Volunteer Name: Spencer Tasso
Project Location: Ecuador, Quito
Volunteered at: multiple programs
1- How was the local ABV Coordinator/staff and the support provided in-country?
Excellent. German and the other staff members were very kind, generally organized, direct in their communication and expectations for us. They were fun, good people and led our group effectively.
2- What was the most surprising thing you experienced?
The love and the affection the children had for us. They wanted and needed attention so badly, and therefore they showed so much attachment and affection without reserve!
I know Chile and Peru well. I was pleasantly surprised to learn how similar Ecuador was as a country to those places.
3- What was the most challenging thing you experienced?
Hearing of the reasons of the children’s induction into the orphanage- rape, abuse, neglect, etc.
4- Any tips for future volunteers… (clothing, travel, personal items, donations)
I wish we would have had more to do. Painting at times was a little disorganized, as was making juice, cooking, etc. We are a big group (14), competent, and have a lot of potential. Give us more to do, give it to us quicker, and we will be even more effective.
ABV: volunteers need to be proactive and not wait for everything to be set or scheduled, jump in and find or ask for more things to do.
Communicate with us more clearly before an activity. We did a hike and didn’t know we should bring swim suits. It worked out! We still swam, but a bathing suit is better than jeans.
ABV: tours are not responsibility of ABV, when doing tours ask for everything, all activities you will go through.
5.1-Other things volunteers should know before coming here:
a. There are not many parks to play/exercise/jog in in Quito, but you can jog in the street.
b. Cloud forest is fun, get out early in the morning to experience as much as you can!
6- Personal Paragraph about the experience (ABV Program Testimonial):
I loved the experience! It was moving to work with and serve the children in the orphanage, a truly uplifting experience. I feel grateful to have experienced Ecuador with A Broader View and to have served along with them. I made many lasting friendships.
7- How would you describe your accommodation, meals, security, friendliness, quality others:
Accommodation It was good, comfortable, enough. It wasn’t fancy, or over the top by any means, but it was enough.
The meals were generally good. The food was good, filling, safe, healthy enough, etc. It would have been nice to have had more options, been able to order anything from a menu, instead of having just 1 or 2 options. However, we obviously paid less, the cost of ABV is less so that is understandable.
ABV: any extras/upgrades have to be paid out of pocket.
8- What was your favorite memory of this trip?:
My favorite memory is hugging Elsa, Miguel, Christian, Sebastian, Carolina, Fransisco and the others as we had to leave. I truly felt enlightened and lifted by them, happy to have met them, understood more their situation, learned from them, and played with them. It was bitter-sweet.
9 – Are you willing to speak to other potential ABV volunteers?