Youth Development Colombia: Alicia’s heart for children
“I would describe Latin America with the following words: colorful, rhythmic, warm. I can recommend a stay in Latin America because the vibrant culture just spreads good vibes every day.”
During her one-month volunteer work on the island Tierra Bomba, she got to know the country, the culture, the children and the way of life of Colombia. Especially the workshops with the girls of the project were a lot of fun for her and at the same time she could learn a lot about environmental protection on the island.
I wanted to go to Latin America because I was interested in the culture there and I could already speak a little Spanish. I booked the trip half a year in advance. I thought most about the work in the project: what are my tasks? What are the other volunteers like? WanderWorld Travel prepared a preparation package and held a seminar where all the questions were answered.
I was warmly welcomed to the project and attended the workshops so that I could get to know the children. Settling in went super fast, within the first week I was in the rhythm.
The main tasks in the project were to prepare and design the workshops for the children. I especially liked the workshops that were offered especially for girls. I think I had a positive impact especially on the workshops for the girls. We did yoga and danced, which allowed me to build a stronger bond with the girls.
I learned a lot in the project about the conscious use of our resources, such as drinking water, since access is not a given everywhere. The cooperation with the staff was good and I felt well looked after.
MY EXPERIENCE WITH THE CULTURE
I would describe Latin America with the following words: colorful, rhythmic, warm. I can recommend a stay in Latin America because the vibrant culture just spreads good humor every day. The culture is very joyful and no matter where you were, there was always music playing. I learned from the people there to live more in the moment and think less about tomorrow. As a special experience I can mention that I was fascinated by how much the children learned from the project and showed a conscious interaction with their environment in everyday life.
MY FREE TIME
I spent my free time with the other volunteers. Excursion destinations were, for example, the towns of Santa Marta and Minca or the Islas del Rosario, a group of islands in the Caribbean off Cartagena. The Islas del Rosario were especially great and worth seeing. My most beautiful moment there was when I could see the plankton glowing through the bioluminescence. I felt very connected to nature at that moment.
THIS IS HOW THE JOURNEY HAS CHANGED ME
I was able to broaden my horizons because the trip made me realize even more how unimportant things are and how important moments in life are. I was able to develop a new perspective especially on how we treat the environment. This was often a topic in the project, as the people on the island were supposed to learn how to better protect the nature around them. In this regard, I was particularly influenced by the situations in which we were shown how to live in harmony with nature, plants and animals.
I was able to learn even more how much nicer it is to give than to receive and that if you go out into the world with love, you will get just as much love back.
MY TIP FOR FUTURE TRAVELERS
Tierra Bomba is different from my home country in everything. We as volunteers were self-sufficient there and learned to manage our resources as best we could. We looked at what needed to be done every day and didn’t plan much in advance. It made life there feel very pure. So my tip is to try to leave your habits and ways of thinking at home and go for something new. One should like to work in a team and be able to get involved in new habits in everyday life. You should have patience (for yourself and others) and want to do something for others without expectations.