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William about his time in Medellín

William Eeman

Jan 31, 2024

Summary of William's experience

Nearly 4 months now that I've been living in the heart of Medellin, in the fantastic neighborhood of Laureles. The numerous trees here provide a refreshing breeze, while the locals warm your heart. Whether it's having a menu del día at your favorite spot, entering your sports club or an outdoor gym, or just striking up a conversation with someone in one of the many nearby parks, the people here will always welcome you with a smile.

While this metropolis has much to offer, the beauty of Colombia's diverse nature is equally captivating. Vast rolling landscapes, serene waterfalls, sun-drenched beaches, dense jungles, majestic mountains – this country truly has it all. The nature here is an inexhaustible source of wealth for the soul.

In Medellin, on the other hand, there is a lot of poverty. This can be painfully evident, even in Laureles which is one of the wealthier neighborhoods, but it's unmistakable in La Divisa. The district in Comuna 13 that overlooks the concrete jungle in the valley from the hills. The brick houses resemble a runaway Tetris competition among builders. But even in these places where poverty seems to prevail, there can be a great deal of richness. That wealth can be found in a community with an unbelievably traumatic past where children nowadays play happily in the streets.

For me, the greatest treasure of this neighborhood is "Sembrando Paz y Esperanza", the project to which I had the honor of contributing. The work done here for children is truly invaluable. Yenny, who founded this project, deserves all the praise she has received over the years. Although the English lessons I am responsible for, along with other volunteers, initially required some adjustment on a personal level, it is clear how much this means to the children. It's challenging to put into words how much their happiness, in things big or small, touches me. This is one of those things in life that you have to experience yourself to truly understand.

It's not easy to move to the other side of the world for a few months. To uproot your life and face a whole bunch of uncertainties on your own. But the growth you’ll experience as a person and the positive effect on the people you are helping are unforgettable and life-shaping.

So, to anyone who is doubtful about volunteering abroad, I can only say one thing: What are you waiting for?


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