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.
I choose Nepal because I wanted something out of my element. It’s a beautiful country and the people here are amazing. I love special needs work and these kids are just amazing to work with!. The disable center is worth the 25-hour flights to get to Kathmandu. These kids are just everything to me now. They’ve impacted my life and I am so so sad to leave. It is the most fulfilling, fun experience I’ve had volunteering. They were worth every can.
I had an amazing experience in Cusco, Peru. The volunteer work was truly life changing and I met such incredible people along the way. I loved getting to see the primary education system and how it worked especially because I one day would love to be a teacher. Talking to girls at the orphanage was incredible because I discovered how much we had in common and how happiness truly comes from within. The girls loved braiding my hair while asking so many different questions about the united states- they are so talented at doing hair and even tried to teach me how to braid! Abroaderview also created a vegetable garden at the orphanage with some other ABV volunteers, which is beautiful and the girls absolutely love! Walking around Cusco and going to the different markets and stores was also amazing! Everyone in the city is so incredible and I truly felt immersed in the wonderful culture here. My experience with A Broader View was amazing mostly because of the amazing coordinator Maria Elena. From the beginning Maria Elena made me feel comfortable and confident in my volunteer work and my trips around the city. She was always available to talk and made things so easy for me!! She was a big reason why I had such an incredible experience here in Cusco.
I went to Nepal because I wanted to get away I needed a change in pace, some perspective, a chance to see what else this world had to offer. Nepal did not disappoint. Arriving was a shock in itself because it was so far out of my comfort zone and everything was different from the architecture to the landscape itself. Getting settled into the host home made the experience more comfortable as did beginning with the children program. Seeing the children smile at just the sight of us was in itself life changing. Helping out in little ways, even when we had to beg to help since the kids are so independent, was more than worth everything it took to get here.
I went to Nepal because I wanted to get away I needed a change in pace, some perspective, a chance to see what else this world had to offer. Nepal did not disappoint. Arriving was a shock in itself because it was so far out of my comfort zone and everything was different from the architecture to the landscape itself. Getting settled into the host home made the experience more comfortable as did beginning with the children program. Seeing the children smile at just the sight of us was in itself life changing. Helping out in little ways, even when we had to beg to help since the kids are so independent, was more than worth everything it took to get here.
I enjoyed my time in Nepal a lot. I connected with the host family and spent most of my days at the Monastery with the nuns (It’s an experience that I would always remember in my heart). The local coordinator treated me like I was one of his own children with open arms. The teachers and nuns appreciate my help with teaching English to them even though I can’t speak Nepali. I had gone to two weddings, which I never been to one before in Kathmandu. I’ve experienced the local family community of Nepal and the experience to teach Buddhist nuns, which not many people can say. Something I couldn’t do in normal life in America.
It might be cheesy to say that I experienced something life-changing in Cusco Peru, but it’s true. I loved every second of my trip. Working in the kindergarten and hospital allowed me glimpses into the education and medical systems and gave me an opportunity to practice Spanish. I learned that sometimes to be most helpful, I had to be brave and ask where I’d be most useful. Sometimes doing the little things meant the most to those around me - like calming a crying child to allow the nurses to be able to finish pressing work, or having the patience with a child to sit and help them finish their food for the first time.
I found incredible kindness everywhere I went. At Machu Picchu, it absolutely poured rain when we arrived at the site and I didn’t have a rain jacket. A complete stranger gave me her rain jacket without even a second thought. Instances like this occurred daily, showing me how universal kindness is.
“No hay dias malos en Peru.” That was my motto here, and it was true ("there are no bad days in Peru"). Each day, even if I felt frustrated with my Spanish communication skills or something didn’t go as planned, I learned something new and positive. Each day became my new favorite day.
An incredible experience, and one that I will never forget.
I was nervous before I came to Honduras. I was nervous I would fly across the continent, moving to La Ceiba for a month, and feel like the experience was less about helping people and more a bullet point on my resume. This was not the case. In the mornings I volunteered in the public clinic, cleaning wounds and checking patients in for their consults. Taking vital signs, heights, and weight were all a part if this. These were my favorite times, as I felt useful and humbled by the patience and willingness to help that everyone had while I adjusted to the flow of work in the clinic. In the afternoons I was in the public hospital emergency room, where I helped where I could (mostly stitches and casts); I was also able to see a C-section as well as a live birth. This experience was crucial to my decision to continue studying medicine. I am 20 years old and have just started the pre-med track. I had no prior experience with the exception of taking blood pressures and was able to expand my knowledge and skills enormously. The grace with which the patients handle pain and loss was inspiring, as was the dedication and skills of doctors and nurses I met during my stay. Volunteer work can be confusing, disorienting, and defeating, but in the end, this program was fulfilling in every way I hoped it would be. Thank you to everyone in La Ceiba!
