Jkissa, makeup artist and Lush fan, joined in on a Lush employee volunteer trip in Baja, Mexico to learn how Charity Pot is truly making a difference.
Walking through the Baja, Mexico airport, my heart was racing. I’d never done anything like this before, let alone by myself! I’d been invited on a volunteer trip with Lush staff members to visit two Charity Pot partners and lend a helping hand. I use the lotion and I have read the charities adorning my pots at home, but I never knew what it truly meant to give back one hundred percent.
I wove through the crowd to meet the Lush group, who greeted me with warm smiles and hugs. These fourteen people were going to be my family for the next week as we spent every moment together. People from all over North America, from all different walks of life were brought together for the one sole purpose, and that was Charity Pot.
Our first visit was to a local high school where we met Raiz De Fondo, a Charity Pot Partner that promotes sustainable living through organic gardening and nutrition education. They had teamed up with the school to develop native plant gardens that would work to beautify the space, create shade for the kids and reduce municipal water consumption for watering. We used recycled concrete fragments to create rainwater catchment areas for the plants and were put to work transplanting aloe vera plants too.
As we took a break from working in the arid heat, the principal of the school came over, filled with pride, to show us his students’ artwork. Although the language barrier was prevalent, there was one pure moment where language didn’t matter: we came upon a piece of artwork with Mr. Bean and began to chuckle, and he started laughing too. In that moment we understood each other completely without having to say a word! After finishing work for the day we visited a community garden that Raiz De Fondo created. We were met with the most beautiful arrangement of food, all sourced from the garden. It was truly some of the most delicious food I’ve ever had and I really made sure to get my portion’s worth.
We spent the next few days in Magdalena Bay working with another Charity Pot Partner, RED Sustainable Travel monitoring sea turtles. RED has been instrumental in helping local turtle hunters transform into turtle conservationists by creating alternative job opportunities in sustainable conservation adventures—a win for both the turtles and the local economy. Turtles are in danger due to human factors: pollution, poaching and fishing are all contributing to the decline in turtle populations.
We really got to know the staff and learned about their lives and the stories they carried with them. The cook (who was AMAZING by the way), used to cook turtles before he started working with RED Travel’s sister conservation agency, Grupo Tortuguero. When he experienced his first turtle monitoring trip he vowed to never cook another turtle ever again.
The next day we got to go on our own turtle monitoring trip to help preserve this beautiful species. We met Chuy, the cowboy of the sea, the turtle whisperer, also known as the turtle monitoring expert. Chuy is a former fisherman and uses fishing techniques to find turtles for us to monitor and measure. We found three turtles and all were affectionately named after Lush products, of course. When the turtles were brought to land, they had fear and uncertainty in their eyes. Chuy knew exactly how to make them feel at ease with us. We proceeded to measure and tag them so their information could be submitted to the Mexican government to monitor the turtle population and habits. As the sun set and the last turtle waded back into the ocean my eyes filled with tears, partly because I am bad at goodbyes, and mostly because I can’t imagine hurting these creatures.
One of my favorite moments was when we all went swimming in the ocean together. As someone who doesn’t work for Lush, I was worried about how the group would react to me. As we were bobbing around in the ocean my new friend Sarah told me how much it meant that I was with them. That touched my heart, and thinking of it right now makes me want to cry. When in fact, the honor was all mine, and I was thankful they had all let me in as one of their own. We arrived as strangers but walked away as friends. With me, I carried a new outlook on life, and a smile always comes across my face when I walk into a Lush store and see Charity Pots sitting there, eagerly waiting to share their story with the person that takes it home.
100% of the purchase price of Charity Pot Hand And Body Lotion is donated to grassroots organizations in the areas of environmental conservation, human rights and animal welfare.