On my last day all the kids in my class lined up to give me hugs and kisses before they left to go home without anyone telling them to.
1- How was the local ABV Coordinator/staff and the support provided in-country?
Wonderful any time I had a question they were always there to answer and give advice
2- What was the most surprising thing you experienced?
- Program: There weren’t as many moms as I thought there would be in the foundation. I think I ended up not going to the the foundation that is described on the website and went to a different one which was more of a school setting than a clinic.
- Host Family: My host parents didn’t speak English so communicating was done through an app, but it didn’t really stop us from getting to know each other
- Country: A very large majority of people don’t speak English and you should really learn some Spanish as you can.
3- What was the most challenging thing you experienced?
- Program: Working with children especially 3 and 4year olds can be tiring sometimes especially when it’s so hot
- Host Family: Nothing everything was perfect
- Country: The time I have been here the weather has been hot and really humid
4- Any tips for future volunteers… (clothing, travel, personal items, donations)
- Really research the weather and bring appropriate clothes especially for rain
- Learn the currency system
- Practice your Spanish before you get here
- If your comfortable go explore the tourist parts on your own!
5- Other things volunteers should know before coming here:
(thats not in the orientation guide)
- Having your phone out while walking around is a no, and for the safety of your phone you’ll need to hide it.
- Don’t bring anything too flashy it’s best to go low key on everything including clothes .
- Because you sweat so much you’ll need to drink way more water to make sure you’re not dehydrated .
- If your Spanish isn’t as good use the google translator app but just be prepared it runs off of the internet but is honestly soooo helpful don’t know what I would have done without it
6- Personal Paragraph about the experience (ABV Program Testimonial):
So I chose to go on the women empowerment program in Cartagena, Colombia. Which supports moms in the city through education and health care though do due to my lack of knowledge of Spanish I ended up teaching school age children English in the class rooms. The children were so wonderful and the teachers were Amazing! My host family was better than I could have hoped for and were always super inviting and supportive. I never felt like I was in an unsafe situation because they always took extra precautions. Cartagena, Colombia is a beautiful place with amazing food and I can’t wait to come back one day!
7- How would you describe your accommodation, meals, security, friendliness, quality others:
Everything about my accommodations was better than I expected the food was always delicious, I walked around at night with my host family and never felt like I was in danger, and my host family always made sure I was being extra extra safe.
8- What was your favorite memory of this trip?:
- Program: On my last day all the kids in my class lined up to give me hugs and kisses before they left to go home without anyone telling them to.
- Host Family: My host family was so wonderful, I spent a lot of my time with my Host mom and we explored a lot we went to the beach, market, and shopping
- Country: The food, specifically the tomato juice, guava bread, and plantains and exploring the city
9- How was the ABV USA support prior traveling?
Wonderful! I was emailing and calling the ABV US support a lot whenever I had even just small questions and they were always happy to help
9.1- What do you think about the reservation system online?
Very easy to navigate there are very clear directions and deadlines when each step needs to be completed
9.2- How did you find Abroaderview website (keywords, search engine, word mouth to mouth, recommended by .., other)
I found A broader View by just researching online this was one of the first ones that popped up for medical volunteer trips.
10 – Are you willing to speak to other potential ABV volunteers?