Field report

SUSANNE'S VOLUNTEER WORK IN GUATEMALA AND MEXICO

What really touched me during my time was that I got to know many children who come from poor backgrounds and for whom life as we know it is not a matter of course. I was particularly inspired by the fact that the children are nevertheless very open, happy and helpful.

October 2021 - November 2021
Susanne with a young girl

Susanne traveled to Guatemala and Mexico with WanderWorld Travel. There she supported our children's aid projects in Antigua and Guadalajara for two months. In this report, she talks about her unforgettable time there, her experiences and adventures in the project, as well as her free time.

SUSANNE'S PROGRAMS:

The first days

The journey was super relaxed and the welcome event with WanderWorld on site in Antigua was particularly great. This was also a good opportunity to get to know the other participants and make new contacts. I was able to adapt quickly and immediately felt at home. We were also shown and explained a lot on this day. For example, we were given our SIM cards straight away so that we didn't have to worry about them ourselves. A great help ūüėä.

A day at the Youth Development Project

In the "Youth Development" project in a small village near Antigua, Guatemala, I support children and young people individually in their personal development. My working day started at 2 pm. Here I was able to support the teachers in their lessons or teach the children new things myself. It was a great opportunity to be creative and improve my Spanish skills. We also played a lot together and went on various excursions, which was great fun. The "Youth Development" project in Guadalajara, Mexico, started my working hours at 9 am and ended at 2 pm. What really touched me during my time there is that I got to know many children who had to work at a young age to support their families financially. It is difficult for many of these kids to experience the kind of playful, easy childhood that many of us knew. They often come from very poor backgrounds, which is also reflected in their behavior. They are literally looking for attention and love, something they don't get at home. They were also very curious and wanted to know where you come from, what you do there and what life is like there. This often reminded me that life as we know it cannot be taken for granted. Nevertheless, I have to say that the children are very open, happy and helpful compared to many in Germany. For me, it was a moving experience that I will never forget.

My free time in Antigua & Guadalajara

In AntiguaGuatemala, I often spent my free time in the morning reading. But we had a balcony with a wonderful view. We also had the opportunity to go to the gym or take a walk to unwind. After work, we went into the city with the participants, where we had numerous leisure options. There was everything from bars and restaurants to dance classes. At the weekend, we went to the seaside, climbed volcanoes and enjoyed life to the full.

Guadalajara in Mexico was incredibly large in contrast to Antigua in Guatemala. Here we often did things with the other participants, played games in the hostel, went on unique excursions and ate excellent food. The culinary diversity in Mexico is incredible.

My experience with culture

In my opinion, the people in Latin America are very warm-hearted, friendly and helpful. Despite the great poverty, people are very appreciative and happy about what they have. The many stories of the children were equally fascinating. They were very open with me, because they told me lots of exciting things about their family situation or challenges in life.

My most beautiful moments

To be honest, I couldn't decide for a moment. Going to Latin America was the best decision I've ever made. The experiences I gained, the people I met and the places I saw were worth it. Especially the fun weekends were unique because you could do so many different things and meet people from all over the world. The experience of being on my own and facing new challenges in particular helped me to mature a lot in my development.

My favorite place

I particularly remember "El Paredon" in Guatemala, a place where people know how to enjoy life to the full. You meet many different personalities from all over the world here in a very harmonious and relaxed way. It was very easy to make new friends and experience unforgettable moments together. A place with lots of sun, sea and great surfing conditions.

Why I love Latin America

What particularly attracted me to Latin America was the language and the fact that many people there are passionate about dancing. I was a Latin American dancer myself, so I definitely made the right choice for me. The sense of dance and the joy of the people there fascinated me in a way that I have rarely experienced before. Latin America is beautiful and sometimes bitterly poor at the same time. An all-round unforgettable experience that I wouldn't want to have missed. I would love to go again!

How the trip changed me

On a trip like this, you learn what it means to be on your own. You get a better sense of how to react and act in certain situations. These experiences have definitely made me more self-confident, more open and more responsible. It has helped me personally a lot to find out what makes me happy and learned a lot about how to communicate with people from all over the world. This is something you are never taught at school. You have to experience it for yourself.

My tips for future participants

Latin America is highly recommended, especially because of the great diversity and the comparatively low cost of living. You get a lot for your money. In terms of safety, I can say that I didn't find it as dangerous as I had expected. Even as a girl, I didn't have to worry too much because I never went out alone and followed certain rules. WanderWorld always tells you what you should look out for before your trip so that you can start your adventure well prepared. I would fly back every time.

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