Five years ago Sat Nam Fest brought me from Alaska to Tepoztlan, Mexico. With the first rays of sun on the New Year I met my wife and mother of my children, Anais. As we passed hours chatting on hammocks she told me she had passed New Year's Eve making Chinese lanterns with the children at an orphanage up the road. I had seen the lanterns fill the night sky the evening prior, and remember being touched by the thought of these children sending their wishes for the new year into the sky with fire.
Since being introduced to Tashirat, I have shared many afternoons and holidays with these special children. As the years pass, I continue to learn more about this special project that has it's philosophy and beliefs deeply rooted in yogic science.
The children at Tashirat have been rejected by the system and have been labeled 'un-adoptable' due to some sort of deformity or disability. The staff at Tashirat has consciously searched for these children and adopted them. Most of the children arrive heavily medicated and with little or no social skills.
The children living at Tashirat do not take medication (only homeopathy), instead they eat healthy diets filled with fruits and vegetables. The children live in family. They call their caretake mother, and they live with their brothers and sisters. The children speak both English and Spanish, and they attend Montessori school right on the campus. The children are actively engaged in service and conscious play. Since 2003, they have had positive results and numerous success stories.
When the project began in 2003, they received a large 'angel gift' and were able to buy land and build infrastructure. Everything is well equipped, from kitchens, to greenhouses, to bedrooms, all the way to their school. Tashirat was also gifted a retreat center that is connected to the orphanage (Amatista). The retreat center's primary goal is to financially support the orphanage.
The staff is completely volunteer and have donated EVERYTHING they have to Tashirat. The core staff live on campus full time and take care of the children. They do not have 'extra' time, and therefore they are struggling to activate the retreat center, the greenhouses, and much more of the infrastructure that is available to them. They currently are running off of private funders, rent they collect from bungalows on the property, and the occasional retreat that is able to support the day to to day living (i.e. food, teacher's salary, water, electricity, etc.).
Currently they provide full time care to 30-35 children. Their infrastructure is able to support more children, and with a little bit of help, they will be able to expand the entire project. For example, they have various greenhouses that are not growing any food because they do not have the means to get organic seeds nor the money to pay for extra water for the plants (currently they pay 500 USD per month for water).
Here is where Sat Nam Foundation comes in! I am currently working with multiple teachers to host retreats and seva retreats with Tashirat and Amatista. My goal is to fund a water recycling project that will allow them to activate their greenhouses. If we have volunteers planting food with the children, there will be many systemic benefits. The water and food bill will be lower, the children will heal and learn through their hands on connection with growing food, and our community will be nourished to share time with these beautiful children.
Please stay posted for updates on this project! Join our newsletter and you won't miss an update or an invitation to serve in Mexico with us! And of course, if you want to join this effort, please email me: firstname.lastname@example.org