Volunteer Name: Michael Dofredo
Project Location: Xela, Guatemala
Volunteered at: Medical facility
1- How was the local ABV Coordinator and the support provided in-country?
Very supportive, informative, persistent, hospitable and friendly. All were very welcoming and easy to approach and to communicate with.
2- What was the most surprising thing you experienced?
The culturally rich environment, the citizens are extremely welcoming, lively and beautiful. The city is rich in spirit.
3- What was most difficult to experience?
I had few problems or issues while staying here. The biggest struggle I had although, was adapting to a Spanish-speaking environment, but I had much help.
4- Any tips for future volunteers… (clothing, travel, personal items, donations)
- Bring layers of clothing / warm clothing.
- Bring bottled water
- Hand snacks
- Walking shoes
- Bring/learn how to translate
- Bring a notebook
- Presents are always a good idea
- Have an open mind to learning new things.
5.1-Other things volunteers should know:
b. Remain flexible
c. Show initiative
d. Comfortable shoes are necessary.
6- Personal Paragraph (ABV Program Testimonial):
I had the best travel/volunteer experience of my life. Petra was extremely helpful, friendly and supportive. This experience has given me an entirely on the Spanish culture, life, and a general outlook on life. The host family (Sandra and Sergio) are the greatest, and I wish I could find the words to express how grateful I am for their open arms
7- How would you describe your accommodation, meals, security (e: host family, on-site, shared)
It was virtually flawless. I felt like I was home. Sergio and Sandra are nothing but hospitable. The meals were delicious and always on time. I have an extreme amount of respect for them. The security was not an issue during my stay.
8- What was your favorite memory of this trip?
It is hard to hand pick a particular moment. The city was beautiful, the host home was fun. I enjoyed the mountain hike, the salsa club, the restaurant, and getting to know the city of Xela. The missionary work was extremely heart-felt, and playing/helping the children was rewarding.
9- How was the ABV USA support prior traveling?
Very helpful, they all kept us with the status changes. They were very up-to-date with everything and communicated well.
10 – Are you willing to speak to other potential ABV volunteers?