I visited Ecuador for the first time in 2011, while vacationing with a friend, and from the moment I stepped out of the plane I fell in love this this amazing country.  Ecuador is full of happy people who enjoy a life without luxury.  I toured a majority of the country, getting to know the different customs of the coast, mountains, and jungle.  We made such a strong connection to the country that in 2012 we decided to return and acquaint ourselves with the places we hadn´t visited yet. 

When I got back from my trip, I realized that the country needed many things that that I could help contribute! I began looking to volunteer and stumbled upon the web page for VOLUNTEERWORK LATINAMERICA. They organize volunteer placements in Latin America and have amazing opportunities such as volunteer projects in Peru, work holidays in Chile and volunteer projects in Argentina and other countries such as Ecuador.

Report of Volunteering in Hospital for Kids in Quito Ecuador

As a nursing student, I liked the looks of the volunteer work in el Hospital Pediátrico Baca Ortiz in Quito, and I chose that volunteer project in Ecuador because I felt I had the necessary tools available to help to support children who have to spend a long time in the hospital away from their families, feeling alone, scared, and in pain.   It was hard to watch the children suffer alone because their parents were unable to visit them because they had to work or stay home to care for their other children.  This time I came alone for 3 months, and I worked at this project Monday thru Friday for a month and a half. 

In the hospital in Quito I mainly played with the kids, talked to them, and entertained them in general.  We would talk about why they were in the hospital, how long they had been there, and where they were from.  They would also tell me about their fears, many of the children were going to be operated on for the first time and had no idea how it would turn out.  I would explain to them what was going to happen during the procedure and help them to feel more relaxed and comfortable.   When we discussed their illnesses, I would try to educate them about adhering to their treatments and how to promote good health. Some children were so ill that they couldn’t go to play in the play room, so we would visit them in their rooms, bringing drawings and such, that they could paint and share with each other. 

This was a very emotional and life-enhancing experience. While as volunteers we were able to provide support for the children, I think we were also able to provide comfort during their stay. They also helped me to have a better relation with patient´s´ family members, which is fundamental for my professional career in the medical field.  The only bad part of the experience was that I got sick and had to leave early and was therefore unable to complete the program. However, the days that I worked, I gave my all.

For me, working as a volunteer in Ecuador filled my heart with love and happiness. I would absolutely do this again, it’s an unforgettable experience that I recommend to everyone! 

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