Category Archives: Fundraising

Shopping online = donating to us for FREE!


I’s almost unbelievable, but we’ve found a way you can shop online and get the best price from 3,600 retailers, while donating money to Misión México at no extra cost.

It does sound like there’s a catch, but there’s not.

Give as you Live is a price comparison website, which means when you make a purchase through them online, they make a commission off the retailer for their services. Instead of pocketing this fee like almost all websites, they pass at least 50% of this sum onto the charity of the customers choice. Amazing.

All you have to do is sign up here and start shopping at over 3,600 stores including Amazon, Ebay, John Lewis, Waterstones and Marks and Spencers. When you purchase a product you’ll get the opportunity to select Misión México as your chosen charity!

AND if you sign up via this link they will donate £5 for every referral. It’s that easy.

So far, Give as you Live has helped raise over five million pounds for over 4,500 UK charities. That’s impressive.

So help yourselves to these great online deals this Christmas and you can help us in the process.

Please note, almost all retailers are based in the UK.

We wish you some happy and successful online shopping!


The Moustache Party Fundraiser is back!

Moustache Party 14 500x500px

It’s back… our annual Moustache Party Fundraiser on Wednesday 26 November at Tonteria,  London, celebrating the Mexican Revolution and raising money for our kids.

Mexican inspired drinks, delicious Mexican burritos, salsas and canapes sponsored by Chipotle and Kankun sauce, live music, revolution raffle, live auction, moustache competition, Mexican mayhem prize draw, free face painting to create personalised tache and much more….

Early bird tickets available until 8 November.

Proceeds will be used for the education and youth transition programs – critical to ensure these children have the best opportunity to escape the poverty and abuse they were born into and have a future they can look forward to.

Last years’ event was incredible but this year we’re doing it bigger and better.

Awesome prizes including food, music, beauty, well being and holidays, generously donated by companies including Peyote, Dermalogica, Rolls Royce, Fabric, Cyclebeat and Bikram Hot Yoga.

The party is proudly sponsored by Tonteria, Kankun Sauce, Chipotle and Jose Cuervo tequila.

Start growing your tache now and join us at our Fiesta!


Moustache Party 2013

moustache 2013 big

Biggest tache in town

Celebrating Day of the Dead Melbourne style!

Please join us at the Catrina Festival in Melbourne on Saturday 1 November to celebrate Day Of the Dead like never before! Live music, film and authentic Mexican food and drinks! Get your face painted and raise money for for our kids!

“Long live the dead!? Catrina said. During this unique evening local artists will build an altar structure to honour the departed, aiming to bring their memory back to life.

Get involved and honour the dead with us. Enjoy the altar exhibition and vote for your favourite one!

Free entry from 17:00 – 18:30; Ticketed event starts 19:00

La catrina Festival Melb nov 2014

Come and get your dose of vitamin ‘T’ at Mission’s Mexican Festival!

Mexfest 2014

Mexfest 2014

Tacos, tamales, tortas, tortillas and tostadas will all be on offer when Melbourne’s Federation Square transforms into a mini Mexico for MEXfest on Sunday 14 September – a festival which is proudly supporting Misión México!new balance shoes

We’re lucky enough to be part of the third annual Mexican celebration, where local foods, artists and education activities will be taking place for all ages to coincide with Mexican Independence Day.

We’ll have a Misión México store set up to help promote and spread the news of our wonderful cause.


There will be a raffle to win a surfboard kindly donated by Global Surf Industries and the Somewhere Near Tapachula DVDs will be for sale as T-shirts and wristbands. Face Painters will be at the stall to paint Aztec designs for the kids!

All funds raised will be donated to the children.

We’re excited to announce that Director, Alan Skuse and our Misión México (UK) Chairperson Deborah Grossman will both be attending, along with Moacir, one of the young mean who lived with Pam and Alan for seven years.

So if you’ll be in or around Melbourne on Sunday 14 September, drop by Federation Square to say hello and dose up on some tasty vitamin T!

Hasta luego amigos!


