Interview with Lena, Volunteer at the Kindergarten

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Kindergarten in Buenos Aires Kindergarten in Buenos Aires Lena Martorana

Volunteer Lena, from New Zeland, share with us her volunteering experience in the kindergarten and tells us what she's learned living in the city of Buenos Aires.

Tell me about yourself, and your position in your project? 

I’m eighteen years old and volunteering over in Buenos Aires during my university break.  My project is with a kindergarten on the edge of the city, where I am five days a week to assist the teachers from 9am-12.30pm. Everyday when I arrive in the morning I play with the children either outside on the play area or in their classroom, helping to keep them entertained until lunch is ready at 11. I then help to feed them lunch and put them down for their nap at midday when I leave. 

Why did you decide to begin volunteering? And Why Buenos Aires?

I have always been an active volunteer back home within local organizations and I have also visited and helped to raise money for some international organizations in Asia. Its something I’m very passionate about, so I knew I would want to incorporate it somehow into my end of year trip. I chose Buenos Aires because I’d never been to South America before and it was where I was able to find a community based project to volunteer with, which is what I wanted to do. 

What have you enjoyed most about your time in Buenos Aires?

I’ve only been here a week so far but, with exception to spending time and playing with the children at the kindergarten, I’ve really enjoyed walking around the streets of Buenos Aires and seeing the colourful buildings and wall art everywhere.  

What have you enjoyed most about volunteering within Voluntario Global?

It has been very nice to meet the other volunteers and travel to spend time at their projects to see what else is going on. It’s been amazing to experience both the locals and the international volunteers working together for the same collective goal.  

Has anything surprised you during your time in Buenos Aires, personally or professionally? 

I wasn’t expecting politics to play as big as a role as it does. I walk past large protests and marches most days on my way back from my project and I never fails to amaze me just how many people get involved. 

What experiences will you take away with you?

Just all the little things! Like seeing how happy the children get when you’re blowing bubbles or learning how to plant different fruits and vegetables at the gardening project. 

Do you have any advice for volunteers planning on volunteering with Voluntario Global? And traveling to Buenos Aires?

Pick a project that you’re passionate about! It’s important that you enjoy what you’re doing and want to be there. 

See as much an Buenos Aires as you can, there’s so many lovely places and it’s worth seeing all of them. Don’t be afraid to ask for directions - everyone is really nice and happy to help. Oh and remember a rain jacket! It can get really hot but it can also rain a lot some days. 

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