After a year of volunteering in Central America, ARCAS Peten was my final destination, and I can honestly say that it stood above the rest. I set off to learn about veterinary medicine, the state of conservation, politics, and culture and ARCAS taught me more in each of those themes than any other place I worked. A unique thing about my Peten experience that I didn’t get in some of the other wildlife centers was access to the surrounding communities. While at Peten, I made a number of local friends in the villages. My Spanish level at the end of my year definitely aided me in this: being able to speak with the workers and locals definitely enriched my experience. Not only was the work instructive and the staff inspiring at ARCAS, but the wildlife on ARCAS’s protected property were incredible. The staff were inspiring and that, above all other things, is why I know I need to return to ARCAS as soon as I’m able. You will not find people more committed to conservation and education; the work they do on a daily basis to raise awareness of the plight of many victimized or threatened animals and habitats in Guatemala is superhuman. Every time they’d sit us down to update us on their work give a presentation on previous animal releases or research projects, many of us would leave totally charged with their infectious passion for the work. I came into ARCAS with a strong commitment to conservation, and left with even stronger conviction: it is easy to see why this volunteer program changes peoples’ hearts, lives, and opens their eyes to the challenges and needs for more efforts such as theirs. I’ve kept in contact with many of the volunteer and local friends I made at ARCAS, and hope to both visit them in their countries and return to ARCAS soon. No matter what your background, ARCAS has something to teach you, and you should definitely check it out. If you keep your eyes and ears open to the experiences it has to offer, it’ll be an experience you’ll cherish your entire life through. Thanks for everything, ARCAS, and hope to see you soon!