“Take advantage of every opportunity!”


UBELONG Snapshot
Name: Margo Pelayo
Age: 22
Hometown: Eugene, Oregon
Nationality: United States
University: Gonzaga University
Degree: International Relations And Spanish
Languages spoken: English and Spanish (intermediate)
Past travel experience: Intermediate
Volunteer Abroad: Teaching English in Quito, Ecuador
Duration: 4 weeks
Start month: January 2017
Claim to fame: Margo is a second time UBELONGer! Late 2016 she volunteered at a shelter for girls in Cusco, Peru. Thank you, Margo 🙂

Why did you decide to become an UBELONG Volunteer?
After graduating college I didn’t want to go straight into a long term job and something that I have always been passionate about is traveling. I choose to become a UBELONG volunteer because it allowed me the opportunity to get to know a new country, but more importantly interact with people that actually lived there and understand their way of life.

What was your impact as a volunteer?
I worked as an English teacher and my impact was combining learning English with activities that the students enjoyed. My students loved playing soccer and a few times a week I would take the class outside and we would practice vocabulary or sentence structure while doing penalty kicks. By combining games with learning my students became more engaged and excited about the subject.

What were your major challenges?
A major challenged that I faced was adjusting to everyone’s level of English. I taught a variety of different grade levels and in every classroom the students were at different levels of English. After spending more time with the students I was able to make a lesson plan that challenged the higher level students and was a slow enough pace that the lower level students could participate in as well.

In a sentence or less, best advice for fitting into the local culture.
APROVECHAR! Try to take advantage of every opportunity and be open to anything that the local culture has to offer.

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Related post:
Meet Suzette Wafford-Turner, a University of Southern Mississippi pre-Med, who volunteered with UBELONG in Quito, Ecuador on the Medical Assistance project.