A Reflection of my Volunteer Life on Volunteer Day
Guatemala — Uniterra
Because I choose my profession at age nine (and not even for a day have I changed my mind) I had many years to learn, work and volunteer in the environment and biology areas.
I started at sixteen, helping pack and plant trees in a greenhouse dedicated to school programs. And the same year, I participated all the weekends in the Cordoba (Argentina) Zoo’s education and animal keeper program.
After that last year of high school, I started my Biology program. By this time, I was a member and volunteer of all the environmental groups in my city. We even founded one named Eco Fauna, with classmates and a veterinarian friend. I was for many years, an active member of the Volunteer Game Rangers of the Ministry of Natural Resources. We spend whole nights in the countryside checking any illegal activity relating to wildlife with the help of the police and the other rangers. At that time, I was the youngest member, and the only women.
In 1999, I moved to Canada and started a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Geography. Sundays were dedicated to volunteer at the Bird Rehabilitation Center in Hudson. We had to clean cages, feed the chicks, and in happier days, release the ones that could fly.
All through this time, I volunteered short term in many organizations (from one day to a few weeks) including organic farms in Italy, a monkey refuge in South Africa, schools and animal shelters in India, and for many events in Montreal too. In 2005, I participated in the Conference on Climate Change in the information desk, I meet many interesting people and I could participate in some of the informal activities.
It is important for me to do some volunteer activity in my travels as a small retribution of time and money for the amazing experiences, and the love and help I get from people all over the world.
In 2015, in Guatemala, and after many years trying to be an international cooperant, I am a full time and a professional volunteer for CECI Canada.
The experience is being extremely positive. I am working with a passionate team feeling part of it. I am learning about the country and the culture. I can talk about the subjects that I am most passionate about, develop workshops and activities; write articles, even volunteer a little in other groups.
Being a volunteer is all about feeling useful, without wanting nothing in exchange…nothing more that enriching our own life through great learning experiences, friendships, memories, and being able to use our time doing what we love the most.
Happy volunteer day to all the inspirational people that give time and efforts, especially to my colleagues from CECI Canada, from which I am learning and sharing so much.