Volunteer Name: James O´Loughlin
Project Location: Xela, Guatemala
Program Dates: From Jan. 6th 2014 to Jan. 31st 2014
Volunteered at: Health Clinic
1- How was the local ABV Coordinator and the support provided in-country?
Great. Set everything up and were very attentive.
2- What was the most surprising thing you experienced?
Use of labs and antibiotics.
3- What was most difficult to experience? Difficult to not offer my opinion (sanitation in the clinic, procedure technique, overuse of antibiotics).
I also had a hard time with privacy issues. Everyone from physicians to staff to volunteers had no qualms about taking photos or sharing info about patients and. Just because Guatemala is a developing country doesn´t mean people´s privacy shouldn´t be respected.. (ABV answer: We took note of this and will talk to the hospital and clinic about this, thank you for the tip.)
4- Any tips for future volunteers… (clothing, travel, personal items, donations)
Xela is a bit cold.
People in Guatemala don´t wear shorts.
Skirts are rare.
5- Personal Paragraph (ABV Program Testimonial):
I would recommend ABV to two classes of travelers:
Inexperienced travelers who are nervous about setting things up and People who have very specific requirements for travel/volunteering.
Inside this niche ABV is great at taking care of people.
6- How would you describe your accommodation, meals, security (e: host family, on-site, shared)
Room was very basic, but needs were met. Host family was very warm, included me in their activities.
7- What was your favorite memory of this trip?
Favorite memory: did a 3-day hike to Lake Atitlan.
8- How was the ABV USA support prior traveling?
9 – Are you willing to speak to other potential ABV volunteers?
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.