This post comes from freelance writer Graeme Payne, who contributes hotel reviews to TWgroup's hotel and resort directory Gazetteers.com
Outside the Silver Sands Hotel at the end of the busy Candolim Beach Road throng of excited and laughing children monopolised the scene. There to greet them were European tourists almost as ecstatic as the children themselves.
A row of umbrellas and sunloungers had been set up at Spotty's waterside beach shack in readiness for the arrival of the children from El Shaddai Street Child Rescue. Holidaymakers made way for the screaming children and a wall of humans was formed in the sea, making a swimming pool for the 40 or more children to swim and splash.
Anita Edgar from Devon, founder of El Shaddai Street Child Rescue, was very much in control, keeping an eye on the welfare and safety of the children whilst catching the attention of tourists as they joined in the fun.
Why were the children so happy and excited, what is so special about them children, and what is El Shaddai all about?
Anita Edgar, with the support of a local Pastor, set up El Shaddai 14 years ago to provide shelter, health and education for street children who had been largely abandoned by their parents. Now with a combination of eight schools, residential homes and day care units in North and South Goa, the charity has seen almost 3,000 children pass through its doors.
I called in at Shanti Niketan, a school in Assagao and was surprised to see so many tourists there, discovering the youngsters' eagerness to learn, speak fluent English and make their visitors welcome.
Former pupils are now studying at Goa's university in Panjim, and others have secured enviable jobs with Marriott and Taj Hotels, and Qatar Airways.
Ravi, a rescued child and one of El Shaddai's first pupils, is now a manager at the charity and was eager to show off the extraordinarily high standards achieved by the 200 or so youngsters currently at Shanti Niketan School.
The charity is turning these children's savage start in life into joy, motivation and success. It is Anita Edgar's wish that eventually the organisation will be run by those, like Ravi, who have benefited from it.
Thomas Cook, Monarch Airlines and other travel companies have helped the charity and its supporters over the years and Rough Guides, Lonely Planet and Footprint feature the schools and residential homes in their publications.
Anita Edgar points out that locals rarely integrate with the holidaymakers in tropical destinations like Goa, especially when there are so many all-inclusive resorts.
But many tourists have taken the decision to sponsor an El Shaddai child - and seeing their child, encouraging its learning and bringing clothes and school materials has become a highlight of their holiday. Tourism and reality really do come together at El Shaddai, adding a new dimension to ethical and sustainable travel.