Volunteer Name: James O´Loughlin
Project Location: Xela, Guatemala
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?