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Global Leadership Adventures (GLA)

I spent three weeks this summer in Belize with Global Leadership Adventures and even though I had spent the summer before in Guatemala, also with GLA, this trip was one of the most amazingly scary things I’ve ever done. Not only being without family but being surrounded with strangers in a whole new country is stressful to say the least, and as should be expected, had a slightly rocky beginning, with lost bags and awkward hellos, but once we reached the Tropical Education Center, which would be our home for the next three weeks, things settled down. We played a few “get to know you” games, nothing like the boring icebreakers I was used to from past summers, and got a tour of home base, and as we did this I started to get to know the other girls I was there with.
The food was always great at the TEC, they had wonderful gluten free options and always something without red meat for me.
Our first day at the school was easy, we split into groups and organized our classrooms, children occasionally stopping in to say hello, four little girls gathered by the fence that separated their yard from the school, telling us how excited they were for tomorrow.
When we did get to the school on our first day teaching, kids were there waiting for us, happy and willing to learn. The kids I taught all spoke very good english, some were better spellers than me. My fellow teachers and I made lesson plans every night after dinner, a quick job once you get it down, we also always had a few back up games incase the kids were especially energetic. We did have a few problems with fighting, teasing, and bullying, and the kids sometimes tried to sneak out when they thought we weren’t looking but all in all they were well behaved.
The day trips we went on we always interesting, though some more than others, I would have to say our trip to the ATM caves was my favorite, but that is only available on the three week program. On the last few days we took a trip to Caye Caulker, a two mile wide island just off the coast without cars, the locals having bicycles and tricked out golf carts instead. We stayed at a pretty nice hotel with AC right by the sea, explored the island, shopped a little, and spent the whole next day snorkeling from which I earned a nasty sunburn, but it was definitely worth the pain.
All in all it was a great trip with amazing mentors, the kids were hilarious, and the other girls on the trip with me were some of the sweetest, most down to earth people I’ve ever met.
If I were to suggest a summer program I wouldn’t hesitate to say this one.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Belize
Posted: Oct 13, 2017
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Projects Abroad

Volunteering in Cordoba, Argentina through Projects Abroad was an amazing experience! I specifically chose to go to Argentina because I had prior interest in Spanish and South American culture. Growing up as a huge football fan, I idolized Messi and was immediately drawn to Argentina when I found that they had the placement I wanted. My project was a two week high school special for medicine and spanish. By being in a high school special, my parents were reassured that I would be safe at all times, and I was also relieved that I would be with others since I came to Argentina knowing very little Spanish. Projects Abroad staff was amazing, and all of my questions before and during my trip were answered promptly.
I was picked up at the hospital and taken to my host family. Even with my minimal spanish knowledge, I was comfortable and became friends with my fellow volunteers. The doctors I shadowed were kind, and I learned a lot during my time there. Also, we did many outside activities such as salsa dancing and shopping at the flea market that made me connect to local Argentinian culture. I found my trip to be meaningful and still one of the greatest things I’ve done.
Volunteering abroad teaches you the differences between American culture and other cultures. Even in hospitals, I can now appreciate the advances the United States has compared to developing countries, and I will take this knowledge with me as I continue into college and further studies. Everyone that entered with an open mind succeeded in Argentina. Overall, I would definitely recommend volunteering through Projects Abroad. While it was expensive, I felt that the experience was meaningful and worth the money. Time really flew by but I loved every day I spent there.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Argentina
Posted: Oct 12, 2017
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
8

A Broader View Volunteers Corp

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

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Peru
Posted: Oct 12, 2017
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ)

I have recently finished a 3 week program with IVHQ in Siem Reap, Cambodia. This experience was more than I could have ever imagined. For starters, the organization and local staff were extremely helpful and welcoming. They provided us with a clean and safe living environment in the volunteer house. Living with 13 other volunteers was a beautiful way to meet like-minded people from around the world and build lasting friendships. The childcare facility that we were working with was a lovely short bike ride from our home. Each morning we were greeted by the excited, smiling children when we arrived. there was no better feeling that that. The children were always to excited to see us, and being with them, and being able to teach them a few things, was an amazing feeling. The nuns that we were working alongside inspired me to be a better person and to want to lead a more humble life. They were amazing with the children and so thankful that we were there.
If you have the opportunity to take a few weeks out of your life and donate them to others, I would strongly suggest it. The experience will be so meaningful to you, and those that you help.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Cambodia
Posted: Oct 12, 2017
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Frontier

Just reached Costa Rica with the trail, and looking forward to a month at the rainforest conservation camp. It's been a blast so far, visiting three different Mayan sites, in Mexico, Honduras and Guatemala. We've been diving, volcano boarding, trekking, tubing and lots more. I'm loving my group and the trail leader and wish it wouldn't end!

Program: Gap Year
Location: Central America
Posted: Oct 11, 2017
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

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