Volunteer work - Building Cabins in the outer provinces



We could not have been more unprepared, when arriving in the outer provinces for our volunteer work, than we were. We neither had something to sleep on, nor anything to work with. Actually we should have recieved an Email with all the information, but we never got it. We just knew where we had to show up and that we would need old clothes and an sleeping bag. The information about the matress, food, plates and rules never came threw us. But who needs that anyways...  So we actually spend our nights sleeping on the floor. But we were not the only ones. Half of the volunteers did not get the information. Anyways it was a fun experience, so far out of our comfort zone that it kind of got comfortable again. 
Trust me sleeping on the floor of an old school is not as bad as it sounds. Okay well it is, but its fun as well. And a quiet interesting experience. The first night I shared my covers with two other people because they did not had anything to sleep in. The second night we did not even care anymore. 
We didnt't shower, we didn't change -well of course we were not wearing the same underwear every day, but maybe the same sweater. We build houses in the middle of nowhere. We watched movies, ate pasta with tomato sauße for breakfast, lunch and dinner. We were dirty and we might have smelled weird. 
But you know what, at some point you stop caring. You have a fun time, a great experience out of your comfort zone. You share, y
ou help, you build friendship- and of course houses. 

So what is it about? The volunteer organisation has a lot to offer.  One of their projects is called "construction" where every month they start a project where volunteers will be send to different poorer provinces to build wooden cabins for people that do not have a place to stay. 

How much does it cost you? You can participate by spending an amount between 6 and 10 Dollars
Besides that there is maybe a one or two dollar donation for the families who provide their "kitchen" for us to cook during our time. 

Where do you sleep? Depending on where you will be send to you mostly will sleep in schools, they only provide food, so be prepared to bring a mattress, sleeping bag and maybe some fruits (we survived from cookies, pasta and rice). There are some rumors, that some volunteers at other parts sleep in an old military base with showers and beds!!

How do you get involved? You can sign up for the volunteer work online on their website (www.techo.org). There you will find all the informations and the tab for the construction volunteering. By the way, Techo exists in most of the countries of South America!

Why volunteering? First of all you get really involved by doing something instead of just spening. Second of all its an amazing experience. You learn to appreciate what you have in your life. This out there was third world conditions. You connect with people. You have a team, you build, you live. You do good and you will have fun (even whet its raining and cold as fuck)

So how does a day look like as a volunteer? You will be waken up by 7 am after a rough night on the floor with music. By 7:30 you meet everyone in the canteen of the school and you get cookies for or cake for breakfast (prepare to gain weight hahaha). At around eight you pack the stuff you need and leave for the construction. 
You start or keep on building on the house. By midday some volunteers will start cooking some pasta at a neighboors cabin. Expect to still be hungry, because its often not enough and takes hours to make. By seven in the evening you will end your day and go back to the school. Where you get something to eat. Everyone keeps on talking and making friends in the canteen. Later you might do games or watch a movie and at twelve one you go to bed (or to the floor). 


Safety, hygiene and health? After being to some countries where poverty is a huge problem I got used to pee in the wild, eat strange food, sleep on the floor or not taking showers for days (and I am not talking about festivals ;)). If you do this you should not be out of sugar. You wont eat good, you will not sleep good and you will definitly be dirty as fuck. But thats it. Thats the best way, to experience the real life. 

All in all it is an experience nobody should miss! So get yourself together and do it!




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