Day 107: Garbage Picking in Mexico
January 14, 2011
Day 109: Should You Just Hand Out Pesos?
January 16, 2011

Manatee Trainer and the Lettuce Donation

Once again something has come up in our day here in Mexico that became the GIVE of the day. It was meant as a opportunity for my son to see some local sea life and turned into a donation instead.

GIVE 108 / DAY 108

The weather on my vacation has been somewhat challenging at times as a north wind has brought some cooler temperatures and clouds. This also means it’s a great opportunity to go see some sights we may not otherwise would visit as the beach and waves would keep us close to home.

We headed to a place called Puerto Aventuras. This isn’t the type of place I would normally visit on a vacation but with a 3 year old and cool rainy weather entertainment is key. This resort / adventure club features dolphins, sea lions and manatees. The have shows to see and if you want to spend “mucho pesos” you can swim with them, pet their tummies, get a photo as they kiss you and even feed them. For many it is a great adventure and a once in a life time experience.

The Manatee

As my sister lives here and owns a hotel in Playa Del Carmen she had been to this destination in the past and knew that manatees – which I had never seen before – eat lettuce. Manatees look a bit like an underwater cow and the fact that they were vegetarians amazed me. They are huge, almost whale like creatures and you would think they would eat other fish to keep up their large size.

Before we left home my sister grabbed a large bag of lettuce to bring to the manatees. She decided it would be our GIVE of the day. We first went to visit the dolphins, than watched the sea lion show and finally we sat down to watch the manatees. My son pulled the lettuce out from under the stroller and asked if he could feed them. You are not allowed to just throw food into the tanks so we tracked down one of the trainers and asked if we could donate our lettuce to the manatees for their next feeding.

The trainer was very gracious and excepted our donation. We watched him feed our yummy lettuce to the manatees and my son was thrilled to be part of the process. The impact of this GIVE was not so much for the manatee as it was for my son. At the ripe old age of 3 he understands what it means to GIVE. By doing simple inexpensive things like “lettuce for the manatees” we changed the world by teaching my son to GIVE.

If there was a program in schools based on philanthropy for children just imagine what the next generation would be like, imagine what the world would be like.

Have you taught your kids to GIVE today? If you have any stories you would like to share or ideas on teaching our children how to GIVE please send them along so it can be shared.

Time Commitment: 5 minutes

Cost: $3.00 lettuce

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