The Kindness Conversation: Vacationer Pays It Forward in Isla Mujeres, Mexico
In a beautiful, sunny, Mexican island lies a true pay it forward tale. What started as a few fun and relaxing vacation trips turned into a whole new life adventure for Maggie and Tom Washa. Regular visitors to Isla de Mujeres, Mexico, Maggie, in particular, was touched by the warmth and generosity of the island’s people every time she visited, “The people of Isla have opened their homes and their hearts to [my husband] and [I]. I felt that it was time to give back.”
Breaking Ground, and Giving Back, in Mexico
Because she saw the need, in January 2004, the Washas opened the doors to La Gloria English School with three teachers, 50 students and a cadre of volunteers, offering classes to children, teenagers, and adults with emphasis on spoken English. Using their own money, they purchased a piece of land in La Gloria, Mexico and built the 1,400 square-foot building that houses the school.
According to volunteer teacher, Kate Pichotta, “I love doing this, and I think I can make a difference in their lives. Because of what they learn here, these children will be able to get better jobs, to be paid more, to have the incentive to climb the ladder.”
And for their generosity, the Washas are rewarded with a continual flow of pay it forward acts of kindness from all over the island and beyond. Those who know of the La Gloria English School project send donation packages with travelers who have trips planned to the island. The packages get dropped at La Gloria “courtesy of an ever-widening circle of people willing to act on their love for Isla.” Talk about paying it forward! For more information about La Gloria English School or to help their cause, check out their website, www.folges.org.
Traveling? Got Vacation Plans? Leave Some Boom Boom! Behind!
Want to leave some kind behind next time you’re traveling? You don’t have to build a school (although, we’d certainly cheer you on if you decided to!), simply start by bringing along your Boom Boom! Cards to play it forward with the locals wherever you are. Help spread the Boom Boom! love near and far!