Volunteer Name: Anna McGucken
Project Location: Quetzaltenango, Guatemala
Program Dates: 6/12/2013 – 8/7/2013
Volunteered at: Public schools Education

1- How was the local ABV Coordinator and the support provided in-country? Very good. Whenever I had problems or questions about my volunteer program I felt very comfortable going to Petra and ask her for help.

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2- What was the most surprising thing you experienced?  The education system in Guatemala baffled me every day. I was surprised at how often school was cancelled, teacher left children alone without supervision, and the lack of discipline in some areas. It seems like a very difficult environment for kids to learn.
 
3- What was most difficult to experience? All the changes of day to day life in public education. I felt like it wasn´t fair to the kids who desperately need a good education to help them develop into the educated leaders that I know each one has the potential to be.

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4- Any tips for future volunteers… (clothing, travel, personal items, donations)  Be careful with public transportation.
 
5.1-Other things volunteers should know:

a.- be flexible
b.- don´t judge other cultures for their differences, rather take the viewpoint of learning.

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6.- Personal Paragraph (ABV Program Testimonial): This experience provided me with a great opportunity to really learn more about another culture, and opened my eyes a lot of new things and perspectives. I am so glad to have been able to volunteer and live with a host family and take Spanish lessons, it made the travel experience sooo much more valuable.
 
7.- How would you describe your accommodation, meals, security (e: host family, on-site, shared) The host family was very sweet and welcoming me into the family. Accommodations were small, sort of dusty, and a hard bed but I was prepared fot that, so it didn´t bother me. Meals were pretty similar day in and day out, but plenty of cafes and stores to buy additional food if needed.

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8- What was your favorite memory of this trip? Just getting to meet new people and other volunteers from other parts of the world, and travel the country with them. Guatemala is beautiful!
 
9.- How was the ABV USA support prior traveling? Very good. I was doing thesis research so I had a lot to prepare for and many questions, and the staff was very helpful, patient and supportive.

10.-  Are you willing to speak to other potential ABV volunteers?  Yes.

A Broader View Volunteer (ABV)  allows every traveler to choose their own program start date. This means you can arrive on any flight, any day of the week. Since ABV program fees are 100% tax deductible* we encourage you to fund raise. ABV offers advice and assistance with flight planning, affordable travel insurance, as well as procuring a visa, if necessary. Our ABV staff is available to any your questions. Contact us by email, through the on-line chat feature on our website or call us toll free at 866-423-3258.

WHAT DO MY FEES PAY FOR?

Volunteer Registration Fee – ongoing support from ABV staff, program marketing costs, information pack, administration costs, ABV donation Fund, travel costs to inspect programs and communication costs with volunteers.

Volunteer Program Fee – ABV donation fund, airport pick-up, orientation, program supervision, accommodation and meals during volunteer program period, in-country 24/7 volunteer support and in-country administration costs. As a US Non-Profit Charity Organization all your fees are tax deductible and you can fundraise from our website to pay for the fees.

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