Karla Tapia

Venezuela is a country that offers you the best opportunities for growth, when you are looking for solutions to everyday problems you are developing skills that allow you to face any challenge in a creative way. An example of this is the case of Karla Tapia, a 20 years old girl from Peru, She is a student of architecture who wanted to take a challenge in her life, and that challenge was called: Venezuela. Karla says that her motivation to come to our country was to learn from the challenging situation that we are living today, and her project to recover the spaces of the Botanical Garden of Maracaibo gave her the opportunity to expose her talents as a student of architecture.

For her, we Venezuelans are fighters and people of good heart.

She decided to bet on Venezuela cause she thinks that our country deserves to have a voice outside our borders, she wants that people around us get to know what is really happening today. Our customs were the most fascinating things for her, of course eating arepa “with anything” for breakfast or dinner was her favorite. Despite the cultural shock, he was able to adapt to our society, and at the end of the experience she took with her a different expressions learned from her friends in Maracaibo.

Karla would return to Venezuela because she feels she left valuable friends here. After her experience she returned to her country with desires of taking challenges and risks, her project awakened in her the self confidence necessary to be an agent of change. She learned more about the feeling of belonging that we have with our country and the reason we are proud to say “I am Venezuelan”.

Karla came out of her comfort zone and said #IBetOnVenezuela, are you next?

A Mexican engineer meets AIESEC in Maracaibo

When looking for a place to go travel, the first thing we pay attention to is the news about the country we are going to visit, and in the particular case of Venezuela, our international image is not too inspiring. Even so, the impartiality and credibility of some international media is very questionable, and that’s the reason why sometimes it is important to check things out first hand. That was the case of Martín Hernández, a Mexican that decided to bet on Venezuela because he wanted to know our land, grow with our people and contribute to our society.

Martin is 26 years old, he’s an engineer and he had an exchange experience with the Local Committee of AIESEC in Maracaibo, who offered him the opportunity to work in an architectonical project that aimed to enhance and beautify the natural space of the city: The Botanical Garden. Martin says that when he decided to come to Venezuela he was a scared: “I was nervous and I didn’t know if I was going to be well, I was frightened because of what media say about the country. But when I arrived I see the reality and I noticed that international media exaggerate. I was always positive about any situation. I loved the country.” During his stay he felt very welcomed in this place that was his home along six weeks.

Having an exchange experience with AIESEC is not only an impactful experience for the people that live it but an opportunity to touch and generate a positive influence in the life of the people that collaborate or are participants in the project, for that reason the scope of AIESEC is even more wider. To grow as a person you must get out of your comfort zone and crisis are the only chance to evolve.

Venezuela is currently a country that needs as many helpful hands as possible, to work in its reconstruction and its comeback to be the productive society we know it can be. Martin said #IBetOnVenezuela, so… what are you waiting to do it so?

A trip out of the comfort zone… directly to Barquisimeto

We Venezuelans are very used to forget our own qualities, letting foreigner products shine more than ours. We usually prefer buying imported things at the store than the results of Venezuelan producers and it’s very common to see how some of us despise our autochthonous values and treasures. For that reason, sometimes we need to listen(or read) references of people from other realities, those who want to contribute to our country because they believe in our society, our culture and the potential we stopped  believing.

Such was the case of Marco Martínez, a Mexican that shared with AIESEC in Barquisimeto during a month and a half. He came to Venezuela trying to get out of his comfort zone and to to learn about informatic engineering in our country. What we sometimes see as technological underdevelopment, for this Mexican was just an amazing opportunity. In his experience he tells us how things he learned in Venezuela would’ve been impossible to be learned in any course or school of his career.

Marco worked in a Software Development and Database Management project. Besides the technical skills that this experience gave to him, he also learned the sense of responsibility,  he gained resilience and learned the importance of teamwork.

