take volunteering seriously, and expect that our volunteers will do
On our part, this means that South America Connections carefully researches,
visits and spends time with every organization or person to whom we
In our ten years of experience placing volunteers, we have analysed
what kinds of placements tend to work well, and for what kinds of people.
We take the time to counsel potential volunteers about their choices,
and discuss – sometimes at length! – what kind of placement
would be best for them. We are honest about the pros and cons of each
placement. Because we have long-term relationships with the organizations
that receive our volunteers, it is in our interest for each and every
placement to succeed.
Coming to a foreign country, speaking a foreign language and dealing
with the subtleties of a foreign culture - all this can be overwhelming at times.
The end result of your placement should be a sense of achievement, greatly
improved Spanish, hands-on experience gained in the field of your interest,
and perhaps some lasting friendships made. But there may be times
along the way when you feel overwhelmed, homesick or out of place.
This is why we offer continuous, 24-hour in-country support for our
volunteers, and emphasize the importance of communication at all times.
On your part as a volunteer, we expect that once you make a commitment,
you stick to it, respecting the work schedule and fully meeting your
responsibilities. You should volunteer for something you enjoy, something
that you can bring passion to. You should bring to your volunteering
an open mind, a willingness to leave your most reflexive judgments behind,
and to learn from those you work with just as they will learn from you.
We ask you to remember that you are, inevitably, an ‘ambassador’
for your country and for future volunteers from all over the world.
Here are some additional insights about this volunteer journey you are
“There are countless reasons why thousands of people volunteer
abroad each year. You may start with a desire to travel, learn a new
language or meet new people. By volunteering, you'll also have the opportunity
to lend a hand to those who are working to improve life in their communities.
Through your daily work and interactions with members of a local community,
you'll gain a better understanding of the culture, as well as the issues
that affect that part of the world...” Read more from IVPA at
“Ever get the feeling that you have a higher calling? You know...
That you have a special purpose on this earth? You're not interested
in the corporate world, SUV's or IPO's. In fact, if you had the chance,
you would surely save the world... Well maybe not the world, but some
small part of it…..” read more from GoAbroad.com at http://www.volunteerabroad.com/volunteer_guide.cfm
came home with a much greater sense of independence. I’ve
never been very good about meeting people and being in new situations,
and I recognize that, which is why I force myself into doing things
like this that, at first, are against my instincts and inclinations.
But I think this trip, even more than any I’ve taken in the
past, showed me that I am able to throw myself into something new
and make friends, find work, create a space and a niche and a place
18 years old
Girls’ Home, 2004