Meritxell Gonzalez | Spain | Short-term | Have Less, Live More 2022
Hello everybody! My name is Meritxell, I’m 24 years old and I’m from Barcelona, Spain. This year I finished my higher studies in Forestry and Environmental Management, and in Environmental Education and Control. I did my internship for the latter at SEO BirdLife, where I worked with a group of volunteers from the European Solidarity Corps. Talking with this group of volunteers I discovered the world of volunteering and I decided to work as a volunteer this summer to improve my professional skills and to be able to work in the future in a good company related to my studies.
I made an account on the European Solidarity Corps website and started looking for various projects related to my studies. When I was selected for the IDC project « Have less, live more » I was very happy. This project is not only related to my studies but also to the lifestyle I want to have in the future. It is also a great opportunity to practice and improve my English and French. I started to study these two languages at school and high school and I would like to be able to speak them fluently and understand them. So without a doubt, this was an ideal volunteer placement to achieve my goals.
At first I was quite nervous. It was the first time I was going to live in another country, even if it was only for 2 months. I was also worried about the languages because my English was good enough to have simple conversations and my French was very basic. I also didn’t know what kind of people would be at the campsite, what the atmosphere would be like and what the daily work would be like. But really this experience is the best thing that has ever happened to me. Being in contact with nature and animals has always made me feel at peace. In fact, my dream is to live in a rural area surrounded by nature, living only with what is necessary and what mother earth gives us, and being here is as if that dream has come true.
With this volunteering I am learning how I can live a healthier and more sustainable life, taking advantage of what the earth gives us and minimizing the negative impact of our lifestyle on the environment. But I am also learning how to get along with other people. I have discovered that living with people from different countries is very enriching as you can learn many things through the different cultures and traditions of each country. I have been very surprised by the people I have met in the campsite, since the first day they have made me feel welcome, they have supported me and helped me a lot, especially to improve my English.
This experience is really changing my life for the better and I want to repeat it with a long term volunteering. I would definitely recommend this experience to all young people because it is a great opportunity to improve both professionally and personally.