“Travel With a Purpose” Meet: Director and Founder Steve Shapiro-M.S. Special Education and Lover of Mexico!
My name is Steve Shapiro. I have a Master’s degree in Special Education with a B.A. in Rehabilitation Psychology. I own and direct The Learning Connection, a center in Colorado Springs specializing in helping children and teens with learning and physical disabilities. My wife, Sheilah is a reading specialist at the center.
In recent years, Sheilah and I have been coming to Cabo 4-5 times a year to work with the various helping agencies in Cabo, including orphanages, hospitals, and neighborhood centers. We have helped to coordinate a variety of outreach activities for impoverished children, including clowning and magic, arts and sports programs, library building, and summer camps. Our vision has been to expand this work, and to involve more volunteers from abroad.
Several years ago, I hosted a fundraiser event entitled “Patch Adams: Clowning and Caring in Cabo”. Thirty-five clowns from all over the world participated. Our itinerary included visiting various service agencies in and around Cabo (including the General Hospital, the AIDS clinic, and Casa Hogar Orphanage) as well as building the FIRST library in the impoverished neighborhood of El Carribe.
Many adults that came on the clown trip indicated that they would love for their own families to participate in a similar trip, whereby they would experience Mexican culture and assist with our community-building efforts. Through organizing the Patch Adams trip, I met many wonderful people and immediately connected with their enthusiasm for ‘Travel With a Purpose’. A plan began to emerge.
There is a growing movement towards “philanthropic travel” around the world. Many teenagers and adults want to step outside their “comfort zone” to experience other cultures and to contribute to social change. Cabo is an ideal site for this sort of experience, as it offers a variety of opportunities for community engagement in a comfortable, easily-accessible location. I believe a trip such as this will be life-changing to the participants. At the same time, it will provide additional funds to support the works in Cabo.
I organize and lead “Travel With A Purpose”— week-long trips for various groups combining fun and meaningful activities
A. Mexican culture through Cabo experiences
B. Volunteer service in local hospitals, schools, neighborhoods etc.
C. “Serving, Connecting, and Caring” in local agencies (senior center, daycare center, special education school, orphanages etc.
D. Interactive workshops for personal growth, exploring the social and spiritualaspects of giving, self-reflection, and goals for the future
E. Local individuals sharing their talents with the group
Transportation to and from the airport, and to destinations throughout the week
Meals: Breakfast/lunch at Mar de Cortez hotel, dinner in authentic Mexican restaurants nearby
Morning outings to local agencies, neighborhoods etc.
Last day (Friday) fun beach event: boat ride, snorkeling, jet-skiing, etc.
BUDGET AND COST
ALL inclusive fee for participation per traveler….. $1,295.00 (Airfare NOT included. Airfare fee is: Approx: $400-$500)
There is a growing desire for meaningful and purposeful travel in society today. People are yearning to expand their knowledge and horizons of other cultures, and to give back to causes that they believe in. I believe that creating a ‘Travel With a Purpose’ organization would fulfill a dream of becoming more intimately involved with bettering the lives of the people in Cabo, and provide meaningful experiences for families.