Helping Children at an HIV Orphanage in EcuadorPayton Hovey, a 16 year old high school student from the United States, shares her experience of helping children at an HIV orphanage in Ecuador, South America.
Payton Hovey, a 16 year old American high school student, recently returned home after a six week adventure in Ecuador where she assisted HIV orphans with the help of CrossContinental.org. Her main duties at the orphanage included care giving, cooking, cleaning, and helping the children with their homework. Throughout her six week stay she learned many things about Ecuadorian culture and some surprising things about herself as well. She also bonded extremely well with the children.
Regarding life at the orphanage, Payton stated, “I loved living at the orphanage; it was very comfortable and welcoming. My most rewarding experience was teaching English during meal times because it allowed the kids and me to connect on a more personal level.” She had also stated that while she was constantly working and on her feet while at the orphanage, she found the experience incredibly rewarding since she could see the impact she was having on the children’s lives.
Being born with HIV is a great tragedy, an injustice that is confounded when the child’s parents succumb to the disease. There has never been a greater need for volunteers in many regions around the world to help support these orphans and make sure that their basic needs are met. It’s absolutely amazing how much impact a volunteer can have on a young child’s life by merely donating a little of their time.
When asked about the organization she chose to travel with, Payton reported, “I chose CrossContinental because it was a program that I could afford as an under 18 volunteer, yet it still offered all the amenities of the more expensive programs. Even before I went on the actual trip, Jenn from CrossContinental was extremely helpful and responsive to all questions and concerns raised by both me and my parents.”
Payton was also happy with the treatment that she received from her host family as well as the local coordinators. She stated that while she was with the initial host family for only three days during her orientation period, her host mother took care of all her needs and was as welcoming and as kind as she could imagine. She said, “This experience is one of the best and most cherished memories I have.”
After the orientation period in Quito, Ecuador Payton traveled to the actual orphanage to start the project. Payton recalled that both the local coordinators and the staff at the orphanage were very helpful and responsive when she had some minor adaptation problems. Also, the local coordinators made a point of keeping in touch with volunteers regularly.
She stated that, “I would definitely recommend the program and have already done so.” She would also be more than happy to share her experience with potential volunteers who might be interested in the programs in Ecuador.
Access valuable resources or plan a life-changing trip at https://www.CrossContinental.org.
Cross-Continental Solutions provides affordable yet flexible international learning programs, including volunteer abroad, intern abroad, cultural immersion, language study, and gap year programs. A large variety of work placement options are available such as: Teaching, Healthcare, Community Development, Business Coaching, HIV work, Care-giving, Orphanage Work, Journalism, Photography, Wildlife, Agriculture, Environmental Protection, Microfinance, Tourism, Marketing, and more. Programs are available at many locations around the world, including Africa, Asia, and Latin America. By living and working side by side with locals, participants gain an exceptional cross-cultural experience and the opportunity to truly make a difference. For more details, visit CrossContinental.org.