Hugo is from AIESEC in Portugal. He went to Cape Verde this summer vacation to refresh his newest AIESEC journey. Now, this is his story!

During my AIESEC experience, I have matured a lot.

I could speak out without any hesitation after this sparkling experience. I have never been away for such a long time without my family, let alone in a completely unknown country on my own.

As an AIESECer at the same time, being an EP was a completely different experience from my colleagues. I do know what our purpose is and it seems much more bigger and realistic than ever before. Finally living what I said everyday but didn’t understand 100% was very rewarding.

How to Fulfill AIESEC Vision with Kids :

I spent 6 weeks in Cape Verde volunteering at a high school with kids from 10 to 15 years old. During this period, I have been teaching kids about SDGs and how we can improve the way we live if we live in compassion and understanding in the world.

In the first week I organized some games to get to know each other. Over the next few weeks I took several SDGs to try to make them conscious with students.

First, I started with SDG 13 – Climate Action, we ended up creating trash bins to recycle at school and went out to pick up trash from school and streets. Second, I introduced SDG 16 – Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions. I showed them great names who have made immense contributions to peace building, such as Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, Malala and guided them to conceive what a perfect world would be when peace and justice become the reality.

The best moment among my volunteer experience, was when I left school with sense of self identity, or to say, I felt that I had made changes, not for myself but for kids who considerably need our attention and caring.

The Glory Days & Unforgettable Experience :

In this experience, I also contributed to the protection of animals.

In Cape Verde, turtles are a big reference and they are endangered currently. Me and the rest of my team got in touch with a turtle protection organization and asked if we could help them. They let us conduct the night shift. Whenever a turtle appeared on the shore to lay eggs, we would check the perimeter to make sure they are safe. In case eggs are at risk, we would change their locations to a better one.

It was nature at its best, I saw it all with a sparkle in the eye. Touching the turtles and feeling their rough, warm skin was an otherworldly sensation. Turtles only put eggs after the age of 25. Knowing what we have done contributes to a reality; where in 25 years, Turtles will remains a part of the eco-system, left my heart full.

What had AIESEC taught me :

Got to know people who will be marked me for a lifetime. I will not forget any of them and I firmly believe they will keep our exclusive memories too.

This will not be the last time to get out of the box because adventures of this genre can’t be missed.

Thank you AIESEC for pushing me to be the best version of myself.

Apply now on aiesec.org !

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