I had some concerns because I am an older volunteer (66) and wasn´t sure if I would fit it. However, I was always treated as if I was one of them and a valued member of the volunteer community. My age was not an issue in the least. I really enjoyed the children and staff at the school where I volunteered. And my second family in Quito. I will cherish all of my memories of the people I met and the experiences I had. It was one of the best decisions I ever made.
The meals were always delicious examples of Ecuadorian foods. The meals were always healthy, ample and varied. The accommodations were very comfortable and all that I could have asked for. I always felt very safe, both at my home in Quito and at my project site. Security is taken very seriously here.
Don´t bring more than you will really need. It never gets really warm in Quito nor really cold, so bring clothes you can layer. There are lots of tour agencies that have one day and multiday trips in and around Quito. Shop around for the right trip at the right price for you. There are lots of small group trips that are affordable and offer wonderful experiences with visitors from all over the world. If you like museums, Quito has some really good museums and a couple of outstanding ones as well.
I was fortunate in that my ABV Coordinator and my host family were the same. My ABV Coordinator was always extremely helpful in making sure I found my way around, took me to places where I needed to go at times, and feel welcomed and appreciated. She was able to answer any questions that I had regarding my project or taking advantage of sightseeing in and around Quito. My coordinator also arranged for my Spanish lessons and provided a location for us to meet.
I had to postpone my trip for a couple of months and ABV was very understanding and worked with me to reschedule my trip. Staff was great about keeping in touch both in the planning stages and after I had finalized my trip as well.
I really enjoyed my time in Cusco. I was pleasantly surprised by the friendliness of local people, as well as the beauty of the country. I learned a lot and gained new perspectives by working at both the hospital and the orphanage. I am very grateful for this experience.
I would say that the program was very insightful and very fulfilling in Cusco Peru. The kindergarten was a great experience helping and teaching the kids math and English. However, another part that I enjoyed was related to the other groups that we donated time/money to as well:
1) Home for abused girls – we donated a ton of food (about $250 USD worth) so that the girls and their young kids could have enough of food for the next couple of months while school is out.
2) Cancer Hospital – we donated cleaning supplies for the hospital so that they could be in a safe and sanitary environment. This included hand sanitizer, soap, gloves, and face mask for cleaning, dish detergent, floor cleaning supplies, and washing powder for the clothes. We didn’t actually get to go to the hospital but dropped them off at the headquarters so that they would deliver them to the remote location. We also included adult diapers.
3) Remote School – this was probably my favorite trip where we delivered toys and goody bags including hot chocolate to the kids at a remote school outside of Cusco. We traveled about 3 hours by bus and made hot chocolate at the school and then passed out toys for the holidays. We couldn’t do the entire school but did provide these items for about 200 of the kids in the younger classes. It was quite the site to see with the kids and their happy faces. This was a long day, but well worth it!
a. We had some hot chocolate left over and then delivered that along with a few good bags to the old folk’s home within the same town as the remote school.
4) Orphanage – we spoke with the director of the program and she explained their passion/love for music. Therefore, we came up with the idea to get them stereo systems that worked for the three different homes. When these were presented, there was an energy that filled the room and their immediate reaction (of singing along with the songs) captured the room. It was a great feeling to be a part of and witness.
As someone interested in the medical field, ABV immediately piqued my interested. Working hands on at a hospital was absolutely incredible, one can truly make a difference, even on such a small scale. Being in Peru also helped me expand my Spanish skills and provided a renewed interest in the language (as I haven’t taken a Spanish class since high school). The people there were very genial and welcoming. During the time I fell in love with South America and hope to return soon.
I lived with a very nice family who had multiple dwellings right next to each other. I lived in a house with 3 other ABV volunteers and one of her sons. There were other volunteers from Germany and USA. The meals were fantastic and I felt safe the whole time I was there. I was there only a week, but wish I could have stayed longer. Both my accommodations and my medical program were the perfect fit for me. I ended up using Uber, which was faster than the bus, and cheaper than taxis!
Regarding Peru, it is a very friendly country but I would recommend always being aware of your surrounding and keep your personal items safe. I recommend bringing some sort of small backpack or sling to keep your money and cameras etc. safe.
My experience with Abroaderview Cusco was a great one. I didn’t have many expectations coming here because I thought I was going to be alone the entire time and I was so pleasantly surprised to find many other volunteers living in the same homestay. Having others to explore and volunteer with together made the experience very special to me. It was so great seeing other individuals with the same values of giving to communities. Beyond that characteristic, everyone had a passion for adventure and that made everyday fun. Regarding the volunteering, I had such a special time working with the kids in and out of the dental clinic. These disabled children are lucky enough to have access to the care and therapy they need to function in their day to day life. Being a volunteer there, the children would light up anytime they saw a volunteer and that made it all worth it for me. Seeing how happy the kids became when we entered the room was something I will always remember. We were a source of happiness to their otherwise fairly bleak time in the hospital. They would stare out the window looking at people interacting with the world and it broke my heart to see them more or less stuck in the hospital due to their disabilities. Brightening those kid’s day was at the core of my experience. Whether we were working on their teeth or simply throwing plastic balls with them, they loved having us there and that’s where the trips fulfillment came from.
