So… we spoke to Delfina Medeot. Expanish´s Volunteer co-ordinator. And here is what she had to say….
Buenos Aires is a very intense and interesting city, where many cultures and traditions collide, primarily as a result of families from the provinces and bordering countries coming here to make a living. Volunteering abroad is an opportunity to get to know an aspect of this society that sometimes is overlooked by the average tourist.
Volunteers are the link that makes possible to tend bridges between people. Expanish Volunteer programs encourages this exchange between cultures by offering several projects in its three areas: underprivileged youth, volunteering in the community and teaching English.
There are some useful tips that apply to all the areas and that I invite you to follow during your volunteer experience:
- Spanish classes! With our program, you will have classes, they will be very useful and will help enrich your experience. So study and don´t skip class! • Smile! Sometimes the beneficiaries of the programs may take a bit to open up to new people, have a little patience and keep smiling and being kind and the ice will be broken soon.
- Be commited! Arrive on time, keep your schedule and notify the NGOs coordinator of any changes.
- Take initiative! Maybe you are a dancer, or have taken music lessons or cooking is your hobby. No matter what it is, it is valuable, and we and the NGOs invite you to share it with the community. You can plan a workshop or class and have a great time with the beneficiaries of the programs!
- Keep your word. Especially when working with children and youth, they will be counting on what you say to them. Let´s keep the trust strong!
- Be flexible. NGOs in Argentina are very much swimming against the current. They have wonderful staff and professionals who are committed and believe in what they do. But often, because resources are scarce, things might look a bit disorganized. Offer your help and keep the work going.
- Have an open mind and heart! This is the most important thing. Sometimes, your most appreciated gift can be a conversation, a shared lunch, a joke. Don´t be afraid of listening to people and engage in conversation. Volunteering in BA is a very profound experience and we welcome you to take part in it! Delfina Medeot