Stefan's second Home
Volunteer Work 2015
In November 2015, my girlfriend Janna and I left for Chile. We went to work as volunteers in Santiago de Chile and at the same time, to get to know this fascinating country. Since my dad is Chilean I have family there who could help us and answer alsmost all my questions. Only one thing they could not really help us with: The placement at a volunteer project. For that, we turned to Chile Inside.
Because we travelled as a couple, our placement was quite a challenge but Chile Inside found a solution for both of us and we started volunteering together at a children’s home. Janna helped in the girl´s group and I in the the boy´s group. We started our stay in Chile visiting the more remote destinations in Chile: The Atacama Desert with salt lakes, volcanoes and the Valle de la luna ("the valley of the moon") in the north was our first destination. You really feel like standing on the moon there! A little further south, in La Serena we saw dolphins, seawolves, penguins and just enjoyed the sun and the sea.
Down south in remote Patagonia, we packed our food for five days and went for a camping and hiking adventure at the Torres del Paine National Park, with it´s really breathtaking views.
After celebrating News Year´s Eve in Valparaíso with absolutely stunning fireworks all over the old port city and the bay, we started our work the children´s home in Santiago. Janna had already some experience with social work, so she did well with the children quite quickly. Only her lack of Spanish skills was a little problem. My first day was harder because the boys played quite rough. Fortunately, I soon managed to get along better and Janna improved her Spanish skills every day.
During our volunteer time, our weekends were still busy, as there is a lot to visit in and around Santiago. There is the port town Valparaiso full of graffiti and street art, Viña del Mar with wonderful beaches and Talca with the beautiful “Siete Tazas” Nation al Park, to name just a few highlicgts. .Working a whole life at a children´s home seems very difficult and challenging to me. On the one hand, because it can be stressful and nerve-racking, when the children just do not respond as expected and do just the opposite thing you ask them to do. On the other hand, some of them have already lived really tough and sad experiences at a very young age, which made me often very worried and sad after work.Nevertheless, in the end I amglad to have decided to volunteer at the children´s home, because this challenging task made me widen my horizon and grow as a person. We also got to know the warm Chileancordiality We gained a lot of new experiences in terms of culture, big city life and, above all, to be without the support of our parents.
What I really like about Chile is that there is something for everyone. If you are more of an athlete you can do surfing, rafting or canoeing, or climb volcanoes, you can do so. If you like it more tranquile, you can as enjoy nature in amazing National Parks such as Torres del Paine. Or just relax and enjoy the 4300 kilometers of coastline with a rich selection of fish and seafood.
Are you curious now? Here you can find more about the information on volunteer projects in Chile.