I volunteered with A Broader View for two months with the Women’s Empowerment Program in Cusco. I chose to volunteer with this nonprofit after completing my social work degree where I focused my studies and work with domestic violence and with refugees and immigrants (where I was able to practice my Spanish a lot). During my program, I ended spending time with the women and kids at the center in order to provide them with extra emotion support and friendship. I spent a lot of time talking with the older and middle aged women, dancing with the younger girls, reading, joking around, having interesting conversations, cooking, and loads of other things! I had the joy of getting very close to several of them and equally so the joy of being able to call them my friends.
I remember one day going into one of the girl's rooms finding her tearful, with a book in her bed. I asked her if she was feeling sad to which she replied, “yes”. She did not want to talk about why specifically she was sad, but I asked her if she would like to read the book to which she also replied “yes”, and we read the book all day. I taught her new words and encouraged her reading, even when it took her 45 minutes to finish the entire page. From this, I was able to watch her spirits and confidence rise and she has been practicing her reading every day since.
I spent a total of three days on a tour to Puno and spent the night on the floating islands. Puno was amazing because it encapsulated culture, landscapes, and great hike all in one trip, and, on top of that, I made several wonderful friends! While at Puno I took a boat ride on Lake Titicaca which was far vaster than any lake I had ever been on. During our boat ride, we made stops at the floating island including the Uros island. I found the Uros island completely captivating because the materials which were on the island were unlike anything I typically see in the States.
I spent three weeks in the Belize orphanage as part of the A Broader View volunteer program. I helped in the preschool making costumes for a parade. It was a wonderful time. The kids and adults had a blast. I also worked in the yards with raking and cleaning. Some days I helped with homework as well and painting a mural. My accommodations were perfect. I had my own house and it was bug free and cool at night. The wifi in the office worked great. Sarah at ABV was very responsive and supportive throughout my entire program and Meghan at the chat online answered many of my first questions.
I recently returned after spending two months in India as part of the ABV program in Jaipur. I was challenged every day by new ways of doing things (in a good way). Sushila, the director of the Care Center, found lots of ways to put my skills to use including an organized event to showcase students exhibiting safe childhood performances of dance and skits. The support provided by ABV staff was truly amazing. So much more than I could imagine. I have seen others in different programs with different support and I can tell you ABV staff does a terrific job. They guided and helped me throughout my stay. I was extremely happy during my stay in Jaipur. The ABV staff and their pre-trip information were spot on.
I love to push my personal boundaries and think this experience at almost 65 has helped me do that. I loved both the Orphanage +the school experience and look forward to continuing with volunteering in other countries.
We each had our own room+ shared a bathroom. They were simple, clean and very adequate. Our host kindly provided heated mattress pods for us because we were cold. We got smart and put both our clothes our pj’s in our beds to warm them before putting them on.
The meals were mostly organic, very healthy, Vilma our host, is a great cook. There was lots of variety and she made 3 meals a day for us. While she is vegetarian, she always provided chicken, fish or meat for us.
I felt entirely safe but was never out at night on my own. I also never carried much money you can use a credit card for almost everything-except buses and tours. I was also cautious with my computer, Ipad, and cellphone.
Best memory being hugged by children every day at school, they were so excited to learn and really made me feel welcome.
The prep for our trip was well thought out. I´m sure each mission brings with its own set of challenges. I do think that if there are certain supplies that are intensively utilized it would be nice to highlight those so that they can be procured ahead of time. In addition, we had a nice variety of toys and such for the children. Hopefully, that can be maintained for future clinics.
I honestly feel that providers who will be participating in missions in Guatemala need to understand that no matter how well a clinic is planned, things happen. There needs to be an understanding that flexibility and adaptation to any situation are key. You just need to take a breath, reevaluate and move forward.
I really enjoyed doing the popup clinics in rural areas. I met the most wonderful, appreciative people.
The host family was very welcoming and made me feel welcome from my first hello. The coordinator was fabulous. Being here in Xela, she kept us on track and was extremely knowledgeable about the area. Our translators ... invaluable. Without them, my job would have been difficult.
We were kept in the loop from the very beginning. Sarah's enthusiasm is phenomenal. The ability to keep 13 health providers satisfied was a tough position and she handled everything with a smile and grace.
Thank you for letting me be a small part of the mission in Guatemala!
Everything operated as planned. ABV was very efficient in providing all the information I needed to know. The Honduras coordinator was my host and made sure everything ran on time, and that I was always taken care of. If he wasn’t available to escort me somewhere, his son, Heber, was present. My orientation to the hospital was smooth and efficient.
