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Grow as a person

My name is David, I was in Cochabamba (Bolivia) participating in a volunteer program with the Unisol Foundation, which is part of the Milonga project.

I worked in the “Centro Rincón de Luz”, an educational center offering full time care to children in the south of the city.

To tell the truth I don’t know where to start … There were so many good experiences that it’s hard to summarize in only a few lines. When I arrived the first day, I was fascinated by the land, its people, its customs. Bolivia is a highly diverse state made up of various indigenous peoples (Quechuas, Aymaras being the majority), which give the country a cultural diversity to swoon over .

Fundación Unisol has many projects in the area of Cochabamba and Santa Cruz de la Sierra. The first part of our project was in Santa Cruz, a children’s home that’s run by a well known educator named Reina. She has put in so much hard work and dedication over the years in realizing the project, whose primary purpose is to help the most needy in the area. She offers training to children with social integration problems and unstable families. I learned the basic principles of the Economy of Communion, watching it be put into practice over the course of the months I spent there. I study law, so learning about civic engagement in the community economy was very useful. Learning about other forms of structuring a social project, through the values of communion and reciprocity .

After our time with Reina in Santa Cruz, we left to spend most of our time in Cochabamba,Bolivia . We were welcomed by the Rincón de Luz Center. I’ll always be grateful for everything they taught us and everything we received from them.

The center is a offers all inclusive attention as i mentioned before. It functions an after school help center for the children, complementing what they learn in the school, as well as helping with any difficulties they have. In addition, we do social and community work with their families through workshops and social action. There is also a dining hall in addition to the educational project, that gives food to support their families. The children have the opportunity to play sports and let off steam a little. We always focus on the specific case and the needs of each one.

I feel so lucky to have been part of the Rincon de Luz Center family. I have been touched by their work, and how much it helps the families of the community, not only teaching and guiding the children, also training psychologists and social workers. It was a real pleasure to be able to contribute with my little part to in this wonderful project. Thanks to Areceli, Silvio, Marco, Amalia and Ani … among others who do such great work at the center, Rincon de Luz is always improving and becoming more socially relevant.

What can i say about the city of Cochabamba, it is the third most important city of Bolivia, with a great diversity and rich gastronomy. Its people are kind and hospitable. Thanks to them I learned the values of community and solidarity. They always went beyond their limits in ways I never would have imagined, helping others without any need for anything in return. You could see how much it helped them realize themselves.

I would never have imagined to what extent an experience like this could contribute to someone’s life. To conclude I’ll just say, I went to Bolivia to help, and I came back having realized it was they who helped me grow as a person.

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