Don’t Be Shy – Say Hello!

For all of you operators out there that read this blog and leave your links in the comments section – don’t be shy, say hello! On a daily basis media and travelers call me asking me about companies, if I don’t know anything about you besides your link I can’t recommend you.

So help yourself out, say hi, let me know a bit about your company via email or a phone call, write a guest post but step out of the link baiting section.

Latest company I was asked about was Volunteer HQ – couldn’t recommend you because I have no idea what you do.

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3 thoughts on “Don’t Be Shy – Say Hello!

  1. Hi

    Afraid I still have not used the site voluntourism.co.uk to its potential due to other commitments.
    Its a shame as it comes first in a Google search.

    I would really like to work with an organisation or companies that could use the position it has.

    Any suggestions?

    Kind regards

    Len

  2. Hello Voluntourism Gal. Your point is well taken. Therefore; let me introduce you to AMPED Abroad — Adventure Minded People Exploring Diversity Abroad.

    What is AMPED Abroad?

    AMPED Abroad offers cultural immersion experiences in developing countries through volunteer and internship opportunities ranging from 2-12 weeks in duration beginning the first and third Monday of each month.

    AMPED Abroad’s mission is threefold:

    1. We want to offer our participants an opportunity to learn about and explore another culture and its lifestyle through authentic in-country experiences.

    2. We want participants to learn and experience the culture through first hand encounters by working with a local community based project, with the hopes that their efforts will contribute to the community/project sustainability.

    3. We want participants to learn and grow by becoming involved with a project that interests them whether it is working with children in an orphanage, teaching English in a school, helping to preserve the environment through conservation initiatives, working in a clinic or hospital, etc.

    Being that we are based in Texas, we are very fond of Latin American culture — the music, the cuisine, the lively spirit etc. It’s safe to say that Latin America is our baby and our area of specialty as we currently have partnerships in Argentina, Costa Rica, Ecuador, and Guatemala. We are hoping to build relationships with Peru, Honduras, Brazil, and possibly Bolivia in the near future to round out our project offerings in Latin America.

    AMPED Abroad is also planning to offer projects in other parts of the world. In fact, we are hammering out the details of a partnership with Kenya and hope to be able to offer projects there by sometime this fall. We have been in communication with some other very promising project prospects in other parts of Africa and also Asia.

    How Did AMPED Abroad Develop?

    AMPED Abroad was founded and formed in late 2008 and officially launched mid 2009.

    As the founder and president, I can only say that it all just makes sense that I would be in the voluntourism industry. I was a Political Science major with an international relations concentration. Somehow I got sidetracked with working in local government administration, grant administration to be exact. Though I knew I was doing some good, I was not fulfilled. In 2001, I set out to find the missing piece. I did everything from substitute teaching, to selling ladies shoes, to managing local political campaigns. All of those experiences combined helped me with finding my life’s purpose, but none more than my experience as a substitute teacher.

    As a substitute teacher, I found my niche working at a school here in Fort Worth, International Newcomer Academy (INA), teaching junior high and high school students from all over the world, many of whom had never set foot in a school. Teaching ESL and other courses at INA was the most rewarding experience of my life as I learned as much from my students as they did from me. They shared the most amazing stories. Stories that many of us could not begin to fathom, and it left me with a desire for wanting to do something to help or honor the children of INA. While I don’t know any of the students there now, I still count them all as mine.

    INA also gave me an opportunity to get back in the flow of communicating in Spanish since many of the children were from Latin America, the majority being from Mexico.

    From there, I went to work for a voluntourism organization as Latin America Program Manager. During that time, I worked with some fantastic partners and quite honestly, some that were not so fantastic.

    Because of my ability to relate well to other cultures and my understanding of Latin American culture, I was able to build and strengthen relationships with many of the countries I worked with. Due to the mutual trust and respect that existed, those countries are now working in partnership with AMPED Abroad. By the way, we only work with the fantastic ones.

    Where Is AMPED Abroad Today?

    AMPED Abroad was founded when the economy hit rock bottom so our start has been slow. As the economy begins its rebound, the future looks promising. Our first volunteer, a doctor, volunteered at a clinic for a one week stint in February in one of the orphanages in Guatemala.

    We currently have a volunteer in-country in Guatemala. While we typically do not accept volunteers under the age of 18, we made an exception in his case. Though he is 17, after speaking with him and his mother, it was clear he has the perfect personality traits for volunteering abroad — maturity, go getter, natural curiosity, open mind, etc. For the next 2 months, he is working with the children in the orphanage. We have communicated with him via email since his arrival. We are happy to report that he is loving it!

    In August, we have two veterinary medicine students traveling to Ecuador to work with a veterinary medicine project in Puerto Lopez. And we are about to sign-up a public relations/marketing intern for Costa Rica. She will be helping to market and promote local cultural events in the community of Atenas.

    As stated before, we are excited about the upcoming year as inquiries have been coming in from Lebanon, Germany, UK, Canada, Sweden, and from all over the United States.

    This may be more information that you actually wanted, but hopefully, it has provided more insight about our organization and helped with getting to know us better.

    To learn more, please visit us at http://www.ampedabroad.com where you can find information about our programs, including country overviews, general project descriptions, general volunteer responsibilities, requirements, availability, and fees. Simply go to the ‘Volunteer’ tab on our website and select the destination that interests you. Following the country overview, there is a list of available projects. Click the link for the project that interests you to learn more about it.

    Questions and inquiries can be sent to info@ampedabroad.com.

    Thanks again for this forum! We look forward to corresponding and sharing information with you in the future.

    Kind regards,

    Charmaine Pruitt
    AMPED Abroad
    President/Founder

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