I am Annemarie Verbeek, and my passion is making a meaningful experience abroad accessible for students in the Netherlands. When I lived and worked in Cochabamba (Bolivia), I saw amazing projects where the help of students is more than welcome. However, there wasn’t a lot of affiliation with Dutch students and schools. Therefore, I jumped on this opportunity and started Picaflor International.
Picaflor International develops expedition trips and internships to support social projects and offer students a meaningful experience abroad.
Picaflor International different?
We develop a custom program with the school. We provide the guidance before, during and after the internship/trip. That way you can get the most out of your experience abroad.
‘Picaflor’ ‘Picaflor’ is Spanish for a hummingbird. This is a special colorful bird from the amazons that flies from flower to flower and knows exactly where it’s been. Did you know that this is the only bird that can fly backwards?
As little girl I was always curious about other countries and cultures: I wanted to explore! Everyone can hear stories and see images, but to really feel and experience it? Now that’s a different story.
An experience abroad makes you look at the world differently. I can say this from experience: I lived in Baltimore (USA) with my family for 2,5 years. Figuring out how to arrange everything for yourself, making new contacts, looking for work: it demands a lot of your improvisation, courage, and organizational skills.
After working in the MBO-education, I left for Bolivia to work there at a foundation in Cochabamba. I supervised both volunteers and interns. I encountered a young foundation who accommodated women and their children and empowered them. The environment there was so nice, and the work was very meaningful. So, I thought: ‘What a great opportunity for student internships!’.
Coming back to The Netherlands I exchanged my plans with different schools (VO and MBO). The idea then arose of making an accessible 2-weeks study- and ‘do’ trip to Bolivia. A trip that is developed in cooperation with the school itself. A trip with a good preparatory program on which two teachers can also participate. A trip where a small group of students can visit all kinds of (social) organizations, and they get the chance to roll up their sleeves and take action!
Being meaningful to someone else shapes you. And at the same time, it’s the greatest gift you can give yourself!