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Tuesday, August 13, 2019

8 Wonderful Water Recreational Activities for Your Family’s Summer

Summer is here, and that means hot weather and cool water activities! Whether you’re looking to enjoy the summer locally or you’re planning a trip away, water-based recreational activities provide excellent opportunities for fun, exercise, and a chance to cool off.
We’ve talked before about simple ways to have a healthier lifestyle, and the good news is that many of these activities are very fitness-promoting, and all of them will get you outside and having adventures!

1). Swimming

This is one of the most obvious things you can do in the water, but that’s for good reason: swimming is fun, requires no advanced equipment, is extremely refreshing, and is potentially one of the most fitness-promoting activities you can engage in.

Whether you’re enjoying a pool, a lake, or the ocean, swimming is a wonderful way to escape the heat and promote fitness at the same time. It’s also an excellent activity for the whole family, although you’ll want to make sure everyone practices water safety (and no doubt it goes without saying, but young children should wear life preservers).

2). Boating

You don’t have to own a boat or know someone who does to enjoy the wonders of boating: there are many waterways, including oceans, lakes, and rivers, where you can go on professional boating trips.
In fact, there are a variety of ways to enjoy boating: you can charter or rent a boat – by the hour, day, or month – which you operate yourself, or, more realistically for most of us, you can sign up for a ferry, join a group excursion, even board a fishing boat.

Boating is wonderful for many reasons: the adventure, the opportunity to experience a variety of different bodies of water, and the other experiences you can have while you boat. There are boating opportunities for fishing, whale watching, boat racing – sailboat racing is particularly popular on some bodies of water – and simply taking in the surroundings and enjoying the scenic beauty.

3). Jet skiing

Jet skiing involves watercraft, but is different enough from boating to warrant its own entry. Jet skiing is a tremendous amount of fun if you enjoy fast, high-powered watercraft and adventurous sporting experiences. This might be an ideal bonding activity with adventurous teens.

4). Water skiing

Water skiing is, as the name suggests, skiing on water. The water skier is towed at high speeds behind a high-powered watercraft and uses either two skis or a single ski to glide on the water.
Although water skiing may look intimidating and challenging for children, in fact it is surprisingly kid-friendly. Even young children can learn how to water ski if you, or an instructor, are willing to teach them.

5). Water polo

Water polo is essentially handball, but played in the water. A team sport, water polo is played by teams trying to get the ball over the net while preventing the rival team from doing the same thing.
You and your family can play water polo as an intense, competitive sport if that’s the way you like to play, or as a fun and friendly game. Most likely, you’ll play in a swimming pool, but it is possible to play water polo in lakes and yes, even in the ocean.

6). Surfing

Seriously, where would this list be without surfing? It’s one of the more iconic beachside activities, not to mention the basis for a surfing subculture.

The basic idea behind surfing is simple: take a surfboard and use it to ride the forward face of a wave, which will primarily carry you toward the shore.

This sport may seem counter-intuitive for children, but in fact it can be a wonderful experience for them. Learning to surf with kid-appropriate waves can help children to develop strength and balance while enjoying the outdoors and learning values of patience and self-confidence.  

7). Skimboarding

Skimboarding may look a lot like surfing, but the idea is subtly different: instead of swimming out to catch the waves, skimboarders start at the beach and ride the outgoing waves away from beach. They then catch the next wave back to the beach.

Skimboarding also makes use of a smaller board than surfing, meaning the equipment is slightly different.

As the description suggests, skimboarding may be easier and more accessible for children, not least because it does not require an ocean- or sea-sized body of water. Skimboarding can easily be done in lakes and rivers.

8). Paddle boarding

We’ve saved arguably the best for last. Paddle boarding, or more precisely stand up paddle boarding (SUP), is done by riding a board in the standing position and using a paddle to row.

Unlike surfing, you don’t need waves – in fact, you’re probably better off without them, especially early on (to learn more, go to This is because you’re supplying the power as you row.

Paddle boarding is a great workout, and probably even easier than surfing to start teaching to your children.


From swimming to boating to paddle boarding, there are a variety of wonderful water-based sports and recreational activities to help your family keep cool and have a blast this summer while staying safe. Enjoy the water!

