Testimonial Colombia Cartagena

Testimonial Colombia Cartagena Volunteer Maria Aarre (17) Day Care Program

Testimonial Colombia, It was a very giving experience and I am very happy to have been a part of the program. It was very good to see that foundation like this exist and gives poor children an opportunity to learn and to play with other children.

Testimonial Colombia Cartagena

1- How were the local ABV Coordinator/staff and the support provided in- country?
The local coordinator was very friendly and helpful. He picked me up on the airport, showed me the foundation and how to get there by bus. If I needed anything I could always ask the coordinator, he was always very service minded and friendly. I felt very safe and welcomed.

Testimonial Colombia Cartagena
Testimonial Colombia Cartagena

2- What was the most surprising thing you experienced?

Program: that it was hard to communicate with the children.

Host family: that it would be very hard to travel without any Spanish knowledge.

Country: I felt a lot safer than I thought I would, and what also surprised me was the friendliness of the people.

3- What was the most challenging thing you experienced?

Program: figuring out what to do, and how to be most helpful.

Host Family: sometimes it was hard to understand everything they said, Spanish is definitely a huge advantage

Country: security. Even though I felt safe, it’s a different culture and country than Norway, where I am from. I couldn’t walk alone at night and had to be very aware of my surroundings and items at all times.

Cartagena Host Family
Cartagena Host Family

Volunteer in Colombia

4- Any tips for future volunteers… (clothing, travel, personal items, donations)

1. Learn as much Spanish as you can prior to leaving! It will make your experience so much better!
2. Bring light clothing, such as light cotton pants etc.
3. Bring a positive attitude. The culture is different, but very enjoyable as long as you have a positive attitude 🙂

4. travel light, you don’t need to bring a lot of things.

6- Personal Paragraph about the experience (ABV Program Testimonial):

I really enjoyed working for the ABV program.. I was an assistant at a foundation for children. sometimes I was a bit unsure what I should actually be doing. But as I just went with the flow, I adapted to the everyday life of the foundation and learned that the most important part of my job was to care for the children and give them the attention and love they need. I worked every day from 8 am until 1 pm, and although it was only 5 hours it could be very tiring as I was always around many kids and loud noises.

I worked with a group of 20, 2 year olds, and as my Spanish wasn’t the best, in the beginning, I had some trouble understanding them. However, as I improved my Spanish it was a lot easier to communicate and connect with them and that definitely improved my work experience.

It was a very giving experience and I am very happy to have been a part of the program. It was very good to see that foundation like this exist and gives poor children an opportunity to learn and to play with other children. They also eat nutritious food, and they all seemed very happy to be there. I would definitely recommend this program to others!

Cartagena Child Care Center
Cartagena Child Care Center

7- How would you describe your accommodation, meals, security, friendliness, quality others:

My accommodation was great. I had my own room, with air conditioning, and my own bathroom. I also had access to internet at home.

The family I stayed with were super welcoming and kind people. I felt like a part of the family and if I needed anything at all, they were always there to help. They also took me places around the city in the weekends and in the evenings. They were all super friendly people!

The food was also great. My host mother cooked delicious Colombian food and made the best fruit juices. If I wanted anything else, all I had to do was ask and they would get it for me.

Night out Main Square
Night out Main Square

Gap Year Colombia

8- What was your favorite memory of this trip?:

Program: my favorite part of my program was probably walking into work in the mornings and have all the cute kids waving at me, calling out my name like they were happy to see me. That definitely put a smile on my face.

Host Family: my host family was great and it’s hard to choose one favorite memory. But I really enjoyed when my host family invited my family over for dinner and we all had dinner together, talked and played games. I also really enjoyed when my host brother took me to Playa Blanca and we spent the day relaxing at the beautiful beach.

Country: I loved Colombia, so it’s hard to point out one favorite thing. However, I love how everyone is so friendly and happy people. It’s very easy to make friends and to have a good time.

Playing with the Children
Playing with the Children

9- How was the ABV USA support prior to traveling? (who helped you, emails, phone calls, chat online, how fast did you got an answer, did you got all your answers)

As my mom did the reservation, I am not able to answer this question. 9.1- What do you think about the reservation system online?

As my mom did the reservation, I am not able to answer this question

9.2- How did you find Abroaderview website (keywords, search engine, word mouth to mouth, recommended by .., other)

It’s very easy to navigate.

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