Get to know Maddy, from the US

Written by Maddy Spivack
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Maddy works once a week in the home for children as part of her Service Learning class in Buenos Aires

My name is Maddy Spivack and I’m a junior (third year) Psychology major and Latin American Studies minor at Davidson College in North Carolina. I have been spending time once a week at Pintas Lunas home in Olivos. I decided to come to Buenos Aires because I had many friends from Argentina while I was growing up. Additionally, I wanted to challenge myself by living in a big city. Before going to the project, I didn’t know anything about the neighborhood, and our class was told we would be working in villas that were affected by poverty. Because of this information, I definitely expected the neighborhood to be different. Olivos is a very nice and seemingly affluent neighborhood. My favorite part about the project is getting to see the kids every week. Playing with them and talking to them is often the highlight of my week. The hardest part of the project is the language barrier, because kids talk very fast and are already hard to understand in English! From this experience I feel that I’ve had my perception of Buenos Aires change to include a broader range of socioeconomic status. Because I live in Recoleta and come from an affluent area in Maryland, I don’t often see the inside of homes that are very different from my own. This experience has also made me less shy, because my role at the project is relatively unstructured, so I am forced to come out of my shell more. To me, volunteering means choosing to devote your time and active full effort to a cause/project without the motivation of getting paid or any personal material benefit. 

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