This was an amazing first trip to South America, and I’d love to go back. Working and serving in Spanish speaking countries has always been one of my life long goals, since high school. The ABV Program trip to Quito, Ecuador provided me with the opportunity to enjoy two of my main passions in life simultaneously, which are traveling and helping others. I was given the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of those I served in Quito, Ecuador, along with the medical professionals at the Ecuadorian clinic and other volunteers who went on the trip. I plan to cherish and share what I learned from this trip as a professional and in my personal life. Thank you!
What an unforgettable experience in Kenya. The week I spent at teaching program was both challenging and incredibly rewarding. The teacher and children made me feel so welcome and appreciated and I felt I got to see the authentic side of Kenya, not the picture perfect postcard side. I’d definitely recommend this experience. I will hold it close to my heart forever.
I loved meeting everyone in the Ecuador group. We all hit it off right away. Looking forward to meeting up with them again in our future travels. This trip was unforgettable and just the start of my volunteering, I am hoping to participate in more trips in the future!
The apartment was perfect. The location was very secure with a door man. The family was so helpful. Laura taught us how to make empanadas and scheduled us a salsa dancing class. The meals were a great glimpse into traditional Ecuadorian culture. All the food was fantastic with very generous portions! Fresh, exotic fruit was always available to us which was an extra special treat.
Working with A Broader View has been one of my favorite experiences in my professional career. I had always wanted to provide volunteer PT services abroad but didn’t know where to start. ABV put in place the perfect framework that combined volunteering in the clinic and learning the local culture. Staying with an Ecuadorian family really integrated us into their family’s culture; learning their traditions and eating delicious food!
The first day, when you arrive, Beatriz takes you around Cusco and shows you all of the important places. You have her number if you need it. Luckily I did not need much help – but it’s good to know someone is there for you.
Overall I loved my experience with ABV in Cusco. I wish I attended the program for 2 weeks instead of one, so I could improve my Spanish and spend more time with my host family. It was a great experience.
The kindness of the host family, the homely rooms, amazing home cooked Peruvian meals and drinks. I always felt safe and welcome.
We would get up eat breakfast, then usually play with the children. If not we would start painting in the girl's room (our big project) at nights we would go out.
The community on site was very safe and friendly everyone was so sweet and welcoming. Meals were basic but good. It was very hot but we were provided with fans.
The children being extremely curious. There were some questions I couldn’t completely answer and it was hard when they were persistent in knowing. Bring lots of bugs spray. Stay open minded and get the most out of it. Our group of 13 loved this orphanage program in Belize. We will be back next year.
At home, I work as a nurse in a busy emergency room in Boston MA. I am used to seeing and caring for people that are sick and people that may be dying of a chronic illness. It was very challenging for me to be around people suffering and dying from HIV/AIDs and not being able to provide them with the care I am used to. The practice of medicine is very different in Tanzania since there are limited supplies and resources at your disposal. People are required to be much more self-sufficient, even when gravely ill. I had to adjust to the fact that just because it is not what I am used to, does not mean it is wrong. I had to respect cultural norms and learn to do what I could within my means for the ill individuals I encountered.
Traveling to Tanzania for volunteering I had no expectations. I had never volunteered in a foreign country and I had never traveled to such a place alone. This was a wonderful experience for me. Not only did I meet some pretty amazing people (local Tanzanias’ and other volunteers) but I also learned a lot about different cultures that will leave a lasting affect on me. Some useful tips for other volunteers are:
Packing: Wear layers. Tanzania Arusha is breezy in the mornings but gets very hot in the afternoon. At dusk it gets very buggy, so it is nice to have long sleeves/pants on. Dress respectful according to the culture, cover your shoulders and don’t wear short shorts. You will most likely stand out as a foreigner, you don’t need to draw more attention to yourself with your clothes.
Understand you can’t change everything in the limited time you are there. There are things that you are going to see that are really challenging to stand by and watch, like the extreme poverty, hunger and illness of people and animals. You can’t fix it all, you can temporarily help people but you have to be realistic that this is a way of life for some people in Tanzania.
Try and learn Swahili before traveling to Tanzania. Many people do speak English, but it is common to run into people that only speak Swahili. So it will help you get around, meet locals and enjoy your time
Bring your own first aid kit, medicines, bug spray and sunblock. These are things that will be helpful while your traveling and may be challenging to find while your away.
If you would like to donate clothes, food or house hold goods, i would recommend bring a second piece of luggage. Most airlines will allow an extra luggage if you are volunteering.
