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Packing List: Heading to Guatemala with Pencils of Promise!

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Earlier this year, we gave you an update on the Pencils of Promise school that we built in Pasebeyena, Guatemala. The three-classroom school has been open since December 13th, and this weekend Katia, Hayley, and I are getting the (amazing) opportunity to visit it. The phenomenal PoP team has put together a jam-packed itinerary for us, including community visits, cultural activities (Lema weaving classes!), and of course plenty of time with the school staff and students. (We’ll also be zip-lining—eek!)

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The Birchbox school in Pasebeyena, Guatemala, right after completion!

We’ve already been studying our pre-departure packets, which has handy information on the local currency and slang, and grabbing SPF samples off Birchbox staffers’ desks. In addition to snacks and bathing suits, here are some of the items the three of us will be packing:

Yes To Grapefruit Brightening Facial TowelettesSingle-use wipes are to travel what sprinkles are to ice cream—that is, non-negotiable. We’re fans of Yes To’s oil-free wipes for their citrusy scent and gentle, but satisfying exfoliating effect.

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Yes To Carrots’ New Haircare Line Gets Tingly

We’re big fans of the Yes To™ line of veggie packed skincare. Their Yes To Blueberries Brightening Facial Towelettes have saved us many late nights when we were dreadfully close to sleeping in our makeup. Now the brand has come out with a line of natural haircare that is certain to brighten up the shampoo and conditioner selection at your local store.

The new hair care collection includes Yes To Carrots for Scalp Relief, Yes To Cucumbers for Color Protection, and Yes To Blueberries for Healthy Hair Repair. Last night, I tried out the scalp relief formula and was treated to a pleasantly tingly lather—thanks, tea tree and lemon. I don’t generally have flaky scalp but it was a refreshing switch from my regular shampoo and conditioner. Plus, at around $8 a pop, I can afford to mix in the color protection or healthy hair repair into my routine. 

—Lorelei

For our favorite haircare, look no further than the Birchbox Shop.

Yes To’s Inspiring Yes to Hope Campaign

Earth Month is a great time to recommit to the environment, but I’m more in awe of companies that illustrate that year-round. One of our newest brand partners, Yes To, has been making philanthropy a priority since they launched the company in 2006. (Fun fact: in the short time since they started, they’ve become the second biggest natural beauty company in the United States.) This month, they’re launching their most ambitious campaign to date, the Yes to Hope project. It takes their Yes to Seed fund, which works to plant gardens in schools across the United States, and extends it to schools in Africa. Beyond helping feed and educate children, the initiative also pairs each African school with an American one. Watch their inspiring video to see the kids in action. I spoke to co-founder Ido Leffler about the project and what it means to him and the company.

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