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A Broader View Volunteers Corp

I was part of a host-family and shared an apartment with another ABV volunteer. All this was a bonus since I had my own space to write, yet when it came to family time, we were only one floor away from the warmth of a fabulous family. My host family took pride and leaving time aside to be with everyone together. Also, the host-family was very passionate with all the food they made. If you want to learn about the culture, food and traditions, please have a host-family in mind. The best part of this trip was helping all the children. I was inspired to see all the children so eager to learn and to see how passionate they were to hear what everyone had to say. Some children have to walk far, but they were there on time and eager to learn, I already miss them.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Ecuador
Posted: Dec 8, 2016
Overall:
9
Support:
10
Value:
10

International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ)

Let me start by saying that I saved money for all my years at university to volunteer and it was all for nothing. Don't use your hard earned savings on this company! I have volunteered with another company and it was so much better!

I have lived in rural areas with very basic living and limited resources such as no electricity and have washed and bathed in rivers many times. I am not a newcomer to living like this, I am not a girly girl and I actually enjoy this natural pure simple kind of living very much.

Now, during all of these programs there were instances where I felt unsafe. Unsafe for my wellbeing and unsafe for my belongings.

In Guatemala I was followed by a man for a period of time (not exactly sure how long but he had some info on me) and he confronted me and would not let me leave for about an hour while he cornered me. I am not stupid and tried several techniques to leave. He made me very uncomfortable, asked me to go on dates with him several times and kissed my neck to my disgust. I shot him down at every point as well! Get the hint! While I and some friends walked in the streets we were verbally attacked by several people calling us 'fucking gringos' -telling us to return home. It should be noted I left Guate earlier than expected and changed to go to Costa which was not my original plan ( that's how bad it was, I don't even want to get started on the unsafe and unsanitary work environment).

I love Costa Rica and I hope to one day live there, I really do. I love the people, I love the heat PURA VIDA! On this program I had done a similar volunteer before close by. I enjoyed the program until the leading lady returned and that's where everything changed including the atmosphere and the way leaders behaved. She was the devil and I wasn't even introduced! I received a really bad concussion during my time there and she refused to show sympathy or take note of this. I continued patrol and work with headaches, blurred vision and confused speech until I contacted the head office to relay my unhappiness. I wanted to work but sometimes I wasn't feeling well obviously. Also during this time I missed a patrol, the leading lady was very upset with this and destroyed me publically during lunch, laughing in my face and threatening me that I will have to do more work.

Then came Peru. The best way to describe this is shithole. The man in our homestay smoked weed with volunteers and everyone was casual with drugs. I went to the jungle in buttfuck nowhere, 6 to 11 hours from anything. (6-11 hours because of possible and probable landslides and rain and mud and animals and breakdowns etc). Let it be know that the drive to the jungle can kill you, I feared for my life in all honesty. I'm serious. Once in the jungle I learnt that we had no leader. Our previous leader was just fired for inappropriate sexual behavior towards volunteers. I was in the jungle with a bunch of city kids and no leader. This guy's girlfriend was our chef who refused to show up sometimes as she was mad at volunteers for 'seducing' her boyfriend. The walks were dangerous, the bugs were worse, the shelter was open, the river where we bathed and washed our clothes was raging and there was no one of any competence to speak of. I was sick physically for real and sick of the situation. I left after two weeks. On my arrival back to the city no one seemed interested to transfer me or speak about my experience. I was later sexually assaulted and then robbed in two different incidents. I booked my flight back to my home country the second I had access to internet. Did I mention my phone got fucked ON THE WAY to the jungle and I had no phone for 3 weeks (not that it helps in the buttfuck jungle because there is no signal but still).

In conclusion I would like to say my experience in Costa was by far the best. I would go back and hopefully the leading lady has calmed down. The experience is a good one and the people are awesome. Maybe with a different company though.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Costa Rica, Guatemala, Peru, South America
Posted: Dec 8, 2016
Overall:
5
Support:
5
Value:
5

Forum Nexus

I was a part of 2015 FN program and I still constantly think about the amazing experience I had! What I really liked about Forum Nexus is that you can customize the experience to your travel preferences. There is a good variety of class offerings and because the program goes through multiple countries, you can visit a lot of different cities (or stay in one place and dig a little deeper, as I did!).

A special shout out to the staff of Forum Nexus--they work tirelessly to make sure each student has a great summer. Feedback is taken seriously and the team is very committed to making continual improvements. I highly recommend this program!!

Program: Study Abroad
Location: Europe
Posted: Dec 7, 2016
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Discover Corps

The Discover Corps trip to Guatemala was more than I could have hoped for. The guide, driver, home base, volunteer experiences, and the additional sights we visited were beyond my expectations. The food was remarkable and I felt safe, taken care of, and informed every step of the way.

Program:
Location: Guatemala
Posted: Dec 6, 2016
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Global Vision International (GVI)

I completed the Marine and Wildlife Conservation program in Phang Nga, Thailand. GVI offers extensive support both prior to and during your program including pre-departure information, airport pick up and information about the local area.

The staff on base are amazing in not only helping us integrate into our program but also understand how our time contributes to the development of the community. They are very knowledgeable of the local culture and anthropological narratives that have shaped the community. They provided us with both Thai language and culture courses, to alleviate the stresses of adapting to a new country and integrating smoothly into the community.
The staff supported us beyond the program. When I fell ill, a staff member helped us organise transport to the hospital as we couldn’t speak Thai. In addition, they helped us plan our short holidays and encouraged us to explore different parts of Thailand when we had days off.

We were even allowed to join in with other programs to get the most out of our experience. Thus even though I was in the conservation program, I joined the teaching and community teams in their orphanage visits and English classes.

The living conditions were modest, which is expected when you are volunteering at a developing country. Living in a village among villagers helped me appreciate the program and its contribution more and learn more about the locals.

Overall I highly recommend GVI and their volunteer programs.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Thailand
Posted: Dec 5, 2016
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

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