Best Volunteer Reviews 2017

I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to volunteer in Honduras. Everyone in the ABV Program really wants you to have the best experience possible. This program also allowed me to gain so much more hands-on experience than I would have been able to get in the U.S. I was able to take vital signs and assist in wound cleaning. I also observed C-sections and many other surgeries. All of the doctors were welcoming and thankful for our help. They were also willing to explain what they were doing and why. There is no doubt that I would recommend this program to anyone who is thinking about pursuing a career in the health care field.  

 Volunteer in Honduras La Ceiba Review Pre Medical Student Program Skyler Speciale

1.-How was the local ABV Coordinator and the support provided in-country?

Rafael was a wonderful host during my week in Honduras. He drove us to and from the hospital each day to ensure our safety and was always open to hearing our questions and concerns. I'm really grateful for everything he did to make sure I was having the best experience possible. This trip would not have been the same without him.

2- What was the most surprising thing you experienced?

At the program: I was very surprised by how many surgeries were performed while the patient was still awake instead of using general anesthesia. The surgeons were very open to our questions and explained that general anesthesia is much more expensive so they use other types of anesthesia to cut costs. 

Volunteer in Honduras La Ceiba Review Pre Medical Student Program Skyler Speciale

At the accommodation: I was surprised by the amount of food I was served while in La Ceiba. Although breakfast and dinner are considered smaller meals compared to lunch, I always had plenty of food to eat! Especially rice and beans! The food was delicious!

About the country: I was surprised by the economic diversity in La Ceiba. Although I witnessed severe poverty as we drove through the streets of La Ceiba, Rafael and his family live in a beautiful house in an affluent neighborhood.

3- What was most difficult to experience?

At the program: The hardest part of this experience was the language barrier. Although I had taken Spanish throughout high school, I quickly learned how difficult it was to communicate with the native speakers in La Ceiba. Luckily one of the other volunteers spoke very well and translated some of the more difficult conversations for me. 

At the accommodation: There is no hot water in La Ceiba so showering was difficult, especially after a rainy day when the weather wasn't very hot. 

The country: Unfortunately, I was only able to stay for a week so I wasn't able to experience much of the city: however, I did notice that the traffic in La Ceiba can get pretty crazy. There are no lanes, so cars can be seen going in all directions.

Volunteer in Honduras La Ceiba Review Pre Medical Student Program Skyler Speciale

4- Any tips for future volunteers…

Clothing: Lots of scrubs! When you are observing surgeries at Hospital, you must change into a clean pair of scrubs before entering the OR so make sure to have plenty of extras.  

Donations: I brought stuffed animals and candy to give the kids at the hospital which they really enjoyed.

Weather: It is hot so make sure you drink lots of water. It is really easy to get dehydrated here so I recommend always having a water bottle on you. 

4.1-Other things volunteers should know:

a.- If you are not fluent in Spanish, download a Spanish translator on your phone so you can easily look up words you don't know.

5- Personal Paragraph (ABV Program Testimonial):

I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to volunteer in Honduras. Everyone in the ABV Program really wants you to have the best experience possible. This program also allowed me to gain so much more hands-on experience than I would have been able to get in the U.S. I was able to take vital signs and assist in wound cleaning. I also observed C-sections and many other surgeries. All of the doctors were welcoming and thankful for our help. They were also willing to explain what they were doing and why. There is no doubt that I would recommend this program to anyone who is thinking about pursuing a career in the health care field.  

Volunteer in Honduras La Ceiba Review Pre Medical Student Program Skyler Speciale

6- How would you describe your accommodation, meals and security:

Rafael and his family made me feel at home in La Ceiba. I never felt unsafe during my volunteer experience. I was very grateful that Rafael took the time to drive us to and from the hospitals each to day to make sure we got there and back safely. The meals were delicious and I always had plenty to eat.

7- What was your favorite memory of this trip?

Program: Observing my first C-section was definitely the most memorable part of my experience here. 

Country: When there was less work to do at the Hospital, one of the doctors treated us to popsicles at a local Honduran store.

8.- How was the ABV USA support prior traveling?

Great! I always received prompt responses and they were very accommodating to anything I needed. 

Website Information: The website had very detailed information about the programs. I especially liked the reviews from previous volunteers.

9 – Are you willing to speak to other potential ABV volunteers?

 Sure!

10 – Can you tell us how did you find or know about A Broader View?

I found out about A Broader View while doing research on alternative Spring break trips. 

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