You arrive in a Central American country for your Progressio ICS placement, full of enthusiasm. After stepping off the plane into the hot humid air, you have to pass through customs. The officer says something you don’t quite understand but you show your passport and smile, and before you know it you have officially arrived. Before you pick up your baggage, you realise all the complementary airline coffees have left you bursting. Seeing the nearest staff member, you ask where the toilet is - and smack head first into the language barrier.
You are here
Want a deeper insight into what an ICS placement looks like? Read the amazing blogs written by our past and present volunteers. Enjoy the journey!
I know what you’re thinking, aahhh here we go again…, another boring blog about climate change or gender equality from Progressio HQ. Well think again. Because they let the boiz loose on the keyboard and we are about to delve into the true story behind Cycle 16 El Bramadero.
Arriving at Villa De San Antonio, the teams were warmly welcomed by their host families. Our expectations were exceeded by the lively environment and kindness of the community. We came to realise that life in the next eight weeks will be very different to the UK.
We are told time over time again that the use of plastics is bad for the environment, but there are other issues that arise from this other than me droning on about carbon dioxide for a whole blog. Plastics enter our oceans from ways other than from direct disposal - I have seen a lot of direct littering in waterways in El Bramadero - I want to raise the awareness of other ways they enter the water system, and how they affect our world.
In order to become an overseas volunteer with the International Citizen Service (ICS), one of the first steps is to fundraise a given target. A very common response I heard during this process was “Oh cool you’re going to be a volunteer, but what are you actually doing?” At the time of fundraising, I didn’t have the details of the placement I would be on. All I knew was that I will be volunteering in Honduras with the aim to make a difference in the fight against poverty.
It is fair to say that Parcila and Nicaragua as a whole is very different to the UK in a number of ways. Having spent over a week in our new community and homes, now is a good time to address how Parcila actually compares to the UK and to our expectations and preconceptions, with perspectives from each of the UK volunteers.
El amor y calidez humana que encontramos en la comunidad es grandioso y nos anima cada día a seguir adelante trabajando en pro del desarrollo de Parcila para ver un cambio sostenible a lo largo del tiempo. Nos hemos organizado en equipos de trabajo y hemos coordinado con las familias beneficiarias la entrega de 477 plantas frutales (limón, naranja, mandarina, mango, nancite, mamon, naranja agria y tamarindo) con estas plantas estamos contribuyendo a la reforestación de Parcila y seguridad alimentaria de las familias.
Día lunes, en esta semana hemos logrado alcanzar un propósito grande, ya que siempre a primera hora recibimos la clase de inglés para practicar un poco y entender el idioma de los británicos. Además, visitamos una familia para trabajar en un huerto familiar.
Día martes, trabajamos en varios grupos y organizamos una recolección de basura en la comunidad para mejorar el ambiente de esta.
Progressio and Glasswing can be considered grassroots development charities who focus on working within communities to try and equip them with both the physical materials, but also the confidence and knowledge to tackle the key issues that they themselves have highlighted.
Los participantes del ciclo 16 comentamos cada una de las experiencias que hemos vivido en las semanas anteriores donde nos sentimos muy activos, participativos y unidos como grupos, cada voluntario/a realizó cada una de las actividades que les corresponde con mucho entusiasmo y compromiso.