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...In 2011, we made a commitment for 18 months and ended up staying for two years. How do I put in a nutshell all that I experienced? All the frustrations, disappointments, living in community, working in the village as a team, the friendships that we made, the tears that we shed together, the exciting times, the "aha moments," the dedication of the team, and much more. This experience changed me!..


Special Needs Program

Full-time volunteer (2011-2012)

...Ken and I first set foot in the village of Tlamacazapa, Mexico, in February 2005 to participate in a “loo build" [construction of a dry toilet and rainwater harvest tank unit]. We returned again and again for the next 10 years...We knew that the relationship between Atzin and Tlama began by responding to a need in conversation with villagers. It was simple and immediate –mothers were worried about their babies suffering from diarrhea and dehydration. Classes on how to prepare homemade oral rehydration solution from sugar, salt and water (ORS) were offered to treat the babies. Response to an articulated need. So it began...

Carol and Ken SHIPLEY

Long-time volunteers (2005-present)

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Christina Oh.jfif

My student internship with Atzin surpassed every single one of the expectations I had brought with me to Mexico. I expected to participate and help in some capacity in a few of the organization’s programs, to improve in my Spanish conversational skills and to better understand the intricacies of managing a grassroots organization. Six short weeks with Atzin left me inspired, challenged and touched...


Christina OH

Internship, Health and Healing Program.

Masters Student in Global Health (2014)

Being a part of the ATZIN community was a changing point in my personal and professional life. As the years pass since my time as a volunteer with Atzin, I still have realizations on how awakening and soul-directing it was for me and those who shared in the experience. Atzin provides a space for blissful human encounter yet also is an apex of growth...


Special Needs Program

Fulltime volunteer (2008-2009)

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Volunteer Paul Klassen (1).png

I spent almost a year at 2005-2006. I had just graduated with a civil engineering degree, and came to work in the Water and Sanitation Program, but this was unlike any regular engineering job I could imagine. While I took water samples, and supervised a crew building toilets and cisterns, I also helped teach literacy and math, drove people to the hospital, even bathed an old man... I’m glad I postponed the ‘regular engineering job’ to do something different, and that I found the opportunity with Atzin.


Engineer, Water, Sanitation & Environment Program

Full-time volunteer (2005-2006)

...this is my fourth year to volunteer for two months in Atzin`s educational program, Tihueliske...Each time Atzin’s collective knowledge accumulated over the last 18 years of working in Tlamacazapa impresses and impacts me. I have learned that if I violate the rhythm of the people by trying to push things too much, people won`t be able to “own” their own development...


Teacher, Tihueliske Education Program



The work in Tlamacazapa continues to be a very rewarding experience in my life. It is an honour to spend time with the women and children of this secluded Mexican community. Their strength in the face of the hardships of poverty inspires me to re- evaluate choices that I make in everyday life. I return to Mexico every year to connect with the lovely people of Tlamacazapa and to lend a helping hand to my friends, the hard working Atzin team in Cuernavaca.


Educator and Librarian, Tihueliske Education Program

Fulltime volunteer (2008) with many return trips

Atzin has worked as a foundation for my work ethic and purpose in life. I went into Atzin with the purpose to learn and give what I could for a greater common good.  I have come out of Atzin with a lot more than that.  I learned that in order to give, I must build a sturdy self to give purely and wholeheartedly.  To assemble myself I had to understand my intentions for being there, learn to focus and strategize my goals, prioritize and play it out with serious dedication...

Diana Eloisa BENAVIDES

Educator, Tihueliske Education Program

Diana has contributed hundreds of books

to the Tihueliske Program

Full-time volunteer (2007-2008) with many return trips

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From the team of Atzin, I have learned about passion and perseverance. I have learned about the importance of small steps and that small changes are in fact the most significant ones to the individual child and woman in Tlama.  I am so privileged to be part of the Atzin family. 

Po Chun LAU

Board of Directors, Atzin Canada (2008-present)

Two visits to Atzin Mexico (2009, 2011)

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