Volunteering Abroad in Buenos Aires Argentina
Why Volunteer in Buenos Aires
When you are looking at travelling for a longer period of time it is always difficult to choose how to spend your time and where to spend the longest. Volunteering is a great way of combining both language learning and extended travel that will certainly make you feel fulfilled. Volunteering in Argentina will make you see the country from a different perspective and challenge your original viewpoints.
Here are my top reasons for volunteering abroad as opposed to just travelling:
1)You will have the opportunity to really understand Argentina’s cultural, social and economic standing. Travellers often complain that just 2 or 3 nights in one city before moving to the next really is not enough to get a good feel for the culture or an understanding of the inhabitants. Whilst as exciting as it can be hopping from destination to destination, you’ll be hard pushed to get a real understanding of the local culture or people. If you volunteer for a month or more you’ll be living and breathing the local culture. Volunteering is a great way of seeing past a country’s obvious stereotypes and seeing a place for what it really is. You’ll come away with a new perspective that is most likely a World away from the usual tourist/backpacker viewpoint.
2) You’ll integrate within the local community. Instead of just feeling like a standard backpacker who’s straight off the bus, volunteering will really help you to get to know the local people as well as their cultures and customs. Once settled you can expect to have a quick chat with anyone you recognize at the grocery store or on the colectivo. You’ll find that locals are really very warm and friendly and willing to go out of their way to help you. You’ll also undoubtedly pick up some handy tips along the way that only the locals know of. Think the best hidden empanaderia or secret hole in the wall parrilla that a tourist could never find.
3) You can still travel! Many potential volunteers are put off by the seemingly long term commitment they need to sign down for and the fact that they will feel grounded. From my experience these preconceptions couldn’t be further from the truth. In most organisations you will have at least the weekend off if not some time off during the week too, which will be perfect for a quick mini break to Iguazu or Bariloche. Many organisations will understand that you are a traveler and may offer a week off after a month’s work for example. This way you’ll get the best of both of Worlds!
4) A great way to put into practise what you have learnt in Spanish class
Now that you’ve refined your Spanish skills a little, what better way to practise the lingo than to volunteer? Volunteering will push you to talk with native speakers who may not know your mother tongue. Pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone is vital to ensure you are getting enough Spanish practise. Volunteering is a great way to test the waters with your new found Spanish skills in a friendly and kind environment.
5) You will meet people from all over the World
Whilst you will certainly be in daily contact with local people, volunteering can allow you to make friends with people from all over the World therefore exposing you to many more cultures than you would have initially imagined. You’ll be able to create meaningful and long lasting friendships that’ll be a little more permanent than those you make when passing through a hostel. You’ll all share a common bond through doing good for others and this will certainly give you some close friends who you may wish to travel with after your volunteering ends!
6) Good for the CV! A great way of really making your CV stand out is to have some work experience abroad, better yet if it’s in another language! You will gain so many skills that you can apply once back home. Employers will definitely be impressed by your ability to adapt and be flexible when working abroad. Volunteering abroad will be prove that you are internationally minded, aren’t afraid of a challenge or of stepping outside of your comfort zone.
7) Do good while you travel. If you are lucky enough to be in the privileged position of choosing where to travel to next, why not use this to improve the World a little and do some good for others. It can be incredibly rewarding to know that you are giving a little back and improving someone’s day just a little.