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March 17th, 2014

Vidas360: biking Buenos Aires and volunteering with TerrAtiva in Rio

By Vidas360, Maria, and Alvaro

Follow Maria and Alvaro on their trip around the world as they spread kindness and share how to Do The KIND Thing in their travels.

Since our last update, we’ve visited four more countries in South America: Chile, Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil and have experienced small acts of kindness throughout our trip.

In our travels, we always want a place to feel like home. In Santiago de Chile we met Kurt Libner who runs a small hostel in the city. Every morning he goes to the market to get fresh produce. He then prepares a nutritious, seasonal breakfast for all his guests.

He shared that since he was a child, his mother taught him to be kind to other people. He found that by owning a hostel, he could put into practice everything he learned from her.

The picture above is of Kurt and Fernando, who helps Kurt run the hostel. We’re only missing Chica da Silva in the picture, the rescue dog Kurt found in the street one day after she was hit by a car. Chica is such a mellow and caring animal.

Next stop was Buenos Aires. We were looking for the best way to tour the city, so we decided on the kindest way possible—biking! In December 2010, the city launched Ecobici, a free bicycle sharing program. All you have to do to participate is register! There are stations throughout the city and you can pick up a bike and return it to any station in the system.

We spent three days biking around the city!

In Río de Janeiro we met with Fabio Moraes who works for a non-governmental organization called TerrAtiva (Active Earth). The organization facilitates the personal development of children and adolescents in the Morro do Fuba slum in Cascadura, Rio de Janeiro.

TerrAtiva runs a small school where we spent a day volunteering and teaching the kids about kindness. We shared the story of our trip with the children, showing them where we came from and where we are going. We talked about how to be helpful and kind in your day to day life—at school, with friends and neighbors. For example, opening the door for someone, smiling when saying hello and always saying thank you are small ways to share kindness in the world. We know that we can make a big impact in young people’s lives by inspiring them to make a difference in their communities.

Having the opportunity to connect with these children and teachers was an amazing experience. We felt satisfaction knowing that doing a simple act of kindness can inspire a larger change in the world.

Traveling is a great opportunity to Do the Kind Thing—whether its staying with locals and enjoying a more personal experience, riding a bike to get to know a city or volunteering your time with a local organization. Even the smallest act of kindness can make a huge impact in your life and the life of others!

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