Strengthening L.I.F.E. Argentina

Buenos Aires is the most popular city in South America for travellers to visit given its lush culture and history. With the allure of delicious Malbec accompanied with delicious asado (BBQ), stunning architecture and of course, the endless day and nighttime activities that will put your sensory system in overload.

Only two blocks away from the infamous Recoleta Cemetery, stands a simple brown door between a pizza place and lottery store. This humble door is the entrance to a non-profit organization, L.I.F.E. Argentina, that invests time and capital to impoverished children in Ciudad Oculta (Hidden City) of BA and a Guarani community in Peruti, Misiones.

Founder, Liliana Mocoroa, has dedicated the past 15+ years to build out this organization as a means to provide resources, hope and opportunites for those who are economically and socially disadvantaged.

Quick Reference

What’s the significance of “L.I.F.E.” in L.I.F.E. Argentina?

How can I volunteer when I’m in Buenos Aires as a resident or traveller?

How did you deploy your donations to the organization?

I’m not in Buenos Aires, how can I help from home?

What’s the significance of “L.I.F.E”?

Luchemos por una Infancia Feliz y con Esperanza.

Translated to English, “We strive for a childhood with happiness and hope.”

SnacktimeLili’s passion and pursuit to help one of the most disadvantaged villas in Buenos Aires has been a driving force to her organization’s success. No different than anyone else, during the initial stages to penetrate the community Lili faced tremendous hurdles which included having stones thrown at her by residents as she knocked on their doors. Most individuals who face a situation like this would give up and call it quits; but her vision to provide opportunities to others was a key motivator.

Unlike non-profits in North America, L.I.F.E. is completely reliant on volunteers and donations from others as there is no government funding. Yes, education is free for all but the reality is that the government only provides the bare minimum. The costs associated with education (supplies, books, etc.) are not included, thus limiting the success of completing school.

Volunteer Opportunities

Villa-hiddencityA volunteer program is offered for foreigners that provides room and board at the offices for an immaterial fee. Living in BA? She’s always looking residents of Buenos Aires to help out and even has partnerships with local universities for internship opportunities.

Why the associated cost to volunteer? No, it’s not a scam.

With no government funding or consistent financing, operational expenses need to be taken care of and the excess cash is deployed into the on-going projects.

Lili’s strong nature and dedication has countlessly turned down offers to monetize off of the traveller trend to participate in “poor” tours.

Lili and I both agree that it doesn’t make sense for tourists to stare, gawk and take pictures of those who are disadvantaged as if they were animals in a zoo.

What I don’t understand? I’ve seen bloggers go off the rails about travellers riding elephants and taking pictures with sedated tigers in Thailand, but would consider taking part in such dehumanizing tours.

When did we start putting animals above human beings?

Deployment of Donations from Toronto

I had the opportunity to partner with L.I.F.E. to launch my non-profit initiative, Project #ShowSumLove. An initiative to inspire travellers of all styles to give back to causes they are passionate about during their travels.

PesosIt was truly an honour to spend the day with Lili to deploy 10,000 pesos (C$ 1,000) and travel-sized product donations that were collected in Toronto through my personal network. The kind hearts of donors allowed me to be their proxy to provide opportunities for women and children in the villa.

In a nutshell, donors have provided 160 underprivileged children with school supplies, toys, 2 new tables for the soup kitchen and 14 new chairs for the activity centre in the villa.

In honour of the launch of the project, C$1,000 were deployed for the sponsorship of two young girls: Brisa, 12, and Camila, 8.

Brisa, like her name, is soft, quiet and graceful with an incredible maternal sense as she watches over the younger children. Self-taught, she loves origami and has an incredible sense of detail and precision.

Camila, has a spirited personality that finds joy and happiness in all that she does. If there were clouds in sky, she would be the one who would bring out the sun and have it follow her wherever she may go.

I am a true believer of financial transparency, for a comprehensive breakdown on how funds were deployed, please »click here«

How can I help if I am not in Buenos Aires?

