Spain Sustainable Communities and Immigration
July 6, 2022
Hola familias! Our first day took place with chaotic excitement as our global peers met from around the world at Madrid international airport. We landed in Madrid around 11 am. The airport was super cool, but once we reached the city, we were surrounded by the historic and beautiful streets of Madrid.
We were immediately immersed into the rich architecture thst Spain has to offer, as even the airport had a modern artistic take. We rode into the city of Madrid where the streets hustled with lively social interactions and reflected the rich history of who came prior.
After settling in at the hotel and getting accustomed to the beautiful terrace views, we ate lunch. The restaurant was inspired by flowers of southern Spain (where we will be headed soon!) After lunch, we took part in siesta. Our naps gave us the fuel we needed for an afternoon orientation in Parque Retiro (which was the city’s Central Park). We took the time to get to know our peers and walked to get dinner, taking in the beauty of nearby lakes and monuments.
Now we’re off to bed after some jet lag!
-Daniella and Ava
July 7, 2022
¡Hola! Today was a really fun and full day. First, we had an early breakfast at the hostel before we came up with roles that we’d take on to help the group. There were hydrators, itinerary reminder, and even a vibe checker! Then we shared our first impressions of Madrid en español…there were many, “¡que ciudad más bonita! Next, we met Ignacio (our tour guide) for our walking tour around Madrid. We visited Puerta del Sol and learned the history of Spain’s seven stars. On our way to the Royal Palace, we stopped at the oldest operating restaurant in the WORLD! With a few more stops like eating cookies from an old cathedral ran by nuns, we made it to the beautiful palace. We learned a little about the palace’s history and the Royal family. As we concluded our walking tour, we told a group photo with Ignacio!
Next, we walked to lunch and had great food. Luckily, the restaurant was right next to our hotel so we could take a quick siesta before a meeting where we discussed our trip agreements and the values we had on the trip. Then we headed to the Prado museum. There was lots of beautiful art. The museum featured ginormous paintings and various statues made of marble and other stones. After visiting the museum, we were able to do some exploring around the town on our own. We were quite hungry when we arrived at dinner around 8:00 pm and are many types of tapas and the famous tortilla de patata. Following dinner, we came back to the hotel where we reflected on the day and discussed the plan for tomorrow.
-Paloma and Linn!
July 8, 2022
We started today with an early breakfast as we were leaving Madrid for Segovia where we saw an aqueduct built by the Romans. The bus ride there was calm. Jack played some rock music from his MP3 player. After we toured the aqueduct, we visited the cathedral and toured Fernando’s castle. We had a Spanish guide who did the tour completely in Spanish and we tried to piece together the elaborate information she gave us. After the tour, we dined in a historic restaurant in Segovia which served Sephardic Jewish food.
After lunch, it was time to make our way to the small town where we will be working with the locals on various projects. We had a very nice dinner all made with fresh and organic produce harvested by the locals. After this, we went to watch the sunset and we finished the day with a group meeting discussing the roles we will have and the plan for tomorrow.
-Niko and Dash
July 9, 2022
Today we experienced our first full day in the community. We started the day with breakfast at 8 am, it was delish. Next we split into three groups for our community service projects. We gardened, made adobe bricks, and worked on building a structure. The work was very fun and we enjoyed working as a team to complete tasks. Lunch was next and then a siesta! Next were workshops. One group made leather coin pockets and the others made pizza, bread, and cookies. Another thing one of the groups did was harvest garlic. It was fun even though there were some flies! We were part of the leather making workshop and ours turned out great. During siesta, all of us played volleyball while some of the boys played with water guns. After dinner, we went to the farm and saw the cats, dog, two donkeys, and three wild turkeys. The kittens were so adorable and liked to be pet unlike the cats in the courtyard of the house we’re in. The sunsets here are amazing, as they last a long time and paint the sky beautiful colors. Anyways, a great end to a great day. We’re so happy to be here in such an amazing place. ¡Hasta luego!
-Stella and Del
July 10, 2022
¡Hola! Working today, back bent over a plank, sawing away under the blistering sun, we wiped beads of sweat from our foreheads. Passing the rhythm of our saws, we looked up at our amicable Amayuelan volunteer experts like Iván, Miren, and Davíd. They cut through two planks or made 5 adobes in the time it took us to stop for a break with the saw or mud buried in the middle. For that section of the day, we were either adding planks to the roof of a refugio (refugee), squishing mud into the ground to create bricks, or gardening. After lunch, there were activities that you could choose from like doing a workout circuit or watching a Spanish movie. Then after a short siesta, we were taught all about fun Spanish kid games. Today was super fun and eventful!
– Bryce and Izzy
July 11, 2022
Today we woke up to eggs and cereal from the wonderful locals. At 8:45 am, we dispersed into our 3 groups to go work. Some of us worked on the roof, others built bricks out of mud, and the rest of us helped with the vegetation. It was hard work but we pulled through. We got very muddy, so we are looking forward to laundry day in a couple of days Later, we had an afternoon snack and later at 2:30 pm, we had some lunch.
After lunch and our break, we got into two groups. The first group baked bread, cookies, and other food. They learned the recipe for all the food in order to make it at home. The last thing the group did was make pizza, which we ate for dinner. The other group worked with leather and learned how to create different types of designs. However, the main thing we made was a tiny bag that holds coins that we all will use when we shop in town.
We finished the day by eating pizza the first group made and then going to bed by 11 pm. All in all, today was amazing and we all are excited for the last day here at Amayuelas.
Felipe and Harrison
July 12, 2022
We woke up exceptionally early for our last morning in Amayuelas. We had eggs and went straight to work. Some of us in the seedery, some of us building the farm house, and some of pouring mud brick. We all came together at the farm house finishing its construction and celebrations with a group photo. Lunch was lamb, yum, and of course there were veggies and tortilla for vegetarians and vegans.
