So much emotions in me while thinking back of my days in Cusco Peru. I would like to think that I did make a difference. I hope to have contributed and consolidated through my work with this Non Profit.
Culture is an antidote to violence, because it invites us to the prayer of others and fosters tolerance, by encouraging us to meet other imaginaries and other cultures. Through my experiences in Cusco, I gained in maturity. I came to be more open-minded and flexible. I learned to understand through hugs. Volunteering there was an opportunity to share with others. I made a lot of friends and filled my heart with a lot of unconditional love. We are not only a citizen of our country, but also a citizen of the world. Thus, we can be useful in any society. We are here not only for ourselves, but for others.
I brought clothes for kids and the second time we did a special breakfast for the patients in the cancer hospital, there were Kekes (soft orange cakes) left over. So, Maria Elena and I went down the street in the night distributing pieces of cakes and clothes for poor kids. We looked out for people in need and offered these. Happiness and gratefulness could be read on their face.
The US office was so fantastic. I don’t know how they can be so present. Indeed, all the time I had a question or a doubt, I was answered very quickly. I mostly used emails with Sarah and Lynn, and chat online with Lori. What is so nice is that you have the chat mode, where you can talk, modify and ask questions. For me, Lori was a precious help anytime I had a question. In less than 24 hours (sometimes minutes!!) I got my answers (all of them!). They are efficient, helpful, reliable and so kind.
I volunteered at both the orphanage (6 weeks) and elderly home (2 weeks) in La Serena, Chile from May 15th to July 10th this year. Both organizations are run my Sisters, who are so kind and made me feel extremely welcome. They made my experience so great. Overall, I had a wonderful experience volunteering with the children and elderly people.
I learned so much about Chilean culture and really improved my Spanish. I also made some great friends with other ABV volunteers and people at my work. I had a great trip after learning to adjust.
My host mom cooked plenty of food for us and adjusted her cooking to my dietary needs (I cannot eat gluten or lactose). Her food was delicious! I always felt safe and everyone was very nice. Vilma and Tanya (local coordinator and Spanish teacher) are very kind.
On my second-to-last day at work at the elderly home, I ate lunch with the Hermanas (the Religious Sisters) and they were SO funny. Everyone jokes with me because I love peanut butter so much and it is not very popular in Chile, but one of the sisters also loves it and even puts it on her fish! They made me feel very welcome and I was able to work closely with them to help at the home.
The organization support was extremely helpful. I asked so many questions and always got a very rapid response. You can also save your chats on the website and email them to yourself which was very helpful.
The pre medical program I was part of in Costa Rica was an awesome experience. I was lucky enough to volunteer at a hospital where I would help care for the babies or kids whose parents could not always be with them.
There are not enough nurses to care for all of the kids and the parents need to eat or sleep at some point and that is where the rest of the volunteers and I come in. We would help take care of the children. This could be as simple as sitting there and letting them play, or helping feed them. What was amazing to see was how happy many of the kids are even though they are in the hospital. Just playing with them for a few minutes is enough to see a big smile, which was great. It was so rewarding. Also, the family I was staying with was amazing.
Alice was the greatest cook, and she was so welcoming. She helped to show me around my first day in the country and was such a great help until my last day in Costa Rica. The weekends were also a great time to explore the country of Costa Rica. I was lucky enough to explore the Arenal area through zip lining and a trip to the hot springs. It is definitely something that everyone should do. Honestly, this program has been a blast and great in every area.
Volunteering at the Monastery in Nepal Kathmandu was a beautiful experience. I had never taught before, but after a while it felt very natural. This is something I think everyone will benefit from if given the chance. The local coordinator and his family were very welcoming and kind. He was able to provide me with information about anything I needed to know about. He checked up on me everyday asking how I was and if I needed any help. Both he and his family made me feel at home and were very welcoming. I will cherish the memories of this trip for years to come. From teaching, hiking, to meditating it was all very soulful and I feel much different after this trips. Hoping to come back again.
I really really loved my time in Cusco. The people I met through traveling, and other volunteers were absolutely amazing. I always had something to do in town and the time flew by. Volunteering in Peru has taught me so much about different cultures, mentality, values, and way of life.
