Dear Park Istra,
you have opened new doors to me and I’m forever grateful for everything…I’ll miss eating breakfast, lunch and dinner with everyone. I’ll miss random workshop nights where we make bracelets, falafels and mozarella cheese. I’ll miss the morning circles in which we share our thoughts and feelings. I’ll miss working with the local community and try talking to them despite of our language barriers…
Thank you for being yourself and for sharing your stories, goal and passions. You are all very inspirational and I can’t wait to continue this journey at home in which I will try to go back to the basics and live a simple, efficient life.
Thank you! It’s not a good bye, just a see you later. I was meant to be here and I know I’m meant to come back.
Yaris, San Francisco, USA

I will begin first by thanking Petra + Janez for the amazing time I have spent here. Words can not describe my experience here. Not only have I learnt so much but I have gained so many life changing skills that I will take home with me. Park Istra has taught me the real beauty of life and the humility and kindness of humanity. Everybody has been so kind + welcoming and it has been so powerful to learn about each individual’s journey. I have gained so much that I can not write, but I am not leaving here the same person I arrived, I am much better and my mindset has completely changed. Thank you everyone that has contributed to this transition, I am forever in your debt,
Drew, London

I am so glad to spend time here! I didn’t expect to learn so much and to find again my creativity. This place inspired me and will inspire new people, I hope. It shows me also that if you want to live in a certain way it is possible if you have the motivation and the energy. I would like to thank Petra and Janez for this positive attitude which is extremely contagious. I felt like home as soon as I arrived and I am grateful for that. It was the best internship in my entire life. Thank you everyone!
Melanie, France

…I believe that Park Istra is conquering every heart in a different way. In my case, I love being surrounded with good hearted people and share my moments with them. That makes even the most boring task or job wonderful. And somehow I believe that the “magic” of Park Istra comes from the good hearted people in there. So thank you all, for sharing your time with me and for making those 10 days the most special days in my life.
With all my heart,
Xabier Garmendia, Spain

Lovely people,
thank you for sharing love and happiness. Your will for (true) sustainability is really inspiring – I am sad for leaving, but I am leaving recharged. Keep sharing!
Lots of love,
Luiza, Brazil

Dear friends of Park Istra,
I am so grateful of the experience I have had here in these 2,5 months. This place and the people I’ve met taught me a lot. Practical skills I will definitely use more in life. And now I am able to use the big destruction machine! But also a new way of living, friendships, and I have learned to enjoy life more intensely. These are things I will never forget and one of the most precious gifts one could receive. I am really grateful of all the energy that you gave to make this time here unforgettable!
Thank you so much! You are great! :)
Lots of love,
Heelen, the Netherlands
P.S.: I wish you all the best for the future! And I definitelly wish to come back here to see you again and so see all the developments this amazing project has made…!

I will carry with me few of the best times of my life from this place…The honesty, the humour, the respect, the capacity of love, the open-minding, the motivation, listening are the treasure of the atmosphere in Park Istra. Those nights around the fire singing and talking have warmed my heart forever. I can believe in human kind now.
Longue vie a Park Istra,
Lyly the Quebecoise who will bring you in her heart forever

You guys,
this is a really magical place + I have had some truly unique experiences here. Thank you for sharing your home + hearts + smiles, for the chance to learn + contribute.
Until next time,
Katie, USA

Park Istra – You Beauty! It has been an absolutely wonderful stay with you all. There really is something special about this place! Staying here has been a form of therapy. The people have been so beautiful, chestnuts and music around the fire the most magical times. My love will stay with you as I continue forward! I hope to visit again and venture around the jungle-like garden once more.
Lots of lots of love, kia kaha,
Natasha from New Zealand

