Evropska solidarnostna enota v Parku Istra – prvi del (v angleščini)

For a very long time, the proverb “travel broadens the mind” guided a great number of volunteers throughout the world. But at the end of the day what does that mean, to what extent did experience in Park Istra, located in socially degraded border area of Slovenia, taught us something?

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The first lesson we had to take in Park Istra was life in a community of very different people, from three years old Maja to other people like Damijan, a volunteer in his fifties, who is for more than a year in charge for the renovation works in volunteer center. All this different individuals form a coherent whole. This diversity is for sure the place of growth, opportunity to see different, new points of view and to a certain extent a new form of liberty.

During the project we got involved in many different volunteering actions: helping a farmer to maintain his olive trees, helping building eco-camps, maintain trekking paths, taking care of animals in a shelter, renovations of the volunteer center and last but not least the task that matters the most: taking care of the shared areas and the housework. Yeah, yeah you understood well: in the spirit of sharing we are all in charge of the laundry, the kitchen, the rooms and the bathroom which allow us to tie our bonds even more, break the barriers with everyone because there is no hierarchy, just us, a whole of equal people put at the same level no matter whatever our origins or reasons to be here may be.


Park Istra has also been a starting point. Starting point for creating new deep connections and place, from which wave of solidarity spreads throughout the region and beyond. For many it is also place, where we can find out what means to live more environmentaly responsible life, stop wasting and starting new eating habits. In volunteer center we shared vegetarian meals, which helped us to learn how to switch meat to other proteins like chickpeas, soy and lentils. It allowed us to discover new flavors that us as omnivorous people are not used to.


To conclude, we’d like to thank the responsible Petra and Janez for all they have built, for their hospitality, their availability, their attentiveness and even sometimes their patience. We will never be able to thank you enough for what we experienced there thanks to you. Big thanks also to SVI and European Solidarity Corps program to gave us this opportunity.

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