Volunteer Work in Southamerica

Volunteer Work in Southamerica

Volunteer Work in Latin America



My volunteer experience really began before I even started my work. I decided to volunteer in Buenos Aires, Argentina to improve my Spanish and give back to the world. I think that this is something that is very important for everyone, especially young people to do in their lives. I prepared for volunteering at the project by spending some time living in the city of Buenos Aires, Argentina and exploring everything that it has to offer. It is full of food, such as great steak, and culture, such as the famous MALBA Museum. I also prepared by studying Spanish at AMAUTA Spanish School and what I learned was very useful as a volunteer!

My Volunteer Experience with teenage girls in Buenos Aires, Argentina

Now, I have been working for four weeks at an Hogar for girls between 10 and 20. It was very challenging work and I enjoyed it a lot. I would have liked to stay longer. Just when you feel that the girls are starting to trust you it is time to say goodbye. There are about 20 girls living at the hogar for various reasons. Some do not know their parents because they left them behind when they were little and some have parents that cannot or do not want to take care of them. Also, some were abused and some lived on the street before coming to the hogar. There are also some of them who are mentally disabled. A few girls had just arrived and others had been there for several years.

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Top 10 Things to Bring on Your Volunteer Trip

Volunteers traveling to Latin America will need to bring different things depending on the country and type of work he or she plans on doing. However, there are some general objects that are essential for any trip. Here we describe the top 10 things to bring on your trip to volunteer in Latin America!

Top 10 Things to Bring on Your Volunteer Trip
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Top Tips for Volunteers (Part II)

In continuation of last months ‘Top Tips for Volunteers’, here follows our second installment:

  • Practice your language skills
  • Why not make the most of the opportunity to pick up a new and invaluable life skill – a second language? Even if you only know a few key phrases, do not hold back! The local people will appreciate your efforts and may even teach you some more.

  • Be willing to learn
  • Willingness to learn is an essential trait of any good volunteer. The work you will be doing will be varied and will most likely be something you have never done before. Be ready for a few lessons, and enjoy the journey!

    Top Tips for Volunteers (Part II)
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Soccer success for Colombian street kids thanks to volunteers

A fantastic project in the second largest city in Colombia, this venture was founded to provide children affected by poverty, addiction and violence the opportunity to participate in sports, recreational and cultural activities with an aim to guide the process of social integration.

We spoke with Dutch coordinator Ed Veldhuisen about the inspiration behind this project, the challenges that it has faced and the impact that it has had on the lives of so many of the young people in this city.
 
 

What was the inspiration behind this project?

Ed in Action, What was the inspiration behind this projec?

I came to Medellin to volunteer with children on the street and instantly realized the difference you can make to their lives.
The activities I organized quickly became very popular with the kids and I did not want to just abandon what was proving to be such a success!

 

 
 

How is the project run at present?

How is the project run at present?

We are working with children from several institutes who participate voluntarily in the activities we organize.

We run an array of activities including regular football matches, ´Cooperation & Communication´ workshops, music lessons, performances and recordings, and even produce a regular newspaper written for and by the children of the shelters.
 
 
 
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Volunteers donate in Cusco Peru

Tamara van der Houwen and Willeke van Geest were two volunteers in Cusco , who participated in the Spanish and Volunteer Program of AMAUTA Spanish School. They worked in one of our after school projects in Cusco, where many kids go after school do receive something to drink, to eat, and some assistance with their homework.. Also, it is just a place where they can go, meet a friend, or relax. Those places a very necessary, as in many hoses, there is no one home for the kids, when they are done with school….

Volunteers donate in Cusco Peru
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Volunteer in Latin American Kindergartens

Everyone has something special that others want to be a part of. We may not know how to contribute to a world that can seem so broken at times, but volunteering puts us back in a place to give and receive love. There are many ways in which a volunteer can share their talents and their abilities with others around them in South America. Even if the result through giving is merely a simple smile, or a hug, never underestimate the power of how far helping others can go

If you decide to volunteer in Peru, Ecuador, or Argentina, for instance, you can start your day bright and early and head over to one of the local kindergartens. These little children come from poor backgrounds and difficult family life. Some of them were not able to have anything to eat for their breakfast and find it hard walking to school without a decent pair of shoes. Regardless, as soon as you walk into the school, the children run up to greet you and smother you with hugs and kisses. You find yourself uplifted and inspired immediately.

Volunteer in Latin American Kindergartens
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I started my volunteer work at the FBAS, after four weeks of Spanish lessons at the Amauta Spanish School in Palermo. This was a great choice as I was really needed, and it gave me the opportunity to see a totally different side of Buenos Aires. As a volunteer at FBAS you get involved from the first minute you enter the office, from that moment on, you are one of them. 
On Thursdays we used to hand out condoms on the streets and visited houses where the transvestites and prostitutes live.  I was glad to see they really appreciate our work. We advise them to let them be tested for HIV. It is important know how many people are infected  in order to decrease the number of HIV infected people,. To assure them that it´s free, anonymous and secure we hope to convince them of taking a test. If  HIV is detected, they´ll get medicines for free. 

Voluntary Work in Buenos Aires at the “Fundación Buenos Aires SIDA” MAY 2010
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After four weeks of Spanish lessons at www.amautaspanish.com I started my volunteer work at the FBAS. I had an amazing time and it gave me the opportunity to see a totally different side of Buenos Aires.
The work was diverse and varied. On Thursdays we handed out condoms on the streets or visited houses where the prostitutes and transvestites live. It was very impressive to see how they appreciate our work. We also advised them to let them be tested for HIV. To be able to decrease the number of HIV infected people, it is important know how many people are infected. To assure them that it´s free, anonymous and secure we hope to convince them of taking a test. When HIV is detected, they´ll get medicines for free.  We also visited a hospital in San Telmo, where the only doctor in Buenos Aires, provides hormones to transvestites.

Voluntary Work in Buenos Aires at the “Fundación Buenos Aires SIDA” MAY 2010
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