Help me get to the Philippines!

Jennelle Barajas Start Date: Jul 6, 2015 - End Date: Oct 13, 2015
  • Davao City, Davao del Sur, Philippines

My Travel Story

by: Jennelle Barajas Start Date: Jul 6, 2015 - End Date: Oct 13, 2015
No matter where you were born, a Filipino will always refer to the Philippines as “Home”. I have decided this year will be the year that I make my way home!

I have signed on with the International Volunteer HQ to work with the Hill Tribes in the outskirts of Calinan. These villages do not have access to basic services including clean running water, regular electricity, free public education and health/welfare services. There, I will assist with farming, teaching and childcare. Many villagers are uneducated and untrained, relying on the sale of fruits and vegetables farmed on their land for income and for sufficient food to feed the village. Many hill tribe villagers are not officially registered as Filipino citizens and are therefore often not eligible to attend public schools. Additionally the cost of transportation and school supplies are further limitations to the ability of hill tribe children to access education. 

The villages consist predominantly of bamboo structures, with no existing fresh water and waste water management system and without electricity. I will be living with them in the village and helping with construction and improvements to existing structures.

As a first generation Filipino-American, I am hoping this volunteer trip will allow me to engage with the Filipino people on a more meaningful level than just tourism. I would love to help realize lasting change with the Hill Tribes of Calinan by using the skills I've learned through my company, Mint and Mirth. I would like to help develop their entrepreneurial skills and increase their profits from the sale of their fruits and vegetables.

My Filipino upbringing has given me many values that I hold dearly; I would love to give back to the culture that has given so much to me.

I need help getting to the Philippines, between the program costs, airline tickets, and daily budget for living, I just don't have enough money to cover everything. I will definitely be documenting my time in the Philippines and updating my Instagram as frequently as I can. Any extra funds that are raised will be used to purchase other donations such as medical supplies, multi-vitamins and school supplies.

Anybody who donates over $10 will receive a personal postcard from the Philippines! :) 

Thank you!!!!!!!
  • Davao City, Davao del Sur, Philippines


  • 89% Funded!!!!

    89% Funded!!!!

    !!!!!!!!!!THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!

    WOW!!! I didn't think I'd get this far! Thank you so incredibly much to everyone who has donated or sent their positive wishes to me! 

    I feel so lucky to have so many people behind me for this trip, and I could not do it without you all!

    As this trip gets closer, I am getting more excited! I have ALWAYS wanted to go to the Philippines, and when I was younger I didn't think I would ever be able to. But, I took a chance, booked my trip without the means to go, and I said to myself, "I'm going to make this happen, I'm going to make this go right.". 

    YOU are making this go right for me! YOU are making this dream a reality for me! For that, I owe you all my eternal gratitude, no matter how big or small your donation has been.

    Thank you all so much, I'm just blown away by all this generosity.

    So far ALL of my flights and volunteer program fees have been paid for, which is absolutely amazing!