Many of you, just like my old self, may think that is a waste of time and money to go to a different country to do community service/volunteer work. For a long time I was in the dilemma of going abroad to help out in an NGO, or staying here in Mexico, since my own country and my own people have so many needs.
Still with those thoughts, I had the chance to travel around the globe for a year, with an organization called Up with People, where I was able to do volunteer work in 3 different continents and in over 10 countries.
If you ask me if it was a good idea,
I will immediately tell you IT WAS!
It was actually the best thing I could have done. Why? Because before starting I was only considering the things I would be doing for others and the help I was going to provide, but never thought of the lessons that were there for me, the people I was going to meet, and the places and challenges I was going to face.
When I talk about lessons, I mean not only the ones you learn from the “beneficiaries” of the project, but also while spending time with people from other backgrounds and other cultures you get to understand what they do in other places and how they do it, how they are solving social issues, how they are dealing with them.
I got to evaluate if my previous knowledge about community problems was enough (of course it wasn’t) and I got to see that I could be doing MORE!
So if you, like myself have doubts or questions, don’t hesitate and do it. If you feel like talking a bit more about it, you can contact me and I’ll be happy to help you!!