Study visit to Faro, Portugal
From March 7th to March 9th the organization I am volunteering at, solaris Förderzentrum für Jugend und Umwelt gGmbH, gave me a wonderful opportunity to participate in a study visit called “Youth cultures and Participation” within the frames of Explore+ project in Faro, Portugal.
Representatives from Germany, Portugal, Latvia and Romania were taking part in the project.
On the first day of the project, March 7th, all the participants were involved in a city game, which was a special challenge to find graffitis and hidden signs in downtown Faro. The challenge was a very interesting way to get acquainted with the city and learn a lot about its history, architecture and sights.
After the city game the participants headed to the city hall of the Faro, where they were presented the project “MI.MOMO.FARO”. Through this educational project school students reproduce modernist architecture buildings of Faro on the Minecraft Education platform.
After the presentation of the project, the team of the project took a boat and headed to the island of Culatra and was presented the project “Culatra 2030”, within the frames of which it is intended to install solar panels in most of the fishermen’s boats and houses on the island. The group of the international participants was given a tour through the island enjoying the authenticity of the island and the Atlantic Ocean.
The day was finished with a wonderful dinner at one of the local restaurants enjoying the fantastic melodies of fado music.
The second day of the project commenced with the visit to Milreu Roman remains, which is mainly composed of once luxurious villa and adjacent buildings. Very spectacular were the preserved mosaics on the floor and walls of the Roman bath and other buildings. The place was holding rich history and Roman presence in the Algarve. This place reminded me of the ruins of the Roman baths at Garni temple in my homeland, Armenia.
After the ruins the team paid a visit to the school of “Poeta Emiliano da Costa”, was given a tour of the school and learnt about its organization. After seeing different sections of the school- rooms, library, sports hall, the participants had a lunch at school canteen with the schoolchildren.
Second part of the day was a visit to Museu0, a former food factory which is going to be a museum of media arts. Within the frames of the project this area is going to be an alternative space for artists and creative people. Museu0 is going to have exhibition halls, a café and other rooms and facilities, which will attract different artists from various places as well as ensure the involvement and development of the local community.
The second day of the seminar was finalized with a dinner at Associação Recreativa E Cultural De Músicos, where the participants had a chance to try the tasty local dishes one more time and were presented the project “Capsula”, which helps young artists and singers to promote their art. In general, I think Portugal has one of the best cuisines I have ever tried in my life. Of course it is dominated with the seafood, which is really amazing. And when in Portugal, don’t miss the pastries, as the people here really know how to make them!
On the last day of the project the participants attended the presentation “Culture is the soul of Europe” by Paulo Pires at one of local schools and learnt the connection of culture and democracy in Europe.
After the presentation the participants enjoyed a lunch at the same school prepared by the students of the culinary class of the school. The students of the culinary class are prepared to later work at the best restaurants and service providers.
After the lunch the participants did the evaluation of the project and exchanged thoughts and ideas on the past days.
Later the participants strolled through the modernist quarter in Faro and had a chance to see some examples of modernist architecture buildings.
All the project days were full of learning, experiencing, travelling and the participants went back to their countries with lots of new knowledge, experience and memories.