The third year of Park Istra

I had an opportunity to witness the renovation of the old house in Park Istra from the very beginning more than two years ago. Each summer when I came back to Hrvoji for a few weeks as a volunteer I was impressed by the huge progress that was made when I was away. Even within days, big changes happen sometimes, but the accumulation of small changes over extended period of time is what really makes the difference.

The work that goes into renovating a house is immense. By contributing to this project I got a better understanding of high prices normally associated with buying a house. While they may be inflated in some instances, there is a good reason that a house is the most expensive thing a person normally owns.


Thousands of hours of volunteer work went into renovating that house, not to mention all the other work that volunteers did in Park Istra: helping the locals, cooking and cleaning, taking care of the garden, and so on. Now that the renovation is slowly coming to an end, the focus will gradually shift to these other types of work. What will hopefully remain is the endless stream of new volunteers in search of a different kind of spending a vacation, as well as some familiar faces who were here before and had such a good experience that they decided to revisit.



The conditions here are now better than ever before. The new bathroom is already serving its purpose, and the living room, arguably the prettiest room in the house, doubles as a meeting room and a chill out zone (as opposed to being a spare storage room as was the case before). If volunteers keep coming to Hrvoji, Park Istra will be able to continue to serve one of its original goals – to help locals with their projects, in order to promote sustainable development in the area.


Text: Matej Pirih