GVI vet project: my first 3 weeks
I have been here with GVI for 2 and a half weeks now and am loving every minute. Everyone has been so welcoming, helpful and friendly so it took no time at all to settle in with the team. The house feels very much like family which is great for anyone who is worried about feeling a little homesick. I am volunteering on the GVI Mexico Community Vet project. I selected this program because I have just finished studying to be a veterinary nurse in the UK and thought it would be a perfect way to keep up my skills whilst seeing a beautiful part of the world. My role at Cocos Animal Welfare mainly includes preparing the animals for surgery, administering medication, introducing endotracheal tubes and IV catheters and shaving the animal appropriately for its procedure. I also assist with recovering the patient which involves checking heart and respiration rates, cleaning ears, removing ticks, clipping nails and providing patients with a safe and quiet area to recover in.
I feel very at home with the team at Coco’s and there is a fantastic atmosphere. I joined the project hoping to learn how spaying and neutering is managed in an area where the local community do not have a lot of money to spend on their pets. Also stray cats and dogs are prominent here in Playa del Carmen. At Cocos, the staff and volunteers work tirelessly to improve the lives and reduce the number of these strays. I have loved being a part of such an amazing project. During my time at Coco’s I participated in a Trap Neuter Release campaign. This is where the team gathered stray cats in the local area, neutered them at one of the houses belonging to one of the vets and then released them. This was something I have never participated in before and so I was very exciting to be a part of it.
Aside from Coco’s I have spent my spare time exploring the local area within Playa del Carmen and further afield visiting the island of Cozumel, a cenote in Tulum and Bacalar. The highlight so far has absolutely been Bacalar. The weather was beautiful and the hostel we stayed at gave us access to a gorgeous lagoon where we learnt to paddle board. The whole weekend was so relaxing and I would recommend the trip to anyone. While the weather recently hasn’t been too great, I have still managed to make the most of my time as I travelled to a cenote in Tulum and learnt to snorkel through clear waters and caves. Volunteering for GVI has been an experience I will never forget and I would recommend it to anybody considering it.
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