Volunteer Guatemala: I didn´t really know what to expect when I arrived, but I kept an open mind and had an amazing time. I learned so much Spanish, ate amazing food, and met some great people.
1. How were the local ABV coordinators and the support provided in-country?
She was great and I had all the support I needed. I could text/call at virtually any hour and she would respond. She also helped me set up trips and excursions, which was really helpful.
2. What was the most surprising thing you experienced?
It was surprising to see how much of American culture – movies, restaurants, bands – could be found in Guatemala.
3. What was most difficult to experience?
One of the children had a tooth that had an awful cavity. He was in a lot of pain, but his family couldn´t afford a dentist. Seeing him cry and not being able to help was awful.
ABV: if you can provide us with the name of the child, what classroom, we will send a donation to help him with that and donors can help us him here https://www.paypal.me/abroaderview
4. Any tips for future volunteers? (clothing, travel, personal items, donations, etc. ?
Xela is rarely hot – bring more pants and long sleeves than t-shirts. If you wear glasses bring a backup pair.
5. Other things volunteers should know?
a. The food is different than in America – expect meat with bones etc.
b. On average the people are very approachable
c. The sun is much stronger here than in North America
d. You can barter for taxi fair.
6. Personal paragraph (ABV program testimonial):
I didn´t really know what to expect when I arrived, but I kept an open mind and had an amazing time. I learned so much Spanish, ate amazing food, and met some great people.
7. How would you describe your accommodation, meals, security
My host family was very nice. Our home was set up in 2 sections – one for the family, one for us visitors, but we ate all our meals together. The food was excellent, but was mostly meat and bread.
8. What was your favorite memory of this trip?
A local family hired me to teach English to their son, and had me over for dinner, where I met the entire extended family – it was an awesome experience.
9. How was the ABV USA support prior to traveling?
They were concise, clear and responsive. It definitely put me at ease and made me feel supported.
10. Are you willing to speak to potential ABV volunteers?