Be careful and cautious traveling alone while in Tanzania. You should not run into any problems if you use caution; however here are some warnings: a lot of people will approach you and try to sell you things, do not follow people that are trying to lure you to stores. Do not agree to a taxi/bota bota ride if you do not agree on a set price and they do not know where you are going.
Google Maps does work in Tanzania, i found it very useful in making my way around
Dala Dala’s are affordable and easily accessible, just make sure you know the name of the area you are going to. If you have any issues the Dala Dala drivers will guide you to the correct bus if you ask.
You will be charged more for things at the market if you are a foreigner. Try to learn the local prices for things.
My time in Cartagena was wonderful. I met so many lovely women and men through my time spent at the foundation, especially the women I worked with. Although sometimes I felt that I could be doing something more effective or instantly productive to some people’s lives I soon realized that the need for emotional support and basic health education is monumental too. I offered to give basic English lessons at the end of the group sessions every morning and I was so pleased to see how enthusiastic the parents at the foundation were to learn after not having much opportunity to beforehand. I spent a lot of time with the toddlers too, to make sure I spent as full a day as possible volunteering and they were so adorable and I found it very rewarding to see them remember me and developing character - even over the period I was there.
I think it’s a beautiful, inspiring, sprawling city that has a lot of social issues at its core but is fundamentally full of great charming people who make the place so vibrant and welcoming. I’d love to return one day!
I wish I had been able to stay for longer and bring more supplies for the Hospital and Clinic. I was impressed with the connection Abroaderview has arranged with the local hospital. This is a unique volunteer program. I knew I would not be able to change the way healthcare works in Honduras, but still it was very difficult to see things that so easily could be improved just by some logistics, more education, and better supplies. I am now thinking of ways I can help Honduras in the future. I Appreciated the unique opportunity to travel to La Ceiba with my daughter before she begins college and introduce her to another culture and climate and a very different way of life and level of health care. The local coordinator and all the people associated with him that we interacted with all placed a high priority on our safety. He only used cab drivers that he knew and has worked with many times. He checked in with us frequently and checked in with our host family and interpreter when he present with us to make sure we were making safe decisions about where to go and how to get there. I was surprised to say that the donation supplies I brought ended up being a highlight. I brought many things used for surgery here in US, things that were extra or leftover or expired or no longer sterile. They were excited! And fascinated by many things they have never seen. I brought one very fancy dressing for a wound. The head nurse immediately sent us to a post op patient and had us clean her wound and apply it. And wished we had more.
My trip to Costa Rica with A Broader View was probably one of the best experiences of my life. Just like everyone would be if they came to a foreign country alone, I was nervous that something would go wrong or I would find the experience too difficult. With the support of the coordinator, her family, ABV in America, my volunteer location and the people of CR, I was the happiest person ever. I got to volunteer as well as learn the unique history of Escazu, CR and the local people. The US and CR have so many differences, but by coming to Escazu I have a new appreciation for happiness. Seeing the kids of the kindergarten come to school with big smiles of their faces reminded me that happiness isn’t based on the things that you have, but rather what you make of it!
At my age 70....I always wanted to do some volunteer work and ABV USA looked to me as a good organization and Nepal did sound as a very interesting location with many needs, I traveled with 2 of my best friends from NYC. The orientation day 1 was provided with information about the program places to go, and ways to go. I got a cell phone from the country and eat lunch at a local restaurant, orientation was good by the local coordinator. I worked on the school in the morning and library in the afternoon, the school was challenging because there were physically disabled children in the same class with the regular children, but it was a very satisfying experience and heart warming to see how the able children help the disabled to get around the school. In the library was a lot of fun working with the children from the community different ages, loving, very polite. The host family was wonderful. I was happy that the coordinator was the head of the host family because he was there to help with any questions or concerns. The whole family was wonderful. Meals were good, I eat everything. Nepali food was delicious and I did not get sick from eating it. I am glad I went to Nepal, it was a very good experience.
I really could have not asked for a better experience. The senior center in CR was the highlight of my trip, even on top of the vacation week I took beforehand. Every person I met was friendly to me, which fueled me to give my best effort in my project. I could tell that the workers and residents really appreciated my work. They answered all my questions. They appreciated that I was communicating in Spanish to them. They could tell I was really enjoying myself. I am still in contact with a couple of the workers! On my last day, one of the workers gave a speech in front of all the residents basically giving thanks to us the volunteers. Then a couple residents said a few words, but the most memorable thing was that a resident said that their country is always open to us in the future. I cannot express how grateful I am for this experience. It was hard to say goodbye, especially since some residents even shed some tears. They want me to come back soon! Seeing the impact I made, for what little time I was there, was just breathtaking. When I came back to the US, I really missed my time in Costa Rica. This experience has given me a new outlook on life and on my future, which is invaluable.
