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.
I loved my Peru medical volunteer experience. It was a great way for me to go out of my comfort zone and experience a new country! Volunteering in the clinic was so rewarding and was a great way to be truly immersed in the culture! I would definitely do it again!
I loved my accommodations! They were very comfortable and the host family was amazing. The food was excellent and I always felt very safe. Everyone was extremely friendly and was always willing to help.
The support I felt in country was awesome! Beatriz was always available when I needed her and showed me how to get around. She was very helpful when things changed and was always willing to help.
This is the program I did https://goo.gl/2BCzX9
My experience was more than I expected. I enjoyed every second of it. Learning at the clinic, meeting people and enjoying helping out. I fell in love with the city of Quetzaltenango and the people, so much so that I´m considering studying here and develop my medical career as a pediatrician in Guatemala.
The moment I got to the host family, I felt very welcomed by the family and comfortable. The host mom was very attentive about me going out, eating well and took good care of me when I got a cold. The girls were very nice and I got along with them like I had known them my whole life. The whole time I was there I never felt unsafe or unwanted.
At the medical center I was able to go around in the different “clinics” they have. I helped in the HIV clinic, family planning, pharmacy and pediatrics. I was surprised that I was able to do so much, including injecting birth control shots. I learned a lot more here than I thought. My favorite memory was getting to see the doctor suture up a man´s eyebrow. I was able to learn the stitching technique, as well as helping him out.
The coordinators were very helpful and easy to reach in case of an emergency. The office was nearby, which was easy because I could meet up with them and also make payments for weekend tours. The organization of the weekend trips was very reliable and I felt very comfortable going places.
The support in the US was amazing. I asked the online operator lots of questions and concerns and always got a reply back fairly quickly. When I called, the lady who picked up made me feel really safe about my decision to come to Guatemala, and I felt very encouraged. Wonderful experience.
I did really enjoyed my time volunteering in Peru, Cusco is a beautiful city with many activities. The girls and workers in the orphanage are very friendly. The most important things they need from volunteers are donations and helping hands. The donations can range from clothing to school supplies to personal hygiene items as they are teenagers. I really enjoyed communicating with the girls. I remember my first successful conversation with them in Spanish. It felt very rewarding.
I didn't expect to negotiate so much in Cusco. From taxis to local markets, there is often not a set price. For example, a taxi driver may say the taxi ride costs 6 soles, but you can and should argue for a fairer price when the drivers try to overcharge, ask your host family what are the typical fares.
It was shocking to see how quickly the weather conditions can change. It can be warm and sunny one moment and then cold and rainy the next go out with layers, sunscreen and sunglasses.
I really enjoyed traveling on the weekends and would highly recommend this. Travel was surprisingly inexpensive. Visit the Rainbow Mountains, Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley. Once in a time life experience. Hopefully more!
This volunteer program was an amazing experience, I went to Nepal Kathmandu to the medical program. I worked in the hospital for 4 weeks. I did so much and learned much more. I did helped the community doing daily “Health Camps”. We checked blood pressures and blood sugars for early hypertension and diabetes detection. We typically saw 60-80 people in the 2 hours we did the camp. Then it was back to the hospital, where I mostly helped in the emergency department. I helped starting IV drips, medication administration, ECGs (with an old, but very cool ECG machine), vital signs and wound care. I also started following the outpatient department (OPD) physician. He taught me a lot! I saw a patient come into the ward with abdominal pain, assessed with appendicitis), I cleaned his wound the following week. The entire process was interesting and educational. I saw at least 3 endoscopy procedures, one of which was a patient with gastric (stomach) and duodenal (small intestine) worms! Overall, the best advice I can give next volunteer is "you will get out of this experience what you put in". Don’t be afraid to ask questions and offer your help. To help immerse yourself with the hospital staff and especially if you’re staying for longer than 1 week, take the Nepali language immersion class. I was to say things in Nepali to staff members, patients and strangers alike. I think it helped them welcome me more into their culture and lives. I felt very safe at home, including my personal belongings. I felt safe at work too. I had my own locker. Incredibly supportive and welcoming people. My host dad took me to the clinic when I was sick (I went to a local food market..bad idea). My host mom always made sure I was fed. They were so nice and loving people.
I’ve always been intrigued by Asian countries more so, Nepal was the only place that had a program specifically for dogs. Dogs are my passion. Im happy I did this program! I know this was an opportunity that I won’t get again in my life. It was a humbling and rewarding experience. Doing it through A Broader view made planning very easy.
I loved my experience in India Jaipur. Some little culture things were frustrating and some other things were extraordinary. There is a mentality of “that’s just India”, but thing can change for the better if the adults could open their minds to the possibilities. Although there are not many resources, volunteers can do and bring so much. Every person has a talent that they can bring to the table, but that can only happen if there is organization and adults who desire to better the project one volunteer at a time with a broader view I did find this balance. The children at the program are beautiful and I wish I could give them the world, but they taught me that unconditional love is the best thing a person could ever give them.