My program in the clinic was exactly what I wanted to do. The nurses I worked with were so kind and encouraging of me, which really motivated me to go work there everyday.
I absolutely fell in love with Peru and Cusco. I feel as though I really took advantage of my month in Cusco to explore the city and get integrated, and yet I still feel like I there was so much more I didn’t see. Cusco is incredibly beautiful and cultured with many quaint side streets, historical sights, and activities. You won’t be bored!
Very deceiving. You pay $150 to get a "background check". You then pay off your $900 program and all of a sudden the program information changes. We were told we'd be in an orphanage with babies, which was great since we don't speak Spanish. After I paid the last bit of my fee, which was right before we left, I got a new summary stating I'd be in a school (that doesn't NEED us there- its just a typical neighborhood school) and then in the afternoons we'd be in a special needs orphanage for older children and adults. It was all messed up and NOT AT ALL what we expected. I will never go with them again.
We think this review is -fake- or not completely accurate, we ask for a US$120 deposit (already included in the total) we don't ask for payment for a background check of US$150 as you can get this at a police station (so completely false), and our programs don't cost $900 (another wrong information), so all these 3 wrong information triggers that this may be a fake review. We hope GNP will solve this as we do our best to solve any issue while in country. We also expect volunteers to read all our paperwork, adapt to new situations and go with the flow. For future volunteers read all our reviews and call us or chat online if you have any questions, we take very serious our reviews and complains, but they need to be real.
Overall the trip was very memorable. I got to watch a ton of endoscopes, discussion and shadowing the doctor’s at the hospital, there were a few other volunteers and students working at the hospital at that time, I’m glad I came and stayed with a host family so that I could really immerse myself in the culture. There are tons of options for sightseeing, trekking, and traveling and I very much enjoyed the experience.
I would advice if you are coming during winter, BRING LOTS OF WARM CLOTHINGS! Nights get freezing during winter and you’ll be glad you brought sweaters, hats and gloves. Definitely go to Pokhara and Nagarkot. We had a lot of fun in both of those places but prepared to travel for a long time to get to/from Pokhara.
The Staff support in country was great – he was extremely helpful in both orientating me to the city and helping to plan any outside trips. He’s is very dependable and whenever I needed anything he would accommodate. He’s super patient and has no problem sitting down and explaining anything I found confusing or needed help with. And the rooms are spacious and there is a locker in each room to put your personal belongings. Sudir and his family are super nice and gave us extra blankets. The food was tasty with a homemade traditional Nepalese dinner and a more western breakfast. The doors all lock and I overall felt very safe. Watching the sunrise over the Himalayas in Nagarkot. It was a really beautiful, once in a lifetime experience and I would recommend it to anyone.
I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to volunteer in Honduras at the local hospital and clinic. Everyone in the ABV program really wants you to have the best experience possible. This program also allowed me to gain so much more hands-on experience than I would have been able to get in the U.S. I was able to take vital signs, assist in wound cleaning and help at a "health fair". I also observed C-sections and many other surgeries. All of the doctors were welcoming and thankful for our help. They were also willing to explain what they were doing and why. There is no doubt that I would recommend this program to anyone who is thinking about pursuing a career in the health care field.
Rafael was a wonderful host during my week in Honduras. He drove us to and from the hospital each day to ensure our safety and was always open to hearing our questions and concerns. I'm really grateful for everything he did to make sure I was having the best experience possible. This trip would not have been the same without him.
In the month that I was there I first spent time at a hospital, where I was able to move around to some of the different departments. Here I was able to see health conditions and procedures that I hadn't seen before. I enjoyed learning from the Doctors, Nurses and other volunteers at the hospital. I then spent time on a HIV and care programme, where I would assist staff with daily tasks at an orphanage for children with HIV. On this programme I also went into communities where I enjoyed seeing people receive support and donations.
I was fortunate to visit a school where the pupils were educated on health matters such as HIV, the class was translated to me and I was shown around the school. We also went to people's homes where it was sad to see people live in poor conditions but it was nice to whiteness how donations were helping families. On these visits I was told that I may have been the first white person that some of the children may have seen. The time I spent with children had been some of the most fulfilling and enjoyable experiences of the trip.