For Marco, the difference between Venezuelan and Mexican youth lies on the ease how Venezuelan people see opportunities in the middle of crisis. He got to develop his leadership through his exchange experience because he arrived to a complete unknown country, with a terrible and uninspiring  international image about its current situation. But despite all of that, he dared to live in our country to see through his own eyes if everything on the media was a reality.

Marco is a Mexican that came from Hermosillo and decided to bet on Venezuela, contributing with its growth by giving part of his time and professional knowledge to this project. He feels he has to come back the thank the people that welcomed him with open arms, the people who taught him, despite the crisis, the real meaning of the word hospitality.

Marco got out of his confort zone and he dared to know Venezuela, its people and its culture. Be the next to be surprised by saying #IBetOnVenezuela.

 

David Sánchez: from Panama to impact on Venezuela

Sharing with new people in another culture is an experience whose expectation can create anxiety, emotion or fear; In the case of David Sánchez – an exchange participant who came from Panama – and who found in Venezuela a joy that he did not feel or had in his country, the answer was all the above.

The reality of Latin American countries is usually very similar among neighbors, despite the current crisis that we can perceive, there are still people who want to bet on this country, and when David was asked bet on Venezuela he replied that Believed in our country and its potential to get ahead, its previous referents of the trip was that we have the largest oil reserves in the world and natural wealth.

Three reasons that made us seem as the right place to live his AIESEC experience was that he admired the Venezuelans, wanted to know our culture and above all to see with his own eyes the reality of our country. David’s goal in Venezuela, in addition to developing his leadership, was to learn how to be more human, in order to be a fighting agent and defender of human rights around the world.

He participated in two local projects “Entrepreneurship for the Future” and “Small Global Citizens”, the first seeks to give the necessary tools to young entrepreneurs to know what they need to develop a social project in their locality and the second seeks to show children and young people AIESEC values ​​that allow them to dream and bring to reality those dreams.

During his volunteer work, David described Venezuelans as cheerful, fierce and intelligent people, as well as generous and very sociable. It should be noted that when asked if he would return to Venezuela, his answer was affirmative, because he thinks that the country is the best destination to learn how to be happy.

David is back home, and tells us that during his experience he learned  “how to value life, gave me an incalculable joy, taught me to be more human, to fight for my dreams. They gave me the freedom to be as I am, they accepted me with my virtues and defects, and gave me their time and heart. ”

In his opinion there are many differences between young Panamanians and Venezuelans, mainly he thinks that “the crisis has allowed young Venezuelans to be better at facing realities that I’m sure no Panamanian would face. It has allowed them to prepare themselves much more and be more competent than us, even having less reach to technology. It has made them entrepreneurs and inventors of new ways of development, and has awakened creativity and willpower, which many of us do not have. ”

David dared, and you? Are you the next one to say #IBetOnVenezuela.

 

What is AIESEC’s real impact on society?

Generating a social impact through volunteering is one of the main goals pursued by Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), through the creation of projects it is sought that a group of people, in a disinterested and non-profit way, help solve needs or solve problems within a community, the creation of these projects will be tied to the needs of the society where they are to be applied, and the people who participate in them will be selected according to their profiles in that society.

Now, if we want to create a social impact, why not do local volunteer work instead of international one? Do the AIESEC programs actually generate that impact at a local level? In order to answer these questions we must first explain the impact cycle offered by our NGO.

AIESEC was born after the World War II, when a group of young people fearful of a third global conflict understood that what generated the conflicts was the lack of understanding between cultures, and it occurred to them to make exchanges that allowed to obtain that level of interpenetration between the different countries in Europe.

The program was so successful that it spread all over the world and is now located in 126 countries; AIESEC volunteers involve local people (members of the Committee) and foreigners who are going to work on this project, and the reason for this is that by involving a third party – who does not belong to your society or your reality – a different vision to our problems can be given, that is to say that not only you are positively impacting your immediate society, but you are giving an experience to someone from another country, who in return will execute what they learned in their society.

