Name: Amanda Edgerton
Hometown: Aztec, New Mexico
Nationality: United States
University: Colorado College
Languages spoken: English and Spanish (beginner)
Past travel experience: Moderate
Volunteer Abroad: Forest Conservation and Sustainable Farming in the Galapagos, Ecuador
Duration: 2 weeks
Start month: June 2016
Claim to fame: Amanda has been a teacher at McCoy Elementary for twenty four years! Working with so many children from completely different backgrounds has definitely taught her true work ethic, and to push herself farther than she ever thought possible. Amanda has been a real team player and leader in her school.
Why did you decide to become a UBELONG Volunteer?
It never would have occurred to me to be a volunteer. I love to see new things in the safety of my own country. As a family of four, we loved traveling around the United States seeing new places. We raised our children in a small town in New Mexico. We wanted them to see different environments and to enjoy new adventures. So, I shouldn’t have been surprised that my daughter, now a junior in college, wanted me to go visit the Galapagos Islands with her. Basically, my 20 year old made me volunteer. She had figured out how it was an affordable way to see something way beyond the USA. Originally, I agreed because I didn’t want to disappoint her. I wanted her to continue thinking that I someone she believes I am. I was truly nervous for months! Thank goodness she talked me into it. It was an amazing trip that we will never forget.
What was your impact on your volunteer project?
The project was basically manual labor which include planting and cleaning up fields. It felt good to help those amazing people. I wanted to help the community and give back to the people in the community. However, they ended up giving me way more that I gave them.
What were your major challenges?
The living conditions were a little uncomfortable to me, but I knew that would be the case. These conditions were just different than my own and a good thing to experience. Our group had about 15 volunteers and we had great conversations. I did enjoy going to town on the weekends for a hot shower and a little privacy.
What is your favorite memory?
I will always remember this great adventure with my daughter. One day we went for a walk and got caught in a major rain storm. We sat under a tree to wait it out. We were talking and have never laughed so hard in our lives. We also got to sit on a beach with sea lions all around us, enjoying Mother Nature at its finest.
Meet Anne Weston, the Assistant Head at Heathwood Hall High School, who led her students to volunteer in the Galapagos, Ecuador at the Forest Conservation and Sustainable Farming project.