They were extremely caring and welcoming. His wife, Jackie was so kind and an incredible cook. He connected me with a family friend, Henry, who took me on a hike through the jungle during one of my days off of work at the clinic (highly recommend). I was also provided Spanish lessons from his niece, who was a wonderful and diligent teacher.
The hospital was a great experience, as I was able to interact with several HIV patients, as well as their staff. If you plan on going to La Ceiba, try to bring as many medical supplies as you can.
Keep in mind that it is a third world country, so don’t be shocked when you can’t drink the water or flush toilet paper. I highly recommend taking some time to go on a hike during your off days or going to a beach to explore the country’s natural beauty.
If you work in healthcare and are wanting an overseas clinical experience, I highly recommend ABV. They are efficient, organized, and take great care of you. I literally didn’t have to organize anything besides my flight. It was probably the easiest trip I’ve ever had to plan for because everything was taken care of by ABV. Be prepared to be immersed in the culture, and have a life-changing experience.
My experience was amazing. When I got there, Maria Elena was waiting for me right outside the exit entrance of the Cusco airport. She welcomed me with a big hug. She let me sleep a lot on my first day so that I could get used to the altitude. Then she took me out and showed me all around Cusco and where I needed to go and what I needed to know. I started my first day at the clinic and I loved it. The kids were adorable and everyone there was able to accommodate me and help me learn what to. My Spanish classes were great as well. I learned so much great history of Cusco, and I learned a lot of Spanish. I also spent time at the orphanage which was great. All of the girls were so sweet and they loved that you were there which really makes you enjoy it. The food is amazing. You are kept very well fed, and everything tastes amazing. I felt very secure. The area itself was very safe, and there was a gate that was kept locked at all times in front of Marias so there was no way someone could get in. It was very safe. When it comes to clothing, it depends on the time you are coming. It is good to have a good regular jacket because it is still pretty chilly there at night. A good pair of tennis shoes also go a long way. When it comes to travel, be prepared to struggle at Lima airport. When you get there you are normally pretty tired and it can be challenging to figure out but it is possible and once you get through security, it is very easy. Bring more money than you think you need. It is better to be safe than sorry. When it comes to personal items, bring travel sized everything, and you can buy things when you get there.
There was someone waiting for me when I got off the plane in San Jose. From that point on, they continued to cater to everything I needed: making me three meals a day, arranging for transport to and from the volunteer site (animal rescue center), helping to arrange trips on my free time (weekends), doing my laundry, keeping the house and our rooms sparkling clean and always checking in to make sure we had everything we needed and that our volunteer experience was everything that we envisioned.
To immerse yourself in a different culture and try something completely different with the strong support of A Broader View is a life-changing experience I would recommend to anyone. Oliver and Sarah were so accommodating and compassionate to me when I had to switch my plans at the last minute due to the illness of my mother. They bent over backward to make sure I was taken care of as did the local coordinator. What an amazing adventure in Costa Rica!
ABV helps take your talent and skills and create a special experience where you can share what you love and what you´re best at sharing. As a dancer, it was so meaningful to share my passion of dance with this community, this is our second trip in Guatemala with Abroaderview.
I felt the support was superb. I didn´t feel annoying or hesitant to ask ANY question. The atmosphere that was created was there to support this trip and to ensure I was clear to what was happening from the moment I decided to book the trip.
The host family was once again, incredible. Accommodating in every way possible. They were patient with my Spanish level and made sure I was understanding and improving day to day. The food was delicious and it was important to see what a family in Xela´s life is like to expand my mind.
The loveliest thing I experienced was how welcomed we were at the volunteer sites. Sometimes I felt hesitant to show up and disrupt the schedule or flow of another communities flow, but both locations welcomed us with open arms and were supportive in allowing our group to engage.
Coping with the schedule on top of dealing with heavy emotions was some what difficult. The women´s shelter is welcoming, but the girls are dealing with extremely horrific situations that is beyond my understanding. It took self care and boundries as far as bedtime, prompt nutrition etc, to be able to be there for them and not feel depleted.
The highlight of the trip was the performances with the afterschool program and the women´s shelter. It was so nice to build a movement vocabulary that we all had in common and to connect via those ideas. It was stronger than words and very forcing.
The Pre-Med Internship program was a wonderful experience as I was able to observe many things and help doctors whenever I could. ABV was helpful in addressing my needs and giving me guidance in what I should do.
Ecuador is a wonderful place and the host family that ABV assigned to me was an absolute joy to live with. The food was as authentic as you could get to Ecuadorian standards and the whole country was beautiful to explore as well. ABV did a wonderful job partnering up with grassroot organizations, to provide events that we could attend to, while also providing opportunities to meet new people.
