solo volunteering


In Merida, Mexico I stayed in the home of Miguel, the owner of the Spanish school where I went in the afternoons for lessons, after my voluntary work in the dog shelter. Oscar, who was the programme coordinator, also lived there. My first impression of Oscar was a highly intelligent, borderline autistic individual with strong Mexican features, cool glasses, and longish black hair. He seemed a very friendly and caring guy. The morning after my arrival Oscar was to take me into the city for a quick walking tour. I was somewhat taken aback when he glided down the stairs wearing a full length purple floral dress, glass floral earrings, which dangled past his shoulders, pink hair slides and flip-flops with socks. I completely ignored his surprise attire and we headed out on the bus. However as we wandered around the beautiful city, I was struck time and time again by…

Cuenca school

After I made the tough decision to leave the turtle project in Las Tunas the next problem was where to go for a week before I flew to the Galápagos Islands. Ecuador is a dangerous country to travel around, even by car, as drug cartels are known to set up road blocks to stop and randomly rob motorists. There were even five muggings on the Interstate bus that week, which left me with a real dilemma. In the end I hired a taxi company I found on TripAdvisor and made a very stressful 7 hour journey across country to the beautiful historic city of Cuenca.