My experience in Ecuador went so far beyond my expectations. I loved how welcoming and friendly my host family was. They made me feel comfortable and made my time in Ecuador 10x better. Everyone that I worked with at the projects were patient and understanding of my limited Spanish ability, and despite the language barrier I was able to learn so much from them. I would highly recommend this program to anyone who is interested in experiencing a new culture, and getting some real hands on experience in the field of Occupational Therapy.
My favorite memory of the trip would either be traveling on the weekends to different parts of Ecuador or just hanging out with my host family during meals. The weekend travels were so awesome because I got to see a new part of the world unlike anything I had ever experienced, and I got to do some awesome activities. Hanging out with my host family was great because I got to be fully immersed in Ecuadorian culture, and they taught me so much about the history of Quito and interesting things about Ecuador.
This experience was more than just the “Dental Volunteering” you sign up for. You are exposed to an honest view of the country that you would fail to meet if you were on the standard tourist trail. Personally, I found this experience humbling and it has motivated me to make charitable work a significant part of any life. I look forward to being back in Nepal sometime soon.
Just a quick note to let you know that Kathryn returned from Peru today. What a fantastic time she had with everyone. Maria Elena was the perfect fit for her first journey abroad and alone. She was truly a Peruvian mother to her and an excellent guide. The week was filled with excitement and warm and caring relationships. The kids were very special to her, as well as her Spanish instructor. A small child on the side of the road, selling insignificant little candies late at night, until she earned 20 Sol, was asleep at the corner of the building, with chapped, cracked and blood dried lips bring tears to Kathryn's eyes telling us about her. She was deeply affected by the entire experience. Your professional expertise is very much appreciated, as are all of the wonderful people who make A Broader View possible in Cuzco. It is a special program, providing very special human connections. We hope to participate in another journey with your organization in the future. We will certainly recommend the organization to others. Sincerely, Rita Clare (Katheryn's mother)
Quito and Galapagos are almost like different countries! The people are incredibly friendly in both places, and in the Galapagos, I was not at all worried about theft or walking alone at night. We learned a lot about their struggles with invasive species, worked really hard in the fields and helping with their efforts to keep turtles in a safe environment but had a chance to explore the island every afternoon.
This was a great project for myself and my 14 year old daughter, who wants to become a veterinarian. The educational/experience value for her was tremendous. She really grew up a lot in 4 weeks.
The best leisure activity was the day-long trip around the Island of St Cristobal. We never needed to leave the island - 90% of the species in the Galapagos are there, including Blue-footed boobies and tortoises and many other birds. To see penguins and the lava tubes you would go to the islands but your choices are very long boat rides or flying, so we took day tours and snorkeled and saw everything I would want to see.
Volunteering in Nepal was an eye opening experience for me. I got to see how people make do with whatever is available rather than complain about what they don’t have. I had a lot of fun at the school. A lot of teachers do not speak English that well (including English teachers) but they still make an effort to try and communicate. The kids really don’t know any English but they also do their best and try to play with me or show me some of their culture (like dancing) which is always very fun. Although at first I doubted I would be able to make much of an impact, I got to see little things once in a while that they’ve pick up along the way: like giving back something that I lent them or stopping fights in the classroom which is really heartwarming. The home stay is also very comfortable; the host family was very welcoming and other volunteers on site were a great help to get used to the very different environment. Not every day was necessarily easy or gratifying, but the whole trip was definitely worth it. I stayed for 6 weeks which was long but it gave me a chance to see a lot of places in Nepal other than Kathmandu and that was amazing. The sights even just on the ways are gorgeous and there are so many different, unique places to visit that I never felt bored. I also did the Nepali language immersion which was pretty useful to learn phrases and communicate with the kids especially. I recommend that too.
It was a great experience going to Honduras. I did learn a whole lot during the two weeks I was there. It was an eye opening experience to see healthcare services in a different country and how they have to deal with limited supplies. I had a different expectation for the trip like I would travel to different locations to provide care, but I was able to give a lot just by volunteering at the hospital and clinic. My favorite memory about the program was able to work alongside with people I have never met before and speak a totally different language.
The host family house was pretty nice, in a safe area of La Ceiba and we had wifi so I was still connected with the rest of the world. There is always a ghetto side to any city, and La Ceiba is no exception. However, the coordinator pointed that out on the first day and made sure that everyone knows to stay away. The local people are very nice otherwise.