That’s why AIESEC offers international volunteer opportunities, not only to create impact at the local level, but also to allow us to impact the volunteer who comes to work for our country and the society where they works. So yes, AIESEC makes an impact at the local level, but not only that, it also impacts internationally by touching the life of that trainee and the society where they will return once their project has been completed.

The problems in the world are more general than people think, that is why the UN has developed the 17 sustainable development goals. AIESEC forms local projects that align with these objectives, in this way we contribute not only to our society but also to a world that needs more and more young leaders.

The future of the world depends on our generation being formed correctly to get it through, and the way to get that training is to become global citizens, expand horizons, not to just think of the community where we develop, don’t you ask yourself  “what can I do I for my city?”, ask yourself “what can I do for my planet?”, This puts geographical boundaries aside and begins to think of even more ambitious and larger goals, helping other communities become an integral leader which will inevitably impact on yours.

Alfredo Zamora: a Mexican entrepreneur that bets on Venezuela

A bet is to place faith in something you do not know if it will happen as you expect, there’s a chance that you are right as much as there’s a chance you’re wrong, however there is something that leads you to perform that action hoping that the goal you want is met.

And that feeling was the one that Alfredo Zamora had when he decided to carry out his international volunteer work in Venezuela. He was interviewed by more than 14 countries and in the final stretch his options were 2: Egypt, where he would completely leave his comfort zone to live 6 weeks in a culture totally different from his own, a hot climate that is not felt in the tropics and people whose beliefs make them total strangers; or take the referral from a friend and get to know Caracas. Guess which one won?

When Alfredo was asked “why did you bet on Venezuela?” His response was brief and concise: “For its people, Venezuelans have been cataloged all over the globe as happy, caring, humanitarian people, always ready to help The others in spite of the personal crises, and we can proudly say that everything Alfredo was promised about us was fulfilled and more.

His project was called “Emprendiendo para el Futuro”, in which he had to give tools to young Venezuelans to allow them to be able  to carry out a social entrepreneurship business, and the reason is simple: the crises are overcome as the citizens work to get out of them, Not only monetary but also social and cultural.

Alfredo dedicated 8 weeks of his life to know Venezuela, its territory, its people, its customs. These were two months in which he forged new friendships, left his contribution to our society, and developed his leadership in a progressive and constant way. Today -a few months after his return to Mexico – he feels he has left his heart in our country, he wishes to return soon and misses waking up every morning with a plan to visit Caracas or any other state of our beautiful Venezuela.

Alfredo is a Mexican who now feels Venezuelan, he showed us that it is us who must bet for our country, because it is a privilege to be able to be called Venezuelan and to have been born in this land. After knowing a little more about Alfredo’s experience. Can you also say #IBetOnVenezuela?

How to ask for an arepa

We Venezuelans are ingenious people, who do not settle for  what they know of the world but we must give our own point of view, that’s why when visiting our country you will find expressions typical of our people, which sometimes does not necessarily mean literally what is being said; We also have a nickname for everything.

That’s the case of the combination of fillings for our famous arepa.

The arepa is Venezuela’s typical dish. It’s a kind of  tortilla made of corn flour that can be cooked in a pan or fried in oil, it has a circular shape and can be filled with almost any food; Thanks to this diversity of possibilities we Venezuelans have created our own glossary of terms to ask for an arepa correctly. Here’s a practical guide on how to order your arepa in Venezuela.

1.Viuda: or widow, is the arepa that is served alone and without filling.

2.La rumbera, or party-goer: it’s called this way because it’s the perfect flavour combination for after a night out. It is filled with cheddar cheese and pork.

3.Reina pepiada, or dotted queen: this arepa is a classic, it’s a combination of chicken, avocado and mayonnaise, in some cases it can include peas

4.Pelúa, or hairy one: Its name is because the ingredients with which they are filled come “shredded” or cut into very finite strips; it contains cheddar cheese and shredded meat.

5.La catira: It alludes to white people with blonde hair, its combination is made of chicken  with grated cheddar cheese.

