In 2008, almost 10 years after my first visit to Latin America having just qualified as a Spanish teacher, I arrived in a cold, grey Buenos Aires. The plan was to spend 2 months volunteering with a relatively new volunteering charity called Voluntario Global. Back in 2008, Valeria Gracia and Armin Díaz, the original founders of the organisation, had set up a grass roots organisation that worked, principally, out of two community centres in impoverished barrios of the Argentine capital. What was unique about Voluntario Global, and remains true today, is that it looked to bring together the energy and enthusiasm of international volunteers with the local members of the poor communities of Buenos Aires who believed that change in their lives, and those of their neighbourhoods at large, was possible through international co-operation and partnership.


            The crèche is not just a place where your children are welcomed and cared for, it is an institution with a deep history and wonderful human values. Indeed, founded by women many years ago, it was a way for them to combine the useful with the pleasant, but above all it was a matter of necessity. Unable to look after children and earn money, they had to find a solution to both problems. So, by building their own crèche, they were able to keep an eye on the children but also develop a business. The beginnings were not easy, sometimes having to bring food from home to feed the children they were looking after because of the little money they had. But with ambition and courage they succeeded and now allow other women like them to do the same thing by getting a job as a teacher, cook or cleaner in the crèche and also to be able to drop off their children. Most of the women working in this institution are, in fact, accompanied by their respective children, sometimes even in the same class.

La crèche n’est pas un simple lieu où l’on accueille et prend soin de vos enfants, c’est une institution qui possède une profonde histoire ainsi que de merveilleuses valeurs humaines. En effet, fondée par des femmes il y a plusieurs années de cela, c’était le moyen pour elles de lier l’utile à l’agréable mais c’était surtout une question de nécessité. Ne pouvant s'occuper des enfants et gagner de l’argent, elles durent trouver une solution aux deux problèmes. Ainsi, en construisant leur propre crèche, elles purent avoir un œil sur les enfants mais également développer un business. Les débuts ne furent pas simples, parfois obligés d'apporter de la nourriture de leur propre domicile pour nourrir les enfants qu’elles gardaient à cause du peu d’argent qu’elles possédaient. Mais à force d’ambition et de courage elles réussirent et permettent à présent à d’autres femmes comme elles de faire la même chose en obtenant un travail en tant que maitresse, cuisinière ou femme de ménage au sein de la crèche et de pouvoir également y déposer leur enfant. La plupart des femmes travaillant dans cet établissement sont, en effet, accompagnées de leur enfant respectif, parfois même dans la même classe.

Volunteering Project: I worked at an English school. Outside of the city center in Buenos Aires (Pablo Nogues)

June 2022

Volunteering Project: Communications

Year of volunteering: March-July 2022

On our way to El Alfarero, a small preschool on the southern border between Buenos Aires Ciudad and Buenos Aires Province, the two sides of industrial development exist in close proximity and stark contrast.

Coming to Argentina the first time, I had no idea how complicated the exchange rates and access to cash would be, if you don’t want to lose money!

Argentina: A Dream Fulfilled

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Argentina. A land of many ecosystems and one of the largest countries in South America. As a young adult, I dreamt of visiting Argentina, especially after reading Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara’s, “The Motorcycle Diaries,” and seeing the movie thereafter. Although the story and book focused on Che Guevara’s life, images of the Argentine landscape could not escape my mind. So, I decided to learn more about Argentina’s ecosystems and communities in various parts of the country via my studies.

Looking back to March when I arrived, these past four months definitely fall under that category of periods of time that have simultaneously gone by so fast and feel like they’ve lasted forever. I feel a lot of gratitude for my time here and I thought I’d summarise my experiences using a pretty simple framework: people, places, and perspective, or the three Ps if you will.