Christmas Sing Along

December 14, 2018

Please join us at Shots on December 22, 2018 from 4:00 to 6:00 for our annual Christmas sing along with Sam Rainwater and Susan King.  All music proceeds go to Castaway Kids to fund our educational programs.   

Castaway Kids Starts a Youth Music Program in San Carlos

November 30, 2018

The Castaway Kids Steel Pan Drum program will move to San Carlos in mid-January.  In collaboration with the secondary school in the Ranchitos, the steel pan band will become an afterschool program for local kids.  Participating students will receive lessons after school three days a week from Gaby Perez, a professional music teacher.   Gaby is a well-known drummer who plays with numerous bands in the San Carlos area. 

We are pleased to initiate this collaboration with the Ranchitos secondary school.  There are very few after-school programs in our neighborhood for our local kids, from San Carlos, Lomas Del Mar, Ranchitos, and Buenas Aries, to La Manga.  We hope to grow this music program in the coming years to provide more musical options and even some stage time around town.  

Language Exchange and Community Service -- Castaway Kids and Orme School Students

April 30, 2018

Students from the Spanish Advanced Placement class at the Orme School of Arizona visited with Castaway Kids students on Playa Algodones for a day of Spanish-English language practice and beach cleanup.  Thanks to the Orme School students and teachers, Castaway Kids volunteers, Allison Poutiatine of Clean Up San Carlos, Soggy Peso Beach Bar (for hosting lunch), and especially our Castaway Kids students for their community service.  The Orme School students also stopped by the Castaway Kids Thrift Store to donate some items they brought with them from Arizona.

Record Setting Beach Party Event for Castaway Kids!

March 12, 2018

This year's Beach Party was a record breaker for sure, thanks to all our hard-working volunteers and your continuing support.  This year's silent auction had an amazing array of items and we thank the local businesses for their contributions.


Susan King lined up a great group of musicians, dancing groups and the Esperanza Azteca group and people were entertained for 6 hours while enjoying the sunshine, beautiful weather and a good barbecue lunch.   


Castaway Kid's own Golden Starfish Award was given to Art Moreno for his organizing skills in getting their Thrift Shop up and running and giving us a physical presence in San Carlos.  We continue to profit from his expertise and now we're going into our next step by building our own building which will include a Community Education Center.


Thanks were given to the Sanchez Architect group for their floor plans and artistic renderings, which were on display at the event.  They are now working on engineering drawings for our new facility, all at no cost to Castaway Kids.


The next award given was our Doug Marshall Community Service Award.  This year the award was given to two people-- the co-founders of Clean Up San Carlos, Anne Lewis and Allison Poutiatine; not only for all the clean-ups they've arranged, but for the expansion of awareness about our environment that their efforts and the media coverage have caused.  Education is the key to changing habits in the next generation.


I'd like to thank our Thrift Shop volunteers because they are allowing Castaway Kids to continue paying for students' education every day.  The Thrift Shop has supported up to 15 students. If a sponsor can't continue to pay for their sponsored student, the Thrift Shop is there to back them up so the student can continue their education.  So, anything you're not using at home, bring it to the Thrift Shop and donate, you're helping to keep a student in school.


Castaway Kids will be having a “Spring Cleaning” Donation Drive and the back gate at our Shop will be open on Tuesdays from 11-2:00 to receive donated items, as well as during regular hours, Thursdays & Fridays 10-2:00 and Saturdays 10-3:00.  Lots of Snowbirds are heading north soon and this is a good time to clean out your closets and cupboards and bring them down to help in our mission of decreasing poverty through education.

Castaway Kids has found a permanent home in San Carlos!

December 23, 2017

Non-profit charity Castaway Kids has signed an agreement to buy land from long-time local supporters.  Located on Fabio Beltrones Boulevard near the current Castaway Kids Thrift Store location, the land will become the site of the future Castaway Kids Education Center.

This new Education Center will house vocational classrooms as well as a permanent home for the Thrift Store.  And it will allow us to expand educational program capacity – reaching even more sponsored students with conversational English classes, special workshops and seminars.

Just as important, the new center will provide marketable skill training to adults.  As a result, we can help create a self-sustaining family support network to improve results with the kids.