Some tips I can give for other volunteers: Don’t have expectations. 10 minutes really means 45. Having an Indian sim card is great if you don’t have an international plan. Be patient with everyone and yourself.
From the time when I started thinking about volunteering abroad, over a year ago, and speaking to so many people who have done this type of work, I can now say what many of them said to me – that I received so much from this experience and am so happy that I did this, especially in Ghana. I was very thankful that I had a friend to join me, a very special experience we shared together. This experience, with the orphanage/refugee camp and with the host local family, made this time one that I hope many other people try. It will be with me for life.
I taught the kids stand-up yoga for their first time. They loved it and asked to do it just about every day. This was so special that I could introduce something new that they liked. Doing yoga with all of them, outside the school, and with the smaller group on the beach, was a memory I’ll always cherish.
It was wonderful to take two trips to visit five different different places in the Eastern Region and Cape Coast region. We also took a wonderful trip to Accra Arts & Crafts center. Such a diverse and amazing country. The driving and road conditions are like the best roller coaster ride you’ll ever have! I love that there was music everywhere you went, from morning until night!
The US staff were very helpful with all of my questions and needs preparing for this journey. I appreciated their timeliness in responding electronically. I felt very positive and prepared for this trip due to ABV’s support. I did a great deal of research with many similar organizations like them and I felt that I made the best decision. Thank you! After being in Ghana, I highly recommend that ABV advertise that more volunteers are very much needed in this country. They need much more help.
I chose to volunteer in Chile La Serena to help a primary school in there attempts to become a more bilingual population. I wanted to practice my Spanish as rigorously as I could and I had been informed that Chile is notorious for its Spanish being more complex.
The host family was very nice and I found it very surprising how alike we were in terms of political and social views. I was able to have several discussions with them about how the politics in Chile were similar to those in the United States.
I recommend that other volunteers pack warmer clothes. Its usually 50F in Winter. The temperature doesn't change much throughout the week. During the weekends I would recommend going to places like Isla Damas, Elqui Valley, Tongoy. Volunteers should really take advantage of the days they have off.
My accommodations were very pleasing and I was very satisfied. Silvia, our host mom was a very good cook and I was always looking forward to what she had prepared for us. I loved her rice. I'm not a fan of fish, but Silvia made the best fried fish I have ever had. I never felt like I was in danger so I don't have anything to complain about when it comes to my security. My host family was amazing and I didn't miss my own family at home since I had them for company and they made me feel comfortable in my new home.
My local coordinator, Vilma was amazing. She made sure we had things to do on our days off. I didn't really feel the need to ask her for any assistance as everything was set, but I was confident that if I needed anything that I could depend on her.
The trip to Kathmandu was one to remember. Throughout the 2 weeks, I not only grew as a dental student, but as a person. The people we met did greatly impacted my experience and I found myself enjoying the stay more and more each day. I gained a lot of insight into the local practices and we were able to do an extraction case, a minor oral surgery, some scaling and impression, which were enjoyable experiences. We even got to observe an enucleation of cyst, which never seen before.
I found myself looking forward to seeing different procedures and talking to the staff every day. I have never felt such compassion in a community and it is very different to our urban city life in Hong Kong, but I found their laid back way of life refreshing for a change. For sure, I would like to be back in Nepal in a few years time and I’m looking forward to seeing their reconstruction and development. I wish Nepal and its wonderful people all the best.
Volunteering to provide medical and dental care in La Ceiba Honduras was one of the most memorable and rewarding experiences of our lives, I volunteered with my father. The people there really need the care and the equipment that we donated. It was also rewarding for my father to be able to perform and teach some extremely useful oral & maxillofacial surgical procedures on the patients and doctors working in the clinics.
The local coordinator Rafael was extremely accommodating making sure we were well taken care of throughout the entire duration of our stay. He set us up with pre-medical and medical students as well as dentists in training who hung out with us most of the time and took us to fantastic places off the beaten path that you would never see as an average tourist. They went with us to fantastic restaurants and we ate some of the best local food to be found in La Ceiba... maybe even all of Honduras.
I would highly recommend doing this program in La Ceiba Honduras to anyone.
I would recommend volunteering with A Broader View because they offer a broad range of volunteering opportunities, not just all over Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands but all over the world. The US and Ecuador staff are all very knowledgeable and accommodating. They were very willing to work with us in constructing a program that worked for us given our tight timeframe (daughter, niece and me). Most of all we felt taken care of which is important when you are so far away from home in a foreign environment.
The children at the program were adorable and eager to work with us. We brought many English books translated into Spanish which they could not wait to get their hands on. Their enthusiasm was priceless.
