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Baco Festum": celebrating cultural diversity through Erasmus+ program

Welcome back to our blog! Today we want to tell you about our last Youth Exchange, Baco Festum: a journey to the roots, which took place in Carucedo during June 4-12.

Erasmus+ en Las Médulas de El Bierzo

Organized by Valdeorras Vive, with Lucas and Sasha as facilitators, and in coordination with the different sending associations of each country. In addition, this time we have returned to an environment that we really love, next to the Lake of Carucedo and very close to Las Médulas, where we always eat super delicious food and Pablo and Mamen are welcoming us so wonderfully.


This has been an enriching experience at all levels, both for us organizing it and for the 36 youngsters who came from Turkey, Estonia, Georgia, Bosnia, Hungary and Spain (we think we haven't missed any of them!).

Intercambio Erasmus+ en El Bierzo

With this Youth Exchange, initially thought for the first months post-pandemic, we wanted to celebrate in capital letters the diversity, the wine culture and the legacy that Romanization has left in these lands. And this environment really makes it easy!

Intercambio juvenil Erasmus+ en El Bierzo

Despite the rain, it seems that the God Baco does not take care of these matters, the workshops were a success and soon the ice was broken and all those unknown faces became familiar. We were quickly able to digg into various topics to promote non-formal education: debate, improvisation, role-playing, exchange of ideas, teamwork, and so on and so forth, and that's what it's all about to a large extent! We firmly believe in the importance of strengthening these so-called soft skills that we don't have the opportunity to practice on a day-to-day basis, and very often are lacking in any kind of formal education.

Intercambio juvenil Erasmus+ en El Bierzo

Intercambio juvenil Erasmus+ en El Bierzo

We had a beautiful day of hiking (of course, to Las Médulas). Contemplating the amazement and fascination that such a place causes in young people coming from so far away is exciting. We tried not to lose any detail, because they wanted to know everything, so we explained step by step what the hell was the "ruina montium" that the Romans practiced there, and how much gold was exploited there (the 6% of Roman GPD was here). For some of them, it was even the first time they had hiked on a "real mountain" as they told us with laughter and to our amazement. And of such a diverse group of 36 young people, some have grown up all their lives in huge cities or in completely flat countries.

Intercambio juvenil Erasmus+ en Las Médulas de El Bierzo

Of course, there was also time for Pablo's paellas, we leave you here a photo that describes itself:

Intercambio juvenil Erasmus+ en El Bierzo

Time flew by and the rain gave us another break, this time to visit Ponferrada, conduct street interviews and practice some digital skills such as video marketing (so no one will say that we don't know how to sell our land!).

Intercambio juvenil Erasmus+ en El Bierzo

During the afternoon we went to the Palacio de Canedo, and there we were welcomed by Paula and José Luis Prada himself. In a matter of seconds everyone was infected by the philosophy "a tope" that there is defended so deeply. We wanted everyone at Baco Festum to understand that wine culture resides in places like this, where love for the land and local value-added products are treated with care and a lots of passion. We believe that this transcends any business, that these are values and even a philosophy of life, A Tope!

Intercambio juvenil Erasmus+ en El Bierzo

Intercambio juvenil Erasmus+ en el Palacio de Canedo de El Bierzo

Intercambio juvenil Erasmus+ en el Palacio de Canedo de El Bierzo

We had also the intercultural evenings, which should not be missing in any exchange. Presentations, music, dance and curious facts about countries that may seem very distant, but in reality they are not. For example, Georgia, with which we are separated by so many kilometers, shares with Spain a powerful and ancient wine tradition, in which we see ourselves reflected. For them, participating every year in the harvest is a common thing and some even make their own wine at home (or liquor, known as "chacha", equivalent to our "aguardiente").

Noche intercultural de Georgia en un intercambio juvenil Erasmus+ en El Bierzo

Other nights were a bit more particular if possible, near the end of the exchange we wanted to organize a gymkhana type horror night, "What happened to Angelo?" promoting teamwork and, literally, overcoming some fears (or having a good time, for those who do not have them).

Intercambio juvenil Erasmus+ en El Bierzo

And sadly everything came to an end for this memorable experience. The last night we stayed in the village of Carucedo, tasting some beers that are brewed right there, in the Castreña Factory. This might not have been to Baco's liking, but it was an exception, we promise.

Intercambio juvenil Erasmus+ en El Bierzo

The 12th everyone left and the cabins of Carucedo were silent waiting for a new Erasmus+ adventure, which we believe, will come very very soon.


Thank you so much for reading us!

Intercambio juvenil Erasmus+ en El Bierzo

Text: Álvaro Docampo


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