There is little time to start my Island Shake adventure in Madeira, and start to go over the things I have to pack: a sleeping bag, flashlight, surfboard, walking boots and my camera, is almost everything I need. I pretend to go lightweight luggage and return full of experiences. During the last two weeks I was touring Lanzarote and Fuerteventura with my van, crossing desert landscapes, surfing on beaches of white sand and crystal clear waters. A little holiday not entering my plans, but I’ve enjoyed, and they are reaching their end. Now, for the second time during this trip, I make a pause on route to write my monthly contribution to project’s blog from a public library.
How did your family, friends and acquaintances to realize that you will leave as EVS?
It’s been many months since I sent my application to participate in Island Shake, and since then I have not stopped sharing my enthusiasm with my family and friends. All they will have pleased when I tell them that I’m five months to discover another island and collaborate in a society for the protection of birds. Those who know me know that this is a great opportunity that’s going to let me develop as a person and as a geographer, and however, the reactions of each were different. For my family, who are accustomed to travel constantly and to see the children jump from one site to another, the most interesting thing about this trip is the training and experience that I can pick up at the labour/professional level, since at my age, and with the socio-economic landscape I am going through with the rest of Spanish youth, receive the preparation and previous experience that may hold are essential to get a [good] jobs in the future. My friends, on the other hand, see it more like a holidays than a collaborative project. None of them had heard before the European Voluntary System, except two or three who also sent his request for Island Shake from La Gomera. Like them, I didn’t know the EVS, and it was by chance that I read a story on Facebook and finally can access and participate.
Generally, how is the attitude of people when a canary is going?
From the time when the canary inhabitants left for Venezuela and Cuba, migration has always been present in the islands, and is now considered normal, especially among young people, who leave their islands temporary or permanently for study or work reasons. Those from smaller islands, leave for the capital islands to study in college, and then can even go to other Spanish and European regions. Many will stay in big cities like Madrid, Barcelona or London, where they can find more opportunities than here. Others, however, they return back to Canary upon completion of their studies, bringing the knowledge and experience they have acquired outside. These movements of young students back to their place of origin are known as “return migration”, and are a key element for the development of the islands. However, the lack of opportunities compounded by the global economic crisis that our country lives more strongly hinders the return of many young well trained and prepared. So when a young canary goes, can be a great value that is being lost.
Sometimes I think about how I got my last job, how I got involved in Island Shake and other accomplishments that I have achieved in life by being in the right place at the right time, and I wonder if they were mere coincidences, but something I have very clear is that if I had not moved he would have lost many opportunities like this. Thus, I think that move and travel is essential not only to train, but to find good opportunities. In this sense, it’s strange that despite the good opportunities provided by the EVS to travel, work and study in other countries, is something so little known among young canaries. For my part, I will do everything possible to spread this opportunity is so interesting that EVS, to see if my friends and their friends are hearing about and encouraged to participate someday.
So, my advice is to never stop moving to achieve your goals!