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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.

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Volunteer in Oaxaca, Mexico

High Schools • Colleges • Organizations • Faith Communities • Clubs • Families • Individuals

Overview

Volunteering with Simply Smiles in Oaxaca, Mexico is nothing less than a life-changing experience -- for you and for those whom you are traveling to help.

The people of Oaxaca (pronounced Wa-Ha-Ka) inspired the creation of Simply Smiles when our founder, Bryan Nurnberger, first volunteered at the Casa Hogar Children's Home in 2003. Your time with us among the children, families, and communities of this extremely impoverished state will allow you to have a real impact and to have that kind of formative or transformational experience.

During your week in Mexico, you will not be a tourist, an onlooker, or a passerby. You will be fully immersed in the culture, in people's lives, and in the vital process of helping to provide the bright futures that everyone deserves. 

 


where

Oaxaca is located in the southern most region of Mexico and is a state roughly the size of New England.

The landscape is diverse and stunningly beautiful. During your time in Oaxaca, you will live and work in both urban and rural settings. You will experience the historic and densely populated Oaxaca Valley as well as a region of remote mountain villages. You will travel through arid open spaces and traverse mountain passes where you can look down on the clouds.

Oaxaca is rich with beauty and culture. But tragically, Oaxaca is also stricken with an extreme poverty that serves as an ever present dichotomy and a clear reminder as to why we are there. 

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programs you'll support

As an individual volunteer or as part of a group, you will spend a week working with Simply Smiles across our project locations. Your time with us will be divided into two halves, designed to share with you the scope of the organization and the variety and complexity of the needs in Oaxaca.

First half of the week: You will arrive in Oaxaca City and immerse yourself into our current urban programs including our Center of Operations facility, the city garbage dump, and the Casa Hogar Children's Home.

Second half of the week: After an unforgettable road trip across the state you will spend the second half of the week in the mountain village of Santa Maria Tepexipana. You will help us with programs like our emergency food aid distributions, medical clinics, and the building of schools.

 


Working hard

Our volunteers are the driving force of the organization. Your presence and hard work are vital to the success of all of our programs.

You will work side by side with the people you have traveled so far to help. You will learn new things (like cement mixing) and push yourself to do things you may never have thought you could do (like build a school on the side of a mountain).

You don't need any special skills to have a meaningful and successful week. Simply Smiles staffers will be right there with you to teach you the skills you'll need. Be prepared to be surprised at how well you learn to lay bricks or use a power-tool!

Volunteers just like you have built homes, schools, children's homes and more!

 

 


we're there with you

Before, during and after -  Simply Smiles staff is with you every step of the way to make sure you have a profound, impactful, and safe experience.

We work closely with you during the entire planning process. We'll meet with you, share presentations, talk through all of your questions, and make sure everyone is completely comfortable with every aspect of the trip. If you're a group leader, you'll even have your own trip planning webpage where all of the resources and communications you need are right at your fingertips.

While in Mexico, Simply Smiles will be with you 24 hours a day. Projects will be lined up, materials will be purchased, and the pantry will be stocked with your food and water. We are not just your guides; we are your partners in a shared experience and purpose.

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snapshots from mexico

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We'd like to introduce you to our amazing Volunteer Coordinator, Samantha Steinmetz.  Sam began working with Simply Smiles as a volunteer during college. Now she guides volunteers (like you!) through having the same transformative Simply Smiles experience that she had. Reach out to Sam. She's excited to begin working with you - or to just answer any questions that you may have.

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If you'd prefer a phone call please provide the best number to reach you at:
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See available dates to volunteer in Mexico by clicking here.

resources


Learn more about our presence in Oaxaca and our response to the needs in the region.