MexicanFestivalLogo (2)

Mission’s Mexican Festival

Working Towards a Sustainable Community

Misión México (UK) Trustee Laura Vanessa Muñoz reflects on how Pam and Alan Skuse are working towards a sustainable community in Tapachula, Mexico by providing a loving, secure family home for abused and severely disadvantaged children.

Critical to this direction towards a sustainable community has been Misión México’s young adults becoming independent and self-sufficient. A number of them are now at a stage in their lives where they need to establish life skills that are difficult to develop in the current Misión México system. Their Youth Transition Program will enable the teenagers in their transition to adulthood, whilst continuing their education, and will provide them with life skills that they would not have otherwise.

The full article is featured in the Mexican Chamber of Commerce  Mexico Weekly.

To support our Youth Transition Program please visit our program donation page or donate here.

Cooking dinner for the girls

Cooking dinner for the girls

new balance 474

How to survive as a small charity in the UK

The UK is often held up as a very generous nation. The UK was announced the sixth most charitable nation in the World Giving Index 2013 published by the Charity Aid Foundation.

It isn’t surprising, therefore, that small charities have popped up all over the country with the tenacity of a garden weed. Of course, rather than being a scourge on our landscape, they are often the very fabric that hold our communities together and have affected individual lives profoundly. The UK’s Small Charity Week, is an opportunity to reflect on the challenges these small charities face and to ask ourselves how they ensure their work is recognised and understood.

The Misión México UK team, headed up by Deborah Grossman, supported by five Trustees, and a trusted team of volunteers, set up Misión México UK in 2012 to raise awareness of the refuge in Tapachula and support the programmes run for the children; namely the Education Programme, Surf Programme, Working Training Programme and Youth Transition Programme.  Here are some of the things we have learned so far.

board meeting June 2013

board meeting June 2013

Don’t try to compete with the ‘big boys’

Misión México is different to the bigger charities who support children. We stand for the same issues (education, empowering young girls and women, reducing poverty, supporting the recovery of children who have suffered physical and emotional abuse), but the Misión México vision and our purpose is unique to us. Furthermore, we simply do not have the same resources as the bigger organisations. We therefore, do not try to compete with larger charities for attention or space. We tailor our fundraising activities to our vision and the resources at our disposal. We share the Misión Mexico story amongst and through our colleagues, friends and family. We ask them to tell our balance toddler

Investing in volunteers

Misión México, like many small charities, would simply not exist without the time, expertise and support given to us by our volunteers. Whether this be helping us to run the Misión México website, holding fundraising events, taking photos and making videos for us, or whether it be going to Mexico to teach music, to help the children with homework, to spend time surfing, we rely on people giving us their time. We are constantly trying to improve our mechanisms for recruiting volunteers and ensuring that we are investing in them and supporting them in their own development when we can. We truly believe that you should invest in your volunteers.

Volunteers helping out at Mexican Independence Day celebrations 2031 in London

Volunteers helping out at Mexican Independence Day celebrations 2031 in London

Making your story relevant

Misión México faces a big challenge of making our story relevant in the UK. We are small, and the reason we exist is to support children in Mexico. Making our story relevant to people here has been a challenge. However, some things in life cross boundaries. The suffering of children is one of these. No matter who you are or where you live, we all believe in taking care of children. Therefore by sharing our children’s stories and showing that there are some things all children have in common, we are building trust and gaining traction in the UK.

Learning from, and sharing with, small charities

We have learned a great deal from other incredible charities such as New Life Mexico and International Refugee Trust who have a similar set up to ourselves. We would like to collaborate more with other small charities to network, share ideas, and support each other. Often small charities perceive themselves as being in competition with each other for people’s attention, time, and money but we believe that more can be gained through sharing learning and resources and through collaboration. We have found the networking opportunities afforded to us by Network of International Development Organisations in Scotland (NIDOS), the Institute of Funding and the Foundation for Social Improvement (FSI) very useful.

