I chose to volunteer for Argentine NGO Voluntario Global because I’d always wanted to work for a non-profit organization, and I had already fallen in love with Buenos Aires when I briefly visited in 2014. The organization offered a Communication program where I could use my multi-media and editorial skills to help recruit volunteers from all over the world, and in turn, make a difference in the lives of many underprivileged Argentinians. I wanted to immerse myself in places that I was ignorant to when I was a tourist and expose myself to a rough way of life I’ve had the luxury to be unfamiliar to. I wanted to help in any way I could, and I wanted to learn.
I joined the Communications team during a time of much action: every week we’d visit 2-3 projects, where we’d organize an interview with each director of the project, take video footage and photos, and gather information to write an article about the place and people. Since I spoke Spanish on the team, I went to every project as a source of communication, where I facilitated the interviews and translated the videos to include subtitles.
The protrusive low-class neighborhoods around the city were home to the eight projects I visited during my 10 weeks in Buenos Aires, and each of them contained the most caring and selfless people I met during my experience. Some built a kindergarten from nothing in a woman’s one-room home, others ran an English school in a back yard, and other individuals helped with the rehabilitation of patients with mental health disorders.
I saw places that I never would have thought to visit, talked to inspiring individuals I would have never met otherwise, and spoon-fed babies, a daunting task I’d never done in my life. I met the world in the Voluntario Global house – kind people from Columbia all the way to Singapore.
I loved speaking to passionate community members about their projects that I was promoting and seeing them come to life and continue to prosper with the help of international volunteers, VG resources, and community support.
I recommend Voluntario Global’s Communication program for the open-minded travelers interested in community development, and for those who want to use their digital content creation skills to help promote a diverse range of important projects that help low-class neighborhoods in the city.
I suggest that you come armed with basic/intermediate Spanish or take the two-week intense Spanish class offered (if you are a quick learner) to make your time here easier and more rewarding. The people who work in the projects do not speak English and our coordinators prefer to have meetings in Spanish.The Voluntario Global team just celebrated its 10-year anniversary and continues to expand every year. I’m happy I was a part (and a face) of the many accomplishments and successes of the non-profit organization that helps underprivileged families and low-income community members be seen, heard, and be proud to be Argentinian.