Franka’s tour of Latin America
“The trip has changed me. I now know what I want to do in my life and what things are important to me. I’ve completely changed my view of my own life and am definitely more confident now and have gotten to know myself better.”
Peru, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Panama and Mexico: Franka explores Latin America! Franka started her adventure in the spring of 2022. It started with the Horse Ranch in Peru. Then she supported the National Park Project in Costa Rica and ended her trip in Mexico with surfing at the dream beach. In addition to the programs, she explored the countries on her own during her free travel time and has endless experiences to share.
For a very long time I had the desire to go to Latin America for half a year after graduating from high school. I have always been interested in and fascinated by the cultures, the language and the way of life of the people there. That’s why I wanted to see the countries for myself. I started planning my trip three months before I left, which was definitely enough time. I felt well prepared by WanderWorld and I am very grateful for the support. Because there was a lot of planning to do and a lot to think about. This would have been much more elaborate and difficult without WanderWorld. It helped that WanderWorld provided me with packing lists, overviews of entry requirements and itinerary recommendations, and also took care of booking my flights.
MY FIRST DAYS
The first place I went was Peru. I remember the first two days with a huge culture shock. There are just incredibly many new impressions! I could only speak the language a little bit, then there is another currency and the climate is different. In addition, I have never been in a city like Lima. It is huge, loud, hectic and crowded. Fortunately, I was not there alone, but with another participant from WanderWorld. The two of us slowly got to know the city, went to the introductory event together and then flew on to our project at the Horse Ranch together. We spent the first days at the project getting used to the new environment and especially to the new, high temperatures. There were 5 of us volunteers from the beginning and we grew in number as time went on. We settled in quickly and moved around the ranch independently and on our own responsibility from the beginning.
A DAY AT THE HORSE FARM
In the Horse Ranch project we took care of the animals there every day. We cleaned and moved the horses, trained the foals and fed the ducks, chickens, cats and dogs. The horseback rides through the Peruvian countryside were always the highlight of the week and were the most fun we had. At the ranch, we could do whatever we felt like as long as we did our set tasks. We all learned a lot in living together with nature and animals and had the opportunity to get to know a completely different way of life. The owner of the ranch knew German and therefore communication was easy.
MY FREE TIME
We often went to the nearby swimming pool and to the village of Pacora. Just one village away we were able to visit the pyramids of Tucume. There we learned a lot about the history, the development and the culture of the region. For one weekend we also went to Mancora in the north of Peru. The small surfer town is located at the Pacific Ocean and we had a great time there. With the night bus you don’t need long and the buses are not expensive either.
THAT’S WHY I LOVE LATIN AMERICA
I have always felt welcome in Peru and in all other countries as well! Every new culture I have encountered has fascinated me and shown me new ways of seeing life. I have learned a lot about spirituality and faith, and in the process, a new world has opened up to me that I didn’t know before. The people from Latin America have taught me to enjoy and appreciate life more and to approach everything with a certain serenity.
WHAT I LEARNED FROM THE JOURNEY
The trip has changed me. I now know what I want to do in my life and what things are important to me. I have completely changed my view of my own life and am now definitely more self-confident and have been able to get to know myself better.
MY TIP FOR FUTURE TRAVELERS
I can recommend a stay abroad in Latin America to everyone! It broadens your horizons because you get to know many new things and can simply look at life from a different perspective. I visited Peru, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Panama and Mexico and was thrilled by the cultures, the landscapes and especially by the warmth of the people. I will definitely go back to Mexico again and would also like to visit Colombia, Guatemala, Argentina, Chile and Cuba.
You should be open to new experiences and just go for the adventure and the new culture. It is clear that it takes some time to get acclimated and therefore you should not put pressure on yourself if you don’t really get along in the first few weeks. Otherwise, I would try to make as many experiences and memories as possible and take them with you. The most important thing is to approach the trip with an open mind and without expectations and then let things surprise you.
Latin America is a place of open hearts. The people are helpful, kind and hospitable. No matter where you go, you get a warm and welcoming welcome and feel right at home. It was hard for me to leave and I am sure I will go back again. I can recommend WanderWorld, especially if it’s your first long trip abroad on your own. It helped that I always had a contact person and always knew that someone could help me if I got into trouble or if something didn’t work out.