|Name: Augie Antomattei||Project: : Community Education|
|From: Puerto Rico||Age: 42|
It What a Blessing!!!!
This has to be the most incredible experience that I have had in years. Everything was executed according to plan. All preparation efforts supported by the AVIC staff were flawlessly executed. Alicia and Ligia, you are the best!!!!
Recommendations for a Hostel near the airport, adapting to my late arrival time, airport pick-up, dorm accommodation, location, recreational activities, quality of people supporting the dorm (Isabel, Mario, Karol), quality of the rest of the volunteers (Bella, Macha, Pedi), the volunteer program, the children, so many things.
Impossible not to love and cherish the complete experience. One week is certainly not enough!!!!
On our way from the airport we had a great trip to San Ramon, the scenery and the conversation was amazing. I was a bit apprehensive at first, thinking that the volunteer program was something that was not as common or as popular.
I was happy to realize I was wrong!!!! Right there in the bus I met with Kim (France/Miami) and Jenny (Canada). Two wonderful human beings willing and able to help other people while growing in the process themselves.
Getting acquainted with the group and at the dorm was a breeze, we engaged into the cultural, social and volunteer aspects of the trip very fast and with a great flow.
We received the orientation, toured the beautiful town of San Ramon and on that very day we decided to JUMP OFF A BRIDGE!!!! Yes!!, we went bungee jumping in Naranjo, very close to San Ramon. Next day Pacuare river rafting (absolutely beautiful). And that was our magical weekend!!!
The week came and we headed to the Community Education Project in Bajo Tejares and the perspective changed. So much need, so many beautiful children in need of attention. The center provides a great collection of educational activities for underprivileged kids.
Being bilingual helped a lot but having the right attitude to fully engage and connect with everyone is key for a successful experience; for yourself and everyone around you. Long days full of joy!!!! Construction, painting, reading, playing or simply having meaningful conversations. At night, to enhance our volunteer experience, we signed into the English classes provided to adults. What a thrill!!!!!
Thank you so much Ligia, Alicia, Dona Isabel, Mario, Karol, Laura, Henry, Jenny, Bella, Macha, Pedi, Nelson, Dayana, Juliana, Jurgen, Isaac, Kenny, Johan, Allison and the rest.
I love you all!!. Can't wait to see you again.
Augie Antomattei, PUERTO RICO.