I absolutely loved my month in Cusco! My experience surpassed all of my expectations and I am really sad that my time there ended so fast. My time at the primary school was amazing. I rotated through the three classes of five-year-old students to teach English. Most of the time I was given complete control of the class for the day and led activities to teach basic English vocabulary and concepts. I tried to make the lessons engaging by having the students act out different words, creating competitions between groups of students, and teaching them songs in English. It was amazing to see how interested they were in learning English, how much effort they put into practicing, and how much progress they made over the course of the days I spent in each class. I also loved getting to know the students in a non-academic setting: talking with them before class, eating lunch with them, and playing with them at recess. They were so excited to see me every day and would scream “Profe de ingles!!” and then come running over to give me a hug — it made coming to school every day so much fun. Additionally, the teachers were so supportive and helpful during my time at the school. I was really sad that the school had vacation for my last week and a half in Cusco because I did not want to end my time there. My other volunteer position was working at an orphanage for teenage girls. The orphanage did not need much help running activities so instead, the role of volunteers was more to spend time with the girls and be a friend. I spent most of my time in the ceramics room where the girls work for weeks to paint the most beautiful plates, mugs, and vases. They tried to teach me how to paint as well (which I was terrible at) but I had so much fun talking with all of the girls and listening to music while we painted. It was amazing to me how positive and friendly all of the girls were. They were always excited to ask me a million questions, show me what they were doing, give me/each other a hug, or just sit by me. I tried to get to know as many girls as possible because it was important to me to be more than just another random face—I wanted to truly get to know them on a personal level and be a friend they could feel comfortable with. I was able to go on a field trip with the orphanage during my last week and it was so much fun to spend time with the girls in a new environment, witness their excitement at traveling outside Cusco, and be a part of their special day. The loyalty and love the girls have for each other inspired me and I will never forget my time with them. Outside of volunteering, I was lucky enough to do a lot of traveling while I was in Cusco. I did a tour of the city, visited the sacred valley, the salt mines, the last Inca bridge, Machu Picchu, Rainbow Mountain, and Humantay Lake. I loved all of these adventures, made some great friends on the trips, and was amazed by the beautiful places I got to see. I also enjoyed exploring the city of Cusco. There is so much to see and do: the museums, restaurants, and markets are all incredible, I took a Peruvian cooking class, I visited an Incan planetarium, I went to see live music, and so much more. Throughout my stay in Cusco, I lived with Maria Elena and I truly could not have asked for a better host Mom. She made me feel completely at home and I am so grateful for how caring she was. The food was incredible, the beds were comfortable, and Maria Elena was the best. They love she shows to all of her ABV volunteers is amazing. She is both a mother figure and an amazing friend. She gave great advice, was so supportive of all aspects of my life, and was so much fun to spend time with. I felt like I had plenty of freedom but also felt like I was always been cared for—it was a perfect balance. Also, there were often other volunteers living in the house and I had so much fun getting to know them. We did trips together, went out to dinner, or just hung out after a long day. It truly felt like we were a family. Overall, I am so grateful for the unforgettable experience I had in Cusco. It was more amazing than I could have ever imagined.
From the beginning, I knew that this nonprofit was the right organization to help me volunteer abroad. The support staff was extremely helpful and thorough, and my emails always received responses within minutes. Also, the detailed and informative volunteer guide made me feel comfortable and gave me the knowledge I needed to prepare for my arrival in Honduras. I volunteered in two hospitals throughout my time in La Ceiba, but I spent most of my time observing and assisting doctors at the Hospital. I was in La Ceiba for two weeks, building relationships with the doctors, nurses, and other medical staff at the hospital. By volunteering in the hospital every day, I learned a lot about the differences between the Honduran and American healthcare systems; one of the key lessons I took away from my experience is how much we take for granted in the United States. Seeing the hospital in La Ceiba operate without electricity (blackouts), with no access to computers, and with a shortage of doctors truly opened my eyes to this issue. In addition to learning about the health care system, I observed various types of surgeries and operations performed by many different doctors. Shadowing these doctors was a great learning experience and a dream come true for a premedical student and aspiring doctor such as myself. One of the fondest memories I had of my shadowing experience is that of a baby being born right in front of my eyes. I never wanted to become a doctor so badly as when I saw the expression of joy on the mother’s face as the doctor held up her baby for the first time. Overall, I had a wonderful time volunteering in the hospitals in La Ceiba, learning about various aspects of the medical field, and experiencing a new culture and environment. Looking back, my two weeks in Honduras flew by so quickly, and I am happy I took the opportunity to volunteer with abroad with ABV.
This nonprofit was able to help me throughout my registration process. If I had any question they were quick to respond back. Even during my stay at Costa Rica, I was able to contact ABV quite easily over the chat/email/whatsapps. Overall my stay in Costa Rica was extremely nice. The coordinator was able to help me when I had an issue and took care of it properly and very fast. Abroaderview did a good job of finding a nice host family to stay with and provide me with all the information before I went to Costa Rica.
My accommodation was very nice. I felt like I was at home. I was able to freely access anything I want such as the T.V., food, etc. The meals were very well prepared, never got sick. I liked every food I ate, and it was different each day/meal. I felt very safe during my stay there. Security was least of my worries as there was never a moment where I was scared or felt unsafe.
