Carla volunteered at our Education project in Mexico 24 week internship from January until June 2014
What was the best part of your teaching internship in Mexico?
During my volunteer internship in Mexico I learnt so much from the other volunteers, and the beautiful children at the school. One of the best things that I learnt from my volunteer experience was an appreciation of the purity of youth. I was working everyday with children who have gone through more than I may ever know, yet they shared so much happiness and unlimited enthusiasm.
How did you like working with children?
Despite my basic Spanish, I have managed to create bonds that I will never forget. We’d get competitive in a football game; we’d celebrate birthdays; we’d get creative with wall painting; we’d laugh in group games, music and dance. We were developping a tacit and powerfull form of communication that goes beyond words. When I realised that the kids needed to feel valued, important and safe, I immediately gained their trust and affection. That meant more to me than anything else I experienced on this volunteer project.
What lessons did you learn during your volunteer internship in Mexico?
There is a lot we can learn a lot from children; they are resilient and uninhibited. They do not fear judgment or consequences in the same way that adults do – they throw themselves in completely. If you are receptive, these kids will teach you a lot! All you need is be genuine and gentle with them and they will show you unconditional love.
What would you recommend to new volunteers?
This is why my advice to anyone considering a volunteer internship with children is to come with a positive attitude. Because what you put into a project is what you will get out of it. Get prepared to work hard, be patient, and show a positive spirit both in the house and at the school. Leave your worries and routine at home and immerse yourself completely in a new culture and opportunity to make a difference.