Understanding your impact

Cristian, Alex y Jennifer

Cristian, Alex y Jennifer

Understanding the difference you are making is vital for small charities and yet is notoriously difficult. Often collecting robust statistical data is just not possible and so we are often left wondering what impact our work is having. We at Misión México are very lucky to be able to see the effect our work is having on the children we support every day. For us, the most effective means of showing those who support us just what their time and money is contributing towards, is by telling stories. We ask the children at the refuge what their life is like at the refuge, how things have changed, what their dreams are, what their passions are. This allows our audience to build a type of relationship with them and thus see what a difference we are making. Our children are writing their own blog posts now and sharing their lives with us on Facebook.

While the past two years has been full of challenges and we are very proud of how much we have learned so far. It is our hope that we will be able to continue to learn from and work alongside other small charities to ensure we are can continue to help the most vulnerable in our society.

Debs, Marli, Marie Ester, Junior, Jennifer & Pam

Debs, Marli, Marie Ester, Junior, Jennifer & Pam

Where to volunteer? A special report for Small Charity week

Each year, hundreds of thousands of people travel across the globe to volunteer abroad. Although it’s an activity that is usually associated with students or as a stop-gap between jobs, it’s an activity you can easily adapt to your way of life, with placements lasting between 2-3 weeks to months at a time.

With Small Charity Week fast approaching, it’s a good time to focus on smaller organisations that are looking to make a change in the world, one step at a time. Although bigger charities may well give you more scope in terms of work experience, in the form of office-based work for example, one of the greatest pulls of smaller charities is the chance to get to grips with their activities, from the ground up.

First things first, when looking for a small charity to work with, you should check out the organisation, how and where it was set up, who is in charge and what their mission is. Time and time again, students feel underwhelmed by a charity’s daily activities and their placements as they didn’t put enough research into finding the project they would most like to work on.

You should also think about what sort of role you’re after. Just because you’re volunteering doesn’t mean you should only think about what you can give a charity with your help and hard work. The best workers are those that are passionate about the cause and the responsibilities their job entails, so think about the different areas you would like to be involved in.

Whether you’re looking to work as part of a community, project manage a particular event, work with a team of volunteers or take responsibility for a whole strand of operations, it’s up to you. Volunteering gives you the chance to help out, and help yourself, too. After all, you only get out what you put in, so if you know from the start you’re really good at networking and always the last to leave a party, then you could look into fundraising for the charity of your choice. If you’re more hands on and enjoy working with small teams, teaching and group activities would be right up your street.

Small charities need people who are passionate about their cause and their mission in order to contribute to their network and help them grow. Volunteering during your year abroad will give you the chance to stretch your horizons, gain experience in something you believe in, but also help give you a first-hand experience of what it’s like to work in a small team.

Part of the beauty of Misión México is the close work you’ll get to do with the kids, of all ages and all sorts of backgrounds.

“It´s difficult to imagine the suffering that some of the beautiful children in Misión México have gone through in their short lives. These children welcome you in and show you so much love, it’s hard not to get very attached to each and every one!” Emma, Ireland, recent volunteer with us.

Arts and craft time

We’ve also partnered with all sorts of different organisations, in Mexico, the UK, Australia and the US, meaning you can get involved once you’re back home, too.

“My husband and I had the opportunity to go to Tapachula in 2010 to meet Pam and Alan the kids. We just loved them all and were amazed at how Pam and Alan are working with the children. I believe we all can find a few hours to spare a week to a life changing organisation like Misión México, no matter where you are in the world, there is always a way one can help.” Ana Lucia Cortez, Australia

new balance shoes store

Ana and kids

Ana and kids

We like to think of our work as being more than a shelter for the kids, but rather a real sense of family and community.

“I have two parents who show me what it is like to have unconditional love, and I have a big family to show me what it is like to be united as a family; this is Misión México“. Maria, 22 years, one of our family members.

Maria, Pam and Alan at the event

Maria, Pam and Alan at the event

So, what are you waiting for, come join us at Misión México and change lives! 

