Volunteer Ecuador: My experience with ABV has been fantastic, my host family was absolutely the best, they were always so kind, helpful and welcoming. I was so happy to share the everyday life with the other ABV volunteers at home.
1- How was the local ABV Coordinator and the support provided in-country?
My coordinator, Laura, was amazing, she picked me up from the airport when I arrived to Quito and took me to her apartment, the next day I had orientation.
I went to visit my project and I had the chance to make tourism around Quito with Laura; during all my time in Quito, my coordinator made sure I was comfortable and satisfied with the work I was doing.
2- What was the most surprising thing you experienced?
The most surprising thing was seeing the differences in heath practices from the U.S; here, health care centers and public hospital find their way to operate with a small staff giving attention to hundreds of patients into different areas, and most of the times, patients are asked to buy their own medication when the Hospital is supposed to give it to the patients as part of the social security system.
3- What was most difficult experience?
The most difficult experience was to see many people not being able to buy their medicines or not being able to have important clinical tests done because of their economical situation.
4- Any tips for future volunteers… (Clothing, travel, personal items, donations)
– Always bring layered clothes
- Bring a backpack for weekend trips.
- Explore the city as much as possible. It is beautiful!
5.1-Other things volunteers should know:
A. Come with a positive attitude and respect the culture of the country you visit
B. Learn Spanish, it is important to learn some Spanish before coming to Ecuador since most of the people speak only Spanish, or take the immersion lessons in country.
C. Have fun!! Quito is a city where you have plenty of enjoyable activities to do, don’t hesitate to explore the city as much as possible, you won’t regret it!
6- Personal Paragraph (ABV Program Testimonial):
My experience as a volunteer Ecuador with ABV has been fantastic, my host family was absolutely the best, they were always so kind, helpful and welcoming. I was so happy to share the everyday life with the other ABV volunteers at home.
I learned so much at the projects where I worked, all the medical staff was so patient and helpful, and they always explained everything to me with a huge smile.
During the weekends and during my free time I had the chance to explore Quito, it is a city that has a lot to offer, and I would definitely come back again!!
7- How would you describe your accommodation, meals, security (e: host family, on-site, shared)
My accommodation was perfect, living with a host family was really nice because I could share and make friends with more ABV volunteers, also, I had the chance to improve my Spanish by talking with the host family, the food was delicious, three daily meals were served every day, and the family will accommodate for any type of diet/allergy.
sharing with the host family, talking with them, getting to know the volunteers who were at Laura’s house as well, having the chance to gain experience in the Medical field as well as helping to people who really need it, going for one day to the Day Care Center to share with the kids, shadowing the doctors;
I’m very happy to say that volunteering in Quito was a very touching experience.
9- How was the ABV USA support prior traveling?
ABV support was great, whenever I had any question, I always got a very prompt and detailed reply which was absolutely wonderful
10 – Are you willing to speak to other potential ABV volunteers?