After lunch, we had a mini break (packing time). Then, Fabricio and Asia led some exciting communication games. We then met up with some local Spanish kids and played soccer. We said goodbye together after a long walk to our late burrito dinner. We then had our last nudge at the house. A nice, bittersweet end to an exciting day!!
July 13, 2022
Today was our last morning in Amayuelas and a very early start to a day full of travel. We had a quick breakfast and we were off to the bus for a long, but pretty ride to Madrid. Once we made it to Madrid, we got to the train station and boarded the Ave fast train. We loved the train and thought it was a very cool form of transportation. We finally made it to Malaga and took a short bus ride to the hotel Don Curro. From there, we did our laundry and got to shop for a little in the Malaga strip. Afterwards, we headed to the beach for a quick dip in the Mediterranean.
Shortly after, we cooked our own dinner at “Cooking Malaga” and made paella, cheesy bread, and some other appetizers. It was great! We took a walk along the beach and made it back to the hotel to sleep. It was a good but long day due to the travel, and we can’t wait for tomorrow.
-Max and Jack
July 14, 2022
Today we left Malaga in the morning to visit the towns of Frigiliana and Nerja on our way to FES (the foundation we will be doing service during the next 5 days.) In Frigiliana, we got to do a fun scavenger hunt while exploring the town, then we headed to Nerja for kayaking and beach time. We all had a great time swimming and playing in the water. After the kayaking tour, we had an Ice-cream before driving to FES.
Once we arrived at FES, we had dinner and met Ignacio & Dora, who welcomed us and taught us more about their foundation.
July 15, 2022
¡Hola! Today we had our first full service day at la fundación. Some of us worked on clearing up a burnt house, some of us worked in clearing out a junk area, and some creating a mosaic wall around a door. After our morning of work, we gathered for lunch which was cooked for us by some of the community members. The afternoon was very relaxed and we had a lot of free time to go swimming in the pool, nap, walk around the fundación and converse with many members of the community. After a long day we all had a great dinner before walking across the street to a local festival where there was food (churros com chocolate), sodas, and live Andalucian rock music. We all danced and hung out for a couple hours before heading back to the house for the night!
-Daniella and Paloma
July 16, 2022
Today we had a slow morning. Instead of going straight to service, we went up the mountain and then we played a game called Camouflage. We then did 2 hours of service work. After this, we all had lunch. We had a long siesta from 3-6 pm where we read, we went to the pool, did yoga, and some people took naps. Then we had a convivencia where were introduced to many of the people living at FES. We also had answered some questions about ourselves (in Spanish!) like discussing our dreams of what we want to do in the future. After this, we all hung out at the pool and enjoyed some pizzas and burgers for dinner. we then played some games together and all hung out some more at the house.
-Niko and Matt
July 17, 2022
¡Good morning! We started off the day with community service. We were split into 3 groups but they quickly morphed into one and we all worked on the Mosaic. Had lunch then boarded a bus to Granada, stopped for gelato, got the chance to shop for a few minutes before heading off to our flamenco class. While the class was long sweaty, in the end was worth it, we learned the steps and claps from our teacher. We stayed at the same place for a tapa style dinner and a flamenco show. We walked around for a bit and made our way back to the foundation. It was Sophie’s birthday today (happy 16th) so we got her a cake, and a bunch of kids came outside our bedroom door to sing happy birthday. Ok bye.
-Anna & Sophie
July 18, 2022
Hi! Today we woke up and had a 9 am breakfast. We had some toast with marmalade and it was good. We even got on the bus to go to Granada and see the Alhambra. It was a cool castle from the days of Christopher Columbus and King Fernando and Queen Isabella. Our tour guide’s name was Juan. The Alhambra fortress was strategically—and unfortunately— built on a literal mountain. Which meant that we had to walk up steep inclines. After getting down the steep incline, we enjoyed a delicious lunch of Moroccan food. Even though the walking was tiring, the day was capped off with an unforgettable cross-cultural dinner that the people of the Fundación made for us. They made us food from Columbia, Venezuela, and more! Then we had a great dance party!
-Harrison and Bryce
July 19, 2022
Today we ate breakfast and then we did our workshop that we picked. Some did not Ope burning, and it wasn’t easy but it was really fun and cool. Other options were ceramics, which Del did, bike riding, marmalading, sewing, and screen printing. Then, we took a great nap and after lunch we went to a Spanish country club. We played tennis against Ignacio, the owner of the Fundación. He beat some of us 6-1! The other half of the group went to the pool.
At the pool, we enjoyed the peaceful energy while we laid in the sun, surrounded by the happy sounds of children playing and giggling. Serene is the best adjective to describe these moments of the day for us. Next, we came back to FES and enjoyed dinner and karaoke with some other community members.
With the end of the trip to Spain nearing, I believe it’s safe to say we are feeling great for the experience we got to share. Tears have been shed, laughs have been…well, laughed, and we’ve all grown through it. Thank you parents…we love and miss you and we’ll see you soon!
-Del and Stell
July 20, 2022
Hey everyone, it’s Jordan and Felipe. Today we ate a quick breakfast then we all headed to the bus. From the bus, we drove to a trail where we took a two-hour hike to a waterfall. We spent some moments with Ignacio, leader at the Fundación, and hiked back to the bus. After that, we headed to Malaga where we had an amazing closing to our trip!
At Malaga, we started by going shopping for two hours, buying all of the last things we wanted from Spain. From there, we all dressed up and headed to the nicest dinner of the entire trip. The food was amazing. We finished the night with a heart to heart talk and said our goodbyes. A great ending to our trip!
-Jordan and Felipe