It was interesting to discover the culture and traditions. I also enjoyed seeing wild animals on safari and meeting other volunteers and tourists. Overall the experience was amazing and made me more of an independent person. The only issue was with the dala-dalas (local taxis) ask the price for the ride before getting on.
On one of the days, we visited a local school to conduct a health check up. The school did not have proper walls and the coordinator told me that for some time, the school did not have a proper roof. Inside one of the classrooms, I saw 15 little children bundled up in scarves and jackets, eager to learn. It warms my heart to see the dedication and passion these children had for their education. The children were so respectful and stood up and greeted me when I entered their classroom. It was a privilege to do a health check up for these children. I checked their height, weight, and eyesight. Most of the children were underweight. It was inspiring to see how happy these children were regardless of the condition of their school or their financial backgrounds. They were determined to study and progress their careers. Despite the fact that these children were from humble backgrounds, their lunches were all homemade and healthy. During my stay in India, I often observed that middle class and upper class children ate a lot of unhealthy refined flour products like Maggi, biscuits, and namkeens for lunch. Despite the fact that these children were from humble backgrounds, their lunches were all homemade and healthy. This was also great to see. I truly enjoyed visiting the school, and I wish I had had more time to visit another one of the schools.
I've done a similar trip in Guatemala with another program but it cannot compare to going through ABV. The coordinator in Honduras was with me every step of the way and cares that you are getting the most out of the program. As a result, I learned and saw so much that I wouldn't have been able to see as a volunteer in the U.S. I got to take vital signs, help out in wound care, and I learned to start IV leads and administer medications and vaccines. I got to witness live births and hear about the surgeries that other ABV volunteers witnessed. It was also cool to meet other volunteers also from ABV and hear about their experiences. What I loved most was learning from the doctors and nurses who enjoyed teaching us despite how busy they were and who had the patience to explain to us the whys and the hows. In the U.S., it's harder to find doctors who are willing to take that time of their days. Overall, it was an amazing 2 weeks and I was excited to share it with my family and friends back home. I definitely recommend this to anyone in the health care field who would like to get a taste of what health care is like in a different country. You will learn a lot and get a decent amount of hands-on experience!
I gained so much hands on experience and saw so many medical cases during my pre-med program in Honduras. The doctors were more than happy to show us how to do sutures, catheters, vaccines and more. I did see cases and diseases I could only read about at home. At the hospital, I got to watch so many surgeries, deliveries and met so many different types of doctors. It is amazing how well they do with what they can with such little and limited resources. We also gave pets vaccinations and went to schools to educated people with an outreach healthcare program. I am so very thankful for the opportunities and all that I have learn. I could never have gotten this kind of experience at home (Canada), and this truly reinforced my path in the medical field. The Spanish lessons were good and very helpful. The neighborhood we lived in was very safe. They have two security guards that are circulating in the neighborhood 24/7. The house was located near the mall and a taxi anywhere in town was only 25lps (1.50USD).
I had a tremendously positive experience during my 6 weeks in La Serena. The school staff and students were all very welcoming and eager to have a native English speaker with them and they were all very friendly. The host accommodation far exceeded my expectations. Vilma the host mother had the perfect temperament for the job, offering a comfortable home with beautiful home cooked meals and time to talk and laugh in the evenings. The neighborhood of both the accommodation and the school were very safe and I would highly recommend this program to anyone, particularly with Vilma she is the coordinator of the program as you couldn’t ask for more hospitality or a more seamless transition into volunteering. It was my first experience volunteering and its an experience I’ll never forget.
This was my very first trip abroad without my family. I was very excited to go to Costa Rica to help out the sea turtles and see the culture. This program has definitely broadened my view of volunteering and the culture.
