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November 27, 2014

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November 27, 2014

I wasn´t sure what to expect when I went to Xela and was a little nervous about going to a foreign place for three months, but now I am so glad that I did it! It was a wonderful experience to serve the people of Guatemala and to become integrated into the culture here as well. I made many great friends. I also got to participate in many activities and see many places around Guatemala which were all great experiences. I will miss it here very much and I hope to return someday soon!
Bring warm clothing if you come during the winter months because it was colder than I had anticipated, and there was more rain than I had expected. Other than that, don´t worry about bringing EVERYTHING because you can find most of what you need at the local mall.
The accommodations were great. I love my host family and will miss them greatly. They were always so hospitable and I was taken very good care of the whole time. I never felt like I was lacking anything I needed while in country at the house. They are my second family.
November 19, 2014

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November 19, 2014

A Broader View provided me with a once in a life time opportunity that I will cherish for the rest of my life. Volunteering is a great way to get involved in a cause that you are passionate about, meet new people from all over the world, and experience other cultures and experiences that you would not have otherwise been able to witness. ABV enabled me to go on this amazing adventure, and provided me with every little detail that I needed to have an amazing trip.

My accommodation, meals and feeling of security was amazing! I feel like I have a second family and a second home in Costa Rica. The beds were super comfy, something I was not expecting. I enjoyed living only meters from a beach, in a very basic shelter. Meals were also excellent, I never know there could be so much variety in the way you can cook beans and rice! Pancake day was my favorite! I always had more than enough food, and was always satisfied with the meals I was provided with. There was never a time where I didn't feel safe, and I couldn't be happier with the living and eating provisions I was given.

The A Broader View Support before traveling was stellar. I was provided with detailed packing manuals, instructions and pieces of advice as to how to adapt to the new culture I would be immersed in. Any and all questions I had were answered effectively and promptly. ABV was also very accommodative of my itinerary, as I was traveling for five days after volunteering, and they even suggested some travel agents, companies, and activities. To me, ABV is more than just a company providing volunteer opportunities, but a company built by people who are caring, and passionate, and want to provide their customers with the best experience possible.
November 14, 2014

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November 14, 2014

From the moment we arrived in Cusco, and we met our coordinator Beatriz at the airport, we received ongoing, wonderful support. Beatriz shared her wealth of knowledge about the history and culture of Cusco with us whenever the opportunity arose. She helped us to settle in (banking, telephone services, where to find a laundromat, and the list goes on) Throughout our time in Cusco, we had regular contact with her. She invited the two of us and other volunteers to her home to experience a wonderful Peruvian meal. Beatriz was diligent about asking how things were going at the volunteer sites, at the host family's home, if we felt well, etc. she helped us to shop for donations for different organizations.
We truly enjoyed our time in Cusco. We volunteered at two sites and found the children to be open and loving. The whole experience was very rewarding and I would recommend volunteering abroad as something everyone should consider.
November 4, 2014

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November 4, 2014

I was pleasantly surprised to feel so welcomed in this country. Every Zambian that I met was incredibly gracious and kind. I was also surprised to see how happy these people are; they have so little, yet never complain. Zambians take much pride in preserving their culture and traditions; they are eager to share their culture with outsiders.
I had raised some funds to donate supplies to the Clinic/Hospice and one of the orphanages before I left the U.S. When I dropped off the supplies at the orphanage I was not prepared for how the young children would react. (These children were all 16 months and younger). When I walked into the room four children came running at me with their arms wide open. I took turns picking up each child and showing them individual attention; however, when I put each child down they cried and one even through a tantrum. It broke my heart to see these children craving love from a complete stranger.
If you are white, the locals will stare at you and may yell "muzungu" (white person). Do not take offense to this; you are different and they are just curious. The children are especially curious and will want to talk to you and touch you, especially your hair. Most Zambians that I met had never traveled outside of their country, so many have never seen a white person.
Volunteering in Zambia was a life changing experience for me. My heart broke when I had to leave as I was only able to stay a total of 10 days. As a developing nation, Zambia has so much more than developed nations in many ways. I told the cab driver on the way to the airport that Zambians are very kind. His response was: "yes, we have to be...we are one. We speak many different languages but we are one and we must try to communicate with one another". I saw a country with so much pride that values the importance of preserving their culture. I felt so much love there...the people are so connected because they must rely on one another; the poorest of them all simply try to make it through the day. Not once did I hear a Zambian complain; they are so appreciative of what they do have. They are not rushing off from place to place and value their families and friends. I cannot wait to return to this place, though I know it will be a long ways away due to my lack of time off from work.
November 4, 2014

