Watch the video above to learn how one woman’s vision became the Yanamono Clinic, deep in the Amazon in Peru, providing life-saving medical care. 

When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” ~ Fred Rogers

Dear friend,

As Mother’s Day nears, I remember the words of wisdom my mother shared with me,  (some of which I heeded and some I didn’t!), and think of the conversations I have with my own children and grandchildren. I’m sure you’ve had similar conversations about kindness, gratitude, choices and consequences. But I never thought to say what Fred Rogers’ mom did – “look for the helpers.”

These days, the world can seem a scary place, even to adults, but thankfully, there are “helpers” who are working diligently to change what they can and have a positive impact in their communities.

I have been blessed with good health and a good life and feel that comes with a responsibility to give back, to be a “helper.” It’s the reason my late husband Alan and I founded Grand Circle Foundation in 1992 – to give back to the communities we visit. I remain committed to this vision, which is why our travel company covers all the operating expenses for the foundation – meaning 100% of every donation is tax-deductible and allocated to be  used where specified by the donor.  Every year more than 10,000 travelers trust us with more than $1 million dollars in donations  to join us to help the schools, villages and families they meet while traveling.

Together, we are the “helpers”…quite literally. Our tag line is: “We help change people’s’ lives”.

I hope this Mother’s Day you’ll take a moment and thank your mom, or a person who was like a mother to you, for a piece of advice that impacted your life. And please consider supporting children who have no mothers or whose mothers are not in their lives, like the young adults supported by Streets International in Vietnam, featured below.

Love and Peace,



Harriet Lewis
Chair, Grand Circle Foundation


Vietnam: Streets International, $96,000 funded to date

You can help change the life of a disadvantaged, out of school, orphaned or trafficked young person in Vietnam by donating here.

Streets International provides 18 months of housing, English lessons, and training in the hospitality and tourism industry for orphans and street kids. Since 2019, Grand Circle Foundation (GCF) has funded $96,000 to support scholarships for 45 students (average cost $2133 per student), including orphans from Minh Tu Orphanage, also supported by GCF.

Streets recognizes the important role that tourism plays in developing economies. It is often one of the first and largest sectors to experience growth and expansion.

Streets provides impoverished youth with professional level training and apprenticing, including English language and life skills, for careers in culinary arts and hospitality service, and the results are impressive! After 15 years, 96% of graduates are employed, 58% are managers, and 8% have started their own business.

Peru: Yanamono Clinic, $55,855 funded to date

On the banks of the Amazon River, fifty miles downstream from Iquitos, Peru,  the Yanamono Clinic delivers cost-effective, critically needed medical care in a chronically underserved region.

The clinic was founded in 1990 by Dr. Linnea Smith after she visited as a tourist and was struck by the complete absence of medical services for the local people. With a staff of 5 local Peruvians led by a US trained internal medicine practitioner, the clinic provides services including family medicine, dental care, birthing support, and treatment of snakebite, cholera, typhoid, malaria and parasites.

Grand Circle Foundation has supported the clinic since 2000, providing funding for a water treatment system, and the implementation of the clinic’s Well-Child outreach program, providing vaccinations, vitamins, and dental care.

This month we funded $5,590 to purchase a thermo-coagulator machine and test kits to be used to test for cervical cancer. From founder Linnea Smith: ” Cervical cancer is sadly common in Peru, and claims many lives each year, and is completely preventable, with early detection.  Being able to perform these non-invasive tests on the women we serve would be a wonderful and truly life-saving service.”

Kenya: Amboseli Clinic and Dispensary, $6,277 funded to date

In Kenya, all medical facilities are rated 1-6 (see the list below). The Amboseli Clinic and Dispensary is categorized as a 2/3, meaning they are not allowed to charge anything for medicine or services. It is a free clinic, meant to be funded by the local county government but very little funding actually gets delivered to the clinic.

GCF funded a maternity bed/hospital bed for birthing mothers; laptop and printer so the clinic can conform to government  guidelines to add newborns to Kenya’s database, eliminating the need to travel 22kms to a cyber café; a diabetic/glucose monitoring kit; child friendly medicines in a liquid format; deworming tablets; eye and ear drops; and a nebulizer. Thanks to a generous donation, we will continue to provide medical supplies to the clinic through 2024.

The new maternity bed has been used well. 55+ babies delivered last year and already 20 this year.


India: Solar Village Project, $73,600 funded to date

Grand Circle Foundation has partnered with the Solar Village Project since 2018, to bring access to clean water and renewable energy to the poorest of the poor in India. $25,000 recently funded water filtration projects at two schools in Maharashtra and a health center in Uttar Pradesh. These systems, essential in complementing the solar energy installations, promise clean drinking water for over 146 students and teachers and a 50,000-member community.

Please help a young person in Vietnam begin a better life by donating here.

Thank you for your generous support of Grand Circle Foundation, and the trust you place in our team to ensure your donation is used as intended.

Because all administration costs are funded by the Grand Circle Foundation, 100% of all donations are tax deductible and returned to our partner sites.

If you made a donation to support a specific project and would like an update on how the funds were used, please feel free to contact us at: [email protected], or call 800-859-0852.

Grand Circle Foundation
347 Congress Street, Boston, MA 02210