I decided to volunteer in Spain for two weeks with GoEco at the Education and Development in Valencia project. Before I knew it, I was on my way from Manchester Airport to Valencia! The weather was amazing, and my organizer Martha was at the train station as soon as I arrived and she was super lovely! She took me to the apartment (which was fully furnished and clean, with two bathrooms and a television in each room and a fully furnished kitchen) I’d be staying at with two other lovely American girls. I was greeted with a warm welcome and straight away they told me there’d be a tour that same day so I could get to know other volunteers and people my age which was really exciting. The tour was of Colon, and it’s THE most beautiful place, it’s amazing for shopping but also has some beautiful historical landmarks like an old cathedral and there’s are so many amazing restaurants etc.
The next day was the day I started my project working with young children in a disadvantaged area in Valencia, which I am SO glad I picked. The children were so cute and as soon as I got to the school they ran to me and hugged me! I helped them out with maths and English everyday and played lots of games with them and it made them really happy. I think it was really important to help give those children some one-on-one attention with English and maths and they really appreciated it.
I also helped take them on trips to local parks etc and I used to go there to play basketball with some other volunteers I made friends with as Martha organised a trip to a really cool authentic Spanish tapas restaurant. I met loads of lovely people there and we talked about our experiences, and they were doing other projects so it was so valuable to hear why they wanted to volunteer.
I also went on a trip to KFC and the beach with the volunteers. It was a trip I don’t regret taking! It’s the best if it’s your first time travelling alone, because there is 24 hour support and the mentors are so lovely and will pick up the phone whenever you need to speak to them. It was an amazing experience helping these kids and having fun with them, and also having a taste of amazing Spanish culture and living independently with roommates. It’s definitely something I would recommend for students in summer or holiday breaks. They also wrote me a certificate which was great for my CV and for my university career. Thank you so much GoEco!