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Voluntary work and trekking in South America

Roughly this time last year I decided I wanted to take a gap year and started looking at what to do with my year off. Upon hearing this, my Uncle told me about Quest Overseas, as friends of his had previously been on a trip and recommended it highly.  I decided South America was where I wanted to go and looked at many options, including travel with friends. As none of my friends were interested in exploring this part of the world, travelling with an organised group seemed a good idea for me and in the end chose Quest over other organisations. I Chris Bentley with spectacled bearmade this choice partly due to the recommendation, but also because I liked the idea of combining voluntary work whilst away with the expedition. The work with animals in the Ambue Ari project looked ideal and I liked the mix with the expedition and language phase too which appealed as I had always wanted to get better at Spanish after studying it for GCSE's.

I feel extremely glad and lucky that I chose Quest as I had the time of my life in South America. There were far too many life changing experiences to mention them all here and there wasn't a dull moment for the entire 3 months.  Trekking up the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu and working with a spectacled bear in the jungle are moments I will never forget. I think the mix of activities and the amount we did in a relatively short period of time is what made it so amazing, not to mention the great people I was with! I feel I would have missed out on so much if I'd travelled by myself or with just friends and it would have certainly taken twice the time to do it all.


Chris Bentley's 2009 placement at Ambue Ari Gap and the adventure phase was arranged by Quest Overseas.