Laura's Volunteer Trip to Guatemala-IVHQ

Please help me raise money for this amazing volunteer experience and to help these beautiful children!

Hello! My name is Laura Zappia and I have recently graduated from Adelphi University with my Masters Degree in Social Work. I have just been accepted to participate in a Volunteer Abroad trip through International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ) to go to Guatemala and volunteer within the Orphanage/Child Care Program. However, I need your help!

There were a variety of volunteer options through IVHQ! I chose Guatemala for a few different reasons. One being a personal connection, that I have two beautiful and amazing cousins that were actually adopted as babies from Guatemala. Another, after a lot of of research about this amazing place and what it has to offer. While volunteering, I would also love to learn about the culture as well as have the opportunity to take language classes while in Guatemala! I will be going on September 2, 2013 for a 2-week stay!

The reason for this site is to help raise the money for the facility that I will be volunteering at, as well as for my expenses to go volunteer there! A majority of volunteers involved with IVHQ use some type of fundraising or scholarship to go; this being one of the most common forms of fundraising! IVHQ volunteers have raised over $300,000 for their trips abroad by using GOFUNDME!

IVHQ is a very affordable volunteer abroad program. However, all adds up and this site will determine my ability to fulfill this dream and to make a difference for these children!!

This experience is something that I have dreamed about for some time now. However, being enmeshed and focused on school and working hard towards graduating, it seemed to be very difficult to find the right opportunity. This plan seemed to fall right back into my lap following some time after graduation, when I discovered International Volunteer HQ. My first instinct after graduation, was to "Get a job". However, I am very fortunate in having had a part-time job all throughout college along with my many field placements through Adelphi. Although I was and am still struggling (financially) like many graduate students and recent graduates do.

Of course with many reasons and life events that could still get in the way of going and moving forward; this seems to be the best time in my life to just go for it. After recently receiving my Masters Degree in social work, I am now working towards certification to find a job that may or may not be one that I have for the rest of my life!

Wherever I end up, I will make sure that it is doing something that I love, something that will bring out the good in the world; and something that will inspire and motivate others.

Enough about me though...
Let me tell you a little bit about IVHQ and what I will be doing!

The IVHQ Guatemala program places volunteers within many different projects including: animal care/animal rights, working with the elderly, teaching English, orphanage/childcare work,
eco-agriculture conservation, lake conservation, medical work and construction and renovation work in Antigua and surrounding areas.

I will be volunteering within the Orphanage/Childcare program, with children from poor homes and communities in Guatemala. These children have been affected by poor home-life, little/no schooling, as well as substance abuse among their families. The work may vary while I am there. Some of what I will be doing may consist of providing individual attention, playing with children, organizing games and activities, educating children regarding hygiene, and assisting with home work.

Myself along with other volunteers will play an important role in engaging these children, while improving their educational, emotional and hygiene conditions.

Click here to read more about volunteering in Guatemala through IVHQ!

Click here to read more about IVHQ and what they are all about!

I would greatly appreciate all of your help in supporting my volunteer trip, the beautiful children I will be working with, and this amazing cause!

Thank you!


"The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others". - Mahatma Gandhi
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Laura Zappia 
Lynbrook, NY
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