Institute for Field Research Expeditions - IFRE

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9.2 / 10 after 315 Reviews Based on overall, support & value average ratings

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My volunteering work at an orphanage in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala through Institute for Field Research Expeditions was an enriching, smooth and amazing experience. The demeanor of the personnel at IFRE from the first point of contact to the completion of the program was very professional and good.

I was working at an orphanage that had around 27 babies and kids and was accountable for taking care of the kids by organizing games, teaching them songs, playing with them, etc. IFRE gave utmost care to my comfort in settling into a new responsibility and made sure that their personnel (Carla, in my case) was there with me all the time to help out in my interactions and work. The place was very safe and a brief orientation given at the beginning of the program went a long way in acquainting myself with the culture and practices of the country.

Special accolades to Oscar Gomez, the IFRE counterpart in Guatemala. He is a thorough gentleman who meticulously planned my pick-up, accommodation, placement and subsequent follow-ups. There was an instance where the banks in Quetzaltenango would not exchange USDs for Quetzals. Oscar went out of his way to help me out in the dire situation.

I will highly recommend the IFRE volunteering program not only to US citizens but to everybody across the globe.

Program:
Location:
Posted: January 4, 2017
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10
Age:
25

I signed up in September and actually began my volunteering experience in November 2016 through December 2016. I flew from Boston, MA to Nairobi, Kenya and was picked up by the In-Country Coordinator, Barnabas and his friend, Jackson. The two brought me to Barnabas' house to meet his family and welcome me to Kenya. I spent the next few days with Barnabas and Jackson visiting an orphanage and school that Barnabas oversees and then going on a 3-day safari in the Masai Mara that Barnabas arranged. The safari was terrific, staying with locals and seeing some amazing wildlife. When that ended I spent another evening at Barnabas' home and was then driven to a bus station where I took a bus to Voi and was picked up by by the Park Rangers from Lumo Community Wildlife Sanctuary where I was to stay fro the next month, helping rangers with their duties monitoring the game preserve. Over the next month I became close with all of the rangers, each who lived in the sanctuary with their families and children. I spend days learning the local culture, working with the rangers to remove poaching traps and herding private cattle off the preserve. I ate what they ate, slept where they slept and generally assimilated into their daily routine. Each ranger was unique and welcoming and all were supportive and helpful. I was pleased to find that during my time in Kenya, everywhere I went I had quality cell phone coverage. I brought my T-Mobile service with me and I was connected to both voice and data almost 24/7. I never once found myself concerned about security or safety and I never experienced any illnesses or discomfort from food that I ate or water that I bathed in or drank. When my program ended I was picked up in Voi by Barnabas and Jackson who then drove me back to Nairobi where I stayed again at Barnabas' home for a few nights until I returned to the U.S. Overall, without any doubt, all the people involved in this program were exceptional, kind, helpful and honest. I can't recommend enough IFRE, Barnabas, Lumo Community Wildlife Sanctuary and Kenya in general. I'd be happy to provide advice and references to anyone interested in going.

- Chris Macheras

Program:
Location:
Posted: January 3, 2017
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10
Age:
34

I truly loved these past two weeks, my home stay family was incredibly welcoming and always eager to help in any way. The food and comfort of the house was fantastic, and I learned so much the first week about culture, history and language. The second week working at the orphanage and probation center was something that will always stay with me, and I'm so grateful for the opportunity to be with the children and have that experience. Thank you for making us feel at home in your houses!

Program:
Location:
Posted: November 27, 2016
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10
Age:
20

This was great experience, both families made us feel at home while creating wonderful volunteering opportunities around Galle. Visiting the orphanage and teaching the monks were fun, challenging, and rewarding tasks. The monks were awesome kids with lots of curiosity and the kids were full of energy. The food in and out of the house was all amazing too. The town also offers endless places to explore such as the dutch fort and all the beaches.

Program:
Location:
Posted: November 27, 2016
Overall:
10
Support:
9
Value:
10
By: egonzalez
Age:
19

This was an amazing experience being able to work with the kids in the orphanage and the monks. I was really able to make a difference in their lives and learn more about what they go through everyday. Micheal made sure that all are needs were met and never hesitated to help make us feel comfortable. The home stays were incredible, being able to live with a traditional Sri Lankan family was a life changing experience. Eating Delicious Sri Lankan local food was a highlight and being able to connect with the families was great. Overall was an incredible experience!

Program:
Location:
Posted: November 27, 2016
Overall:
9
Support:
10
Value:
9
By: tralex360
Age:
18

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