Volunteering @ Special Olympics in Paraguay

DONE BY: Glenda | South Pasadena High School '15 | Princeton U. '20

HOW OPPORTUNITY WAS FOUND: 

Coincidental meeting - Paraguay Special Olympics athletes came to Los Angeles for World Games 2015

LENGTH: 7 months

LOCATION: Asuncion, Paraguay

FUN: ★★★★☆

PERSONAL GROWTH: ★★★★★

KIND OF PERSONAL GROWTH MOST EXPERIENCED:

Taking more risks

DAY-TO-DAY LIFE: 

3 days per week:

  • Wake up, make tea
  • Catch bus to Special Olympics swim practice
  • Bus ride back
  • Visit host grandparents, go home

Other days (variable):

  • Catch bus to downtown
  • Work in Special Olympics office translating Spanish-English
  • Squeeze into rush hour bus back
  • Go to house of Lions Club president
  • Catalog eyeglasses by prescription

DESCRIPTION OF WORK/ACTIVITIES DONE: 

  • Cataloging eyeglasses (that I shipped overseas) for Lions Club
  • Coaching Special Olympics swimming
  • House chores
  • Sight seeing
  • Barbecuing asado
  • Teaching swimming at summer class

HOW MANY HOURS OF WORK DID YOU DO PER WEEK? 10

IN EXCHANGE OF WORK, PROVIDES: 

Summer swim class (with police) provided:

  • Bus fare

Special Olympics office work provided:

  • Bus fare
  • Lunch cost

TOP TIPS: 

Paraguay is a nation of friends! The more friends you have, the easier it is to manage business/logistics/life. I coordinated my own trip from start to finish, so finding a host family is probably the toughest part. Fluency in Spanish a must.

BEST WAY TO CONTACT THIS PLACE, IF INTERESTED: 

  • Me (ggchen@princeton.edu)
  • Olimpiadas Especiales Paraguay

MOST MEANINGFUL LESSON TAKEN AWAY: 

Literally anything could happen any given day.

Jiyoung Jeong