The doctors are nice and respond to any questions you have without hesitation. Overall, it is a fortunate thing to see just how hard-working the doctors/nurses are in the hospital and how much they care for the patients.
Exploring Mindo, Ecuador was really exciting and fun. I was able to go ziplining, birdwatching, and hiking. Mindo is a small town that is beautiful both day and night.
This was a once in a lifetime experience. I saw Guatemala in a completely different way. To see Quetzaltenango from the locals point of view was absolutely priceless. We loved our accommodations. Very clean, the host was so welcoming. The meals were delicious, I wish we had more lunches together with the family. It was very difficult to see the poverty and the children who were living in that situation. It took me back to my own past, when I was in the same situation. Traveling and seeing new things was great. Some things have been hard to see but it has made me be more grateful for everything that I have, no matter how big or small. Bring as many donations as you can. Find out specific needs as much as possible prior departing so you´re bringing what´s needed. Be open, flexible and adaptable. I will treasure this time with all these experiences for my lifetime. Its impact will be forever etched in my heart.
Abroader view offered great support both on site and away. With my time in Tanzania, I got to see first hand the HIV epidemic, and get more clarity into the daily struggles of those battling the disease. I also got insight into the current perception of HIV and got to see how the hospital structures their organization to best serve those infected.
The country was beautiful and many of the people were awesome to work with.
I would suggest bringing light pants and a t-shirt for most days. It gets cold at night so bring a few heavier shirts.sweaters. As far as shoes go, it is very dusty. I brought sneakers that I threw out upon completion of the program. Light boots might also be a good choice.
The most positive surprise I experienced was getting to interact with the older kids, who were really cool and independent. The accommodations were a lot of fun because of the constant flow of people coming through. The country so lively with a very young population. People are very social, and spend a great deal of time outside interacting with neighbors and friends.
Thank you guys again for the experience.
As soon as I was picked up from Cartagena airport, I felt very welcome in Colombia. My ABV in-country coordinator picked me up from the airport and had a sign with my name on it, so I was able to find him easily. My orientation helped me get my feet on the ground and my coordinator spoke English and answered every question I had. Everything was planned out extremely well. I never felt like I had any questions unanswered. I also really enjoyed my volunteer work and my Spanish classes. I felt like I learned a lot. My host family was so nice and was very easy to talk to. My host mother did not speak any English, but it was not hard to communicate with her and after the first few days there were not many miscommunications. Everyone was super nice and the country is beautiful! The tours are very fun and you have the weekend off, so I recommend going to see the rest of the country on the weekends. I knew this volunteer trip to Colombia would be a positive experience, but I had no idea how life changing it would be. My heart has grown three sizes. Thank you ABV for this incredible opportunity to help.
I chose 3 different programs in Nepal kathmandu that I liked. And I asked “A broader View” where I was most needed. One of which was the home for orphan girls I would go to work from 7:00 am -10:00 (30) am in the morning and this time I would help the girls with homework, eat with them, make sure they got dressed with enough time to get to school then walk with them to school. In the evening I would teach crafts; such as bracelet/Jewelry making, drawing & sewing then 4:00 – 7:00pm is direction time. They will sing, pray, read from the bible, pray again & try to get you to stay for dinner which works sometimes since they are so sweet & excited.
Abroaderview offered great support both on site and away. With my time in Tanzania, I got to see first hand the HIV epidemic in the Arusha area, and get more clarity into the daily struggles of those battling the disease. I also got insight into the current perception of HIV here and got to see how the clinic structures their organization to best serve those infected. The country was beautiful and many of the people were awesome to work with. The accommodation is in a compound and feels very safe. The breakfast and dinner every day for the guests and the chef is amazing. The rooms are pretty basic, but have everything you need to survive. The best part of the country was going out into the rural farming regions and just walking around there. It was beautiful with Mt. Meru towering over you and the endless fields of maze and sunflowers. Best tour was going out and seeing the Maasai tribe. They live such interesting and different lives than what I'm used to, and it was cool seeing how they lived out in the savanna.
To be honest, entering the program I was very nervous because I had never traveled abroad with an organization outside of my university. However, there was nothing to worry about. My host family was very welcoming, ABV coordinators were very informative. All the staff at the clinic were also friendly and helpful. I learned a lot through my experience and it was interesting to see the differences with the US.
I had a unique experience since my family lives here in Guatemala, but my host family was very welcoming. Since I have such a big family, different relatives would go out with me, and I felt bad not being able to share as much time with my host family. However, the little time I did spend, they were extremely nice. I felt safe in their home, and meals were great.
