GET REAL VOLUNTEER EXPERIENCE
Easily the best part of my #TripOfALifetime was the volunteer experience. I looked forward to this day from the time I signed up for S-Trip! and when the day finally came, I don’t think there was anyone more excited than I was. We left the resort first thing in the morning and we went to a local school (on the island of Cozumel) for children with disabilities. As soon as we got there, I knew it was going to be one of the most life changing experiences of my ENTIRE life, and boy was I right. All of the kids were so sweet and simply didn’t have a care in the world. All they wanted was to have fun and be kids. We got to play some games with them and then help to paint a classroom inside the school. After that, we played, coloured and learned new things about Mexico and about the kids from the kids themselves.
While we were playing, one of our leaders asked the group if anyone had the song “Let It Go” from Frozen on their phone…I did. We played the song for a little girl who was probably Frozen’s biggest fan. She knew every word to the song in English and Spanish. It was adorable. Four of us sat there and sang along to the song with her as she lit up, overjoyed.
Later on, I found a little boy named Jose who took me all around the school, showing me everything outside and what seemed like everything he loved. He didn’t speak any English so communicating was tough but we still made it work through general actions. He stuck to me like glue as we went around the school and played with the other kids. He was super sweet and one of the kindest kids I’ve ever met.
At the end of our day there, we got to handout gifts from Canada to each of the kids. Everyone got something special, from notebooks, to pens and pencils, to slippers. I got the privilege of handing out a Canada pin to each of the kids. They were all so happy with the simplest, small pin on their shirts. It felt so good to be able to make them all so happy with something so small and something that is almost invaluable to a Canadian who sees these small pins all the time. I wish that our time with these children could have been longer. It honestly could not have been any better than it was. Even just a few hours with them was so rewarding. Just to see their faces light up with true happiness from the smallest of actions was the best feeling. This experience made me want to volunteer more at home and abroad. I find myself thinking about ways that I can volunteer my time to make the lives of others better, and each time, I can’t wait to do it all over again.