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My voluntary service in Ambato: Hogar Sagrado Corazón de Jesús

  • By Emily

As a part of the weltwärts program, I had the opportunity to work on a project named «Hogar Sagrado Corazón de Jesús,» which translates to the home of the holy heart of Jesus. It is a nursing home located in the peaceful area of Ambato, Ecuador. My primary role in the project was to take care of elderly people, some of whom suffer from various diseases. My duties included supporting them in activities of daily living, providing emotional support, assisting them in physiotherapy, and engaging them in activities such as painting and crafts

My days consist of working from 9am to 12 pm in either the physiotherapy or with the psychologist doing crafts and giving emotional support. Then, the nursing home serves me my lunch and I am on break for an hour. What is very special about the lunch is that they prepare a vegetarian meal just for me. This shows me that they appreciate me. Then, after talking to my colleagues during my break, I start in elderly care which consists of helping the seniors to go to the bathroom, cutting their nails, simply just talking with them or playing with them. Therefore, my day is always very diverse and never gets boring.

However, the project is much more than just elderly care. Once a week, we host special events such as birthday parties, which include dancing and other festivities. We also organized events related to holidays such as Valentine’s Day or Ester, where we put up decorations and planned engaging programs for the seniors. For example, for easter, we planned a whole theatre play with the “abuelitos”, dressed them up in costumes and had a whole plot. We invited their families and guests, so it ended up being a very exciting event. In general, the staff puts a lot of effort in their work, trying to make the end of the life of the seniors the best it can be. 

Working in the nursing home provides me with excellent opportunities to learn Spanish as nobody speaks English. I also made many new friends, as several young people interned there. Additionally, I learn a lot about Ecuadorian culture, traditions, and the Catholic Church, as the nursing home is run by nuns. However, the most rewarding aspect of the project is building beautiful relationships with the seniors and positively impacting their lives through love and attention.

mandarins, or even a chicken leg once. Working with the «abuelitos» (grandparents) and my colleagues was always fun and amusing, making it a wholesome and fulfilling experience.

I highly recommend this project to anyone who seeks a fulfilling and rewarding experience that will shape their life. The skills that would help you succeed are getting along with elderly, being social, and hardworking. You don’t need prior experience, only the will to help and support them.

In conclusion, working in this project is a fulfilling and rewarding experience that allows me to help the elderly while learning about new cultures and traditions. Building meaningful relationships with the seniors and positively impacting their lives is something that I will always cherish, and I encourage anyone who has the opportunity to participate in a this project to do so. It is an experience that will shape your life for the better.

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