This experience was one of the best I have ever had. I was very apprehensive about taking this journey because I have never traveled alone. However, I would not let my nerves get the best of me, so I decided to travel alone for the first time to Buenos Aires. I have always wanted to volunteer and see other parts of the world. I came across IVHQ just surfing the web for safe and affordable programs. I am starting graduate school this fall so I did not have too much extra money to spend on traveling. I did research on some of the countries I was interested in and Buenos Aires seemed to be one of the safer choices so I felt comfortable in my decision to travel there.
My Spanish speaking skills are extremely basic. I definitely struggled to speak to some of the locals, but I was able to get my point across. Also, I was never alone unless I chose to be alone which was comforting. All the volunteers would go out to eat together and explore Buenos Aires together! All the volunteers who were in the same program would travel to their volunteer accommodation together. Where the childcare program is located is not a good area, but again, you are never alone. I always felt safe because there would always be 6 to 9 of us going together to the program and no-one was left behind. The kids in the program truly have a piece of my heart. It was hard for me to communicate with them since my Spanish skills are very minimal. So while I was there, I focused on playing different sports and activities with the kids such as soccer, jump rope, catch, skateboarding, using the scooter, drawing, and etc. Even tough I couldn't speak the same language, some of the kids truly gravitated towards me because they could see I was smiling, laughing and trying to have fun with them. It truly amazed me how close I felt to some of them even though I could not have real conversation with them.
I am so glad I went out of my comfort zone to volunteer in Buenos Aires because the memories and friends I made on this trip I will cherish and hold close to my heart forever. The kids I met during this project I will miss forever and cherish the memories I have with them. This trip truly gave me another perspective on life and truly helped me grow as a person. I would highly recommend taking this journey to anyone.