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November 4, 2014

The support provided in country was very impressive. If I had any questions at all they would be answered within the day. The local ABV coordinator (Beatriz) was amazing. She went above and beyond by showing me everything I needed in cusco and was also extremely helpful with any questions or concerns.
I was surprised and impressed by the simple laid back lifestyle in cusco. It was refreshing to and interesting to learn and experience day to day life here.
If working in the orphanage the girls cannot receive makeup or nail polish. Simpler items such as hair clips, bracelets, etc. are accepted. Layers are a necessity with the changing weather in cusco as well as cough drops due to the air and altitude!
My accommodation was amazing. I lived with two sisters, Cecilia and Eva, both in their fifties and their parents who are in their nineties. It was great to learn from the different generations. My host family prepared amazing food and were always so considerate to the fact I am a vegetarian. They also provided many blankets because it is so cold at night, they are truly caring people.
October 10, 2014

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October 10, 2014

This experience was a wonderful opportunity to greatly improve my spanish and also learn a lot about another culture. It definitely takes you out of your comfort zone, but is well worth it. I will carry this experience with me for the rest of my life. I lived with a host family and with a few other volunteers. The house was very nice and all of the meals were home cooked and catered to dietary needs. I am a vegetarian and they were very good about making sure there was something for me to eat without making me feel like a burden. My favorite memory is swimming in a waterfall in the jungle. It was chilly, but I went with another volunteer and some other travelers we met that day. I never would have been able to meet those people or be in that place if I did not travel here with ABV. If you do not know any spanish at all it is possible to come. However, if you have time before coming it is a good idea to take some sort of basic lessons or use an application. It really enriches the experience if you are better able to communicate with everyone. The immersion will really help with learning spanish no matter what level you have at arrival. The local coordinator was amazing and provided complete support. The coordinator really goes above what is expected. She helped us figure out the best form of transportation to various weekend destinations. She even came with us on one weekend trip. She also makes sure to ask often how the project is going and will talk to the director of the project if there is a problem.
October 4, 2014

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October 4, 2014

I had an excellent experience working with this program in La Serena, Chile. When first arriving at the orphanage I was surprised at how much the children and tias immediately trusted us. It took some times for us to adjust to the way things were run especially since Sam and I did not have experience working with young kids. Though we knew it would be no means be an easy job working at the orphanage, we were definitely taken a back by some of things we saw. That being said this has been a life-changing experience and I am so grateful to have had this opportunity.Throughout the past three weeks I have learned a great deal about the Chilean culture and about myself all while being able to contribute something to the wonderful kids and workers at the orphanage.
September 26, 2014

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September 26, 2014

I truly had a great experience while in Ecuador. I love everything about the family, the culture, the country, and the city, and I am very sad to leave. I hope I can return some day to volunteer and/or live here, because it has been a great experience. It’s great to see how your efforts volunteering can make such a difference in others’ lives, and how far your support can extend. 

Accommodation was great. Each volunteer has their own room, the apartment has internet and wifi access, and the meals and security were great. I never felt unsafe for one minute while in Ecuador. The food is all natural and fresh and the fruit is incredible. I am definitely going to miss the fruit and the daily soups at lunch the most!
. The family is some of the most caring, kind, and genuine people I have ever met. They truly make you feel that their home is yours, and they are willing to do everything possible to make you happy and comfortable. It has been a blessing getting to know this wonderful family and I am sad to leave them. I hope to return some day! Laura and family were always willing to do whatever needed to be done to make sure the project runs smoothly and happily.

Even though I had checked the weather, I wasn’t prepared for the climate. It gets really cold at night. I would have bought more long sleeve shirts and less short sleeve shirts, because it gets to almost freezing temperatures at night.
September 24, 2014

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September 24, 2014

I took a leap of faith by coming across this opportunity to volunteer with A Broader View by simply searching on the internet. In speaking with the kind folks at ABV, I knew it would prove to be a remarkable experience and they put all my initial uneasiness to rest. Questions were answered and advice given. I made up my mind in a matter of days from finding ABV and booking my arrangements.
Equally, the Belize in country ABV coordinator was so warm and welcoming from the time that I arrived for pickup at the airport until departure. She brought another volunteer which I thought was very helpful to show me around and let me know how things have been going and should be done.
The children are lovely, happy, and my time there was so rewarding. I truly felt that I got to know many of them individually and their personalities. During my first week, the children were still on summer break, so most of the time was simply spent on play, fun, and conversations. We did do many helpful things around the campus to assist the director, caregivers and other staff.
I also brought some donation items for the children that were greatly appreciated like flip flops, socks, etc. In addition, I brought many activity things to play with the children like cards, puzzles, books, balls, play dough. My recommendation to ABV would be to hone in on an updated wish list, so folks who would like to bring donation items with them, can really know what is meaningful. Now that I have experienced life there, I really can see what types of other things are needed . I wish I could bring the world to everyone there. They are so deserving, truly!
September 21, 2014
1 person found this review helpful

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September 21, 2014
1 person found this review helpful

This organization does such a wide variety of help in many countries with a great variety of programs
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