Name: Luz Olid Diaz
Hometown: London, UK
Languages spoken: Spanish and English (fluent)
University: Pablo de Olavide
Past travel experience: Avid
Volunteer Abroad: Assisting at an After-School Center in Cusco, Peru
Duration: 3 weeks
Start month: July 2015
Claim to fame: Back at home in Spain, Luz has participated in several theatres, painting contests and entertainment at children’s birthday parties. Always putting a smile on peoples’ faces, great job Luz, and great to have you in the UBELONG Family!
Why did you decide to become a UBELONG Volunteer?
My main reason to undertake a volunteering experience was to give back to society, helping those who need it. I wanted to contribute my bit to this society and I couldn’t think a better way to do it.
What is your favorite memory?
One day a 10 years old girl taking care of her little brother came to the school. She was the older of four siblings and she usually took care of all of them as well as cleaning the house and washing their clothes. One day one volunteer asked her if she could ask for something what it would be. She said that she wanted some shoes. While we were expecting her to say some chocolates or dolls, she just said some shoes. One of the projects I was participating consisted on collecting clothes, shoes, food, etc. The last day before I finished my experience, we went to every house and distributed the collected items. I have never seen somebody as happy as this girl when we gave her a new pair of shoes. That day, we have a school trip and lots of the children were wearing their new clothes and all of them were really happy and excited.
What did you take from the experience?
My volunteer experience gave me a lesson about the world. Everything looks really easy in our developed world, but when you get immerse in this experience, you find a really hard reality. We think we are aware, but we don’t really know what it is. This experience has open my eyes and taught me new principles. But what I really enjoyed was introducing myself into Peruvian society. I have learned Peruvians are incredible people who work really hard to survive and even when situations are difficult they keep smiling. Problems will get solve, just live!
What advice would you tell a future volunteer?
Be open-minded and leave prejudices at home. Don’t pretend standards are the same that back in home.
What you are going to experience is not probably what you would expect, but as a volunteer try to understand the people and their environment and although is not easy try to introduce yourself in that new culture and keep learning everyday of your experience. Help to your fellow, keep learning and enjoy the experience.