Review Volunteer Julia Casagrande in BELIZE at the Orphanage program
1.-How was the local ABV Coordinator and the support provided in-country, give details?
I taught everyone was really helpful and informative when I first arrived. The ABV pamphlets were very helpful and the staff on-site were great.
2- What was the most positive surprise you experienced?
At the program: How accepting and loving the kids were. The first day at least a dozen kids just came up and hugged me and it really made me feel at home and a part of the family.
At the accommodation: The accommodation was at the program, and I didn’t realize how much I would enjoy that. it was really nice because I could focus on the kids and working when I needed to and then go up and take a break when I needed to.
About the country: I love all the colors. The houses, animals and buildings were all colorful and I loved how bright everything was.
3- What was most difficult/cultural shock to experience?
At the program: I am close in age to a lot of these kids, and the difference in curriculum shocked me because it was so different than what we learn.
At the accommodation: The humidity was hard to handle because it was so intense. I was prepared for it but it was still everywhere, all the time.
The country: I walk through some residential areas to get to the post office one day and the poverty I saw was really shocking it’s one thing to know it’s there, but it’s another thing to see it.
4- Any tips for future volunteers, give as many details as possible…
Clothing: Light clothing, it doesn’t necessarily have to be sporty, but bring light clothing.
Donations: Ask when you get to the orphanage, because with kids you never know what they might need.
Weather: Drink lots of water to help with the humidity.
4.1-Other things volunteers should know, about what to bring, what to do in country, what to eat, transportation, other:
a.- There is a lot to do in Belize, so make sure you go out and experience it. I went to an Island and Mayan Ruin and they are both amazing.
b.- There is some mango trees at the orphanage, make sure you try some of them and some fruits because it is nothing like back home.
c.- Bring a lot of bug spray and make sure it is strong!
d.- Everything you might need is in a walking distance, so take a walk.
5- Personal Paragraph (ABV Program Testimonial):
My time in Belize is something I’ll remember for the rest of my life. It taught me independence, compassion and patience. I’m so thankful I got to spend time with these kids and these people. I learned so much and truly feel so fortunate to have been able to be here. It really made me want to travel more and volunteer more, so I am so glad I went at such a young age. I would instantly recommend this program to anyone.
6- How would you describe your accommodation, meals and security in detail:
Everything was just fine. I am a vegetarian, they really accommodate meals very well. Even when I was the only volunteer here I never felt scared because the orphanage is very safe.
7- What was your favorite memory of this trip?
Program: Playing with the kids and seeing them laugh and smile.
Country: All the friendly people and how everyone here is so welcoming.
Tours: Snorkeling in Caye Caulker was Amazing! I’ve never seen anything so beautiful.
8.- How was the ABV USA support prior traveling?
Communication (Phone/emails/Online chat):
We were able to connect to ABV whenever and it was convenient and informative.
Website Information: The website info was great and really told you all you needed to know.
9 – Are you willing to speak to other potential ABV volunteers?
10 – Can you be specific how did you find or know about A Broader View? What keywords did you use, what did you search for.
I search “Volunteer Abroad” and just kept clicking links, eventually I came across ABV.