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What I Love About Being a PPN Historical Tour Guide


By Cheryl Young

About six months ago, I decided to stop using the expression “I love this” or “I love that.” It felt like lazy thinking: there are so many more precise ways to express an appreciation or admiration for something. As a writer, I felt that I should do better. But when I started this article, the only thing that would suffice was to say that I just LOVE being a PPN Tour Guide!


Instant gratification—you make people smile. History does not have to be dry and boring, and if I am delivering the information in an engaging way, I can tell immediately that my group is enjoying themselves. And when I make them laugh, (and I am no comedian) it’s so much fun! I know now why comedians never retire!

You test yourself with every tour. Not only do you have to know the major spots on the tour and the minor ones too, these folks are trusting you with the next two and a half hours of their holiday. They want to be entertained as well as informed. And they will ask questions. Some answers come easily, some have to wait for more research. Every tour is a challenge.

Tour guides have the opportunity to interact with interesting people. Our tours attract an eclectic group of well-educated, curious tourists from everywhere, and we encourage them to share their knowledge.

It’s great exercise. On an average tour, we walk for two and a half hours. I get over 15,000 steps on my tracker without even changing into gym clothes!

You get “Gold Stars!” Or, at least, the opportunity to get them. I encourage our guests to use TripAdvisor. Almost all PPN Tours get rave reviews. And some of reviewers actually use my name! I know, at 60, I should not care about getting applause on my performance at anything—silly really—but secretly I am thrilled.

PPN historical tours is a wonderful community. When I made the commitment to volunteer, I did not know any other guides, aside from my good friend, Peggy Jones, Tour Coordinator and leader of the troops. I began to appreciate the brain power involved when I was prepping for my first tour. There is a world of material to read and to commit to long-term memory, the kind that needs to stick in your hippocampus. At the first monthly planning meeting I attended, I discovered that these smart folks were warm and friendly too, dedicated to making our tours more interesting, engaging, and fun.

Of course, by giving tours, I make a positive contribution to the lives of disadvantaged children whose names I will never know, nor them mine. Helping them with ever-present and pressing needs satisfies my need to be of service. In an ideal world, these children would not require funding of dental and medical vans and clinics to provide compassionate care. But since we are in the real world, there will always be a need for passionate volunteers who love their work, like I do.

For 48 years, Patronato Pro Niños has been providing necessary medical and dental services to children in San Miguel whose families cannot afford to provide it for them. In 2017, over 12,500 children benefited from PPN services: that is more than 1,000 children per month!

All tours are given in English, and no reservations are needed, but we may need to limit the group size. With five days’ notice, we offer private, customized tours. Contact Christina 415 152 7796 for information and pricing.


Tour Patronato Pro Niños Historical Tour

Every Mon, Wed, and Fri morning, 10am

Jardín, in front of the Parroquia

Information and pricing:

415 152 7796




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