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Architect Santiago Caridad on volunteering in India & Nepal

MSc Architecture

My name is Santiago Caridad, I did my Bachelors degree in Architecture in Mexico City following with the Masters programme at the University of Liechtenstein. After 7 and a half years of studying I felt that something in my architecture education was missing. More hands on experience and less computer work, and a big part in social architecture, which unfortunately to my opinion, most of the architecture schools lack of. After finishing my masters I needed to fill these gaps that I had, I needed to go explore and experience architecture from other points of view, stand aside from the computer for a bit and reconnect my brain with my hands. This is why I decided to volunteer.

Ladakh`s Sun & Earth Festival
I was 3 months in Ladakh, India volunteering at a school, learning and teaching about earth and sustainable construction. This opened up the big opportunity to participate in the organisation of Ladakh's Sun & Earth Festival, which was a 2 week intense workshop all in earth construction and passive solar building, which in the end opened more opportunities.

Experiencing Nepal
At the moment I'm in Nepal, joining a team of architects and designers which work only with earth and bamboo, and I`m sure that this experience will open up another whole world for me.  Volunteering has given me a chance to get to know myself in different ways, it has cleared a lot of doubts I had, especially in what kind of architecture I want to be involved in, and it has given me the opportunity to travel and to meet incredible people with amazing cultures. 

There is a whole world out there, go check it out!