Announcing Jetting Around’s plans for volunteering in Ecuador with Chicago’s Greenheart Travel – and how the idea came to be.
I am no stranger to volunteer work, having contributed to business and cultural organizations in the past. However, since starting Jetting Around I had considered volunteering abroad. As I wasn’t sure where I’d like to go or which organization to choose, the idea was on the back burner for a while.
Last year, my friend Lauren of Where in the World is Lola traveled to Cambodia to assist in buildings houses. Reading about her experience made me take another look at available options and choose the best fit for me. As luck had it, the right organization came along.
I met representatives from Greenheart Travel, a Chicago-based company providing cultural exchange programs, at a local travel and language event. As I learned about their work, focused on social transformation and cross-cultural understanding, I decided to apply for a scholarship. The good news came a few days later – I would be going to Ecuador!
I chose the South American opportunity because I speak Spanish, which should allow me to connect well with the local community and jump into my role right away. Plus, after visiting Uruguay and Argentina, I was eager to see another part of the continent.
For three weeks, I will be participating in Greenheart’s Education, Care for the Elderly, and Community Development program in Lumbisí near Quito. My work will include the following:
- Assisting with daily tasks at a child learning center
- Helping teachers with classes at a vocational high school
- Harvesting food from an organic garden
- Serving meals to the elderly.
As a former teacher, I look forward to going back to the classroom! I am also excited about staying with a local host family and immersing myself in the Ecuadorian culture.
Throughout the program, I will be sharing my experiences on Greenheart’s blog, Jetting Around, and JA’s social media channels.
I hope you will follow me on the journey – and perhaps get inspired to try your hand at volunteering too. Stay tuned for more information before September 2013!
Have you traveled to volunteer? What was your experience like? Let me know in the comments!
About the Author (Author Profile)Pola Henderson is a travel writer, city explorer, expat, and event host. Traveling has been a part of her life since she was three. Pola grew up in Krakow, lived in Chicago for many years and is currently based in Paris, where she teaches Business English.
Sites That Link to this Post
- Announcing #JAchat on Twitter : Jetting Around | October 15, 2013
- Jetting Around's 3rd Anniversary Celebration : Jetting Around | February 6, 2014
- Photos from Jetting Around's 3rd Anniversary Celebration | March 24, 2014
- Win a trip to Cartagena, Colombia from LAN Airlines USA [Ends 9/4/2014] - Jetting Around | August 19, 2014
- Volunteering in Ecuador: Recap | August 29, 2014