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Thank you for your interest in Simply Smiles! We invite you to explore our projects in Oaxaca, Mexico and on the Cheyenne River Reservation, as well as volunteer opportunities in these locations.

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18 Reynolds St.
East Norwalk, CT
USA

Dedicated to building bright futures for impoverished children, their families, and their communities.

Simply Smiles blog

Follow our blog and read insights from Simply Smiles staff, volunteers and other individuals whose lives are affected by our work!

Volunteer Blog from Oaxaca

Timothy Nurnberger

Hi friends and family, this is Kate, Sarah, Ana, Logan; Monday morning kitchen crew. We just prepared over 75 pancakes for the students and staff!

Yesterday started off with painting over graffiti on the outside walls of the Center of Operations buildings. For the New Zealanders, who have just left winter, the sun and humidity was a different experience. Other students bagged rice into thousands of small bags for the food distribution or ‘despensa’ on Friday. In the afternoon, we were lucky enough to visit the Casa Hogar Childrens Orphanage. Here, 30% of the Mexican children are disabled and all children were left or abandoned by their parents. It was empowering to see how these children, who have so little possessions, could make their own fun. We drew pictures, played noughts and crosses (tic-tac-toe, for you Americans), tag, and made bracelets with different children. For those students who speak Spanish, it was a good opportunity to practice simple phrases like ‘¿cómo te llamas? and ¿cuántos años tienes?’. We spent time with children in wheelchairs and a deaf boy, Vicente, who enjoyed positioning us perfectly before taking numerous photos of us in various locations in the orphanage.

It was nice to communicate with the disabled children and make them smile with something as simple as paper aeroplanes! We also served hot dogs and Doritos to the children, and we could all see the joy in their faces as we handed them their dinner. Last night, we reflected as a group on our experiences which helped us bond as a group. Overall it was a powerful experience which we will remember for a long time.