While the purchase agreement provided land at a generous price and fair terms, our work has just begun.  Along with ongoing help from our generous current donors, student sponsors and dedicated volunteers, your time and financial support will define the success of this community education center.

Contact us at to learn how you can help.  And find out more about the new education center visit our Community Education Center web page.  Either way, sign up for our newsletter and we’ll keep you updated on the center’s progress.




Visit our Community Education Center donations webpage to view the donation levels.  You can choose your own amount or any other donation level that you are comfortable with.  You can then click on the PayPal Donation button to make your donation.  Or, you can mail us a check to this address:


Castaway Kids Inc,

c/o Diane Wine

2651 South Desert Ridge Drive,

Green Valley, Arizona  85622

shown on our website.

Building Houses and Improving Lives

June 01, 2017

by Terry Lynn Challis


         Castaway Kids is in collaboration with the Trover Family Foundation  from Oregon to build houses for low-income families in our area.  The first such home is being built right now in Empalme. 


         Jose Luis and Rosa Margarita met in Nogales where they worked together, they have been together 20 years now and have 3 children and 2 grandchildren.  They purchased a piece of property, making payments for 8 years and built a small house out of wood and other materials as block was too expensive.  Jose Luis left his job at the maquilas in order to make more money as a masonry worker, which is what he is doing currently. 


         The family is helping on the construction of this house and they are so grateful for the help that is being given.  Ernesto Andrade is working as the construction foreman on behalf of the Trover Family Foundation, which Castaway Kids is very grateful for.  Our Special Projects team will be working this summer overseeing the completion of the last phase of the Vocational School in Punta Arena this summer, among many other duties.  If you have some construction experience and would like to get involved in our mini-habitat for humanity effort, please contact us through the website mentioned below.

Club Jerry Boat Trip

May 22, 2017

by Terry Lynn Challis


         Some of my neighbors, Jerry and Sher Jacksha, have agreed to take kids from Club Jerry's after school program in the Punta Arena barrio for a boat ride, again, for the 2nd year.    Jerry Donovan has run Club Jerry, an after-school program for kids in the Punta Arena neighborhood (over toward the Ferry Docks), for almost 30 years.  These youngsters have lived close to the Sea of Cortez all their lives, but other than a few of these kids who got to go on Jacksha's boat last year, they'd never gotten to experience the sea from aboard a boat.  


         Once again, Jerry built up their excitement with a trip to Walmart to plan their “picnic”.  They had to choose what kind of sandwiches they wanted, and how many to make up and decide how many sodas they thought each one might drink for about 4 hours on a boat, on a hot day in the sunshine, plus how many cookies, how many bags of chips-- all big decisions.   They packed an ice chest after putting together their sandwiches and they were ready to go.   The boys ranged in age from 12 to 16 and they were all very well behaved.  It's one of the things Jerry teaches the kids when they come to his Club, they shake hands with him and sign in when they arrive; they sign out the skate boards or unicycles or other equipment they want to use, they say please and thank you.  He teaches them respect for others as well as self-respect, things they don't really get at home, and it definitely showed with this group. 


         Jerry's next goal is to take a group of these kids clear to the island so they can fish for dorado, sail and marlin and have the experience of fishing for those exciting top-water fish.   If you have a fishing boat and a captain, give it some thought.   One day out on the water that you will enjoy as much as they do.  Jerry comes along to help with communication and to make sure the boys show proper respect for the equipment and the people offering this new experience. 


         If you have a boat, or a cabin in Yecora, or another idea for an adventure to share,  keep in mind that life-long memories are made from experiences and you can help make that kind of memory for a group of kids.  I guarantee it will make a wonderful new memory for you too.   If you have an interest in sharing your good fortune, get in touch with a Castaway Kids volunteer by e-mailing and we can get you in touch with Jerry.

And the Winner Is . . .

April 03, 2017



            This year's winner of the Doug Marshall Community Service Award is Doug Groppenbacher.  Doug works in the commercial real estate field in Chandler, Arizona and his vacation home is in Miramar.   Doug has been “Santa Claus” for charitable groups in this area for many years, lining up donated items and purchasing items needed for different charities in San Carlos and Guaymas.   He attends auctions, estate sales, sale days at different thrift shops-- always on the lookout for medical equipment, wheel chairs, walkers, bicycles, softball equipment, household items, etc. which have been requested by Casa Franciscana, Club Jerry, and different orphanages and shelters in our area.   He stores them in his Arizona house until his next trip to his Miramar home, then he takes several days to carefully pack his truck and trailer full, not leaving the smallest space unfilled.  Before he crosses the border,  he gives his list to Customs and pays the duty-- all out of his own pocket.  


