Jose’s Volunteer Experience in Thailand – Thai Legacy

Posted by: Jose P.

My experience began on New Year’s Eve 2017, when I was sharing drinks and food with my family and friends in a beach house close to my city in Panama. Then, because of a friend’s surprise message, I discovered that he was in another part of the world! His message showed a sunny day, and I felt I had to ask him where he was! He said, “In Thailand, doing a volunteer activity with this organization called GoEco.” My first reaction at that moment was to ask him about all the details!

It was a real struggle with my parents to get the permission to travel from Panama to Thailand because I’m underage, so they were afraid to let me go that far (more than 40 hours travel time). I booked everything 2 weeks before my start day. The adventure I had at the  Learn, Volunteer, and Travel project truly began after arriving at the airport, tired and confused.

I met another girl from my same program right at the airport and we became really close friends. Then in Singburi I met a Dutch volunteer who also became a great friend. I can say that we barely separated the entire trip! Then, I met the rest of the volunteers in the guesthouse and they were awesome. The group was from different countries and cultures around the world, and made me feel like I was in the warmest and kindest airport on Earth.

The food was great, original, and traditional. If you like spicy food, you’re going to enjoy Thailand so much! Also, our coordinator Phil was always the best resource in any situation. He’s always very nice and helpful. The rooms were also very comfortable, but make sure you bring a blanket – it’s cold at night!

I want to close this blog with what motivated me to travel to Thailand. First, it was the smiles on the kids’ faces. That message from my friend was unique, and motivated me to travel for two days, to help and to create more smiles in the school. Now, back home, the best memories that I keep in my head are my new friends, unique places, and kind people from Thailand. But the highlight memory is definitely the legacy that I gave to the kids, and even bigger was the legacy that they gave to me.