Why did you decide to volunteer abroad with Global Works in Puerto Rico?
Emma: I decided to volunteer with Global Works in Puerto Rico because I wanted a chance to travel and go somewhere I hadn't been before so I could experience new things.
I also wanted to have part of it be community service so I could give back to others that were not as fortunate as I was. I knew Puerto Rico was a Spanish speaking place and since I have been taking Spanish in school, I thought it was a great way to use my Spanish and become more confident with my use of the language.
Has your worldview changed as a result of your trip?
Emma: My worldview has changed a lot because going in I had an idea of what Puerto Rico was going to be like.
I knew it was a US territory so I thought it would be hot and tropical and similar to Florida.Although it was very hot, I got to see a new part that was not what I expected.
People lived in very small houses with no heat or air conditioning. And they would sometimes need to to fit a huge family in a small house. It opened me up to the fact that these people were still happy.
I was shocked that these people who seemed to have so little were still happy. They didn't need a lot of fancy things, all they needed was to live with their other family members.
It made me think and I realized that i shouldn't complain about dumb, little things because these people have each other and that was all they needed..!
What was the best moment of the entire trip?
Emma: The best moment of the entire trip was at the end of a day when the group could look back on the projects we had done and we could see the end result. We could see how much it would influence the other people's lives forever.
What was the most interesting cultural difference you encountered?
Emma: The most interesting cultural difference I found was the food. The food was not like hamburgers or hotdogs. It was more chicken and beans and rice.
Tell me about one person you met.
Emma: One of the people I met was Angelica. We helped her family repaint their house in two different shades of blue. She was really nice and we bonded because she was my age.
It was very nice because I was one of the youngest in the group so it was cool to be around somebody more my age. The next day when we had a tour of a nearby city, we sat next to each other and talked a lot.