Bailey’s Ecuador Experience

Bailey R.
Volunteer Name:Bailey R.
Project Attended:Education Outreach for Child Workers in the Markets
Country Attended:Ecuador
What​ ​made​ ​you​ ​choose​ ​to​ ​volunteer​ ​in​ ​Ecuador,​ ​and​ ​on​ ​this​ ​particular​ ​programme? I volunteered in Ecuador because I wanted an experience where I could make a difference in people’s lives and develop my Spanish. I chose this program because it seemed to have real hands on experiences which would allow me to gain more perspective and because I love working and playing with kids.
Can​ ​you​ ​tell​ ​us​ ​a​ ​bit​ ​more​ ​about​ ​your​ ​role(s)​ ​on​ ​the​ ​programme? I generally worked with the children on the older side of the participants, playing football with them a lot and trying to connect with the boys while preventing them from fighting. I was also one of the volunteers with the highest level of Spanish and so I often translated for the directors and also was more involved in the reading and writing with the students.
How​ ​do​ ​you​ ​feel​ ​that​ ​you​ ​benefitted​ ​personally​ ​from​ ​taking​ ​part​ ​in​ ​the​ ​programme? I benefitted in so many ways - from the kindness and genuinity of each kid that I met, being inspired by the work ethics of the program leaders, learning about the reality for these children, and developing my Spanish.
What​ ​were​ ​the​ ​highlights​ ​of​ ​your​ ​experience​ ​overall? The highlights were playing football with the children and just talking with them about simple things like their favourite players and teams. I also loved my host family and really connected with my host brothers, through things like playing simple pranks and also playing football with the neighbourhood kids.
What​ ​does​ ​travelling​ ​as​ ​a​ ​volunteer​ ​mean​ ​to​ ​you​ ​vs​ ​travelling​ ​as​ ​a​ ​tourist? Travelling as a volunteer is a different experience because you approach the location you are in as a place not just for your enjoyment, but to learn about the people and the culture and to try and make an impact. Travelling as a volunteer I think also causes people to pay more attention to the aspects of a country that extend beyond sightseeing and food and shopping, and to look more closely at the way people live and to be more integrated.


“The experience has affected me very positively as I have learned a lot and formed lasting friendships. It has also made me definitely want to do a similar program again for a longer amount of time. I would highly encourage volunteering in Ecuador. Above all, the people you will meet as a volunteer are among the kindest and most passionate I have ever met.”