Wanted: Vacation Volunteers

Peter Earley

La Manzanilla School Garden

 The La Manzanilla School Garden project is located in the small village of La Manzanilla del Mar on Tenacatica Bay, about 180 km south of Puerto Vallarta in the Mexican state of Jalisco. The local people depend on tourism, fishing and agriculture for their livelihoods. In winter, the population doubles with long-term visitors, mostly from the west coast of Canada. They return every winter to enjoy the friendly atmosphere of the village.  

We would like to invite organic gardeners to take a winter break and visit us in the garden. Your help and advice is more than welcome. We would really appreciate long-term visitors who can help with small student groups. Speaking Spanish is definitely an asset, but not a necessity.  

“La Manz” is located on eleven kilometres of what many consider the best beach on the Pacific coast of Mexico. It is definitely a low-key tourist area with no large resorts. Canadian and American winter residents are very involved in local projects, especially funding for educational initiatives. La Manz has many activities centred around the arts and sports, as well as a wide variety of restaurants. Manzanillo airport is only 45 minutes away, and reasonable accommodation is available, including camping options. La Manz is quite close to interesting colonial cities such as Colima and the large crocodile population in the mangrove beside the village is a major tourist attraction, with newly constructed walkways, viewing platforms and a museum. 

Growing organically in the tropics has its challenges with many insects and high humidity. The really fun part of gardening in the tropics is that daily plant growth is phenomenal. We hope the opportunity to volunteer in a worthwhile project while spending time in the sun this winter might appeal to some of you. 

To find out more about La Manzanilla School Garden Project, click here!