Volunteer Testimonies

In the summer of 2015, I went to Soloy to study Medo as part of my research project about non-governmental organizations (NGOs).  After contacting Medo and explaining to them what I wanted to do, we came to an agreement: In exchange for studying the organization, I would teach English in the community.  The arrangement was perfect.  Not long after I arrived, people began to ask me what I was doing there.  When I told them that I was teaching English, the next question was, When?  I created a class schedule, and from that point on, I always had students.  People were really enthusiastic about the opportunity to learn English.  I remember nights when I would hold class in front of the small house in which I was staying.  Four or five students surrounded me with their flashlights illuminating the paper that I was using for the lesson that day. (There is no electricity.) Class would often end at 8 o’clock, and the students would make their way back to their homes in the darkness with only the light of their flashlight to guide them.  Their hunger to learn was inspiring and made me want to be the best teacher I could be.  When I wasn’t teaching English, I would relax—play with the kids, and visit David, the largest city in the province of Chiriquí and the hub for many of the surrounding small towns.  Soloy has many treasures—its natural beauty being one of the most obvious.  However, I would say that the area’s most valuable treasure is its people.  The children are curious and vivacious, and the adults are friendly and welcoming.  The people are the reason why you will want to return again and again. — Ariane Tulloch, Kansas, USA