A workcamp experience gives volunteers the opportunity to travel to another country and use their time productively making a positive contribution to the local community. Meet Claudia, our lovely friend that travelled from Oregon to volunteer in Aragon.
I am Claudia Buchard, an 18 year old from Oregon in the United States. I’m half French, and thanks to this, was able to travel to Europe to participate in the camp, ‘Fuentes del río Huerva’ in Cerveruela. My experience at the Fondo Natural Huerva Camp easily created one of the most memorable summers of my life. Having done two volunteer camps previously, I thought I knew what to expect. However, the camp greatly exceeded my expectations, allowing me to learn and get much more out of it than anticipated.
The reason why I picked this volunteer camp in the first place was because of its emphasis on the environment. We learned so many interesting things on ecology and invasive species, and learned skills that are relevant to the field. I know so much more about animal tracking and preservation now thanks to our amazing leaders Jorge, María, and José.
One of the best things about the camp was surprisingly the work that we put into it. At my previous camps, I never really understood what the point of what we were doing was, and I never felt as though our work had any impact. This time around, we were able to interact with the people living in the village we were working at. Our work was to clear out trails to fountains, and repair the fountains in order to allow the villagers to hike there. Seeing that people actually appreciated what we did and enjoyed the outcome was really nice.
The most exciting aspect of the camp for me was meeting people who experience different lifestyles and cultures than what I am used to. I got to talk to people from all over the world who I would have never been able to meet without this experience. Learning about how their lives were different but similar to mine was really interesting. Additionally, being able to see how life was in Cerveruela was extremely special as we were able to integrate ourselves into their traditions. Everyone was so friendly and welcoming.
Thanks to the amazing people running this camp, I was able to have a great two weeks. I got to experience things I would not have access to in the United States. I got to learn about different aspects of the world, including culture and the environment.
Thank you to everyone involved for such an amazing experience!