Volunteering in ANINGATRAVEL agency in Baños de Agua Santa
How should I describe my first volunteering experience in life?! Well, first of all I want to mention that although I was about to find an opportunity to volunteer and study some Spanish course at the same time, I didn´t plan it in ECUADOR! My aim was Peru or Bolivia as these countries have lower costs of living and offer cheaper option of everyday “surviving” but who could say NO to volunteer in travel agency in the small town “Baños” which is actually paradise on Earth because of its breathtaking mountains, clean rivers, waterfalls?! Who could say NO to practise all of the extreme sports such as rafting, canyoning or zip-line for free?! Who could say NO to the chance learn more about tourism industry and the world of tourism?! Well, definitely it WAS NOT ME who said NO!
After a week spent in Baños, the owners of ANINGATRAVEL (Moyota boys 🙂 ) offered me this amazing opportunity to come back, to do some volunteering at their agency, live in their apartment, share meals with them and even they helped me with funding of my Spanish course (upper-intermediate B2 level at highly recommended “Mayra language school” – http://mayraspanishschool.com/). Should I call it my famous “luck” or “destiny”?! Well, I don´t know, but what I know for sure is that this 2-week volunteering helped me realize what I want to do in my life and for sure what I don´t want to do in my life…. After two weeks spent with Moyota chicos and live in their tourism world I realized that typical, ordinary job such as 8/9 hours per day spent in the close office, only on email-based communication without direct contact with people definitely isn´t for me!!! I need to feel that “something is going on”, I need direct contact with people, use my good communication, negotiation and organisation skills in practise, I need to take advantage that I speak three languages fluently, I need to travel, to live, to ENJOY LIFE while working! So this is what I want, but let´ see what will happen in the future (especially after coming back to Europe)…. 🙂
Hmmm maybe some details what kind of responsibilities my volunteering included? First of all, direct communication with tourists, explaining, offering and selling our tour packages (such as trekking to Ecuadorian famous volcanoes Chimborazo, Tungurahua, Quilotoa or Amazon jungle trips to Puyopungo, Cuyabeno, Yusuni & of course all of our extreme sports packages!). Secondly, helping guys to improve the publicity of their travel agency by writing and posting different articles on their blog – https://aningatravel.wordpress.com/ , on FB page – https://www.facebook.com/aningatravelecuador?fref=ts , helping them find some more volunteers through www.workaway.com, etc…. And thirdly, most importantly, my lovely responsibility was to accompany our tourists at their extreme sports activities!!! During my two weeks stay in Baños (I have to mention it was low season time, therefore not that many tourists!) I practised with our tourists amazing rafting, more adrenaline canyoning (jumping off 38m high waterfall wasn´t that easy at all) and of course zip-line! Although, I had a chance to jump off 100m high bridge AGAIN, I rather said NO! Such a high level of adrenaline in my blood during bridge jumping almost caused me heart-attack when I did it for the first time 😀 .
So what were the other advantages of my volunteering at ANINGATRAVEL?! I got the chance to get to know more Moyota boys Angel & Juan, their “quichua” culture and their language (ex. – “alipusha” – buenos dias, “pagarachu” – gracias), I got the chance to meet other incredible people such as my Venezuelan friend Daniel (I wish you sooo much luck in your life Daniel!!!), his friend Paul who gave me as a good-bye gift necklace as source of positive energy (and of good boyfriends, too haha), I got the chance to travel more, to find out how beautiful Baños really is, its natural landscape, breathtaking waterfalls (such as Pailon del Diablo, Manto de la Novia,…), unforgettable views, simply I got the opportunity to discover PARADISE on EARTH!
Angel and Juan gave me opportunity to realize what I more or less want in my life, gave me nice and unforgettable memories, amazing good-bye gifts (necklace from Yusuni jungle and signed canyoning championship t-shirt) and most importantly offered me to come back again, but not just as volunteer, but as a full-time job colleague! So let´ see where my future steps will lead me…
MUCHAS GRACIAS CHICOS POR TODO!!!!!
NOW IT´S TIME FOR PERUUUUUUUU!!!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