I think that the work as a Progressio ICS volunteer with ADES (Asociación de Desarrollo Económico y Social de Santa Marta) is very interesting and also important because we are learning many new things, we are able to have a cultural exchange, and much more.

Sometimes we have challenges as a group, but they are nothing very serious.  We are able to solve problems as a team.  They are things that always come up in a work environment. We also have a lot of fun together and get along quite well.

Rock chain with Tom on his way up

During this time, I have learnt a lot of new things.  I have learned how to make a stone wall and natural mixtures.  Our work is based on natural building, through which I have learnt to make bio-blocks and other things.

As a part of the experience, we teach our language to the UK volunteers, which is really nice. We are learning a lot of words in English and they are learning a lot in Spanish. The UK volunteers learn very quickly. In the beginning, it was hard for us to communicate with each other, but now things are better. Now the communication is quite good with our fellow UK volunteers. The national volunteers already knew each other, but we weren’t friends. Now with our daily experiences we are all friends and get along quite well, we work as a team, and we support each other. When we don’t know how to do something, those who do know how to do it support the others so that things turn out well. I hope that things continue this way, and that we continue our teamwork so as to continue doing good work and keep building these lovely friendships.

Written by ICS volunteer María del Carmen Beltrán Ascencio