Volunteering in Barcelona: Week One

From the 15th to the 30th of September 2016, I was in Barcelona, Spain and took part in a volunteer project aiming to grow awareness surrounding topics such as sexual and gender-based violence, feminism, bisexuality and other similar topics.

Being eighteen years old, I had never flown on my own to another country. Needless to say, it was an experience. I had travelled as a backpacker before, however never had to figure out on my own how to get from an airport to the city or how to find a way to my hostel without data or speaking the language. From the first day, where I met fellow Canadians in the dorms to the last, where I had met people coming from Spain, Greece, Germany, Mexico and Serbia, the people I met were what made a real difference

Thursday, 15th of September 2016– Day One

Arrived at Barcelona El Prat airport, took an hour to find my way out but finally, I made it!
I’m staying at the Urbany Hostel Barcelona where I meet Eli, an Italian girl who shows me around a bit. After walking for about twenty minutes, we had passed the Sagrada Familia and continue walking towards Las Ramblas Market.
Having eaten, we make our way back to the hostel where I become good friends with the staff over one (or two?) sangrias. Good times.

Friday, 16th of September 2016– Day Two

After an eventful evening the night before, I decide to go out on my own and start looking around. Who knew that the metro was so hot in Barcelona? Going back to Las Ramblas, I took the day slowly, enjoying some sun, ice cream and one of the infamous fruit juices found at the market. It’s a slow day, but something greatly needed!

Saturday, 17th of September 2016– Day Three

After a day of fun, it’s time to get back to business. I pack my bags, leave the hostel and try to find a café to work in– I wouldn’t have expected it to be this hard. Note to self: cafés close on Saturday afternoons in Barcelona. Or was it just bad luck?

I finally find a café and get settled. I have about three hours left before I need to make my way to the volunteer house; just enough time to start that essay I have to write for my Violence Against Women class.

It’s about 4 PM, time to go. I’m making my way towards Barcelonetta, where we are staying. After walking around for what seems like 4 hours, I finally arrive! It’s a slow night, we play UNO and quietly go to sleep.

Sunday, 18th of September 2016– Day Four

Finally, it’s the day! We are sitting in the kitchen where we will each make lunch or dinner for the next two weeks and discuss the plan. After being introduced to everyone, we play icebreakers: charades, trivia, UNO… The night ends at a local bar with the team leaders, discussions about Trump, the US elections coming up, and other controversial topics… After a long night of debates and heated arguments, we make our way back to the house and get some rest for the following day’s activities.

Read more about week two here.