I got to develop relationships with the senior people and the staff at my volunteer placement, it was a senior care center. Volunteer work varies from day to day but focuses on personal interactions and stimulation with the residents, feeding, therapy needs, as well as light maintenance jobs like sweeping, cleaning.
All in all, I am VERY satisfied with ABV and their efforts in order for my volunteering in CR to run smoothly.
It was a wonderful experience volunteering in Cartagena. The Abroaderview immersion program gives a unique opportunity to learn Spanish and at the same time learn more about the Colombian people and culture. The Foundation in which we worked with my daughter is surprisingly well run and really makes a difference for poor families and their children. It was an honor to be part of it and to get to know the adorable children and the fantastic staff.
This was my first volunteer abroad program in Ghana and I’m so glad I picked this one out of the many others I sifted through online. The coordinator’s background on how he started the orphanage was truly inspirational. I could go on and on for pages about my experience but there’s not enough space here. All I will say is to come with no expectations + an open mind. Was so touched by this experience that I plan on continuing to help as much as I can (social media, fundraising, pal-to-pal). Even got one of my friends to strongly consider doing this next summer after she saw all the pictures that I posted. Do hope to come back sometime in the future to visit these amazing kids.
The scenario by which I was introduced to A Broader View and the trip that would ultimately change my life played out as follows:
My friend: “Hey, Corin, I was thinking, and feel free to say no: would you be willing to go down to Peru with me for two weeks to do medical work? It was just an idea I had.”
Me: “Um, sure! Why not.”
… and thus did I find myself, hardly a month later, sleeping in a Peruvian bed in the house of a family I had known for exactly thirty minutes.
My experience as a medical volunteer in Peru was beyond the power of words to describe; it changed my life, and my outlook on life, permanently. From the days that I spent at the hospital helping mentally and physically challenged children to grow stronger, healthier, and feel more loved, to exploring the city of Cusco and the Peruvian countryside, to living and sharing a home with a family that was willing to open its doors to me and my best friend, the experience brought new memories, awesome moments, and learning opportunities that I could never have even hoped for before. To try to describe my trip in mere words is an exercise in futility. I can only say that I have been truly privileged to have been a part of this program, and will never forget Elena, our hostess; Emily, our fellow volunteer who became a sister to us; Jhoselin, the two year old hospital patient who I fed, cared for, and grew to love each day at the clinic; the Stafford family, medical volunteers from Texas with whom we grew incredibly close; Enrique, the physical therapist who took me under his wing and guided me through work at the clinic; Maximus, our host family’s trusty, faithful terrier; and so many other people who helped my friend and I on our journey through life in the hospital, Cusco, and Peru.
This has been one of my favorite travels of my whole life. I have done a lot of traveling and have had mostly good experiences but my time with A Broader View has been one of my favorites of all of my travels. The host family experience was incredible. My host Mom welcomed me with open arms from day one and was always checking in on me to be sure that I had everything I needed to be comfortable and feel supported.
I really enjoyed my volunteer site- a girls orphanage. I was able to really build relationships with the girls in the orphanage over my month long time with them. The girls were so welcoming and inclusive of me, I really was part of the family. Felt very safe the whole time, a safe neighborhood and a safe city (Cusco and Machu Picchu). I didn’t feel like such a tourist and like I stood out even though I am very fair skinned. I felt comfortable and at peace walking around. The locals are very friendly and many lookouts for tourists. My going away party at the orphanage was so lovely. The girls prepared a big poster with me and some made small gifts for me. I brought a cake, cookies, chips and sodas. The leader of the program did a little speech and then some of the girls talked. I then received the card and through a few tears shared with the girls how thankful I was for each one of them. I really got to know the girls and build relationships with them. It was so hard to say goodbye—which really indicates a lot of love and relationships built.
Volunteering in Belize with A Broader View was probably one of the best experiences of my life. Just like everyone would be if they came to a foreign country alone, I was nervous that something would go wrong or I would find the experience too difficult. With the support of the local coordinator, her staff, ABV in the USA, my volunteer location and the people of Belize, I was the happiest person ever. I got to volunteer as well as learn the unique history of Belize, and the indigenous people. The USA and Belize have so many differences, but by coming to Belize I have a new appreciation for happiness. Seeing the kids of the orphanage go to school with big smiles on their faces reminded me that happiness isn’t based on the things that you have, but rather what you make of it!
The maternity project in Mongolia was a wonderful experience. I enjoyed working in several different settings and exploring the city of Ulaanbaatar and the beautiful sites surrounding it. The Mongolian culture is open and friendly and I never felt unsafe or uncomfortable. The other volunteers were great too, and it was fun to meet new people from all over the world. I recommend this project to all volunteers that have the qualifications.
