Unfortunately, if you are young, ambitious, a big dreamer and you are always thinking on improving yourself as much as possible, Spain is probably not the best country to live in at the moment. So many things have changed compared with a couple of years ago; now the government is not that interested in supporting people who want to make good careers anymore because they have other ‘priorities’. There were no jobs, bad faces, not so many choices, and too much broken dreams around me. It was a toxic environment; that’s why I needed another way of thinking and some fresh air. Looking at the EVS (European Volunteer Service) program, I found a “Youth-Worker” organization based on many Christian values called Atlantic Bridge in which I could fit perfectly. I applied, I was accepted and, since a few months ago I’ve been living in Zeeland, the southwest province of The Netherlands.
But first of all, let me introduce myself. I am Diego Fernando, I am from Colombia originally but I spent the last 9 years in Spain. That’s a long story for another day. I really love Spain but I really consider that this is not the time for me to be there.
Currently I live in a big house in a small village with eight other amazing people from all over the world. We are so much different from each other but, at the same time, we are so similar. We, luckily, found the way to mix all of our different ways of living, languages, customs and even religious backgrounds to get into a really good team: people who cook together, work together, travel together and support each other.
And it is quite interesting how when someone asks me about what we do as a team in our daily work with Atlantic Bridge, the first thing that came up is “share with others what we experience together: 9 volunteers from 8 different countries with different “everything”, have learned how to become a team in spite of the cultural, religious, ethnic and communication walls between them. We, as a team, are learning how to create meaningful moments, ‘clicks’, but at the same time we share with others how to do it.
One of the activities of Atlantic Bridge, the organization I am now volunteering for, is to help young people find their roots, especially their spiritual roots. That’s why, together with the other volunteers, we organized a Heritage Hunt in Antwerp last Sunday. It was a lot of work and a lot of fun. We tried our best and we received many positive feedback. From now, I guess this is the beginning of some more adventures in building new bridges and exploring new worlds.