KidsThere are a number of ongoing projects and needs for L.I.F.E., please free to check out the website to see which project you would like to contribute to.

If you are feeling more generous, take the time to review the “godparent” section to sponsor a child.

Through the organization, the success stories have been incredible:

A young woman studying medicine as she continues to live in the villa, a young man who learned English and went to work in Poland and a number of graduates despite that 41% of students in university are foreigners.

For more details relating to this project, please navigate with the buttons below:

 Use of Financial Donations (PDF) |    Photo Gallery |    Ciudad Oculta (Hidden City) – Villa 15 |  L.I.F.E. Argentina Website



41 thoughts on “Strengthening L.I.F.E. Argentina

  1. Thank you for sharing about this organization. This sort of volunteer/work trade scenario is what I look for most in my travels. South America is on my map probably for next year so I’ll have to keep this in mind as I definitely plan on returning to Argentina.

  2. This is so needed! Children should be brought up with joy and happiness and security. I wish this organization well and appreciate the help they are giving these poor children.

    • I couldn’t agree more, what this organization is doing for their communities at home is phenomenal. There’s such a socio-economic struggle in Argentina, and I’m glad that they make the effort to provide a fun, nurturing and positive environment for the kids in Ciudad Oculta and Misiones.

  3. Sounds like a great organization! It’s so hard to see children in pain when all they should be doing is enjoying life. Thanks for the informative post!

    • Thank you for reading, it really is hard to see the kids struggle but, they’re so full of live and positive attitudes despite their circumstances. Breaks my heart that kids from the villas are discriminated against due to their lack of resources.

    • Thanks, I think it’s important to pay it forward and kids are the best investment. Providing resources allows them to capitalize opportunities that in their eyes were unattainable. I am strong believer that people will always make their own decisions, but if you even out the playing field for them they could shoot the lights out on what they want to achieve.

    • Thanks, I hope it inspires other travellers to adapt a similar model to causes which resonate to them. BA is ok, but I had a great time as I had two friends who are native BAers and they showed me the lay of the land. Nothing I adore more than to see a city through a local’s eyes 🙂

    • Thank you for reading, and hopefully the word gets out. I think it’s great that we are able to travel, but so many people don’t have that chance..moreso, they don’t even have the fundamentals of daily life. Cheers!

  4. Awesome post! And all my respect to you for getting involved and spreading the word about this organisation. Can only imagine what an impressive time you would have had in Argentina.

  5. Looks like they do some great work there. Totally agree with you about the ‘poor tours’ – I have always thought that the idea of excursions to slums and favelas was a little insensitive to the people who live there.

  6. This is such a great initiative. There are so many ways in which we can help when traveling and yet we are not aware of most of them. There are many times when I travel and I feel like I could have done more for the places where I have been to. I will definitely look more into the organization!
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    • Thanks! I think it’s great that you want to take a look at the org, but find stuff that resonates with you and the value is priceless especially to kids who actually don’t realize or know that the world is so much bigger than their confines. Just takes a bit of time and research 🙂

    • Thanks, I’m really hoping to see how far this can go. There are so many people in our world, and giving back can provide a better opportunity for a bunch of kids and hopefully, for a better future!

  7. Thanks for putting a spotlight on this organization. My wife benefitted from something similar when she was very young orphan in Colombia. We’ll be going to BA this coming December. Maybe we’ll make a charitable visit!

    • Thank you, I’m so glad to hear that your wife benefitted! That’s so amazing and I’m all for organizations that invest in children’s futures and providing them the resources for a better future.

      If you make it to BA, I encourage you to make some time to bring down some donations to them as L.I.F.E. does an exceptional job and providing for the communities they work with

  8. Thanks for sharing this. It’s always so great to give something back when you’re travelling and I’ll definitely keep this in mind if I ever make it to Buenos Aires! x

    • Thanks, yah they are pretty fantastic and I think that not just this organization, but so many others out there need our help. I’m glad to have launched my project with L.I.F.E. and look forward to the many more partnerships in the future throughout the globe 🙂

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