International Volunteer Has an Unforgettable Experience Working in South American Orphanage
American Volunteer Through CrossContinental.org Reports a Life-Changing Foreign Excursion Assisting an Orphanage Project in South America.
Many aspiring individuals seek international internships and volunteer abroad opportunities not only for personal growth and work experience but also for cultural and language exposure. Through CrossContinental.org, another deserving candidate recently traveled abroad to experience life at an orphanage in Ecuador, South America.
Anmei Kirkes, a Chinese American, had the pleasure of taking this opportunity to volunteer abroad in Ecuador. The volunteer was highly enthusiastic about her trip, stating “I am overjoyed by the experience and the opportunity to be able to volunteer in Ecuador. I learned so much while I was there and was able to grow so much as a person. The time spent with the children, workers, and host families and learning to live the way they live was extremely rewarding.”
The orphanage project abroad took place in Ibarra, located at an altitude of approximately 2200 meters and about 2.5 hours north of the capital city Quito. The total number of children at the project was approximately 30, and volunteers’ typical duties included tutoring, gardening, cleaning, cooking, and doing laundry.
Anmei was very pleased with the services rendered by the people at CrossContinental .org, “The work placement I received was pretty accurate. I requested an orphanage in a more urban area and that is exactly what I got.” Anmei really enjoyed the girls at the orphanage, who ranged from 1 to 17 years in age. She commented, ”It took the older girls a little bit longer to warm up to me than the little girls but now everything is great. I’m really sad that it’s my last week here, I am really going to miss it.”
Anmei stayed with a host in Quito during her initial orientation period. After which, she moved to a host family in Ibarra to complete the work project itself. She had so much to say about the home-stay families, “The family in Ibarra has been great, always making sure I have enough to eat and taking me around the city on weekends. The lady that I stayed with in Quito was also very nice and I got to go on a little tour with her while I was there. The city is absolutely beautiful.”
Speaking of the cultural immersion experience, Anmei said, “Staying with a host family instead of a hotel or somewhere by yourself really allows you to be immersed in the culture, so you experience life not just as a tourist but as someone who actually lives in that country. The cultural experience is more than I could have ever imagined and it touched my life in ways that I will never forget.”
Experiences such as these are effective for developing cross-cultural understanding and witnessing problems commonly faced amongst orphanages abroad. This is something that must be learned firsthand so it goes without saying that quality international internships and volunteer abroad programs should be made available. Such programs increase cultural awareness and help make the world a better place due to mutual understanding and dedication.
In the end, Anmei expressed that she wouldn’t trade this life-changing experience for anything. “I’m so absolutely thankful for getting the chance to come here.”
Access free resources or plan a life-changing trip at 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. International internships can even be taken for school credit. 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.