By Becca, a Buena Onda Volunteer
Long term volunteering was always a dream of mine- finding the time, resources and right organization to work through was the challenge. As a nurse wanting to be placed in a clinic where I could learn, grow and immerse myself in the culture, finding placement for a three-month stay seemed daunting. Now, looking back, I owe so much of my incredible experience to Scott and Buena Onda. Scott worked with me prior to my trip for months, individually seeking, communicating and selectively choosing options where I could openly learn, participate and grow- as a healthcare provider and a person. He went above and beyond- arranging all transportation, meeting me at the airport and ensuring my homestay would be a good match (which it was), and I credit so much of my success back to Buena Onda.
As Scott promised, my experience in Guatemala was magical. The culture, people and scenery that exists there is breathtaking. This beauty created a stark contrast and polarizing emotions for me as I also saw the poverty, hardships, and injustices that these people face. Life is truly hard for many and the need is great- yet the joy, faith and loving nature of the Guatemalans is nothing less than extraordinary. Every day I spent in Guatemala, I was happy and fulfilled. As my first long-term trip as a solo female traveler, I couldn’t have asked for a better experience. I felt safe, I felt accepted, I felt at home.