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AVIVARA
October 13, 2011

My fiance and I spent four months in Guatemala between May and August 2011. I was working as an education policy intern with USAID during that time, and Avivira helped my fiance locate a physical therapy internship in a hospital in Antigua. Neither of us had been to Guatemala before, so we were understandably nervous before we left. Avivira greatly helped us with information and specific answers to our questions before we left. The project staff was incredibly responsive to our concerns and always responded promptly to any emails we sent. Upon arriving in Guatemala City, Avivira staff met us at the airport and took care of everything to ensure an easy transition. They were very informative, especially regarding safety concerns and locating essential shops and services in Antigua. They dropped us off directly at our homestay, which they had arranged in advance. The homestay turned out to be fantastic, and we honestly did not have a single complaint about Avivira the entire time we were in Guatemala. The organization was there to assist us whenever we had questions or concerns. Their local expertise was especially helpful during the first few weeks in the country. I can't say enough great things about this organization. Their work in supporting primary schools in rural villages around Antigua is incredibly important, and their support of volunteers who come to Guatemala to make a difference is impressive.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

rural villages near Antigua, Guatemala

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

multiply their efforts. Avivira is a very small organization that manages to make a large impact in the few dozen rural villages where they work. Their grassroots educational reform approach is excellent, as their close ties with the communities and families they serve helps maximize their impact and support the sustainability of their efforts. Guatemala is a country desperately in need of educational reform, and Avivira is helping to achieve that goal one village at a time.

More feedback

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

What one change could this group make that would improve your volunteer experience?

Honestly, I there isn't a single change that I can recommend. The staff and Avivira took great care to ensure that all of our needs were met before, during and after our trip to Guatemala. Their professionalism, generosity, and attention to detail helped make our volunteer trip go smoothly. Perhaps the single piece of constructive advice I would have is for Avivira to market their organization more online or through university study abroad offices so more people can take advantage of the amazing and life-changing opportunities they help facilitate.

Did your volunteer experience have an effect on you? (teaching you a new skill, or introducing new friends, etc.)

Yes, both my fiance and I had life-changing experiences in Guatemala. We improved our Spanish language skills, had the opportunity to work on important social projects aimed at the most marginalized members of society, and made many great friends while there.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

MY ROLE:
Volunteer & I served as an education policy intern with USAID in Guatemala City, and my fiance worked as a physical therapy intern with disabled children in a hospital in Antigua. Avivira helped her locate this opportunity. .