The MEXICO Report
By Susie Albin-Najera
With a desire for the world to see the beautiful country of Mexico while serving in the local communities, Katherine Fisher took her love of both and created Destination: PEACE, a volunteer vacation company. Born and raised in South Bend, Indiana with a great love for Mexico, Katherine Fisher saw an opportunity to cater to those looking to mix travel with the local community and experience part of the ‘bigger picture’. With Destination: PEACE, you can select any scheduled vacation on the calendar or create a custom retreat, one that fits your style and schedule, anywhere in Mexico.
Profile: Katherine Fisher, Founder, Destination: PEACE
Destination:PEACE was born out of an idea to couple valuable volunteer experiences while luxuriating in beautiful Mexico. Destination:PEACE creates beautiful journeys where a guest will engage in rewarding volunteer experiences, forge meaningful relationships with the community, luxuriate in splendid accommodations, be immersed in the local culture, indulge in authentic Mexican cuisine and participate in healthy activities like yoga, stand-up paddle boarding and hiking.
What do you do at Destination: PEACE?
I do everything from creating the volunteer vacations, connecting with non-profits, all the social media, keeping up with the website, leading all the vacations, teaching the yoga classes, setting up activities for the Guests (for example, whale watching, birding tours, stand up paddle surfing, hiking, etc.) and much more. I guess you could say I really do everything.
I was looking for something more meaningful and rewarding to do in my life. I wanted to create something where I could consistently be involved by giving back to the communities I love so much and incorporate yoga somehow and thus Destination:PEACE was born.
Can you share a story of when a volunteer was really moved by the experience of volunteering?
This is one of my favorite memories in the testimonial below, where a volunteer talks about the spay / neuter clinic she participated in. Looking in from the outside, I remember how shocked she was to see the very basic structure of where the Animal Team was working. We were rained on and had mud all over us and that didn’t stop anyone. Noell (the volunteer) continued to take vitals of all the animals and made sure they woke up safely. The animal clinics are one of my very favorite volunteer events.
“It is impossible to accurately describe both the relaxation and the challenges that the Destination: PEACE vacation provided. Taking a challenging yoga class two times per day at a beautiful spa on the beach was relaxing, challenging and inspiring. The various activities provided an opportunity to visit towns, parks, restaurants in Mexico, while working with the residence, that I have never experienced in the over 15 previous trips to Mexico I have taken. Learning how the local PEACE woman’s groups make the items that they sell to help support their families, helping local children in a park clean-up, or painting compost containers for a new environmental initiative that PEACE is leading, were all very rewarding experiences. The most emotionally challenging volunteer event for me personally was working in PEACE’s mobile spay & neuter clinic. Though the facility was beyond basic (three walls, a leaky roof, and a dirt floor), the medical team takes meticulous care of the animals, and has all of the necessary medical equipment to ensure the animals’ safety. It was beyond fulfilling to be a small part of each of PEACE’s programs during the retreat. I got to see firsthand how this amazing organization touches ‘People, Environment, Animals, Culture, and Education. And though I came back to the same responsibilities and daily challenges at home after the retreat was over, this experience changed me. It has helped me handle my own challenges with proper perspective, more patience, and gratitude. Thank you to everyone who made this experience so special!” –Noell Emmer Vaughn, Chicago, IL
The connections and relationships that are created are priceless. I also love the travel, Mexico, the people, the organizations and just knowing we are making a difference.
I am completely in love with Mexico and the people, always have been.
I have a few.
“Work hard, play hard.” – John E. Fisher
“Oh the places you’ll go.” – Dr. Seuss
“We must be silent before we can listen. We must listen before we can learn. We must learn before we can prepare. We must prepare before we can serve. We must serve before we can lead.” -William Arthur Ward
Is there a schedule of planned volunteer vacations to choose from? If so, what is the link?
I am also excited for our new program we launched called “Pick Your Own Dates.” This allows people to choose ANY 5 or 7 nights with us and we’ll make the vacation happen for you, just call or email!