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Original Volunteers

I spent one month in the Original Volunteers Project in Mexico, two in their project in Peru and six weeks in their project in Ecuador. The first thing I will say is that I had an incredible time. I met some amazing people, had some incredible experiences and overall thoroughly enjoyed the projects.

However, if you are looking into doing any of these projects I would recommend getting in touch with the coordinators in the countries rather than using Original Volunteers for the following reason:

If you book directly with the coordinators out there you will be working on the same projects however it will be much cheaper. For example, in the ELIM orphanage in Peru I was paying much more than volunteers who had come directly and were paying the rate that the coordinator was asking for. Not only that, but the volunteers who had come through Original Volunteers (myself included) had paid the organisation before arrival and this money had not reached the orphanage. I was also told when I arrived in Ecuador that the coordinators there had had the same issue in the past with Original Volunteers not sending them the money the volunteers had paid.

My other issue with Original Volunteers was the vagueness of the descriptions of the projects themselves. I went out to Mexico not really knowing what to expect but assuming I would be working with underprivileged children. This wasn't the case. We were working on three projects there; one in a kindergarten, the second with disabled teenagers and adults and the third in a women's home. The children we were working with three times a week in the kindergarten came from wealthy families and the center itself was well-staffed, clean and catered to the children's every need. It was clear that our help was not needed there and we spent most of our time just sitting in the classroom while the teachers taught the children. The other two projects were great and I would have liked to have spent more time working on those ones had there been a bit more structure.

My time in Peru was excellent and if you do choose that project be prepared to get totally attached to the children in the orphanage (they are so adorable!) I would highly suggest taking part in this project; accommodation is provided and they are happy for you to explore Machu Picchu and all the amazing sights nearby in your spare time. Again, I would suggest you book it directly via their website; I will put the links at the bottom of my review.

Lastly, the projects in Ecuador were fantastic- totally different from anything I had ever experienced. If you like a bit of adventure and being taken out of your comfort zone this would be the place for you. I was working in the jungle with rescued animals for one month and then spent two weeks living with a community and learning about their customs and traditions.

So overall, I would highly recommend the projects I took part in but I would not recommend using Original Volunteers to do them.

Here are the links to the projects themselves:

http://www.fairien.at/english/volunteer-peru/

https://www.ecuadorvolunteer.org/en/

Program: Gap Year
Location: Mexico
Posted: Aug 23, 2016
Overall:
6
Support:
5
Value:
6

Projects Abroad

If you are looking to visit a country that includes adventure, unforgettable experiences and volunteer work then Nepal is the country for you. Projects Abroad is organization to share the experience with. They assist you with all of your travel arrangements, your placement and allow you to experience the Nepali culture first hand. They give you freedom, are flexible and are readily available if you need them.

The Nepali people are welcoming, friendly and are very curious about you when you arrive. They are always willing to help, if it is getting to the correct bus stop, directions to a location, or just wanting to stop and have a friendly chat. The city was safe and was relatively easy to navigate through. The host family was welcoming and made you feel like you were at home.

For five weeks I volunteered at the Sahara Physiotherapy Rehabilitation Hospital in Kathmandu, Nepal through Projects Abroad. The staff at Sahara Physiotherapy Rehabilitation Hospital were welcoming, and willing to teach. They encouraged us to ask questions and to collaborate ideas for alternative forms of treatment. The patients there were motivated and curious about the volunteers who came to visit the clinic.

When I was not working in the clinic I was meeting other volunteers in the organization. We were able to go white water rafting, hiking, jungle safari, paragliding and other tourist activities. It has been a few weeks since I have returned from Nepal and I am still in contact with everyone whom I have met. Needless to say the people you meet are friends for life.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Nepal
Posted: Aug 22, 2016
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

RCDP International Volunteer Abroad

RCDP Volunteer
I chose to visit Sri Lanka for 1 week and teach English. I taught at a temple in the village. I really enjoyed my time with the kids. I stayed at Mr. Micheal's home. Him and his family were very welcoming. We were provided three meals a day and tuk tuks and trips were all arranged for us. Mr. Micheal, his family and our tuk tuk driver were very nice and accomadating. Overall this was a great experience!

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Sri Lanka
Posted: Aug 20, 2016
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Iko Poran Volunteer Abroad

Brazil is a great Country and happy land. Volunteering in Rio is the best way to use the summer time well and do something meaningful. Also, first-Hand experience could be obtained from working with the locals. This is the happiest time I have ever got in a foreign Country. Come to this Country to see for yourself. You will not regret the decision!

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Brazil
Posted: Aug 19, 2016
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Green Life Volunteers

If you are like me who is passionate about renewable energy and wouldn't mind some dirt and work, then this program is just for you. Overall, it had been a very hands-on learning journey at the beautiful Osa Peninsula.

Looking back at the program, the one thing that made it such a memorable experience was how well it was organized by Janina, the owner of Green Life Volunteer. The lectures were packed with both technical information and troubleshooting experiences taught by very experienced professionals in the PV installation industry. Outside of work, it was a full culture immersion opportunity. Janina made sure to balance work with fun by taking us onto various eye opening adventures, some only known to the residents of the peninsula. And the most memorable part of the journey was that we were able to apply our knowledge to help bring electricity to a small elementary school that went 40 years without power. It was truly a once in a life time experience; I was glad that I was a part of the change, and I will definitely consider joining the program again next year. Pura Vida!

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Costa Rica
Posted: Aug 19, 2016
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

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