#Interview Series: Leire
Hello! Welcome to this new interview!
Hello! Thanks for inviting me! It is nice meeting you.
Could you tell us more about your background? Are you studying/working?
I have a degree in Teaching (education), but I finished four years ago. Since then, I have been travelling abroad and now I am back in Spain.
How did you get to know 1,2 Tree?
So, I got a friend who was doing a volunteering experience in Nicaragua. I think it was five years ago, and she already had an experience with this organization, so when I started looking for NGOs offering volunteering experiences, I asked her for a recommendation and so that is how I became a 1,2 Tree volunteer.
How long did you volunteer with the organization? And Where?
I went there last year and I stayed almost two months: I went there at the end of October and I stayed until Christmas. I was in Mexico!
What was your daily life as an educational volunteer?
I worked four days: from Monday to Thursday. Usually, we had from three to four lessons in the morning, in the public school and then we would switch to the boarding school because there were two schools. We used to go first to the boarding school indeed, stay there with the kins and also do some games.
How many volunteers were in the learning center with you?
We were five or six volunteers and we really had a good team! We used to go to different places and that really created a cool atmosphere to live in.
Which is the best memory you have of your experience there?
Nice question! I would say the day that we painted a tree on the wall: basically, we painted a wall and the kids had colored hands and it was amazing! Everyone was happy, singing and having fun. I really have a good memory of that day!
Oh wow! That seems very nice. I knew also other volunteers, first Totó told me that same memory.
Would you say that our volunteering work had an impact on the community/kids?
Yes, I really think so and I thought I also learned a lot from the kids and the local people back there.
Yeah, I can understand. Anyhow, sometimes there are many controversies regarding international volunteering activities, like programs where you need to pay a lot of fees. 123 is one of the few that you can trust for this!
I didn’t pay anything and this is the reason why I decided to start this project with 123. When you have to volunteer you are already ‘paying back’ I think. Of course, we bought some presents for the kids, but I never had to pay a fee. I knew what my money was for (e.g. food and accommodation costs) and my flight which I personally paid. I organized myself to book the ticket to go there.
What would you recommend to future volunteers who want to start this adventure?
I would say that it is an amazing experience! You will never forget it and I think to live the full experience to really understand it. You need to live it in person because there are no words to explain it.
I really recommend volunteering with 1,2 Tree. I really felt welcome when I went there. They explained everything, so I knew how was the project like. At the start, it’s gonna be hard, don’t think you’re coming here for holidays and you’re not gonna work! They didn’t try to persuade me or else. So I would say that they are very clear and try to solve any problem. So if you have any doubts they would be happy to explain everything you need. I am really happy now.