Kia ora, welcome to Volunteering Northland

clock icon30 November 2023

Volunteer Spotlight: Nataly - Finding joy and fulfilment through cultural connection

providing a way for Latinos to further expand their social network

Story by Janine Duncan

Originally from Uruguay where she undertook an administrative career in the Uruguayan Army; Nataly Cordoso settled in Whangarei in 2014.

As a newcomer with no social connection to her Latino culture and a desire to gain NZ work experience, Nataly sought support from Multicultural Whangarei. By doing so, she hoped to meet others from diverse cultures facing similar experiences common to many migrants. This connection proved extremely beneficial; as she commenced a voluntary administration role with the organisation in 2017 and eventually became the key contact for Latinos new to the area.

This prompted Nataly to initiate Latinos en Whangarei; a social support group where Latin Americans can connect and celebrate their culture. Initially a Facebook group, she is now primarily responsible for the administration and co-ordination of monthly social gatherings. These events enable Latinos to further expand their social network and New Zealanders to appreciate and experience Latin American life. Being the pioneer of this group has given Nataly immense pride and joy. She has established friendships with like-minded individuals and especially loves showcasing her culture to the wider community.

Additionally, her voluntary experience and studies in Business Administration enabled Nataly to secure a part-time administration support role with Multicultural Whangarei. Having already built social connections with her colleagues, she knew working in this space would be a “very beautiful, joyful, fruitful work environment.”

Through further study in Accounts administration at Northtec, she grew her portfolio of professional skills and in 2022 joined the Volunteering Northland team as Accounts Administrator.

Volunteering has given Nataly so much joy, happiness and new opportunities. She now has a very supportive social and cultural network, feels as if she belongs in her new country and has secured fulfilling employment that fits into her lifestyle.

In terms of her own volunteering journey; the sense of personal reward gained from helping others and long term aspirations she has for Latinos en Whangarei continue to motivate and inspire her.