As you can imagine, a family with 24 children can be occasionally quite chaotic and busy! Living at Misión México is an intense but wonderful time for volunteers. We cover every day from 5.30am until 9.30pm (split into two 8 hour shifts) and are responsible for helping with the daily running of the orphanage - such as wake-up, chore supervision, homework, meal supervision, getting ready for school, bath-time, bedtime and
other activities like sport, art and craft or whatever skill you want to bring to the house.
A normal work day is split into 2 shifts - the morning and the afternoon.
The morning shift begins on a weekday at 5.30am. It consists of:
- Preparing breakfast for the children
- Waking the children and getting them organised for school
- Ensuring children complete morning chores
- Completing our own morning chores (cleaning the apartment/bathroom)
- Any extra tasks as directed by the house parents while the children are not home
- A morning exercise programme or organised activities/games after home-school
The morning shift, once the children are at school, can prove very quiet. Use the time productively and ensure you have exhausted any and all morning tasks and to-do lists and that the house is presentable. This is also a great time to prepare activities that you may want to run concurrently with our project schedule.
The afternoon shift, beginning at 1:30pm, is busier and more scheduled. Once the children arrive home the afternoon shift volunteers ensure the children hang their school bags up in the area provided, or put them away. They should then collect their clothes from the laundry that were washed during the day, change, wash their hands and are sitting in the dining room for lunch. After lunch the children are to complete their chores before any other activity.
Then homework is to commence or study for those without homework. The schools attended by the children
will fail a child if their homework is not complete, so it is very important we make sure all children complete
their homework each night. We have Homework Club from 3-4pm in the comedor for the Pequeños and 8-
9pm for the Grandes/Medianos. If children claim they do not have any homework, they must still stay in the
comedor and read a book or magazine.
The children are then showered, fed and prepared for bed according to the scheduled times for their age
groups. Chiquitos and Pequeños are in bed by 7.30pm. The Medianos and Grandes are in bed by 9.30pm. On
Friday nights they can stay up a little later and we generally look to alternate games nights with various board
games, Quiz nights or Movie nights.
On Saturday both shifts start and end later. The children go to their respective church lessons with the
chaplain in their respective age groups throughout the day. Saturday is a good opportunity to run organised
activities, sports contests, games, craft projects etc. as there is more concentrated time available.
On Sundays it is preferred that all volunteers and children go to the beach at around 8:30am. We return at 2:00pm and all the volunteers are requested to come and lifeguard, even if you work the afternoon shift. For this reason we try to alternate the Sunday afternoon shift
for volunteers so that they are not worked consecutively.
Volunteers will have at least one full day off every 2 weeks to rest, though we often have enough volunteers to give at least one day off per week.