Hi! My name is Eric, I’m 19 years old and I’m visiting Oaxaca from London.
These past months I’ve spent volunteering at SiKanda have proved to be an incredibly informative and invaluable experience for me.
During my time at the organisation some of the tasks I was assigned included, doing translations into English for the SiKanda website, taking photographs of project activities and helping to assist in workshops. This was my first volunteer position and the fact I wasn’t going to do it in my first language made it even more daunting. I wasn’t sure what to expect knowing I didn’t have a particular specialise I could bring to the organisation. I just wanted to help in any way I could.
It’s been extremely interesting for me to see the internal operations of an organisation, especially one with a staff like SiKanda’s, who are all very passionate about their cause. I witnessed first-hand the positive effects of SiKanda’s presence in different communities, I witnessed this when accompanying visits to primary and secondary schools in Zaachila and how and speaking to and learning from members of the team was made more enjoyable because of how tangible their enthusiasm for what they do is. Learning about the context of the organisation’s ongoing projects has helped me develop my understanding of the social and political climate of Mexico, something I greatly appreciate as I’m about to begin an International Relations degree at university later this year.
Upon initially arriving my anxiety about being in a new city by myself and starting at the organisation was quickly eased due to the easy-going atmosphere of SiKanda’s workplace and the warmness I was met with by the team. This kindness made all the difference to my stay in Oaxaca, as I was recommended places to go and things to see in and around the city.
I’ve also learnt more practical skills as by working on helping to build an outdoor cooking space for a primary school in Zaachila and helping to prune in Rojas I’ve learnt how to use tools, something I didn’t anticipate.
My time with SiKanda has exposed me to a range of completely new experiences and skillsets which I will cherish.
To read this entry in Spanish click here