“The rewards came in the form of small victories.”


UBELONG Snapshot
Name: Taylor Trummel
Age: 22
Hometown: San Diego, California
Nationality: United States
University: San Diego State University
Degree: Political Science and Social Science
Languages spoken: English, Spanish (advanced), German (beginner)
Past travel experience: Avid
Volunteer Abroad: Assisting at an After-School Center in Cusco, Peru
Duration: 11 weeks
Start month: May 2017
Claim to fame: Taylor is a second time UBELONGer who previously volunteered in Vietnam. She has also been to 26 different countries in Europe, Asia, Latin America, and North America. Welcome back, Taylor! 🙂

Why did you decide to become a UBELONG Volunteer?
I chose to volunteer with UBELONG again after I had had such a great experience after my first time volunteering in Vietnam. Volunteering, in contrast to tourism, offered the opportunity to immerse myself in Peru for a more long term experience living and working with locals.

What did you find most rewarding from you volunteer experience?
I found my work with the toddlers to be very rewarding. They beamed with sweetness and their smiles were contagious. In particular, on my last day when I was leaving and saying goodbye, the kids essentially dog piled me with hugs and kisses.

I also found the progress I made learning Spanish to be very rewarding. I took private Spanish classes in addition to living with a host family. The rewards came in the form of small victories, but successfully communicating in real conversations boosted my motivation and pride while learning.

What three pieces of advice would you give to a future UBELONG Volunteer?
I recommend incoming volunteers to stay for as long as they can, take language classes, and enjoy a unique aspect of everyday.

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Related post:
Meet Alexandra Gutierrez, a Cornell University undergrad, who volunteered with UBELONG at the caregiving projects in Cusco, Peru.