Alumni Spotlight: Paula Buzarra

Paula is a Spanish girl, 19, studying marketing and commerce at the north coast of Spain. She loves nature, animals and traveling. She decided to take a year off before university to learn things away of the books.

Paula in Ecuador

Why did you decide to volunteer with Eco Volunteer UP in Ecuador?

Paula: Because I really wanted to volunteer so I started googling on internet and I found them by chance. A friend of my mother lives in Quito and checked everything for me. I liked all she told me so the decision was made.

Describe your day to day activities as a volunteer in Ecuador.

Paula: I did volunteering at two different places. My chores at the rescue centre (Amazon) were feeding the animals, cleaning the cages and working for the improvement of the center (making paths, planting plants, fixing things,..) I enjoyed it a lot, to be surrounded of wild animals and nature was the best!!

At the Galapagos centre I worked with children (we did horse therapy for disabled children, and educative activities and games for the summer camp). I also helped some villagers with this lands, but the main activity was replanting native plants and removing the invasives. Galapagos is really really awesome, but it was very tough work.

The free time was always good, whether if I stayed or if I went on a trip (both places have lot to see), the party was also great!!

What made this experience unique and special?

Paula: Many things - I wouldn't know from where to start. First of all, I had always dreamed with something like that, so for me I made my dream true. Besides that I learnt a lot, not only culture but life; it was food for thought as I realized of many things, for example: its much better rural and simple life there than in an European city where "you have everything". I can say my life now is totally different and me too.

How has this experience impacted your future?

Paula: In many ways too. I am much more open minded, independent, I have grown up a lot in two months!! Now, I know one has to fight for what they want and be brave in the life. I'm looking forward for my next travel and volunteering work and I would be very happy if I get a job that enables me to keep traveling. Now I feel like visiting any place at the world.