There is a lot to get “used to” when you arrive. There is a major shock due to lack of technology and limited electricity at the camp. You must be very social and open since you will be around other volunteers all the time. My biggest problem was adjusting to being dirty every day, we did beach patrols, making holes for turtle eggs in the safe zone, digging out the eggs from the beach, making paths, cleaning the beach and much much more :)
I was part of a host-family and shared an apartment with another ABV volunteer. All this was a bonus since I had my own space to write, yet when it came to family time, we were only one floor away from the warmth of a fabulous family. My host family took pride and leaving time aside to be with everyone together. Also, the host-family was very passionate with all the food they made. If you want to learn about the culture, food and traditions, please have a host-family in mind. The best part of this trip was helping all the children. I was inspired to see all the children so eager to learn and to see how passionate they were to hear what everyone had to say. Some children have to walk far, but they were there on time and eager to learn, I already miss them.
I started my time in La Serena after having been in Chile for five weeks (four in Santiago and one in the Lakes Region). It was very exciting to see another facet of Chilean culture – particularly the striking red and white architecture. I was nervous to start work at Colegio, specifically with the language barrier, but this proved to not be an issue. The children were very outgoing and excited to talk to me, which put me at ease. Luckily, I was also able to go on tours of both Pisco Elqui and Isla Damas during my one weekend in La Serena. All in all, it was a fantastic experience that helped me see Chile from a point of view distinct from that of a tourist.
For anyone who is considering volunteering in Ghana. I can’t express enough how incredible of an experience it was, and how much I would encourage them to do it. As a volunteer you hope that you can change a life and give your help where it is needed. The amazing thing is the gift you get in return from the people you go to work with and for. You will learn about other ways of life and you learn about yourself in the process.
The accommodations provided by my host family were comfortable, private, safe and clean. From the morning greeting each day to the good night greetings in the evening. I felt part of the family. Everyday my host Lizzie, prepared a wonderful breakfast and dinner for me. It was beautiful and everything was laid out on the table and just waiting for me.
I felt completely safe and secure in my host family’s home. Not only did my room have a lock and key, but the home itself has a private gate security.
When I began seriously looking at volunteering in Africa and Ghana in particular, it was important to me that I use a nonprofit organization which passed on the financial contribution to the orphanage I would be volunteering with.
I would love to share my experience with other volunteers who are considering a journey to Ghana.
When I first signed up for the Guatemala Animal Care Center program, I didn't know what to expect. Volunteering in a different country was definitely a challenge for me. Navigating the streets, talking to the locals and eating new food are all part of the experience. Issues will come up in new environments and I can attest that it was overwhelming. Losing items and getting lost to name a few. It takes time to get comfortable for some volunteers. Interactions with the animals at the care center, cleaning their straw beds and play areas, and providing them with food are all good memories. Volunteering at the animal program was an up close and personal experience to witness first-hand how to care for many varieties of animals.
Through the volunteering you'll find that there is help needed from you. Any work will be appreciated and acknowledged. This is the best feeling. So be proactive and show initiative.
I worked for 4 weeks in Arusha, Tanzania with the HIV/AIDS Awareness and Care program. Most days were spent at an orphanage in a nearby village that housed children, all of which are HIV positive. Other days, we would go to remote villages and provide villagers with donations, support, and medical products as needed; most of the villagers we visited were also HIV positive. I definitely worked hard, and there was always a list of tasks that needed to be completed. I felt like I made some valuable contributions, and I really had a positive and rewarding experience.
In country support was excellent. On our first day we were given a tour of the city and shown the highlights of where we might need to go, and were taken to the cell phone store to buy SIM cards. Transport to and from the airport was handled by the local ABV staff, and they also helped us arrange our safaris. They were also accessible the entire time whenever we had a question.
My favorite memory of the trip was being with the children at the orphanage. These children come from many different backgrounds, but they all have HIV, and have burdens I can only imagine. However, they are very loving, energetic, and thankful, and took to me when I first walked in the door. I'll definitely miss spending every day with them.
I had a great experience volunteering in Tanzania. I worked in a hospital and was exposed to many different diseases I don't see at home. It was quite the experience to see healthcare in a developing country. I enjoyed getting out of my comfort zone in a new city and trying new experiences. I traveled on the weekends. I met a lot of interesting people from that country and also from other countries. I would do it all over again in a heartbeat.