6.Rompe colchón: The stuffing of this arepa is composed of varied seafood, usually bathed in some sort of vinaigrette. The theory behind this arepa is that once eaten, it increases sexual desire.

7 Dominó: The color combination between the black of the beans and the white of the grated cheese resembles a piece of this board game.

8.Perico: Its filling consists of a combination of scrambled eggs, onions and tomato, the latter is also a classic, it can be accompanied with a little touch of mayonnaise

9.Pabellón Criollo: This has to be one of the best arepas we have, it is a must to try it if you come to Venezuela. Contains black beans, fried ripe plantain, grated white cheese and shredded beef. A flavor bomb!

Venezuela has a diverse and delicious gastronomy, another reason to live an international volunteering experience with us, are you next in saying “#IBetOnVenezuela?

Iván Rodríguez: “Venezuela is my favorite place in the world”

The personal experiences of each individual determine certain things like their maturity, character and way of acting; How the person develops these experiences will depend entirely on it, but without a doubt the decisions that are made will always have repercussions for the future.

This is how we find people like Iván Rodríguez, a 22-year-old Mexican who decided to live his experience of international volunteering in Venezuela; When we asked his reason to come to our country he said, with great joy,  that it was his  “favorite place in the world“.

Sometimes it seems hard to believe that everyday things in our life can marvel someone else, yet there are people like Ivan who think differently. For him,  the Ávila mountain, so common for us to see everyday in Caracas, is his greatest inspiration.”

During his stay in Venezuela, he conducted the “Small Global Citizens” program with the AIESEC members at UCV, a learning space that shows children and young people who do not need to follow a pattern, that there are other options for life other than those that their environment has shown them.

That connection between the trainees and the Venezuelans impacted by the program is the true meaning of AIESEC, beyond the effort made by the volunteer, it’s the fact that he bet on Venezuela, its people, its culture and all the opportunities that our country offers.

Ivan is celebrating his birthday on June 17th, and his last 2 birthdays have been spent in Venezuela, he plans to return for many more. He made the Venezuelan culture part of his own and feels that when he returned to his country he left behind his second home, along with his best friends.

He loves Caracas and calls Venezuela a country full of enterprising, attentive, warm and funny people, that’s why he has called our country his favorite place in the world.

Iván dared to believe in our Caribbean country. What are you waiting for to be the next one that says #IBetOnVenezuela?

Dinorah Hernández

Venezuela has been called land of grace for having natural riches, beautiful landscapes, and for its warm people, who despite the problems always have a laugh for the visitor. That joy, that “bochinche”, that warmth was what Dinorah found when she came to our country.

The story of this Mexican student begins when she got interested in living an AIESEC experience of international volunteering; She chose Venezuela because she knew about its literature, its landscapes and she felt identified with the project “Pequeños Ciudadanos Globales”. So she decided to take the plane that would take her to the place where she says, she left half of her heart.

 

Dinorah’s project was about inculcate AIESECer values in young people between 12 and 17 years old, to show them that no matter in which circumstance they are, as long as they remain faithful to who they are, they can arise and move forward.

For Dinorah, the most beautiful places in our city were at its center. She affirms that Venezuela gave her the opportunity to reconnect with herself and clearly define who she is; Also gave her the chance to dream, in the midst of her imagination she wanted to share a romantic walk with her boyfriend on the heights of “The stairs of El Calvario”  that place of El Silencio where people walk everyday, but rarely they dare to climb.

Dinorah redefined many words during his stay in Venezuela. Among these, “Calvary”, that word that for Venezuelans has become a custom for her represents a magical place that leads her to dream of her returning to Venezuela. Dinorah is a living example of wanting something is to be able to do it. She caused a social impact in a country that is facing a crisis. She believes that Venezuela has young people who are eager to work hard for a better future, seeking the light that makes the country we all dream to live in.

Will you be the next one to help us to build a beautiful society for our country?

Do you dare to say #IBetOnVenezuela?