Why did you choose the workcamps where you participated?
I chose them because their country sounds interesting, and Biology is not far from my interest, and having a biology major I kind of had to contact with them already, so Portugal sounded interesting, was my first pick from the other countries that were available, so I applied and luckily got it.
What was the camp about?
The first one was about the restoration of microhabitats so we basically removed species and restored them like a historical path for the local community to walk by the river. The second one was in honor of a recently passed away person who was the leader of the organization with whom they partnered. We did something more focused in the community to help them, but half of it was shut down because of the corona. We had to stay in the school where we were sleeping, and we couldn’t go out, so the project wasn’t finished. path by forest and we were almost finished with it, and it was kind of sad, and the other one I don’t know what we were supposed to do, besides cleaning the river which we also missed.
What did you learn at the camps?
You learn a lot of practical stuff like tying a sufficient knot or learning about different cultures. We had so much fun joking about different cultures eating or sleeping habits so it was very fun to learn about all these things.
Do you plan to go to other workcamps?
Yes, we made plans to go back to Portugal next summer again. I probably will be back in Portugal to meet with the others.
You don’t want to go to other workcmaps abroad?
Maybe I take this one in Portugal next year just to meet with the others and then see if I have enough time to go to another camp. I would like to visit other countries as well so we will see.
Do you have good memories of those two workcamps?
Yes, there are tons of them. For instance, all these friends that I gained are still in contact like the group chats and stuff. Every day there are tons of messages in them, and them some stuff we did like activities or something, visiting the beach. We worked from 9 to 4 or 5 and after that, we had free time, or they planned cultural activities for us to do so we also got to know Portuguese culture, like local community sort off, and in the evening we mostly had free time.
What impact those two workcamps have on you?
It did change me, like knowing what we can do for small plants that are basically everywhere to help the environment and not just what we think is right, so even thinking small like in the gardens, in our neighbor gardens the animals that live there if we treat our gardens right the animals will flourish.
How important is volunteering?
I would say it’s a very important task because these people who organize those workcamps rely on the volunteers and not only the camps they do for us like the ones where I went, also now they have local volunteers helping them do a bunch of different jobs so that is important for the people. And actually, those that want to try volunteering should definitely do it. It’s an awesome experience to just be part of such a group. It’s just a whole new level to get to know people because you are stuck with them for two weeks and you can’t do anything without them.