Zoe Feldmann, a University of Iowa student, had a yearning to spend her summer break doing something more meaningful than her regular routine. So she and a few of her college peers packed their suitcases and headed to Quito, Ecuador to volunteer abroad. They embarked on this journey to volunteer with children and make a difference in the lives of others. With time, they realized that their lives had too changed.
By Zoe Feldmann
My experience in Ecuador was simply amazing. It truly was something that changed my life and definitely something that I will remember for the rest of my life. We traveled down there to volunteer with children and make a difference in their lives. Each and every day that we spent at the daycare, our lives were changing little by little.
After the first day, we knew it was going to be hard to leave the children because they had already stolen our hearts. By the end of the second week, we felt as those the children were our own. The last day at the daycare was very emotional for all of us. The goodbye ceremony that the children and tías (teachers) put on for us was super sweet. We (the volunteers) were trying really hard to hold back tears. Although we missed our families and friends back home, we were not ready to leave the children. It was very bittersweet.
“After the first day, we knew it was going to be hard to leave the children because they had already stolen our hearts.”– Zoe Feldman, student volunteer in Ecuador
Not a day goes by that I don’t think of the children and wonder how they are doing. I plan on keeping in touch with the tías (teachers), and I hope to get back to the beautiful country someday. A huge thank you to Global Volunteers for making this opportunity happen. I am forever grateful.
Photos from Zoe’s Ecuador Experience
Want to volunteer with children in Ecuador?
Visit Global Volunteers’ Volunteer in Ecuador website page to learn more about service opportunities in Quito. Or, chat online with one of our Volunteer Coordinators. We’re ready to assist you with project descriptions, travel questions, registration guidance, and other program details.
Meanwhile, you can read posts by previous student volunteers written on Global Volunteers Ecuador Program: