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work and travel

Volunteering in Ecuador

story of a lucky helper

Out trainee Leonard studies in a dual system and spends his practical part in our company. We did a short interview with Leonard and asked him about his stay abroad in South America.

How did you come up with the idea of volunteering?

What should I do after school? I had no idea and decided to take a break. I always wished to learn Spanish and discover a new culture. The travel bug got me! How could my dream become reality? Gap Year, work & travel or volunteering?

After a short research I discovered a foundation in Ecuador which takes care of street children. That’s exactly what I have been looking for! Everything went really quick. Contacting my guest family, travel preparations, visa, travel insurance….

What made your travel so special?

The jump in at the deep end was not too difficult for me. My guest family provided a new, unfamiliar but very lovely home. My Spanish skills improved rapidly and I developed from being a simple kitchen helper to an advisor for the children. I helped them with homework, we played and laughed a lot together. This experience really had an impact on my personality. It strengthened my need of social engagement; I look forward to visit my new friends in Latin America again.

With two other volunteers, Chris and Isabela, I discovered the country of many faces. Two hours heading east with the car, from my home in San Rafael near Quito, to reach the jungle.  Within three hours we reached the Andes in the west. In the north we had a beautiful vista of the Cotopaxi, an active volcano and the second highest summit in Ecuador, reaching a height of nearly 5,900 meters. Climate in the south is really hot and humid due to the different heights.

What are you doing today?

I wouldn’t have missed that time. The investment was really worth it. Today I use my Spanish skills and the experiences I got abroad as a volunteer in my company. By the way, international experience was one of the requirements to get the job.


Webinar about volunteering

In my webinars I talk about my stay abroad as a volunteer in Ecuador. In addition, I am giving helpful tips about the to dos prior to departure. This way the start in your own adventure will be easier.

Register here and take part from your couch.

Leonard Prüfer, Trainee International Management

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