Why volunteering is the Best Thing that Happened to Me

Monday October 31, 2016 - Posted by to Volunteer Southamerica
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Why volunteering is the Best Thing that Happened to Me

Why volunteering is the Best Thing that Happened to Me

Many people underestimate the value of volunteering, but the reality is that there are numerous reasons why volunteering is a worthwhile and rewarding experience. And if you do your volunteer work in Latin America or in any other country of culture different than yours, this adds even more value to your experience! As Maria, one of our volunteers in Peru said: Be a Volunteer in Peru is the best thing that has ever happened to me! Here are her six reasons.


Valuable Experience for your Resume

Volunteering is the perfect way to get some valuable experience on your resume. Potential employers almost always prefer to hire someone who has previous experience, and volunteering is a great way to expand your skillset. In fact, many volunteers are able to work in settings that push them beyond their current qualifications, providing them with the unique opportunity to gain advanced knowledge and experience.

Practice your language skills

Volunteering in Latin America provides a real life environment where you can practice your Spanish language skills. Learning in the classroom is important, but interacting with native speakers in real life situations in any country of Latin America, will skyrocket your speaking ability. The classroom is a controlled setting, whereas talking with local people keeps you on your toes and will thus improve your conversation skills. Furthermore, hanging out with native speakers will give you the chance to learn colloquialisms and sayings that might not come up in a controlled environment. In addition, volunteering with children specifically is the perfect situation to practice conversation because they aren´t judgmental and are happy to chat the day away with a foreigner! There are also great opportunities to combine volunteering with Studying Spanish in Latin America.

Why volunteering is the Best Thing that Happened to Me

 

Hone specific work skills

Volunteering in South America creates the opportunity to hone specific skills that you might not have the chance to develop in your home country. For example, many volunteers are needed in hospital-like settings and in classrooms in different countries of Latin America (Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Costa Rica). No matter their experience level, volunteers are expected to help out in whatever way possible, whether that´s examining a patient or teaching an English class. These hands on opportunities are most likely not as common in your home country, so volunteering is a great way to experience these work situations and develop your skills.

Intrinsic Motivation

Although the above reasons to volunteer are valid and important for personal development, the most obvious reason to volunteer should be because you are self-motivated. In most western countries, the materials, education, health care, and general opportunities are light years ahead of developing countries. Therefore, volunteers have the chance to make a big impact on the children and adults that they interact with while volunteering. All personal goals aside, the opportunity to help people in need is a sufficient reason to participate in a volunteer program. Not only will you be helping people in need, but you will be able to develop personal relationships with these people and truly get to know those who you are serving.

Why volunteering is the Best Thing that Happened to Me

Cultural exchange

Volunteering in Latin America brings the unique opportunity to exchange culture and experience the amazing Latin American culture in either Central or South America. Not only will you learn from the people you choose to serve, but they will also learn from you. This exchange of knowledge, ideas, and traditions provides a unique and unforgettable experience that will broaden your horizons. It will cause you to ask questions that you might not have asked before, and it will put you in situations that will remind you of the importance of being thankful for what you have. Especially for people who have grown up in developed countries, volunteering in a severely different environment is a priceless experience.

Interested in doing volunteer work in Latin America?
Please contact us for tips and ideas!

31 Oct

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