Volunteer Work in Southamerica

Volunteer Work in Southamerica

Volunteer Work in Latin America



Casa Guatemala – an interview with Heather Graham

Guatemala is a captivating country rich with cultural heritage and breathtaking landscapes. However, it is also a country whose people have endured a brutal 36-year civil war.  The effects of war continue today, and the Casa Guatemala project aims to assist the most helpless of those affected – Guatemala’s children.

We spoke with Heather Graham, Casa Guatemala Project leader, about the project, its achievements, challenges, and goals.

VOLUNTEER WORK LATIN AMERICA: Can you briefly describe your project and its mission?

HEATHER: Casa Guatemala provides a safe, nurturing home, health care and education to Guatemala’s abused, abandoned, and malnourished children. It also provides an environment that allows its young adults to gain practical job skills through its various business operations.

Casa Guatemala – an interview with Heather Graham

VOLUNTEER WORK LATIN AMERICA: Tell me a little bit about yourself? How did you get involved with Casa Guatemala?

HEATHER: I first came to the project as a volunteer 10 years ago. I planned to volunteer for 3 months, but I ended up staying 3 years! Since those first 3 years, I have worked on and off with Casa Guatemala and about a year ago, I decided to work full-time as Casa Guatemala’s Project Leader.
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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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