Latvia

Ailola Quito

It was my first trip and learning program in South America. I can say from my very heart - Thank you, Ailola! Excellently organized Spanish language program ever. Friendly and helpful teachers and stuff. These people are really open for me. I totally recommend to book Ailola Quito.

Best regards.
Evija Bērza
Riga, Latvia, EU

Program: Study Abroad
Location: Latvia
Posted: Dec 1, 2015
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
9

Global Vision International (GVI)

In January I volunteered in Latvia for 4 weeks, at an orphanage. It was an awesome experience! Coming from North Queensland, Australia and going into a European winter was very exciting! Apparently it was the worst winter in 30 years, so the staff thought it was hilarious that an Aussie was amongst it. The support from the GVI staff was wonderful, and they answered all my questions thoroughly and quickly.
As part of my volunteering I helped the children with their English homework, helped a bit at meal times, and just chilled and played with them. One weekend we went skiing which was great fun! And another weekend I played outside because it had been snowing for about 5 days. I taught them how to make damper for Australia Day, which was a bit messy with all the flour. Haha!
The staff at the orphanage were amazing, especially Christoph, the founder and director. He has an incredible vision and such love for these kids, I feel honoured to have met him. When I went, there were two houses with 6-8 kids in each one, and an adult 'educator' would pick the kids up from school and stay overnight. There were three educators in each house. They were lovely and so welcoming, and very funny!
I guess one of the most challenging aspects was living alone for 4 weeks. I didn't mind being the only volunteer but for the first week or so I found the living very lonely.
The language barrier was pretty huge, given some of the kid could speak a small amount of English, and most of the adults couldn't. I thought it was fun and challenging because you communicate in a whole different way. Just don't leave home without the trusty Latvian/English dictionary.
I found the history of Latvia devastating, and many of the staff can tell you stories of Soviet times and what happened. One of the boys who used to live at the orphanage and was back for a visit said many children do not have grandparents because they were deported during Soviet occupation.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Latvia
Posted: Apr 11, 2010
Overall:
10
Support:
8
Value:
10
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