Pack light versatile clothing and should include waterproof shoes and wind/rain jacket. Bring items you need like sunscreen, insect repellant, toiletries, anything else you may need from the states. The brands we are use to are not available in Ecuador and can be expensive. Bring a small laundry detergent so you can hand wash clothes. Clothing gets damp this time of year (August), so this will keep everything fresh.
This was a very nice experience to travel with my daughter and nice to volunteer abroad in Ecuador, I would recommend other families to do the same.
So much emotions in me while thinking back of my days in Cusco Peru. I would like to think that I did make a difference. I hope to have contributed and consolidated through my work with this Non Profit.
Culture is an antidote to violence, because it invites us to the prayer of others and fosters tolerance, by encouraging us to meet other imaginaries and other cultures. Through my experiences in Cusco, I gained in maturity. I came to be more open-minded and flexible. I learned to understand through hugs. Volunteering there was an opportunity to share with others. I made a lot of friends and filled my heart with a lot of unconditional love. We are not only a citizen of our country, but also a citizen of the world. Thus, we can be useful in any society. We are here not only for ourselves, but for others.
I brought clothes for kids and the second time we did a special breakfast for the patients in the cancer hospital, there were Kekes (soft orange cakes) left over. So, Maria Elena and I went down the street in the night distributing pieces of cakes and clothes for poor kids. We looked out for people in need and offered these. Happiness and gratefulness could be read on their face.
The US office was so fantastic. I don’t know how they can be so present. Indeed, all the time I had a question or a doubt, I was answered very quickly. I mostly used emails with Sarah and Lynn, and chat online with Lori. What is so nice is that you have the chat mode, where you can talk, modify and ask questions. For me, Lori was a precious help anytime I had a question. In less than 24 hours (sometimes minutes!!) I got my answers (all of them!). They are efficient, helpful, reliable and so kind.
I volunteered at both the orphanage (6 weeks) and elderly home (2 weeks) in La Serena, Chile from May 15th to July 10th this year. Both organizations are run my Sisters, who are so kind and made me feel extremely welcome. They made my experience so great. Overall, I had a wonderful experience volunteering with the children and elderly people.
I learned so much about Chilean culture and really improved my Spanish. I also made some great friends with other ABV volunteers and people at my work. I had a great trip after learning to adjust.
My host mom cooked plenty of food for us and adjusted her cooking to my dietary needs (I cannot eat gluten or lactose). Her food was delicious! I always felt safe and everyone was very nice. Vilma and Tanya (local coordinator and Spanish teacher) are very kind.
On my second-to-last day at work at the elderly home, I ate lunch with the Hermanas (the Religious Sisters) and they were SO funny. Everyone jokes with me because I love peanut butter so much and it is not very popular in Chile, but one of the sisters also loves it and even puts it on her fish! They made me feel very welcome and I was able to work closely with them to help at the home.
The organization support was extremely helpful. I asked so many questions and always got a very rapid response. You can also save your chats on the website and email them to yourself which was very helpful.
The pre medical program I was part of in Costa Rica was an awesome experience. I was lucky enough to volunteer at a hospital where I would help care for the babies or kids whose parents could not always be with them.
There are not enough nurses to care for all of the kids and the parents need to eat or sleep at some point and that is where the rest of the volunteers and I come in. We would help take care of the children. This could be as simple as sitting there and letting them play, or helping feed them. What was amazing to see was how happy many of the kids are even though they are in the hospital. Just playing with them for a few minutes is enough to see a big smile, which was great. It was so rewarding. Also, the family I was staying with was amazing.
Alice was the greatest cook, and she was so welcoming. She helped to show me around my first day in the country and was such a great help until my last day in Costa Rica. The weekends were also a great time to explore the country of Costa Rica. I was lucky enough to explore the Arenal area through zip lining and a trip to the hot springs. It is definitely something that everyone should do. Honestly, this program has been a blast and great in every area.
Volunteering at the Monastery in Nepal Kathmandu was a beautiful experience. I had never taught before, but after a while it felt very natural. This is something I think everyone will benefit from if given the chance. The local coordinator and his family were very welcoming and kind. He was able to provide me with information about anything I needed to know about. He checked up on me everyday asking how I was and if I needed any help. Both he and his family made me feel at home and were very welcoming. I will cherish the memories of this trip for years to come. From teaching, hiking, to meditating it was all very soulful and I feel much different after this trips. Hoping to come back again.
I really really loved my time in Cusco. The people I met through traveling, and other volunteers were absolutely amazing. I always had something to do in town and the time flew by. Volunteering in Peru has taught me so much about different cultures, mentality, values, and way of life.
My program in the clinic was exactly what I wanted to do. The nurses I worked with were so kind and encouraging of me, which really motivated me to go work there everyday.
I absolutely fell in love with Peru and Cusco. I feel as though I really took advantage of my month in Cusco to explore the city and get integrated, and yet I still feel like I there was so much more I didn’t see. Cusco is incredibly beautiful and cultured with many quaint side streets, historical sights, and activities. You won’t be bored!