GALAPAGOS ICE ORGANIZATION IMMERSE CONNECT EVOLVE
September 25, 2011
I can't say enough good things about this foundation as well as my experiences in the Galapagos Islands. Being the only foundation in the islands that works directly with the people, it was a wonderful opportunity to make a large impact in a small place. With this small size advantage, the leaders of the foundation had contacts that spread far and wide and this was a huge advantage for reaching the most people possible as well as using those connections to realize more possibilities and accomplishments. It truly is a wonderful place, but being so far from the mainland and with limited resources, you begin to notice how deeply it affects the population. It is such a paradise, but it takes a certain kind of person to live a lifetime on such a secluded island, thus it is difficult to bring in an ample supply of excellent physicians, health professionals, teachers, and supplies due to the cost of importing. Simple things that are taken for granted here in the states like having clean sheets every time someone steps onto the examination table or language teachers that fluently speak the language and have up to date teaching methods and materials to ensure the highest efficacy in learning, they lack. And you begin to see how this lack of education affects the population in every way. If you are not being educated, then how can you educate your children and on and on? I could talk for ages on the vast levels that this lack of education and healthcare has affected these people, but the important thing is that a little goes a long way there because of the size. They are eager to learn and this foundation provides many avenues for bridging this gap. We saw people's eyes light up with they first learned that rice, pasta, and potato are all made of carbohydrates and how important it is to have a balanced meal. Very simple fixes in diet and lifestyle choices that we never think twice about are huge epiphanies to the people of santa cruz and this foundation has helped thousands of people learn how to prevent illness, ecological problems, and more efficient teaching methods. My favorite aspect of this foundation is that it aims to alleviate the problems at the root and incorporates problem solving methods that are manageable and sustainable. Aside from this, it was a pleasure working with the people who run this foundation. I always feel that leaders of volunteer foundations are generally good hearted, genuine, and humble people, but never have I worked for a foundation with such caring people. They live within this community closely tied to the people and you can feel the close connection that they have with those they are helping. It was truly a beautiful thing and I will always appreciate their fervor for helping their neighbors. Of all the many volunteer works that I have done, never have I felt that my work has made such an impact as this one and I look forward to the opportunity to return some day to be a part of Galapagos ICE and once again witness how they have immersed, connected, and evolved along with the islanders around them.
I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...
seeing locals become more educated on their health and wellness and become more motivated to do exercises and make manageable changes in nutrition to better their overall health. The most rewarding part of all of this though, was seeing the changes in their attitude once they realized the benefit of their new lifestyle changes. They were happier and more willing to make more positive choices in other aspects of their life.
Ways to make it better...
If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...
Send them more people and resources so that their ability to help others can be expanded.
Would you volunteer for this group again?
For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?
Did the organization use your time wisely?
Would you recommend this group to a friend?
What one change could this group make that would improve your volunteer experience?
more people working for their foundation so that they can be more efficient with their time.
Did your volunteer experience have an effect on you? (teaching you a new skill, or introducing new friends, etc.)
Absolutely. It made me realize many differences between my culture and theirs and how easy it can be to help people in these situations and how rewarding it is to work one on one with locals to try and motivate them to make better life choices.
How did this volunteer experience make you feel?
It made me feel sad that their location can have such an impact on their resources. It is difficult to see what seems like such simple changes one can make to their life that don't occur to them to do. But it was also such an uplifting experience because they taught me to slow down and enjoy life a little more. They don't worry so much about every little thing like many people do in the states and that was a rewarding lesson for me as well. I walked away learning as much from them as they hopefully did from me and with that I realized that no place, culture or lifestyle is perfect, but the most important part of these experiences is to walk away taking and leaving the most positive aspects of each culture and way of life as possible.
When was your last experience with this nonprofit?
Volunteer & I volunteered in the Health and Wellness program where I volunteered in a clinic with an OBGYN daily, ran clinics to test for diabetes and hypertension, taught fitness classes to women, basketball classes to children, developed exercise and health program.