Wednesday December 2, 2015, 1:30 pm, I took a flight to Brazil, a country that would witness my personal growth for the next eight weeks.

For a long time I had searched for this word – change – and what led me to look for it was just another word – routine. I had already worked for a year in a private company in Nicaragua, and although everything seemed to go well, I was not feeling well, I was restless, I was looking for new experiences. So, I applied to the international volunteering program of AIESEC, the world largest international youth-led organization.

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Group of volunteers in Brasilia.

I had to pay for travel expenses such as my flight ticket and insurance, besides food and transportation, it was a large amount. But have you thought about that moment in your life where the passing of the years is reflected in your body but not in your mind or heart? Where your desires are no more than .. exactly that … longings? Where will you remember everything you did and the legacy that you left behind? I do, and very often.

For two months I was a volunteer in the Brazilian capital, assisting in the financial management of a small nonprofit located a few minutes from the Structural district landfill, in the outskirts of Brasília, the largest active garbage dump in Latin America. This experience definitely add it a great value in my life, why? Here are five reasons:

1. Explore New Professional Fields

You can volunteer in what you are most passionate about, even if this passion is not
your field of study.
 It will allow you to develop skills you probably did not think of and if you fail during this adventure to discover new professions, you can always try again.

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Group of Volunteers at Cooperativa Sonho de Libertade, Brasília.

2. Leave a Trace
However small it may be, it always leaves a mark. Before, during and even after volunteering, you will always ask yourself … and what is the impact? Is my contribution for a more just, equitable and peaceful world enough? You will not know until you go out there and contribute.
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Photo taken on my way to the nonprofit where I volunteered.

3. Strengthen Your Social Ties

Being a volunteer translates into coexistence, respect, and communication, you will meet many people, and if volunteering is abroad you will have to interact with people from different parts of the world. I have met many young activists from numerous countries, their testimonies, admirable anecdotes and background a truly a source of inspiration.

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Volunteers in Brasília, December 2015 – January 2016

4. Meet People With Similar Interests

What do you and your friends have in common? Interests, tastes, preferences? How about the same goal, the same cause? During my experience as a volunteer, it was exhilarating to know that there were so many social change leader, leaving a grain of hope in the projects they undertook. Knowing that they are still there, somewhere, cheering hearts and advocating for change, motivates me even more.


Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

5. Finding Purpose in Life

It may sound a bit cliche, but in addition to friends and family, there is a reason why you are now reading this… don´t you think? Only new challenges, relationships, and experiences will make us rethink a question so simple and complex at the same time, what is our purpose?


Palácio Itamaraty, Brasília

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