Thursday, June 13, 2019

How to help the migrants and our country, right now



o   South Texas Human Rights Center

A community-based center, this humanitarian organization seeks to end death and suffering on the Texas-Mexico border. It engages in different community initiatives to attain this goal.

o   Diocesan Migrant & Refugee Services is the largest provider of free and low cost immigration services in West Texas and says it’s the only organization in El Paso serving unaccompanied children.

o   Circle of Health International has staffed a clinic caring for refugees and asylum seekers immediately upon their their release. Their McAllen, Texas, clinic is currently seeing up to 100 patients a day.

o   The El Paso-based Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center provides legal representation to immigrants who might not be able to afford it otherwise. It’s accepting volunteers and donations.


o   RAICES The Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that promotes justice by providing free and low-cost legal services to underserved immigrant children, families and refugees in Central and South Texas. RAICES is the largest immigration non-profit in Texas with offices in Austin, Corpus, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, and San Antonio.
o   Casa de Proyecto Libertad
Provides legal defense and advocacy for immigrant families in the Rio Grande Valley, supporting community organizing for immigrant human rights. The organization gives quality, low-cost legal services for immigrants, and is always looking for volunteers.

o   ProBAR (The South Texas Pro Bono Asylum Representation Project), based in Harlingen, Texas, provides free legal services to detained asylum-seekers. It recruits, trains, and coordinates the activities of volunteer lawyers, law students, and legal assistants. (It is a joint project of the American Bar Association, the State Bar of Texas, and the American Immigration Lawyers Association, and is supported by the Texas Access to Justice Foundation.)

o   The Texas Civil Rights Project is seeking “volunteers who speak Spanish, Mam, Q’eqchi’ or K’iche’ and have paralegal or legal assistant experience.”



o   No More Deaths/No Más Muertes
A humanitarian organization based in southern Arizona, it works to end death and suffering in U.S.-Mexico borderlands. It encourages a humane immigrant policy and seeks for volunteers for its programs and services. Its website also provides up-to-date information about migrant deaths in the border; note that this is currently not available as the website is offline.

-       LEGAL

o   The Florence Project is an Arizona project offering free legal services to men, women, and unaccompanied children in immigration custody.


o   Coalición de Derechos Humanos
Grassroots organization that promotes human and civil rights of immigrants, fighting border militarization and migrant abuses. Derechos Humanos acts to influence public policy and opinion on immigration. Its bilingual website has useful resources for immigrants and advocates, such as 'Know Your Rights' cards, an abuse report hotline, and updated information on Arizona migrant deaths.



o   Ángeles del Desierto/The Desert Angels
A binational humanitarian group, located in San Diego, CA, that conducts search & rescue operations, with the sole purpose of saving lives and rescuing bodies. The organization also helps with Mexican repatriations and by leaving essential supplies along paths.


o   American Friends Service Committee San Diego
AFSC San Diego supports immigrant-led organizations by developing "human rights committees" and working to include immigrant voices in policy debates. It is also in charge of the AFSC San Diego U.S.-Mexico Border Program which seeks to protect the human rights and self-determination of migrants and border communities.

o   Many migrants cleared to enter the U.S. by the Department of Homeland Security are turning to a migrant shelter run by the San Diego Rapid Response Network for help. The coalition provides these families with basic supplies, legal services, and information about the rights of asylum seekers, as well as travel and limited financial assistance to help them reach loved ones in other U.S. cities. You can help fund the group's recently opened migrant family shelter by donating to this GoFundMe campaign



o   Coalición de Derechos Humanos CDH (described below in Immigrant Rights section) has a Missing Migrant Project which includes specific attention to the recovery of remains.

o   Humane Borders/Fronteras Compasivas
Offers humanitarian assistance through the deployment of water stations on routes commonly used by migrants, with the sole goal of preventing deaths. It also develops informational resources about migrant deaths, and accepts volunteers.

o   Colibri Center for Human Rights
Holds a comprehensive database of missing persons last seen crossing the U.S.-Mexico border, using the information to match families with unidentified remains and advocate for the continuing human rights crisis on the border. 

o   The Sanctuary Caravan is a group supporters, including faith, labor, and community leaders, accompanying migrant children and their families at the border. You can get involved by housing a migrant family, volunteering, fundraising, joining upcoming events, or donating


o   Border Network for Human Rights
BNHR is an immigration reform and human rights advocacy group. It is a grassroots organizer with a large membership and capabilities, currently focusing on the nation-wide push for a just immigration reform. The organization also releases useful reports, including annual documentations of abuses in the border. 

o   Southern Border Communities Coalition
Bringing together 60 organizations from California to Texas, Southern Border Communities Coalition looks to ensure fair and accountable border enforcement, humane and rational immigration policy, and a positive quality of life for border communities. Its website has up-do-date border accountability information, including a section documenting Border Patrol murders since 2010.

o   Asylum Seeker Advocacy Project works to prevent the deportation of asylum-seeking families fleeing violence. The group accepts donations and asks people to sign up for volunteer opportunities here.



o   Centro de los Derechos del Migrante
Binational organization based in Mexico City that educates, empowers, and advocates for immigrants, while also providing transnational legal representation and advice. CDM focuses on the rights of Mexico-based migrant workers who must constantly move between their homes and the United States.


o   Save the Children, an organization that protects and supports children around the world, has set up child-friendly spaces in Tijuana. Save the Children creates these spaces in emergency situations in an effort to provide children with a safe, playful environment that's stocked with toys and crafts. You can help support migrant children's needs by donating here




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