            Just as an example, about 7 years ago he was able to procure a donation  of softball equipment, including bases, bats, gloves and uniforms.   He got to the border and they made him unpack his load, then they said he couldn't bring the uniforms (counts as used clothing)-- everything else was ok.  He went back to Nogales, Arizona and left the uniforms with a realtor friend of his who has a house in San Carlos and continued south.   His realtor friend eventually got all the uniforms down here, in suitcases, and some of our Castaway Kids volunteers were able to make a gift of the equipment to a special olympics style softball program called Acceptame Como Soy (accept me as I am).   These kids are still making use of this equipment. 


            He recently came across a large amount of special surgical instruments, which he brought to Casa Franciscana on his last trip.   Brother Gerard has distributed these instruments to doctors in small villages a bit south of us and he said the doctors were so thrilled to have them.  They told him that they hadn't worked with this quality of instrument since their intern days. 


            Doug's motto is “Money is the power to serve,” and he certainly puts his money to use serving so many of the less fortunate folks in our area of Sonora.   As we all know, it's not just the money, but the time and effort and the hassle at the border that is a huge factor in his getting these needed items down here.  Doug was not able to get down for the Beach Party, but we hope to be able to present him  his Award in a public event on his next trip down. 


            Castaway Kids has their own, in-house award which we refer to as the “Golden Starfish Award”.   At this year's Beach Party, this award was given to the volunteers at our Thrift Shop for all their efforts and talents that make our shop such a success.   Just a small thank you token to acknowledge their hard work.  The shop's funds help to sponsor several students and serves as a backup fund for special needs or if a student loses a sponsor for any reason, as well as other emergency and special project needs.


            Gary Anderson, a member of our local cruisisng community, was the winner of our 50/50 raffle, winning $8,000 pesos.   Gary generously donated $3,000 of that back to Castaway Kids-- thank you, Gary. 


            A special tribute was made to a volunteer who passed away so suddenly, Judy Lanctot.  Judy was one of the ladies who taught sewing to the ladies from the Tipton Center, she helped them market the items and she was also a thrift shop volunteer.  She was such a force of nature, so energetic and enthusiastic, it is still difficult to believe she's gone.  We miss you, Judy.   


            A huge thank you to our community for showing up in support and celebration of Castaway Kids, to the musicians, our hard-working volunteers, and the many businesses who donated items for our silent auction.   San Carlos Rocks!

Beach Party

March 26, 2017

Thanks to everyone who participated in the 2017 Beach Party.  It is part celebration of Castaway Kids wonderfully supportive community here in San Carlos, and Part fund raiser.  We appreciate all of your support.


March 13, 2017

Judy Lanctot, beloved Castaway Kids volunteer and co-founder of the Tipton Sewing Cooperative passed away at her home in San Carlos on March 13, 2017.  She will always be known for her big heart, boundless energy, and limitless good deeds.  We miss her.  

Castaway Kid is Guaymas Carnaval Queen

March 02, 2017

Nadia Veronica Rosales, one of CK's Adelante Estudiante program students, is the queen at Carnaval 2017 for her school CET del Mar !!

New Play Set at La Manga

February 17, 2017

Children were eager to play in the new Castaway Kids / Mesa Sister City playground in La Manga.  On February 15, 2017, a group of volunteers from Castaway Kids installed a play set, which had been donated by Mesa Arizona, as Sister City to Guaymas.  Similar play sets were installed over the past two months by Castaway Kids in San Jose and Fatima.

Estudiante Adelante

January 28, 2017

Castaway Kids' scholastic sponsorship program, Adelante Estudiante, now has 106 students with sponsors.  Thanks to all of you who sponsor a student!  Thirty-two students are in local Preparatorias (High Schools) in Guaymas, 5 are in Secundaria (Middle School), and 69 are in Universities all over Mexico. 


The student you see in this photo is receiving vouchers for a school uniform, school shoes, and school supplies.  We work with several local stores to enable us to give vouchers to our students instead of giving cash to the kids.

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