My experience volunteering was extremely positive and I had a wonderful time at the children’s orphanage. The staff I met were friendly and willing to help. My language immersion was a great experience and I learned a lot very quickly which was a huge help in navigating Costa Rica. My host family went above and beyond to assist me throughout my program and I am so grateful for all they did. Overall I was extremely pleased with my program and felt very supported throughout.
The most positive experience during my program was the rewards of volunteering and the feeling of being able to give back whilst simultaneously becoming immersed in a foreign country and experiencing all that Costa Rica has to offer.
Be to be prepared to be out of your comfort zone. The best experiences I had in my program were the ones that I had never experienced anything like before and was not afraid to get involved in. Definitely take initiative throughout your program, although you are in a foreign environment be proactive in making your program the best it can be so you don’t have any regrets.
I am 18 years old and choose to volunteer in Nepal to experience a new culture and country and impact the lives of people from underprivileged country. I did the pre-nursing program to gain a greater experience in the medical field. While I was here I got to view future being put in and taken out, medical professionals giving medicine & taking vitals, simple dressings, and an endoscopy. I did not spend much time here, but the longer you stay the more they will teach you. I did enjoy experiencing a healthcare setting much different than one and the US. While at the hospital we got to explore around and new doctors and nurses in the EP, general ward, and pathology lab, so it was nice having a little priority. The country itself was amazing and very different than the one I am from. I loved getting to explore and learning about the country. Everyone here was very welcoming. I even got the inviting to have lunch at a nursing student’s home. The host family was also very welcoming and did a good job of making us feel safe and at home.
If you have time I would take a weekend to go near Pokhara, I personally did not have time to leave the Kathmandu area because I came for a short amount of time. There are also several great areas to visit around the Kathmandu area that I got to experience.
I am impressed with the Costa Rica program. Initially, I was stressed out about going through with the program due to financial reasons, but I am so glad I did not back out. This was an opportunity of a lifetime and I loved every minute of it (even the "rough times" ;) not rough at all). I've met so many people from all around the world and developed connections with them and the locals. I learned a lot about turtle conservation and leading teams in hands-on field work. If possible, I would love to return to Costa Rica to visit everyone and help out again.
The location of the program is a nice little town that has shops and plenty of places to eat (if you want to have other options). There is wifi at the accommodation, although it is a little spotty. The meals are good, but are certainly repetitive. It is easy to go into town to get additional snacks and things you may want (bug spray). Don't be scared about traveling alone, Abroaderview really takes care of all the logistical things that may stress you out in a foreign country. That was a really good benefit of volunteering with them. The locals are really nice and there's plenty to do and places to travel to in your free time.
I enjoyed the experience in Costa Rica. It was truly an eye-opening, once in a lifetime opportunity. I would love to do more projects around the world like this. I met so many amazing people from around the world, and learned so much about ocean conservation and sea turtles. I cannot recommend this enough. You will not regret going through with this project.
The best memory was when I was helping a mother turtle that was nesting, and another turtle came from the ocean and came right up to me! I was so shocked that a turtle trusted me enough to come to me. She decided to have her front flipper touching me, and started to dig her nest. For me, it was the most beautiful moment. I would have never expected something so amazing to happen.
Before I left for my travels earlier this year I completed the necessary training to receive my EMT certificate in the states. After some searching online, I found this opportunity and thought it would be a great way to combine my travels with my newly learned skills.
The pre medical program was a fantastic way to experience a different hospital environment in a place with limited resources. I had the opportunity to observe the ER general OPP multiple endoscopies, the path lab and 4 surgeries during my 3 weeks.
The bedrooms and common space provided were both very nice in areas to stay for 3 weeks. Enough space was provided even with 7 volunteers, the volunteer house is very big and safe.
And I was pleasantly surprised how much I enjoyed everything about Nepal. Its challenges, its food, its people made it an amazing experience and I want to return very soon.
This experience was a difficult one, personally, since the day before I flew to Ecuador my grandmother passed away. I then had to spend the next six weeks in another country, away from my family, and living with a new family. Despite such personal tragedy, my overall experience with the project at the Hospital was a learning experience I will never forget. The hospital staff was beyond friendly and willingly to show me knowledge in the medical field. I spent my time working in the Emergency and Pathology departments. One department completely different from the other, yet still just as interesting. I am one of those science-lovers that enjoyed going to project every single day and never wanted to miss a day of work, there were even more days than not that I would work late just to see one more patient or to finish collecting one more sample. I was a volunteer first, I was there to work, all the traveling and extra activities came after my work. I guess I was just lucky that I enjoyed my work too!
I do believe if I had not suffered such great personal loss right before my trip my overall experience would have been even better. Quito is a beautiful city with incredible people and culture. There are things in life that are beyond our control, but you do not need a reason to help somebody else. I recommend that if given the chance you take some time to volunteer and travel.