Donations are always much appreciated in Guatemala. My family and I made donations to the clinic with medical equipment. However, I wish I would have had clothing donations and hygiene equipment like nail clippers, q-tips etc, to give to children that had dirty ears, dirty nails, or ripped clothes or clothes that didn’t fit anymore.
I wanted to volunteer through a nonprofit organization based in the USA, Abroaderview was such an organization. They had a program in Nepal a country in a part of the world & had never visited & always wanted to see.
Nepal is a fascinating country. I enjoyed visiting the different sections of Kathmandu. I traveled to Lumbini and Chitwan & saw mountains, rice paddies, forest, and interesting towers.
The program that I chose was the teaching/Education and library programs. My Nepal coordinator, upon meeting me changed my school assignment to a more challenging one; I got to interact with more students both able-bodied & physically challenged. The teacher I was assigned to was most welcoming & allowed me to use the techniques I used as an ESL teacher in the states. The library program was a lot of fun. It gathered together children of different ages from the local community. We did many creative activities.
The accommodation was comfortable, clean and neat. It was near public transportation, a restaurant, and convenience store.
The host family was wonderful, a father, mother, 4 yrs old son, grandmother & grandfather. They did everything possible to make my stay a pleasant one. I felt very safe.
Roads & Traffic may not be what you’re used to. People have different ways of doing things. Go with the flow.
The weather was hot but not hotter than NYC. Cools downs at night. I slept comfortably. It was the beginning of the monsoon so be prepared for rain & mud.
We volunteered for 10 days at the Sloth Sanctuary in Costa Rica, and we felt like family after just one day. The volunteer coordinators are so knowledgeable, the facilities are basic but fun, and the job is the most fun work we've ever done. We feel like the rewards we got from our work far outweighed the effort we put in. No matter what we asked, the answer was "Yes"! (Maybe not right away, but we got to try everything we wanted to while we were there.) Everyone on staff there is thoughtful and available to help volunteers. They even have staff who sweep and mop the dorm rooms every day or two.
They did accommodate all food issues: allergies, gluten, kosher, vegan!. We felt very secure and was happy to let my daughter move around the center property independently after the first day or so. Animal interactions were our favorite time. I also really enjoyed learning from the coordinators and going on the tours with our fellow volunteers. Every day was So Exiting!.
I went to Ghana expecting to live in a hostel and walk to school daily to be with the kids, teach, and have a ton of fun. I also didn’t plan to go on many adventures outside of town.
What I received instead, was a private room and bathroom at the orphanage (which is what I ideally wanted, but was not expecting to have). I was able to walk to and from school with the kids.
Then, at school, I taught English lessons, with a teacher’s guide, for 1st, 2nd and 3rd grade. The kids soaked up the lessons and were very attentive. All the children were friendly and wanted to touch me. The kids also wanted me to teach them an American song and sing it for them several times a day. After school, I walked home with the kids.
At the orphanage, the children were extremely polite and offered to assist me with fetching water, washing my clothes and always asked if I needed them to do anything for me. We played games together inside and outside along with watching TV on the weekends. I became close to one of the main cooks and she braided my hair for me as well.
At night and on the weekends I was able to talk privately with my host. He encouraged me to visit certain regions in Ghana and accompanied me to them as well. He was very open and informative with any and all questions I had. During this time, I was able to learn where the biggest need existed. I also came to understand how much of a struggle the school and orphanage faced.
This volunteer experience exceeded my expectations. I was able to have fun with the children, explore the region, get alone time in my room, and learn of the struggles they faced. I would highly encourage others to come to Kasoa.
Peru was an incredibly wonderful and welcoming country! This was my first time in South America and I loved my time here. In addition to having natural beauty, the city of Cusco was rather clean and amazing to travel around. We also went to some remote regions of the country, full of lakes, emerald valleys, and towering mountains. Seeing Machu Picchu was incredible. The train ride there was very scenic and although the hike was strenuous, it was very worthwhile. Overall, I enjoyed being in South America much more than I expected.
On an average day, one heads to their volunteering program at around 8:15 am to engage in a series of activities. During the duration of my stay, I worked at Hospital in Cusco. During a period of 4-8 hours, several volunteers and I took care of disabled children who stayed at the hospital. Our duties included looking after the children, feeding them, and playing with them. After work, one typically has time to explore the city of Cusco. I had a wonderful time seeing the central area as well as outlying areas. Cusco is a lively town with beautiful architecture, kind people, and delicious food. One also had plenty of time to explore the rest of Peru.