Colombia to New England – A volunteer reflects on a year at Heartbeet

My Year at Heartbeet by Luis Giraldo Saldarriaga

It seems funny to me now that a Colombian would leave his warm-weathered country to come to New England and explore a new culture, language and Vermont winters.  The day I got my visa I didn’t know anything at all about what my year abroad would bring. I was super excited to travel so far away from home and see snow for the first time in my life! Coming to Heartbeet was one of the best choices I could ever make.

It was a huge culture shock to come to a community of just 50 people after leaving my home of Cali which has millions. However, when I arrived at Amber Rose house it felt like the perfect place for me.  I was made to feel really welcome by Sara and Andy. The Friends loved me right away and I felt the same way about them.

After a few days, I noticed people being happy, friendly, respectful to each other and always willing to help. My favorite thing about Heartbeet is that no matter what you are struggling with you will always find a person who will help you.  Working and living with the Friends was amazing. They taught me how to have a lot of patience. They showed me love and forgiveness. I learned how to work together as a team and how to communicate without words. There were times during my year that I was feeling down and missing my country but the people of Heartbeet always made me feel supported.

I wanted to come to Heartbeet to help people, grow as a person and learn how to work in a community.  I feel that all my wishes were fulfilled and I got even more than I expected. I now have a place where I can come visit anytime I want. I feel I have a second family here who make me feel loved.  I feel so connected with all the people who live at Heartbeet. We work together each day towards the same goal which is to make everyone’s life better.

Now, as I say goodbye I will take home a thousand memories of the many beautiful moments I lived here.  I will keep them with me no matter where life takes me. Thank you Heartbeet for becoming such a special place for me.

``I wanted to come to Heartbeet to help people, grow as a person and learn how to work in a community. I feel that all my wishes were fulfilled and I got even more than I expected.``

The Camphill Academy

The Camphill Academy aims to provide a path of transformative learning that allows you to unfold your potential to contribute to the healing of the human being, society, and the earth by studying curative education, youth guidance, or social therapy while living in Camphill. This is a regional accredited university program with campuses at many of our Camphill communities.

The Camphill Association of North America

The Camphill Association of North America includes everyone living in Camphill communities in North America and is governed by elected officers and trustees from each full member and affiliate community. The Association meets three times per year and helps host the annual Research Symposium and Inspired Communities workshop.

Camphill Foundation

The mission of the Camphill Foundation is to grow, strengthen, and safeguard the Camphill movement in North America, through strategic grants that ensure the long-term sustainability and flourishing of Camphill communities. They serve their mission primarily by funding activities that help support the 15 communities in North America as well as others worldwide.