Andrea Shane – Travel & Education Scholarship Recipient

Antigua, the city I live in, with Volcano Agua in the back.

“I decided my Junior year that I was going to take a gap year and come to Guatemala. I’m so glad that I stuck with my decision because it has been life changing.
I have volunteered with both children and animals, most of my time with exotic animals. We rescue animals that either people bring to us or animals that are being smuggled across the border. We treat them and release them back into the wild if they are able, but if not they live with us permanently. It is such a unique experience I would have never had if I did not come to Guatemala.
Not only do I get to volunteer and help people and animals, but I get to experience a whole different life I never really knew existed. I have a better understanding of the world and what’s outside of my tiny little island that I grew up on. Living in a third world country has also made me appreciate the life I do have back home. I am so fortunate to have everything I do and that I was able to come on this trip and realize this.

If you are thinking about volunteering abroad, do it, you will not regret it. Thank you to the Island Institute and to PIE for helping me make this happen.”


My namesake, André, our biggest and one of the nicest snakes we have at the exotic animal rescue.
Blanca and Fabiola, a pair of sisters at the orphanage I volunteered at.