ERASMUS+, Key Action 1: training course
Venue: Covelo (Galicia), Spain
Dates: 24—31 July 2023
Czech team: two participants
Please read the info-pack.
Hosting organisation: Asociación para o desenvolvemento do Alto Tea COVELONATURAL
After three hours of taking from Prague, “Hola, Gracious and Por favor” were our most used words for an entire eventful week.
Berenika and me attended the Erasmus+ Training course in Covelo together with participants from other European countries namely Estonia,Greece,Spain,Portugal, Poland,Latvia and Italy.Each Country had two participants. Most of us met informally at the Vigo bus station before travelling together to the venue.
Day 1 – Getting to know each other
The formal introductions were made on the evening of our arrival and were given an overview of the project.The program was well prepared and informative. Different national coffebreaks,vegetarian meals and cultural evenings were planned.
Day 2 – Gift exchange
What a way to start a day, we exchanged mugs.Getting gifts so early in the morning was a highlight on its own. This was great was to introduce the topic of sustainability considering that we used these mugs through out the project for coffee breaks,picnics and drinking water from the fountain.- “Reuse”
Travelling to Spain i was very excited about experiencing the siesta and see how it was done, whether is was scheduled or voluntarily taken.But i am glad to say that i learnt alot more about the Spanish culture than just the siesta. We attend the yearly Churrasco festival, met and talked to the locals, danced to the music from the popular international bands,learnt some dances and even got a hand shake from the mayor.
Day 3 – National realities
Participants from each contrary had the opportunity to present issues about their countries, both positive and negative issues. This activity left us with a bag of mixed feelings, discovering how some countries are already advanced and practicing a more sustainable lifestyle than others like digitalising every thing,simple trash separation and reusing left overs and reducing waste.
Day 4 – Climate change,Global warming and Pagan ritual
The weather was very good on this day.The organisers took us out doors to learn and discuss about global warming and climate change. We learnt that these two factors may lead to an increase in immigration and refugees in future due to the unfavorable living conditions.
For lunch,we chose to sit on the spot which was a sacred place formerly used by pagans.During break time we visited the historic church in the bushes,took part in the famous pagan ritual, each of us made a cross,drank water from the fountain, made a wish to the gods and hugged a tree as an appreciation gesture.
NB: If the wish comes true,one has to go back to the same spot to thank the gods.
Day 5 – Rainy day
Talk about change of weather, we spent this day indoors as it was raining. We practiced the art of lobbying.We were given different roles found in the production and selling of chocolate. Every sector argued about how much they think they deserved, puting into consideration the production costs transportation, labor,marketing and the final price. After reaching an agreement the organizers shocked us with the results of the actual percentages.
Day 6 – Giving back to the community
Noa (one of the organisers) taught us how to make natural cosmetics. We made tooth
paste, deodorant, makeup remover, all purpose cleaner and lip balm. Later in the day we all received handmade T-shirts form the association Covelonatural In The evening we visited a local meeting place built buy an artist who has traveled the world and wanted to give back to the community by building a place where different artists like him can perform for the locals.
Day 7 – Even good things do come to an end
We took a walk to the local river. There we did our reflections of the week, wrapped up the project.
In addition to the rich Spanish culture my take out from the project was: the various rituals performed,a taste of different snacks from other countries during coffee breaks,songs and dances from other nations and most importantly to be more green up in my everyday living,calculationg my carbon foot print, being conscious about the earth overshoot day.
By Grace Mutsengi