience, however. The directors are really busy and won't give you much oversight. I didn't even know where I would be staying until a week before I got to San Miguel. You have to be willing to solve your own problems in terms of living situation, transportation and supervision. The large network of former volunteers can help out with that. You just have to be proactive in planning your experience!

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lauralee85
Female
32 years old
USA
Small Group (1-15)

Quiero ser un angel

10/10

Casa de los Angeles...it really is a house of angels! I had the opportunity to spend 4 months with Casa and it's a 4 months I remember with great fondness. From the moment you arrive at the center(s) you become absorbed in the Casa family. Your days may be filled with work, but I'll be honest, I've never had so much fun working! The teachers do a wonderful job at providing lessons and activities. The kids do a great job at learning and having fun.

San Miguel de Allende (SMA) itself is a treasure. It's an old colonial town...cobblestone streets, beautiful/warm colored buildings, lively...so much character! If you haven't completely depleted your energy with all the buzz and excitement at Casa, you'll find plenty to do in SMA. Salsa dancing every night of the week, a variety of art classes or workshops, brush up on your Spanish with a class or private tutor, there's always something to find at the mercados. Don't forget to eat, every corner has a tasty treat or two! Not too far out of town are a variety of natural hot springs, a nice place to relax and unwind. You're also only a bus ride away from several other towns/cities that each offer their own character and charm.

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Parker
Male
24 years old
De Pere, WI
Saint Norbert College

Casa is a true blessing

9/10

The town of San Miguel is absolutely beautiful, as are the people, however there is certainly much to improve, and Donna is helping in a truly amazing way. As a volunteer, I helped teach the children and assist the teachers in making sure the young ones were happy, healthy, and always smiling. On an average day I would spend a small amount of time at the guest residence, about a 15 minute walk from the new center, and the majority of the day helping serve the kids food, play with the kids (they have endless energy), and help their teachers with the lessons of the day. It was a truly amazing experience, and left me with lasting memories of the benefits these children had over many others being able to grow up with a proper infant to elementary education.

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aprilyee
Female
24 years old
Seattle, WA
Other

Unforgettably rich experience!

10/10

I interned with Hogar de los Angeles for ten weeks in the summer of 2010 and it has been one of my favorite volunteer experiences of all time!

Why you should volunteer here:
1) The daycare structure is amazing.
As a (soon to be) graduate in social work I can't tell people enough how INCREDIBLE this daycare is. The mothers receive free childcare and in return volunteer one hour each day in the daycare center. It's truly an empowering model because the mothers build friendships with each other, get to know their child's teacher and meet volunteers! It's uplifting and inspiring to be there.

2) The staff is helpful and kind
No matter how elementary your Spanish skills may be, the staff at Hogar de los Angeles are patient and understanding. They're used to having volunteers around and know how to make you feel included and useful. I still keep in touch with the teacher I worked with and it's been almost two years! Also, Donna (the founder) and Miguel (the director) are great at getting volunteers oriented to the pace of life in San Miguel and have a genuine interest in you! They really care about you having a good experience.

3) San Miguel is beautiful
Enough said. As part of the "patrimonio de la humanidad" the buildings are impeccably preserved and distinctly colonial. Sometimes it feels like you're in Disneyland or something (visitors frequently draw similarities between la Parroquia and Cinderella's castle)! There is so much to explore and almost always something going on (whether it's a concert, crafts fair, horseback riding, outdoor zumba classes or conversation practice at the library). Just get a copy of Que Pasa? and you're set.

4) The kids. Oh, the kids!
This is the whole reason to come down, of course--the children! I had the privilege of working with a rambunctious class of two year-olds and they were hilarious, friendly and cheeky all at the same time. Like the teachers, the kids are also used to lots of volunteers coming in and out so they're always down to play, even if your Spanish isn't the best.

For detailed information about "what it's really like" to volunteer at Hogar de los Angeles, please check out my blog from 2010. This is seriously a special place.

http://aprilinsanmiguel.blogspot.com/

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Nicole
Female
24 years old
Pittsburgh, PA
Other

An experience nobody can take from you

10/10

My stay at Casa, though it was short, had a big impact on me. It was a pleasure to wake up every day to go and spend time with these wonderful kids. Every smile, every kind gesture and every time you see them learning something new made me fill my heart with love. I just felt glad to be a part of their life at least for a short time and the only hard part of this stay was actually to leave. Even now, after a couple of months I think almost every day about these lovely kids and yearn for a return to see them again.
San Miguel, though you can see a lot of Americans on the streets, leaves a magical impression because you feel like in a typical colonial mexican town. For those of you who have also super worried parents and friends who heard about the dangers of Mexico, I've been traveling some through Mexico and San Miguel seems for me the safest place of all. All inhabitants are really friendly.
I definitely recommend a stay at Casa for everybody who wants to get captured by the life of little angels.

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Whitney
Female
24 years old
Indiana
Valparaiso University

Life Changing Experience

10/10

My experience volunteering at Casa de los Angeles was AMAZING. It was a life changing experience, and I think about things in a very different way now. It has almost been a year since I volunteered at Casa, and I still think about the kids and my experience all the time. My heart is being called back to Casa, and I hope I get to back someday.

The staff is incredibly friendly and very helpful. My biggest challenge was that I am only a beginner Spanish speaker, so communicating at times was difficult. However, somehow we always understood each other, and it usually turned into a laughable situation! The kids were amazing and were by far my favorite part of the trip. You become very close to them very quickly. Volunteering at Casa de los Angeles makes you want to continue to do good and serve others wherever life takes you.

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Kiki8882
Female
24 years old
Madison, Wisconsin

An unforgettable experience!

10/10

The first time I entered the door of Casa de los Angeles, I felt at home. The beautiful children, caring staff and teachers, and kind mothers made me feel a part of the family and community. Casa de los Angeles has a direct impact on the lives of the people it serves. I was so happy to be a part of this change and loved caring for the children daily.

Also, San Miguel de Allende is a hidden treasure. It's the most beautiful city I have ever visited and there are countless things to do during the evenings and weekends. It is fun to explore and enjoy the Mexican culture.

I highly recommend this volunteer experience to everyone!

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Yem
Female
24 years old
Celerina Switzerland
Other

Casa de los angeles

10/10

Everyone is super friendly, the teachers as well as the coordinators! The volunteer house is a great place to hang out with the other volunteers and san miguel de allende is a really beautiful mexican town with markets and small tiendas!

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Sharon
Female
32 years old
Blommington, Illinois
Illinois State University

Go to Casa de los Angeles!

10/10

You will change lives . . . and YOURS will never be the same. The community of Casa de los Angeles is like a family, a family that includes the kids, moms, staff and volunteers. A great way to spend a week, a month or more. You won't be disappointed.

About The Provider

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Centro Infantil de los Angeles, in San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, Mexico, is a community of caring people who gather to nurture children, serving the needs of the less fortunate, treating each person with dignity and respect as they work to make a better life

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