Hey! I’m Gloria Pascual, the last volunteer who arrived in Radi Vidi Pats in November, 2019. I was born and raised in Almería, an amazing South Spain region where I have lived my 23 years of life. After studying psychology at the University, I decided to continue my education with an Educational Psychology Master degree because I’m really interested in the learning process, especially in adolescence. But I guess life had other plans for me. After knowing I couldn’t enter any university, I decided I wanted a radical change in my life, so I started to look for European volunteering projects, and when I saw this one in Liepaja, I thought: “Latvia, why not?”
As a Spanish girl, I have a very outgoing personality, and I’ve been associated with so many social and environmental fights since a very young age. I started volunteering in Greenpeace at the age of 17, and I was so involved until the point I became coordinator of the local group of my city for two years. At the same time, I was assisting regularly in some meetings and debate groups related with other social and political issues. This non-conformist and fighting spirit is what has led me to be who I am today. The same one that made me end up in Radi Vidi Pats, after reading one advertisement where they were looking for a new volunteer, and they described themselves as an environmental education organisation.
The 8th of March is an important date for me. In recent years in Spain there has been a big movement to make visible the inequality between genders and all the consequences that patriarchy has over women. Throughout the month of March social networks and educational centers are full of awareness messages. And when the 8th arrives, there is a general strike, and thousands of people fill the streets and scream to demand what is fair: equality.
For that reason I wanted to organise some event in Radi Vidi Pats for women’s day. But for my surprise I discovered that in Latvia women's day is celebrated in a different way. Here it is common for men to give flowers to women, and to remember why they love them. No demonstrations, no strike, no mention of patriarchy or inequality. AIt first it was shocking to me, but with the help of Linda, the project coordinator, we found a way to join forces and customs and to create an open space where we could debate and present all our ideas and points of view, using creative writing as a tool for it.
The workshop was aimed at everyone, and although the participation was not the highest, we managed to share the topic related cultural differences, the perception we have of what it means to be a woman and the types of events that take place for women's day in each country. It turned out to be very enriching! Personally, I got to know creative writing through Linda and I think it is a wonderful tool to get to know us and to know other realities through words. I will certainly try to go deeper into it, and in Radi Vidi Pats we will organize more workshops to put it into practice!
Today, the last day of March, I say goodbye to the month of women, although this year we have all lived it differently due to the pandemic that is ravaging the planet: the damn covid 19 ... But I will talk about that on another platform!
Greetings to everyone who reads me!
Volunteering project “Solidarity Seekers” is financed by the European Solidarity Corps Programme of the European Union that in Latvia is administered by the Agency for International Programs for Youth. This publication reflects only the viewpoint of the author.