Hey Petra & Janez,
sitting on a hilltop looking down at the neighbooring village from a cliff and the green hills and valleys surrounding it I can’t feel nothing else than gratefullness. I am so happy I found this place, or it found me. It’s been 12 days filled with inspiration, knowledge and laughter. 12 days is a short time, but will play a big part in the long run. What you are doing here in Smokvica and around is a true oasis which are making things around it grow. I really believe in helping, giving your community time, I can see it cleaner now. I wish it could last longer, couse I feel you have heaps of knowledge and thoughts I would love to fill my head with. But hopefuly we can find each other in the jungle that is the internet and in the future I will ask for your advice when I start up something similar in Sweden. I wish you all the best and my sincere good luck greetings. With the family. With next place and chapter in your life. With future projects and volunteers.
Thank you for this time and see you around!
All the best,
Erik, Sweden

Hi Park Istria,
we really enjoyed these weeks in Slovenia. First, during the Floating castle festival we discovered your culture and habits. We were able to listen to special music and see the beautiful shows…all of the with a nice ambience. After that, in Smokvica, we enjoyed meeting real farmers and helping them. It was a great experience! The organisation of Park Istra is really good because we had to work mornings and we had time afternoons so we were able to go to the beach and to visit some beautiful places. It is really motivating. Thank you for everything :)
The Belgium’s scouts

I feel sad to leave. I feel as if I’ve been staying with you for an eternity and it’s been only a couple of weeks. But they’ve been beautiful, fulfilling, happy, notwithstanding the rain and horseflies.
I really wish you all the best for your personal life and for the project, and hope that many other people will be able to come and enjoy this place and all of you people.
Silvia from the south of Italy

Thank you so much for this amazing life experience. You gave me hope for the future; and motivation for present time. I enjoyed every moment spent here thanks to you, your motivation and your faith in this project, to improve the world. This was my first volunteering but not the last! It was a real pleasure to live with you and all of the volunteers. Thank you again,
Laurane, France

Before coming here I dreamt of a society where the most important roles were being friendly with others and working together to create a better world, respecting nature and people.
I saw a bad world, full of cruelty, where everybody’s desire was coming richer and where people couldn’t see the real future of life.
I had friends thinking in my way, but the most part of the society was different and discriminated people like we, who don’t like artificials and can be happy with little things like a piece of wood or friend’s smile.
I felt I had to do something, wake people up and say:”Hey! You are wrong, you’re losing the best!” I thought that I had to create my own world in harmony with nature, of that I’m part.
When I came here I understood that I wasn’t alone, that someone else had my feelings and not all humanity thinks in a different way. I saw the world that I had created in my dreams.
I am so glad that you are reality and I am grateful for the opportunity I have had to know this little but fundamental part of the world. I am sad I now have to come back but at the same time I’m full and in peace with myself.
This experience has made me better and I feel I’ve learned much more than years and years of school.
Here every day was really a surprise, a marvellous baggage od experiences.
Thank you fot everything I received from you, for the smiles and the things you taught me.
I will really miss you,
Christiana, Italy

Volunteering in Slovenia this August was supposed to be a healthy training before I start traveling for real. It turned into one of the deepest and most sincere experiences I’ve had.
Go there because of the project, hard work or not (depending of daily priorities), the waterfalls, the Adriatic, the climbing sites and the fig trees, and you’ll discover great and true people.
Olivier, France

We find that there is a huge gap between knowledge, understanding and doing. With certain differences among study programs on the University of Primorska there is undoubtedly progress in knowledge dissemination about and in favor of sustainable development. There is a study program for sustainable development, called Sustainable development management, which is a part of curriculum in the second year. And herein lies the amazing opportunity related to the creation of Sustainability Park Istra; that’s where students will be able to gain hands-on experience, either by observation or by active participation. Academic practice, research and field research are an integral part of most courses at the University of Primorska, which could be implemented (for mutual benefit) in cooperation with Sustainability Park Istria. Academic programs of sustainable development management, with modules of spatial and cultural resources management and natural resource management, geography focusing on ecology, spatial planning and rural geography, natural study with biodiversity, environmental protection, Mediterranean agriculture, sustainable tourism, and others would get a “classroom in nature” in their home environment.
Dr. Valentina Brečko Grubar, University of Primorska

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