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Agua Y Mas- Shelter for Women and Children

must be age 18+

Providing Arts & Crafts and General Activities


About: Agua Y Mas was established in 2011. Maggie converted her family home in Guaymas into a shelter for women and children fleeing domestic violence. The shelter provides a place of refuge, support with; basic (food, water, clothing, shelter), emotional, social economic, and educational needs but most of all LOVE.

If you have an aptitude for creating and delivering children's activities and want to bring some daily joy to these adorable children and their moms, then this placement is for you.

This placement is managed by Lisa, your in-country host and the creator of Volunteer Travelventures. The programs have been developed based on her first hand volunteer experience as a participant in several programs in several countries. This volunteer placement, in conjunction with Agua y Mas, was crated based on careful consideration of these variables:
  • The local charity's genuine need for volunteers and it's service to the community
  • The logistics concerning transportation to the placement
  • Availability of comfortable housing
  • Independent access to amenities
  • Local attractions
  • Beautiful scenery
  • Low cost to volunteers (price should not be a barrier)
*The aim is to provide an intimate volunteer experience that is practical, fun, fulfilling, meaningful and long lasting.


Founder & Director

Bio of Maggie, founder & director of Agua Y Mas Maggie Arechiga’s childhood home, is under construction. The some 20 kids (ages 3 to 16), four mothers, Maggie and the godsend Antonio (a pastor on Sunday in Empalme, a night watchman for the kids each evening and their construction honcho during the day), are all crammed into just a few rooms while a second story rises above them, all from volunteer labour. When finished, they will have six bedrooms and two classrooms and hope to turn their bodega into a cafe that serves coffee and pastries to the neighborhood.

Maggie, who taught in California for 30 years before returning to her Guaymas roots, provides a shelter for women and their children fleeing domestic violence. She also houses children brought to her by DIF (Social Services and Child Protection) removed from abusive families or rescued from the streets. Unfortunately, financial support does not come with them.

Maggie provides a solution to an otherwise desperate situation. A local college learned about Maggie and the shelter. They have offered some of the women a gifted tuition so that they can access adult education and computer skills in order to gain employment at the manufacturing plants. These employers have a housing program for qualified employees which some of these women have also pursued and are now completely self reliant.

Maggie's professional skills, big heart, and sincere passion are the foundation of Agua Y Mas in Guaymas. This, along with her complete devotion and steadfast commitment to her mission enable her to take on such an undertaking. She is deeply rooted in true love for people and her faith in God!

For More Info:


What You Will Do

A Day in the Life of a VTV Volunteer

Arrival: Once we retrieve you from the International Airport in Hermossillo, Mexico or the near-by Bus Station in Guaymas the you will be welcomed with a warm meal and an orientation. The volunteers will learn more about the community of San Carlos where the Volunteer House is located and all it has to offer. They will also learn more about the small city of Guaymas where the volunteer work takes place and the details concerning their work placement.

  • The first work day The first work day begins with escorted travel, by the in-country host, to the volunteer placement in Guaymas by local bus (reliable but a bit adventurous). Followed by an in-person introduction to the personnel and kids, students, or general labour plans at their chosen placement. An orientation to Guaymas and how to access resources for project materials and personal needs is covered (but not limited to) during the return journey back to the volunteer house in San Carlos.
  • Subsequently each afternoon thereafter the volunteer/s will travel to their volunteer placement with activities prepared and materials in hand. They will spend a few hours performing duties at the non-profit, leading organized activities with the children age (2-15) and perhaps learn a little Spanish. I have found that regardless of their age all the residents (sometimes moms) enjoy participating in the arts & crafts and fun games. Perhaps these activities are a welcomed break from their current predicament. Participants of this volunteer placement can also chose to assist with English Classes and/or P.E. classes for children held on Saturdays.
  • Their mornings and evenings can be used to share photos or blog, prepare activities, shop for supplies and explore other interests (ie: Spanish Classes, Kayaking, water sports, etc.) Volunteers can also choose to participate in escorted group visits and projects planned at orphanages, fundraisers or social outings.
  • Daily briefings are provided as needed. Volunteers can be eager to share the emotional impact of their volunteer experience. They may also require support with their daily planning of program activities or to access other activities of interests.( ie; hiking the Tetakawi)
  • Departure plans are followed on the last day of the volunteer program which may include drop off at the Tufesa Bus Station in Guaymas or the International Airport in Hermosillo. Volunteer Travelventures is happy to support any on going relationship with the non-profit and volunteer upon their return home.
VTV encourages volunteers to practice speaking Spanish during their stay, however the children can also benefit by picking up English from volunteers. You can even embed simple English lessons into the activities that you offer.... children learn well through play!

Arrival dates: Every second and fourth Saturday.

Volunteer Travelventures has designed programming to facilitate a superior volunteer abroad experience that benefits all parties. It is our mission to maintain a solid “bridge” between people and communities. Each relationship built between corporate volunteer and non-profit is unique.

Getting Here

Volunteers have a few options to consider concerning their travel to VTV's Volunteer House.