Jason and kids

Volunteer Jason and kids at Mision Mexico, Tapachula, Mexico

What will you wax for Misión México?

JuniorWax on, wax off!

Have you got some hair that should probably be removed? Yes? Great! No? Well do it anyway!

We’re pleased to announce Misión México is tearing ourselves off our boards as we’re being featured on the Big Wax Wednesday, a new fundraising challenge helping to raise money for great causes.

In order to get involved, all you have to do is nominate a part of your body you’ll wax, start raising money, then take part in the Big Wax on Wednesday, 25 June!

Andrew Cotton, professional big wave surfer and Mision Mexico ambassador, is supporting this campaign;

“It doesn’t matter where you are in the world, you can participate from where ever you like!”

What are the Big Wax Wednesday rules?

Want to learn the rules? You can find out all you need to know on the Big Wax Wednesday site.

And if you participate and have a hairy friend, you shouldn’t forget to ‘Wax & Nominate’. It’s the right thing to do… because it’s for charity! Make sure you take some photos to share with friends to help raise money. Read more on Mision Mexico’s fundraising tips.

Tell us here what you intend to wax and we look forward to seeing some silky smooth skin all over the globe on Wednesday, 25 June.

So go on, wax on, wax off!

Papa on his surf board...what will he wax?!

Papa on his surf board…what will he wax?!

Where’s your Sombrero mate? Mexican culture in Victoria


Where’s your Sombrero Mate Coffee Book

We at Misión Méxio love stories. We love telling them, we love listening to them and we love sharing them with the world. In fact, we don’t just love stories; we believe that they are hugely powerful. Story telling has been the way in which humans have communicated with each other since time began; we use them to pass on wisdom, to travel to other times and places, to entertain and to explore who we are in relation to this big bad world we live in. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of story telling is how you tell it using words, photography, art, music and dance.

You can imagine how excited we are then, to be working with Mexican born photographer, Sergio Villasenor Ramirez, the mind behind Smoking Mirror Photography. A fellow story teller and advocate for Mexican culture, he has created a beautiful coffee book with the support of the Mexican Social and Cultural Association in Victoria entitled Where’s your Sombrero mate? to tell the story of Mexican people living in Melbourne, Australia. Not only that, he is donating all proceeds to Misión México!

We asked Sergio why he decided to support us:

“Being a Mexican living in Australia I felt compelled to support Misión México as it felt like I was giving back a little bit to both countries at the same time. Chiapas is a beautiful but one of the poorest places in Mexico; crime and violence run rampant.  The fact that (Australian born) Pam and Alan decided to stay there for good and endure all kind of problems and risks in order to support these kids says a lot about them.  And that is what I like about Misión México: it is an act of love.?

And he has decided to support this act of love with a labour of love. We are incredibly proud to be working with creative story tellers such as Sergio. Please do have a look at his beautiful website: and his fantastic book Where is your Sombrero mate?. If you do nothing else today, tell someone a story!


Winter Magic Festival fundraiser in the Blue Mountains

Misión México will be represented at The Winter Magic Festival. The Winter Magic Festival is a free, annual community event, celebrated around the Winter solstice in Katoomba in the Blue Mountains of New South Wales, Australia.

Winter Magic is the Blue Mountains highest profile and most anticipated annual event. It is the weekend when artists, musicians, dancers, drummers, choirs, stalls and community take over one of Australia’s most famous towns.

The mother of one of Misión México’s volunteers, Dominic Attard, is fundraising for Misión México by selling a selection of vegetarian food at one of the stalls of the festival.

In addition to this the Katoomba/Leura Senior citizens group are graciously lending us their cafe kitchen to prepare the food and will also be making a donation.

If you are attending the Winter Magic Festival be sure to stop by the Misión México fundraiser stall to try some of the delicious food and let us know how it was! Winter in the Blue Mountains is a special time and this festival always proves a great day out.

Got a fundraising idea? Let us know!

Winter magic festival logo

Dominic Attard at Mision Mexico in Tapachula.

Dominic Attard at Mision Mexico in Tapachula.