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Volunteer and Intern Abroad since 1997
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Feliz Navidad at Playa del Carmen, Mexico

By Daniel Paulger 2 weeks ago

I came to Playa Del Carmen at an amazing time of the year. December and January provided opportunities to be a part of great team, atmosphere and unique community environment. My journey started with a typical week working in small classrooms, special needs facilities and a veterinarian clinic. The week passed quickly as every aspect was enriched with learning and engaging activities. The weekend was relaxing, free time allowed me to check out the surrounding areas with easy access to the main streets of Playa Del Carmen. Relaxation is just what was needed to prepare for my second and most unforgettable week.

In lead up to Christmas, GVI Staff and Volunteers enjoyed time at all projects working on Christmas activities and celebrating. It was a week full of joy, laughter, music, piñatas, donations and Santa. Which leads to my favourite role during my time, Santa. I was blessed with the opportunity to dress as Santa and give the children at three projects donations and present. The excitement and delight during the experience was paramount. Photos were taken with children, staff and parents. During that small period of time I witnessed emotions that I will take back home and reminisce about for years to come.

We become so accustomed at home in our comfortable settings, steady pay checks, running water and electricity that at times we can forget or overlook those beautiful people that have so much less than we do. Looking in from the outside, it does not seem that in one month anyone could make much of an impact here. However, coming from 8 months previous experience in two other countries with GVI, it is easy to see the full picture. Even if we only give as little as 2 weeks to GVI, as a whole we are able to provide a consistent education and better opportunity for children around the world. When you return to your comfortable homes, you can look back on your time and know that while you had an eye-opening experience, you were also a part of a global community that strive to build a global network of people united by their passion for positive change. Well, I know I did.