“The most satisfying activity for me”

General Impression

Overall Rating:    10 / 10

The most satisfying activity for me was teaching English to a group of wonderful kids from the neighborhood. Other tasks included cleaning, painting, and doing yardwork in her center and in the health center of a colleague. Estella explained that volunteers who are on shorter visits tend to stick to more basic tasks, and help, generally, with whatever small chores need to be done.She explained that the local orphanage, understandably, prefers volunteers who can commit a serious amount of time as the children take time to build trust and then get attached. She also explained that when volunteers stay a month or longer, she sets up regular and individualized work for them, such as regular yoga classes that one volunteer, who stayed several months, offered to children.

Estela's organization is small and new; she is, it seems, still clarifying its structure and breadth. Volunteers should be able to tolerate ambiguity, able to handle a somewhat unstructured environment.

We stayed in the upstairs of Estela's home and center. This provided an inevitable and very enriching integration with her family, almost all of whom live close by and are constantly stopping by. Her brother, who lives next door and is a professional language teacher, gave us personalized Spanish classes. Her mother, who lives down the road, cooked for us, showed us how to make pinatas, and was always welcoming. Her many siblings and neighbors came by and were extremely nice.

Estela and the women in her family cooked us authentic dishes. When we expressed interest in a certain neighboring town or site, Estela often arranged a visit with herself or one of her sisters as a guide. We were taken to extraordinary archeological and natural sites, caves, mountains, ruins, and villages.

Thank you again for helping make this two weeks happen for us! All the best for the New Year.