Karma Yogi at Hridaya Yoga in Mazunte – volunteering in Mexico
In summer 2014, I just finished studying, I decided to leave home for some time. I wanted to volunteer somewhere, make yoga and live near the sea. I researched a few addresses, wrote application e-mails and received only one answer: I was invited to exchange my work with yoga, food and tent accommodation at Hridaya Yoga in Mazunte, on the Mexican Pacific coast. Hridaya Yoga has a Karma Yoga Program – if you volunteer for 3 months, you can participate in the one-month Yogakur and a 10-day meditation retreat free of charge. I immediately agreed and began the preparations.
I booked a round trip to Cancun with 5 months in between and from Cancun I flew to Puerto Escondido. From Puerto Escondido I took a small bus to the bus station and from there a public bus to the junction to Mazunte / Zipolite. From there, I take regular pick ups taxi on which you can go along on wooden benches for small money. So I arrived in the hot coastal town of Mazunte, I saw only palm trees, colorful houses and the sea.
Completely done by the flight, I was a bit overwhelmed to introduce myself to all the people there. I went to sleep early and the next day it started. To my surprise, I should work at the front desk, because someone had left there. Within a few days I was familiarized with everything and from now on I was one of two reception women for 3 months. Answering emails and inquiries, feeding the database, accepting calls, welcoming guests and settling accounts with them, and many other tasks. I could hardly believe how much responsibility was left to us. Thanks to this job, I gradually came into contact with everyone and felt more and more at home. The Hridaya crew consists of many volunteers and is actually like a community.
Every day I took part in yoga and yoga philosophy lessons, I was able to eat 3 delicious meals and enjoyed the nights in my tent. In the morning, quickly to the beach or in the afternoon after work, on the weekend we undertook excursions to Mazunte and the surroundings. It was like in paradise for me, I could hardly grasp my luck and didn’t mind any extra effort to do my job well. There were also a handful of other Karma Yogis, in the management, in the kitchen and for the accommodations. At the same time, the Teacher Training at Hridaya took place, which meant that over 30 highly motivated yogis went in and out.
The people there come from all over the world, many from Canada, USA and Romania, but also from Israel and Europe. Most of them have been on a spiritual quest for a long time and taught a lot of yoga, music, massage and meditation. Although I had been practicing yoga in Germany for several years, I had not really been in contact with so spiritual people so far or did not know what it was all about. Sometimes I was overwhelmed by their enthusiasm and affection. I felt a little bit like an outsider, all these feelings they talked about, I had no idea about these things. At the same time, I found more and more good friends there and they introduced me from all sides to the secrets of yoga, meditation and enlightenment. And sometimes we just went out to party together.
The first 3 months I had rather gone to the beach or did Ashtanga Yoga, instead of meditating with everyone around 07:00 am. After I persuaded myself at the end of my time there to try the 10-day meditation retreat, I finally felt a touch of spirituality within myself and felt much more part of the group. Everything I learned at Hridaya and the great people I met, has left deep impressions in me and I am infinitely grateful for the time there. After the 3 months I rented a room nearby, although it became hotter day by day and the mosquitoes and other small animals became more and more. We celebrated Christmas and New Year’s Eve together, and every month new, interesting people arrived. At some point, however, I had to say goodbye, my sister arrived and we wanted to travel through Mexico for 6 weeks.
Any good places to volunteer in Mexico or similar? 🙂