Name: Hugo Herrera
Hometown: Segovia, Spain
Nationality: France and Spain
Languages spoken: French (native), Spanish (fluent), English (fluent)
University: IE University
Volunteer Abroad: Teaching English in Hanoi, Vietnam
Duration: 3 weeks
Start month: July 2018
Why did you decide to become a UBELONG Volunteer?
I first heard of UBELONG through a close friend of mine who joined the education program in Cusco, Peru. She fondly described her stay there and her experience as a volunteer. This was the starter point to my decision of volunteering abroad.
What impact did you make on your volunteer project?
I’d say my biggest impact on my volunteer project was when I decided to teach my students about human rights, which they surprisingly did not know much about at first. As every lesson, at first, the kids didn’t really know much about them. Nonetheless, as the class went on they got really engaged with the topic and shared their thoughts and ideas about which rights should be part of the chart. Not only did they debate about their ideas but by the end of the class, they were creating posters promoting them.
Little did I know teaching this topic would make me feel that blessed and fulfilled. The latter was one of the best moments of my work. It actually made me feel useful and blessed, as I realised it would have a direct impact toward those kids’ lives.
How did you grow personally during your volunteer trip?
Because of multiple reasons that came at once, the few months preceding my volunteering abroad had been pretty tough for me. I had essentially felt like a child lost in a crowd – not knowing where I was nor what I should do with my life. The day of my departure for Hanoi, Vietnam marked a milestone for myself, as it meant a new beginning for myself and my mindset. Little did I know this experience would be nowhere what I expected.
I feel so grateful to have been given this amazing opportunity. I personally believe that service is the rent we pay for room on Earth, and I’ve never felt more alive and myself than by getting out of my comfort zone. This experience not only taught me skills such as pose and patience but most importantly to stop talking myself out of the things I really wanna do. It made me realise that it is only by doing, being and taking action that one will evolve.
In a sentence or less, how would sum up your volunteer experience?
Going volunteering in Vietnam was so far one of the most fulfilling experiences I had!