Hi! My name is Rocío and I am from Alicante (Spain). I am carrying out my EVS in Palermo, Sicily. I find the experience that I am acquiring from this EVS really important. I am 26 years old and this is the first time I travel to a foreign country, living and working in a strange city. The first idea that crossed my mind when I arrived here was that Palermo was a dirty city with a lot of traffic, however, people here are charming and pleasant and they make me feel part of everything they do, letting me give more importance to this human side. Furthermore, here in Sicily there are so many places and beaches with breath taking views which are worth to visit. Also, Sicilian food has a delicious taste and recipes are good to eat.

This is the first time that I share such a fascinating project and wonderful experience. I am living with people from diverse cultures which, otherwise, I would never have had the opportunity to meet. Thus, I am learning some others ways of living and diverse points of view. Communicating is difficult since I do not speak English but I have found that non-verbal communication transmits respect and tolerance. In the same way, cultural diversity allows us to feel empathy towards everyone’s reality which people have to face and live.

I am doing my volunteer ship in a centre which hosts people who suffer from learning and physical disabilities. I did this experience also in Spain and I loved it but I still had some fears about it. It is a difficult job; it is needed to be a very active, understanding, patient and communicative person. For me, it is a pleasure to say that I felt really accepted and welcomed since the very first day. This is a job actually satisfying thanks to the company, the interest of getting to know and learn from each other and the desire of laughing is reciprocal among all. In the centre, we carry out activities with the aim to potentiate people´s capacity and I have to say that the results of workers are extraordinary. People have so much ability and this is a unique value which makes me feel really productive. I am learning a lot from this social mediator profession and I have no doubt that it will be very useful for my professional future.

To sum up, it is an experience that everyone should live because it creates so many personal changes and provides a human and professional enrichment. In Palermo it is been said that here “you cry twice, when you arrive and when you have to leave” and I am convinced that this will occur to me as well!