One of our Community Impact Project volunteers from Latin America, Valentina, shares about her experience exploring a new version of community and designing a service project to make her own impact! Learn more about the Community Impact Project here.
Hometown: Turbaco- Bolivar, Colombia.
Why did you decide to join the Community Impact Project?
It’s a funny story because I didn’t know what I was getting into exactly until I got accepted and they sent me my first email. I instantly fell in love with the program as I believe that leadership should start with empathetic people who have a unique vision and are willing to make commitments. Preparing yourself to serve your community seemed like the way to go when you want to do something meaningful!
What have been your favorite moments or projects so far? Why?
We had a virtual cooking experience, and I got to teach another volunteer in my cohort how to make Patacones and Tajaditas de Platano Verde. I enjoyed this experience because I was able to share local cooking tips, which I think made the experience more realistic. Even my aunt decided to help us, and she made the process more fun. I also enjoyed cooking with my cohort partner and her garlic pasta since it was AMAZING and super easy to make!
What is the virtual community like? How is the language learning part?
Being in a virtual community is never like being face to face with someone, but since we turn on our cameras and have a lot of activities in which we get to have conversations with the people around, you still feel that warmth and get that feeling of belonging. It has been a kind and respectful sharing space. About the language learning part, It has been a great experience in terms of practicing my English because I have noticed where I can grow and have exercised my fluency. I also love it when we do fun games in Spanish!
“Being in a virtual community is never like being face to face with someone, but since we turn on our cameras and have a lot of activities in which we get to have conversations with the people around, you still feel that warmth and get that feeling of belonging. It has been a kind and respectful sharing space.”
What is the service project you’re designing?
I’m designing a two-part service project which strives to educate, reconnect, and reignite Colombians- especially Turbaqueros- about their culture, ways to revolutionize it, and preserve it globally and locally. One part is going to be virtual and the other face-to-face, so it can be adaptable to the pandemic.
How are you planning to use what you’re learning after the six weeks is over?
I definitely will do everything in my power to make my project a reality, but if that has to wait, I will take everything I have learned to become a better human. Now, I know how to actively listen to others and how to direct them to a goal. I always keep in mind the value of other’s input. I hope those skills help me to make an impact in my community/life, and in that way, make the world a happier place!
Thank you Valentina for sharing your experience! Learn more about our Community Impact Project here.