In July 2017, university students Nikkita and Alicja travelled from the UK to the province of Lleida in the heart of the Catalonian Pyrenees to take part in voluntary work. Located in the small village of Talarn in the Torre de Capdella region, the two-week ‘reading life in rocks’ work camp provided the UNA Exchange volunteers with a range of opportunities to develop their skills and contribute to development of the local community.
“The people I have met have been some of the most warm and welcoming people which made the experience even more memorable and I will always be fond of Spain.”
An immersive experience combining learning and community service, the project joined international volunteers with young people from Catalonia to uncover the rich geological and archaeological heritage of the region. The varied programme included work with the Conca Dellà Museum together with a daytrip to the cultural capital of Barcelona.
A candidate for membership of the UNESCO World Geoparks network, development of geo-tourism is important to the region and especially to Talarn with a population of only 689. The work camp volunteers created signs and trails around the natural landscape of Talarn and the broader mining heritage of Torre de Capdella.
“The experience has made me more confident in myself, to take on challenges I previously thought I couldn’t handle and to meet expectations. It’s helped me grow and become more assured in my ability to think fast and to work alongside people with people depending on me.”
“My trip taught me to take chances and try something new, I have made so many new friends and had so many new experiences, I’m so happy I took the opportunity to go on a work camp.”
Through membership of the Alliance of European Voluntary Service Organisations, UNA Exchange works with the Catalan organisation, COCAT to provide international volunteering opportunities to promote inclusion, education for sustainability, equality, international solidarity and social participation.