Did you volunteer abroad? If so, where and what inspired you to go?
Mijail: First was the need to know other countries with different cultures. I really wanted the experience of being somewhere else besides my country. I wanted to talk and work with people that came from a different background than mine. I wanted to know their struggles so I could find a way to help them. I traveled as much as I could to understand other societies. My main inspiration was to find the solutions to problems of the places I visited.
What is one thing you would tell any future volunteer?
Mijail: Always try something different and new for you. Push your comfort zone and experiment. This is a cool place with an amazing group and astonishing nature around us. We have some unique features: living next to the mountain, having circular houses. I'm pretty sure you will like the experience. Just bring an open mind and a strong stomach for our ethnic cuisine.
What is your favorite story of a volunteer's experience in the program?
Mijail: A few years ago I met one of my best friends in our place. He was only coming for a month but with our funny group and the activities we had he ended up staying two years. It's one my favorite stories because during the two years he stayed with us, he helped us build playing grounds, paint art in walls and teach others what he knew.
What do you find most fulfilling about your interactions with volunteers?
Mijail: Some volunteers only stay a couple of weeks, some other stay for a long time. No matter who is coming (even if they come from the same city), everyone has a unique story to tell. It's amazing how sometimes a volunteer arrives that doesn't speak English or Spanish and we have to communicate with signs and funny gestures. The best part is that everyone is willing to help and for that, we don't need a common language, we just need a common passion.
How do you think volunteer abroad will change over the next 10 years?
Mijail: It's really hard to tell what exactly will happen, but I'm pretty sure the world will be more connected than ever. Ten years ago when I started traveling there were not so many websites for travelers, the online community was not as big as now. Technology is allowing us to communicate and share our experience in real time and in ten years probably it will be even faster than we can imagine. What is for sure is that we want to be around when it happens and we want to keep helping.