Morgan Hoder - General Care Projects in Mexico
When I arrived in Guadalajara, I have to admit, I was a little nervous. A strange new country where I didn't know anybody and knew only a few words like hello, thank you and goodbye in Spanish.
I was greeted at the airport by Projects Abroad employee Carlos. He bought me some coffee while we waited for another volunteer to arrive. Carlos and I talked during the hour we waited and he made me feel very welcomed while he eased some of my fears and told me about where I would live and the placement I would work in.
My host family was amazing. They were the sweetest people and made me feel like part of the family in no time. My host mom Marina worked during the days, but would always come home, make dinner and spend time with the family. My host brother Oscar was one of the coolest people I have ever met. He was like the big brother I never had.
Monday through Friday I worked at the Casa Juan Diaz which is the all boys orphanage from 12:00 - 4:15. During this time, the other volunteers and I would help the boys with their tarea (homework) and then we would play different games. The best one we had was right before I left; we had a dance contest. We set up some computer speakers and an iPod and played R&B; the boys had so much fun dancing.
Right after I started working at the orphanage, we took a trip to the turtle camp with the boys that were very well behaved. We stayed for the weekend and had an awesome time. The boys had so much fun playing in the sand. They liked to bury each other and have sand fights. They were so amazed with the turtles and liked to watch the ones that were in the tanks.
At 5:00 every work day, I had Spanish lessons. The funny thing is that I took Spanish for two years in high school and didn't really learn anything, then I took Spanish with Javier for one month, and learned basic Spanish. It was also great working at the orphanage because the boys helped me practice my Spanish.
I had the time of my life when I went to Mexico. The only thing I would change if I could go back and do it again would be to make my trip longer.
This volunteer story may include references to working in or with orphanages. Find out more about Projects Abroad's current approach to volunteering in orphanages and our focus on community-based care for children.