Name: Angel Pica
Hometown: Mansfield, Texas
Nationality: United States
Degree: Environmental Science
Occupation: Compliance Analyst at Alcon Laboratories
Languages spoken: English and Spanish (beginner)
Past travel experience: Moderate
Volunteer Abroad: Forest Conservation in the Amazon, Ecuador
Duration: 1 week
Start month: April 2017
Claim to fame: Angel always takes pride in the work she does and understands that her day-to-day role at her job impacts patients and people around the world. Her current job is for a pharma company making eye medicine for people all over the world and that is very important to Angel.
Why did you decide to become a UBELONG Volunteer?
I have volunteered in the US and abroad with other organizations. I had visited the Amazon region before back in 2015 for a short volunteer trip, and fell in love with the rainforest. I wanted to return and do more conservation work, and came across UBELONG. It is not easy to find international volunteer organization that will assist a solo traveler with preparation, program, and follow up. I read through the website and felt like everything had been thought of and discussed, and saw another opportunity to visit and work in the Amazon.
What did you find most rewarding from you volunteer experience?
I really loved the learning aspect of my volunteering. Learning from Alejandro about the things he has seen in the Amazon, and how much the biodiversity has changed. I wanted to talk and learn so much more from the staff and other volunteers.
My most exciting personal memory was the day we went on the other side of the reserve to search for frogs (Rana in Spanish)! I had no idea we would get so up close and personal with poison dart frogs. They are so beautiful and hard to catch!!! Cristopher and Jonas took us out that day to an area with no trails and I saw so many amazing things that day. It was a day I will never forget!
What three pieces of advice would you give to a future UBELONG Volunteer?
- Always keep an open mind. Helping around the world can be extremely rewarding if you allow yourself to accept all the differences and new perspectives.
- Before leaving try to familiarize yourself with the many aspects of where you will be going.
- Go with a servant’s heart. Your service could impact people or the environment more than you think, so go with the intent to help in any way that you can.