Volunteer Review Nicholas Krejchi Quetzaltenango Guatemala Health Care Program
1- How was the local ABV Coordinator and the support provided in-country?
The local coordinators were great. They were always available to answer questions and provided a tremendous amount of in-country tips and tricks.
2- What was the most surprising thing you experienced?
My most surprising experience was getting attacked by a pack of street dogs. Overall, everything turned out just fine and abv coordinators were helpful in providing direction to the hospital to start my rabies vaccination series.
3- What was most difficult to experience?
The most difficult experience for me was the third day of speaking Spanish. I felt as though my brain had ceased to function and I could neither speak nor understand any Spanish.
4- Any tips for future volunteers… (clothing, travel, personal items, donations)
If you come to a clinic, bring Band-Aids, prenatal vitamins, and a stethoscope you don’t mind donating.
5.1-Other things volunteers should know:
a. Guatemala is great. In Xela you will meet tons of awesome locals and everyone is friendly and happy.
b. Cafe Armonia is the best coffee shop in town!
c. Tacorazon is an awesome spot to get a delicious burrito near the square and it is really similar to Chipotle.
6- Personal Paragraph (ABV Program Testimonial):
I’m not really sure what to write here, but I would definitely recommend ABV. I can’t express how much I enjoyed working at the rural clinic. The staff at the clinic was wonderful and they really need help! I would tell volunteers that in this setting you will only as helpful as you make yourself available to be. Come, work hard, enjoy your experience!
7- How would you describe your accommodation, meals, security (e: host family, on-site, shared)
My host family was great and all of us grew to be good friends. We would occasionally go out to get a beer and in general we all enjoyed each other’s company. Food was great, and the rooms were big and comfortable.
8- What was your favorite memory of this trip?
My favorite memory of the trip was probably going to a local school to “de-parasite” the children. Second to that, was a regular 94 year old woman who would bring us cookies each time she came to the clinic for a shot against her back-pain. She walked 2 hours to and from the clinic.
9- How was the ABV USA support prior traveling?
Sarah and the ABV staff were very helpful and provided me with a tremendous amount of pre-travel information.
10 – Are you willing to speak to other potential ABV volunteers?
I’d be more than willing to!