Staff Spotlight: Chrissy Schmitz

Program Coordinator


What is your favorite travel memory?

It’s hard to choose a favorite travel memory as each journey is unique and I have special memories of each one. That being said, one of my favorite memories is from my trip around Morocco.

I got lost and felt extremely stressed because I needed to catch my bus in time. All of the sudden, a father and his young child turned up and accompanied me for the 15-minute-walk to the bus station and thanked me for choosing Morocco as my destination. His friendly nature cheered me up straight away and thanks to him, I made it in time to catch my bus.

I also like to think back to the freedom I had during my gap year while traveling and living from day to day without fixed plans. That was a great experience!

What is the best story you've heard from a return student?

It is always amazing to see how returning volunteers have grown, have gained more confidence, and of course how their time abroad helped them to choose what they would like to do in life. In many cases, time abroad has helped our volunteers to realize what is important to them and what they no longer need to worry about.

One of the funniest stories I’ve heard was from a volunteer in Costa Rica who described her first night shift and her fight against the crabs who were trying to conquer the turtle nests – in the end she stopped the crabs from entering the nest and no turtle eggs were stolen.

The way she was telling us the story was hilarious. Even though she was a bit scared during this first night shift, she was able to laugh while telling us the story.

If you could go on any program that your company offers, which one would you choose and why?

This is definitely a hard choice and I could not choose a favorite project. However, our internship in Argentina is on my to-do list.

I have never been to Patagonia before and my colleague who has visited the project shared many great stories about it. I have always been in love with horses and have been horseback riding all my life, it sounds like a great opportunity to get to know such a unique country from horseback.

What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?

We care for each and every one of our clients in a special way and it is important to us to build up a relationship with them. We would like to understand what their expectations are and if the project meets those expectations.

We keep in touch with them throughout their entire stay in the project, since we would like to make sure that the volunteers feel comfortable abroad.

It makes me proud when a volunteer after his/her return tells us: “I want to catch the next flight back to the project!” To us this means that we did a good job preparing and supporting our volunteers!