Volunteer Chile: I absolutely loved my experience in La Serena as a whole and working at the Colegio (school). I experienced many different areas of the culture traveling all over the area with other ABV volunteers and friends that I made at the school. It was an incredible opportunity, I learned so much from. A Broader View was great, I will defiantly use them for any future trips.
Volunteer Chile: Teaching Program
- How was the local ABV Coordinator/staff and the support provided in-country? Volunteer Chile: The local ABV Coordinator was amazing and incredibly helpful. My coordinator, Vilma, always was there if needed. She was always checking in with me to see how I was doing, and would contact me immediately if any issues or concerns arose.
- What was the most surprising thing you experienced?
- Host Family: My host family was first of all amazing. Silvia and Obriel, along with their four kids, created some of my best memories of my trip. The most surprising thing I found out about my host family was their lifestyle, and the lack of heat in the house. At night, it got cold.
- Country: The most surprising thing I experienced in the country as a whole was how helpful everyone was, even though most people didn’t speak English.
- What was the most challenging thing you experienced?
- Host Family: The language barrier was the most challenging thing I experienced with my host family. Chileans speak incredibly fast, and it is sometimes hard to understand simple words due to the cultural differences of the language.
- Program: The most challenging part of the program in total was not the teaching aspect, but actually the transportation here in Chile. I took a colectivo, or shared cab, everyday from my host family’s house to the school where I worked. My first week using the colectivo was hard for me, because only certain colectivos take you where you want to go. Then once you have the right colectivo, you then need to tell the driver where you would like to go. Many times, the driver would not know where I would want to go, and I would have to describe the area. It was during my second week, when I realized the best way was to ask the driver if they knew where your desired destination was, before you got into the car. This made things much easier. After learning how to use the colectivos, they became second nature. (Always take the same numbers on the top of each colectivo they have specific numbers for specific routes)
- Any tips for future volunteers…( clothing, travel, personal items, donations)
- Bring layers if you are staying during the winter that you can travel in, as well as sleep in.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help, people in Chile are very friendly.
- Try your best to talk to locals, they provide great insight on the city and culture alike.
- Visit the Elqui Valley, I went with two other ABV volunteers and it was wonderful.
- Make friends here, they can help you experience more of the city.
- Other things volunteers should know before coming here: (that’s not in the ABV orientation guide)
- It get very cold during the night, pack layers.
- Make sure to practice your basic Spanish phrases just to have a means of communication, but don’t worry if you are not fluent.
- Personal paragraph about the experience (ABV Program Testimonial):
I absolutely loved my experience in La Serena as a whole and working at the Colegio (school). I experienced many different areas of the culture traveling all over the area with other ABV volunteers and friends that I made at the school. It was an incredible opportunity that I learned so much from. A Broader View was great, I will defiantly use them for any future trips.What was your favorite memory on this trip?
- One night we had a barbeque where we all sat around the grill talking and eating amazing food.
- Experiencing the city with my friends, and walking on the beach while sunset.
- How was the ABV USA support prior traveling?
They were great, I had no problems. Volunteer Chile