Name: Michelle Weiss
Hometown: Hermosa Beach, California
Nationality: United States
University: Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara
Degree: Doctorate in Family Medicine
Occupation: Medical Consultant
Languages spoken: English, Spanish (fluent) and Portuguese (beginner)
Past travel experience: Avid
Volunteer Abroad: Caring for children with disabilities in Cusco, Peru
Duration: 1 week
Start month: June 2016
Claim to fame: Michelle and her son, Gavin, traveled to the Galapagos where they became Rescue certified divers before volunteering in Cusco. UBELONGers are the best!
Why did you decide to become a UBELONG Volunteer?
I decided to become UBELONG volunteer because they had many international programs around the world. I wanted to work with children with disabilities with my 16 year old son. We had a trip to the Galapagos Islands to dive and UBELONG had a program in Cusco, Peru that helped with disabled children. Ecuador and Peru are bordering countries so we decided on UBELONG. That was after I researched UBELONG. The testimonials were exceptional and the price was right. Also, we were looking for a 1 week volunteer experience. UBELONG is very organized compared to other volunteer companies we have volunteered with.
What advice would you tell a future volunteer?
Do not be shy. Just dive into the work. You will make many new friends among the other UBELONG volunteers and in your work. If you have not traveled much, Cusco is a safe and beautiful city. In our program we worked an average of 5 hours per day and it went by fast as there is so much to do!
What is your favorite memory?
Volunteering with non-verbal disabled children teaches you a lot about love. My favorite memory is the smiles from all the children that you could tell appreciated our help.
In a sentence or less, how would you sum up your experience?
Exceptional and way worth it!