“Happiness is very simple; and that is something you learn when you live in Cambodia.”


UBELONG Snapshot
Name: Cristina Rosa Montes
Age: 29
Hometown: Seville, Spain
Nationality: Spain
Languages spoken: Spanish, English (fluent), German (advanced)
Past travel experience: Avid
Volunteer Abroad: Microfinance and Income Generation in Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Duration: 6 weeks
Start month: October 2016
Claim to fame: Since Cristina was 12, and during her high school years, she attended a different language summer course abroad every summer, in the United Kingdom and in Germany. We are glad to have you on board, Cristina!

Why did you decide to become a UBELONG Volunteer?
The main reasons to become a UBELONG volunteer were the following: on the one hand, the possibility to participate in a business development project in order to apply the skills I have acquired in my career and to contribute to the social development in a needing country. On the other hand, the wonderful feedback I received from a former UBELONG volunteer in Cambodia, a volunteer that took part in the same project I did.

What is your favorite memory?
The NGO we were working with had a residential center were 13 children lived and attended school. Although our work was not directly related to the children, we used to work at the center and therefore knew them and their stories. The last day of our volunteering period, the NGO organized a party for all the staff and children and we had the pleasure of attending such event. We shared food with them, listened to music and experienced very good moments with all the people at a party that acted as a farewell party for the other volunteer and me.

What did you take from the experience?
I can’t describe in a paragraph all what the experience meant to me. But if I had to highlight something, it would be the people I met working for the NGO (Mengsry, Mai and Sreng), the good moments I spent with the other volunteer, Antony, and all what I could learn from Cambodia and Khmer people. Happiness is very simple; and that is something you learn to be aware of when you live in a country like Cambodia for a while.

In a sentence or less, best packing advice?
Keep it simple and try to adapt to local clothing customs.

Related post:
Meet Tyler Walz, a grad from Boston University, who volunteered with UBELONG in the business project in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.