Summer 2008 Site Review
Interning at Fundacion Causana, which is a home for people with severe physical and mental disabilities, was one of the best experiences I have ever had. There are 21 residents, most of which are between 2 and 20 years old, although there are 2 women in their 50’s. The home is run by a professional staff, although there are 3 main directors, one of whom was my boss. My boss, Rodrigo Terraza, is the Day Center Activities Director and the Treasurer. I must say, from day one, I knew that the employees of Fundacion Causana were dedicated to their work and to helping the children living there. The residents are given personal care, medical and psychological attention, physical and speech therapy, and engage in recreational and educational activities.
First, I was given the responsibility of working in the workshops, helping the residents with activities such as self expression, games, body expression, arts and crafts, and much more. I also spent some time with the kinesiologists, speech therapists, and psychologists, learning how they work with the children. I also worked on translating some documents from Spanish to English, which definitely expanded my Spanish vocabulary. After being given such a great responsibility, I knew that Rodrigo trusted me. I have always felt that trust between any two people is important – and I was so glad to know that he trusted me. All the staff really helped me understand the kids better and how to interact with them.
What I learned from working here was definitely a life-altering experience. Love spills out of every employee’s heart, and it is very obvious that they care about the kids. I learned a lot by even just watching them interact with the residents. I was able to practice my Spanish on a daily basis with native speakers, who were ALL extremely patient with me. We had conversations about many topics, and I even spent time with a few of them outside of work. I can’t imagine a more kind-hearted staff. My internship site is also where I learned a lot about Argentine culture. This is also the place where I grew to love mate (but with sugar). We had a party celebrating “Dia de los Amigos”, which is a big deal here – and my “invisible friend” gave me mate and a bombilla to take back with me to the U.S.
I know that I will forever hold the memories of my internship in my heart, but will constantly use the skills I learned at Fundacion Causana wherever my path leads me. The skills of perseverance, understanding, trust, and communication will be helpful in all situations and organizations.
Check out the Córdoba Internship Program to learn about Argentine internships.