By Air:

  • Hermosillo is the nearest International Airport to San Carlos (1 hour 15 min. drive from San Carlos).
  • Several US cities offer direct flights - Phoenix, Arizona for example.
  • VTV recommends for reasonable fairs.
  • VTV can arrange an airport pick up for you (price depends on the number of passengers). Or travelers can catch a Tufesa bus from the airport to Guaymas for free pick-up.

*Note: there is rumour that the nearby Guaymas Airport will be receiving international flights again in early 2016!

By Bus:

  • Travel by bus is a very economical choice for travellers.
  • The Tufesa bus company offers several trips in and out of Guaymas daily. TAP is another operator:
  • VTV suggests that travellers choose an overnight schedule from Phoenix or Tucson so as not to lose a volunteer venture day. The bus seats recline and are reasonably comfortable. Passengers will stop at customs and immigration. You will be issued a tourist visa ($28 USD).
  • VTV will retrieve volunteers on the Saturday arrival from the bus station in Guaymas.

By Car:

  • If volunteers choose to drive to San Carlos; Nogales is the border crossing (same name either side of the border).
  • A 4 to 5 hour drive from the border. Stop at mile marker 21 to check in with immigration. They will issue you your tourist visa ($28 USD). You don't need a temporary import permit for your car as San Carlos, as Sonora is still within the “Free Zone”. If you plan to drive further south after your volunteer venture with VTV please learn about any requirements for doing so.


  • From Santa Rosalita on the Baja California to Guaymas. I (Lisa) have not sailed this crossing but you can inquire at this website.

Program Fees

For In Country Host, Volunteer Program Management, and Accommodation at the Volunteer House in San Carlos:
USD$ 266.00
USD$ 532.00
USD$ 798.00
USD$ 1,064.00
USD$ 1,330.00
USD$ 1,596.00
USD$ 1,862.00
USD$ 2,128.00
NOTE: Approximate currency conversions are available here for your convenience. Amount will be billed in Canadian dollars on the day your order is processed.
  Placement Fee: $50 USD per week 100% goes to the this charity, for program materials and monetary support.
  Length of Stay: Volunteers are required to commit to a minimum of 2 weeks. As it is beneficial to stay longer, you can add to your stay in 1 week increments, up to 4 months.

What's Included

  • Pre-departure support. Getting ready with what to pack, what to expect and how to get here.
  • A suitable Volunteer Placement and Program Management.
  • Free pick-up from Tufesa or Tap bus station in Guaymas or ...
  • Airport pick-up from Hermosillo International Airport (price can be negotiated and scheduled for you; price dependent on how many passengers).
  • 24-hour in-country support from your experienced host residing with you at the Volunteer House.
  • Comfortable accommodations (up to 4 people shared room) at Volunteer House. Use of all common areas, cooking utensils, linens, drinking water, wifi, printer for materials, free local calls.
  • Welcome dinner on arrival day.
  • Location orientation and daily briefings.
  • Escort on your first day to your volunteer work site by your in-country host.
  • Weekly grocery shopping trip (but you can access grocery stores independently anytime). You can choose to participate in escorted social outings that may include beach trips, fund-raising events, hiking, group dinner out, community events, festivals etc. These may require you to use your own spending money.
  • All necessary project equipment and materials (you may also wish to bring some materials from home).
  • Support with last day travel arrangements. Free drop off at the Tufesa Bus Statio.
  • Volunteer Travelventures is happy to support your ongoing interest in maintaining contact with the non-profit/s from home.

What's Not Included

  • Flights.
  • Medical and travel insurance.
  • Visa costs (tourist visa is approx. $30 US for most but not all foreigners, given upon arrival to Mexico).
  • Extra local excursions (ie. sunset cruises, fishing trips).
  • International and domestic airport taxes.
  • Personal Equipment.
  • Travel to and from volunteer program (approx $12 pesos $0.80 each way).
  • Meals (most volunteers prefer not be tied to a scheduled meal plan at the house).
  • Criminal Record Check from your country of origin (mandatory).
  • Pick up from Hermosillo International Airport (price for a private shuttle depends on the number of passengers). VTV can make this arrangement for you. Or travelers can catch a Tufesa Bus to Guaymas for free pick-up.

Apply Now!

Apply Now

Apply for Our Volunteer Programs

Please provide as much info about your interests as possible:

Your Chosen Program:
Club Jerry
Agua Y Mas
Centro Ocupacional
  Your preferred dates? Choose the 2nd or 4th Saturday as your start date for any month. Volunteer placements are a minimum of 2 weeks long and can expand in one week increments.
  Start Date: to End Date:
  Are these dates flexible?
  What skills and abilities will you offer to your chosen program or programs?
Please give examples of projects, lessons or activities.
  Are you age 18 or older?
  Can you provide a criminal record check/clearance for vulnerable populations from your country of origin?
  Are you willing & able to utilize the local public transportation in order to access your volunteer placement?
  What do you hope to gain from your volunteer travelventure?
  Have you volunteered abroad in the past?
If yes, please share some of what made it enjoyable and or challenging.

  What types of travel have you experienced in the past?
  Are you able to cover any additional spending for food, outings etc. during your volunteer stay?
  Any additional information or comments that you would like to communicate?