2020-08-18 MEXICO

Regina, a Mexican volunteer in Rwanda

Regina Guerrero GodĂ­nez, 19, from Mexico, Western Mexico Province, has been a volunteer in Rwanda, PACE Province, for 10 months. She has developed her volunteer experience in the Bukomero School Group, a primary and secondary school whose students come from the Byimana sector, in the District of Ruhango. In her testimony below, she talks about her work in the school and her experience in the Byimana Community, before and during the COVID pandemic19.

My experience as a volunteer

On September 1st, I arrived at the community where I would spend the next 10 and a half months. The beginning and the transition were difficult for me because of the culture shock and missing my family and friends, but after a few weeks everything was taking shape for me and at the beginning I spent quite a lot of time with another volunteer who was only spending two months in Rwanda and with two novices who were going through their community experience, which helped a great deal to adapt to my new rhythm of life more quickly.

My experience in the school was a little or very different from what I expected. The language was the biggest obstacle during my whole stay and above all in the work in the school. But in spite of that, living together with the students and the service that I could share in the school was and is very helpful for me and I hope it will be for the students too.

In general, before the beginning of the pandemic, I think I achieved many things and I also had many things to do. The greatest achievement, personally, I think, was that I grew in my way of being and was aware of many attitudes and actions that I would like to implement in my life and others that I would like to change and all this inner work would not have been possible without this experience that gave me knowledge, values and people that I will never forget.

My experience during the pandemic

The beginning of COVID19 took us all by surprise and I think that personally it is something that affected me because I did not think about the consequences that being abroad would have and I did not give it the seriousness that I should have. But also being in quarantine helped me to work a lot on something that I had not been able to do before, life in community. It had been difficult to live in the community because of everyone’s work in the schools, but quarantine helped me to become more involved in everything related to the community and the brothers. So, for good or evil, the pandemic helped me to the last great experience I had as a volunteer and even though I had to extend my stay because of the restrictions about the COVID19 it was worth the extra time I had left.

Personally it was something that at the beginning, like everything else, was difficult, but after a while I was able to get used to the new normality as much as I could and do what I could with it.


From everything you can get the good or positive, and I personally like to remember the good moments and not the bad ones, but I think we also have to learn from the bad moments because from many lessons come good things in the future.

My experience was full of good moments and learning, and the biggest lesson was the pandemic, because that was not personal and it is not yet over.


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