At Spanish Gurus, we’ve already mentioned the numerous advantages of language immersion and studying Spanish abroad. What we have not yet discussed is the possibility of learning Spanish abroad though volunteering.
How does it work? It’s fairly simple. Instead of travelling and spending most of your time sightseeing and inside a classroom, you work in local communities, often with unprivileged groups. It’s a way of making the world a little better while you’re also improving your Spanish.
If you search for volunteering opportunities, there isn’t a shortage of organizations in Spain and Latin America where you can get started. Some of these opportunities (namely in Spain, through the European Volunteering Service) are reserved for young people, but there are more and more opportunities popping up for globe trotters.
A volunteer at Sarayiy described Trujillo as “a very pretty city with stately colonial casonas; an assortment of markets and their colourful produce; an array of small, economic local restaurants and locals who are curious of all foreigners. Remarkable archaeological sites are nearby, as is the beach where surf is rumoured to have emerged, and if one travels inland they can enjoy the spectacular nature of the highlands. Of course much further inland you come across the amazon and dense jungle.”
Throughout your stay with Sayariy, you will contribute to the community in various ways. They run a learning center, so you can apply to be a sport’s teacher, an art’s teacher or an English teacher. You’ll live with a local family (in a bedroom of your own, of course!) and possibly with another volunteer, so you’ll have to engage with the locals and truly experience daily life. Here's the testimony of Kelsey, a volunteer from Oregon, USA:
The program also offers 2 hours of Spanish classes every week at your accommodation or at their office. If you feel that’s not enough for you, you can look for local tutors or simply join one of our Spanish group courses online. Long live wi-fi!
Anyone can benefit from the program, regardless of their language level. After all, communication is so much more than words - this is an experience where “enthusiasm and will are more important than skill”, reminds us Mónica, a volunteer.
Do you have more questions about Sayariy? Email them at email@example.com