Spanish EVS volunteer in Italy
Nacho’s EVS placement finishes in July 2014 but Nacho knows already that he will stay in Prato for longer.
Interviewer: Why did you choose Italy for your EVS?
Nacho: I had always felt attracted by Italy because of its culture and gastronomy and when I discovered EVS I didn’t hesitate and chose Italy as my destination. Actually I didn’t look for projects in other countries so I could say that I was already in love with Italy. I also was studying Italian and I thought it was a good way to improve the language.
Interviewer: Was it hard to find a suitable project?
Nacho: It was difficult because of the uncertainty. I had to wait for months! First my Sending Organisation had prepared the project; then it was presented to the National Agency and two months later it was finally approved. Otherwise I was lucky because I found the project of my dreams and they picked me! However I have to say that other organisations were interested in me too - even one in Rome - but I preferred to choose a project suitable for my studies and work experience and didn’t get obsessed about living close to Fontana Di Trevi.
Interviewer: Describe a day in your life as a volunteer:
Nacho: This is a tricky question because each day is different. I’m working in Officina Giovani which is an organization managed by the Municipality dedicated to young people of the region where concerts, theatre, courses and exhibitions take place. I work in the Communication department and I am responsible for the graphics. I also make video and photo reports and teach Spanish on Thursdays.
Interviewer: What has been your biggest challenge during these months?
Nacho: My biggest challenge has been to live with other volunteers from my EVS project. We come from very different backgrounds and we have such a small place to stay that it has been hard to keep peace and harmony between us. I had to improve my patience; actually I have discovered how incredibly patient I can be!
Interviewer: Tell us a funny story from these past few months:
Nacho: Hmm... I will never forget my first day in the office. In Spain, we kiss girls usually on both cheeks when we meet them. Here you don’t do it, you just shake hands. I didn’t know that and when my boss came to say ‘hello’ to me for the first time, I kissed her on both cheeks. Everybody looked at me very surprised as if they were thinking ‘why is Nacho kissing the boss?’ After that I explained why and I apologised. They have been making jokes about that for months!
Interviewer: What are you going to do when you finish your EVS?
Nacho: I would like to stay in Prato. I have made good friends and I feel so happy here that I don’t want to leave the town. Also the unemployment is still a big problem in Spain so I would try to find a job here. Let’s pray I’ll be lucky!
Interviewer: Why would you recommend to other young people to do EVS?
Nacho: EVS is an experience that everybody should have because it changes your life. I’ve come to know myself much better and I’ve changed a lot. I grew up both personally and professionally. It is an everyday challenge because you leave a comfortable life in your own country to live in a new one where you start fresh. You don’t know the culture, the city or people so you learn to manage yourself.
Interviewer: Thanks, Nacho. Enjoy your last days!
Nacho: It was my pleasure. I will do that for sure!
Produced by Silvia Corral