Human Rights for all! is a Training Course that held place in Trasmulas, Andalucía, Spain in September 2019. It put together youth workers, activists and educators from 9 countries: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Republic of North Macedonia, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain and Turkey. The target group was youth workers, educators, human rights and LGBTQI+ activists, who are working with young people on the topic of human rights and gender, especially LGBTQI+ issues.
Trasmulas is a village located in the South of Spain (Andalucía) at about 360 km away from Madrid. According to the locals, not much was happening there, until Intercultural life (a local NGO) came to life. Our training course was held in ”La Choza De Trasmulas”, which is an ecological rural hostel built between 2013-2014 with natural and ecological materials (such as wood, earth, vegetation etc.).
If you google ”La Choza De Trasmulas”, I promise you will be positively impressed. Sunny pictures, beautiful nature, videos full of energy, inspiring keywords as escapada rural, naturaleza, vida real, Granada, Andalucia. It sounds like a dream. And it was, for Katrin and Nani, the two wonderful ladies who build this wonderful house.
But what makes this house so special and… ecological?
The house reaches energy efficiency class A thanks to the biomass boiler central heating: underfloor heating in the ground floor and radiators on the first one and in the semi-basement. Moreover, in order to keep a pleasant temperature both in winter and summer, the house has a passive air conditioning system. 530 square meters of simplicity and efficiency. 8 rooms with individual bathrooms, open spaces, offices, terrace and even a pool, all this you will find in ”La Choza De Trasmulas”! You are more than welcome to pay Katrin and Nani a visit and find out more about the history of the house, their dream and, of course, the challenges they had to face while building it – because it was definitely not easy! La Choza de Trasmulas hosts guests from all over the world, Erasmus+ projects (training courses, youth exchanges, ESC volunteers).
I was not surprised to find out that in the building of the hostel Katrin and Nani received help from ESC volunteers. I had the opportunity to talk to Julia, who did her voluntary service from September 2014 until June 2015 and ask her some questions about her experience. Achtung, cool interview incoming!
Q: Hello Julia and thank you for accepting to answer these questions! We will go straight into the topic, and my first question is how did you find the opportunity and why did you choose it?
Julia: I first applied for several projects in Spain by myself but unfortunately I never heard back from them. Then, my sending organization suggested this project to me (in Trasmulas), I got in contact with the receiving organization and they accepted my application. I found the project description interesting because it had a variety of tasks and I especially found house building (at that point La Choza was not finished) exciting. I also wanted to try living in a small village.
Q: How long was your ESC mobility and what did you actually do there?
Julia: I was there for a total of 10 months and I had many different tasks:
- giving English lessons (three students in private lessons);
- organizing leisure projects for children once a week in the afternoon which included various activities such as crafts, games, sometimes boxing;
- assistance in the administrative work of the receiving association Intercultural Life (translation, orders, organization of youth exchanges, etc.);
- helping with youth exchanges (monitor, translator);
- taking care of a vegetable garden near the village;
- last but not least, helping with the construction of La Choza (plastering walls, assembling and oiling furniture, writing doorplates, etc.).
Q: Wow, that sounds like an intense and interesting ESC mobility, full of challenging activities! I guess you did not get bored there! What does the ESC mean for you now after having this experience?
Julia: This program was a very valuable experience for me as I not only learned many things at work but also it made me come out of my comfort zone (for example, I had to leave my house where I lived with my parents and go live in a totally new and different place). That's how I learned a lot of new things, things which are very useful for me today. In addition, my ESC has definitely led me to live in Spain today. I am very happy and satisfied to have had this experience.
Q: What do you wish you would have known before you accepted the European Solidarity Corps challenge?
Julia: There is nothing I would like to have known before, as all the surprising situations have led me to spontaneously master them, which has certainly made me more resilient and self-confident.
This concludes the small interview with Julia. Hopefully, it gave you an insight on what the European Solidarity Corps means and what to expect if you're thinking on taking this beautiful challenge. I would like to thank again Katrin and Nani for giving me the chance to spend a wonderful time in Trasmulas and be able to share this experience with you! Thank you Julia for your time and for sharing with me/us your ESC!
If you are interested in this topic and would like to connect with the organizers or the participants, feel free to contact us anytime:
- Alexandra-Ioana Simon – german participant (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Intercultural life – hosting organization (email@example.com)
This Training Course has been founded by the Erasmus+ project.
*Photo sources: http://lachozadetrasmulas.com/, Alexandra Ioana Simon.