While the choices we make in our Mexicali travels are always with integrity and compassion in mind, we know the impact we make as a small business is often not as far-reaching as we would like. Many countries in the world, amidst their beauty, culture, and amazing communities, sadly still have sweatshops and human trafficking. In an effort to spread positivity and do what we can to help, we regularly donate to several organizations in far-flung countries, dedicated to helping and empowering children and adults who have been affected by these unfair and unkind practices.
One of these amazing organizations is Friends of Thai Daughters, which is dedicated to protecting girls who were being trafficked, and offering them a safe living environment and education. Friends of Thai Daughters focuses its efforts on girls who are the most vulnerable due to their low economic and social status and family hardship. FTD Daughters come from the hill tribes of Northern Thailand and are typically without documentation or citizenship, orphaned, and/or victims of abuse.
The organization is currently helping 17 young girls aged 8 to 23. These girls now live happily and healthily in a cheerfully appointed safe house called “The Sunflower House”, staffed by volunteers including our very own Carly Erskine, daughter of Mexicali owners Pete and Kim. After spending the past semester studying at Chiang Mai University, Carly knew she wanted to go to the Sunflower House to share her loving support and limitless enthusiasm with the girls, and she has become a valued friend and mentor to them all. We can’t wait to hear about her and the girls’ adventures when she returns to the States!
Kim is also presently visiting the Friends of Thai Daughters house, and–wanting to become more instrumentally involved in this awesome cooperative–has just joined their board! Says Kim: “It is a wonderful feeling to live in South Bristol, Maine, and effect change in one of my favorite countries to travel and work in. FTD has made such a difference in young women’s lives, I feel lucky to be a part of such an amazing organization.”