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Review for Conservation Volunteers International Program, Inc., Orinda, CA, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

Being a volunteer with Conservation Volunteers International Program (ConVIP) exceed my expectations. Having lost my wife, Carol, of 42 years to Ovarian cancer 9 months prior to this trip and I was searching for a new purpose in my life. I wanted to give back to a National Park system that provides me with so much joy and honor Carol's love of travel. I loved the daily challenge of the physical labor, learning new skills associated with building a boardwalk and the team work required. It helped me stay focused on the tasks at hand and not think about my grief. Our two leaders were extremely patient, enthusiastic, organized and skilled in motivating and teaching a diverse group of individuals and with limited building skills. Everyone had an opportunity to learn and contribute to every aspect of the project. In addition, we worked along side young Chilean men and women who volunteered through CONAF. What a rewarding experience meeting these young people who love their National Park and want to be part of the solution to environmental overuse. The comradery was immediate and genuine. And their love of their National Parks gives us Seniors hope that the future of our world's treasures are in safe hands. I'm proud of the boardwalk that we built and the fact that generations of hikers will enjoy the beautiful view of Los Cuernos del Paine that the boardwalk provides. On a personnel note, this trip provided me with a vision of how I could combine my love of nature, travel, backpacking and my need to give back by volunteering in future ConVIP trips.

Role:  Volunteer