Traveling with a Purpose!

 

Hello! I am Gisel Palmiero and I am from Argentina. I have bachelor’s degree in Tourism. I am 33 years old and in 2016 I made my experience in two social projects in Pablo, Brazil, through the International Volunteer Program MILONGA.

A phrase that comes to my mind right now as I try to put into words my experience of almost 4 months there is: “Happiness is in our choices.” It was not the first time that I decided to provide of a period of time to do volunteer work outside of my home, leaving for a period of time my job and profession; one leads to the other.

And that is how I have been weaving a way of demonstrating and living that the undertaken solidarity as a voluntary action, shows in me as a person, a responsibility and implication in community development. It has been and is a tool for exercising the right to participate and transform the reality that surrounds me wherever I may find myself.

In MILONGA, my work was to provide a workshop for boys and girls between the ages of 4 and 14 of two communities from the art perspective as the transformative force that can contribute in the construction of a healthier coexistence between classmates and their communities, inside and out of the vulnerable or invulnerable contexts.

 

I continue believe that borders often times exist only in our minds. Learning is continuous. My experience was not only limited to the workshop class that I taught, but it included every event in which the community allowed me to be a part of.

Every moment can become an opportunity in which we realize how valuable it is to be able to be, share, and interact with other forms of life. There was always something to do, people enjoyed my strange accent, to share a breakfast or dinner, a trip…

Something that always stands out when you decide to embark on this adventure of sharing your time, your abilities and to grow with the other, is the following question: When do you realize that you have become involved? I believe that it is when you have to return, because you feel the generated vehicle, which throughout your life is maintained in one form or another. That is the “impact”, “leaving a mark”, and “allowing yourself to be embraced.”

I love to visit places, but the opportunity of being able to be, in one way, part of the place that you decide to visit is an attitude that really changes the story that you have to tell upon your arrival, and also your way of life from then on.

All of a sudden I found myself doing things that perhaps I didn’t habitually do, different schedules to my habitual routine, different forms of work, another language, sometimes the resources to work are not sufficient or necessary, the priorities and motivations were others (you know that you will not receive money for this), but they led me to generate an understanding and adaptation to different situations necessary for life itself.

Therefor, transcending borders is more than literally crossing a geographic limit.

At a professional level, it allowed me to know that it was possible to develop as a solid and professional work team, so much with the coordinators as well as the monitors, and the rest of the staff that I interacted with. I always felt accompanied (team work) and fully advised with difficulties.

Travels that transform us! (Or the borders that we must cross) So it is. Be a part of the changes that we need to see, live and inherit to those that come after us.