I am just back from another week as a volunteer English speaker with Diverbo at Pueblo Ingles. This time it was in the north of Spain in La Alberca, Castile and León.
La Alberca is a municipality in the province of Salamanca.
The population of La Alberca is around 1000. Its altitude is 1048 metres above sea level. Don’t be fooled into thinking that the weather in Spain is always hot. This was the last week in March, and at this altitude it was bitter cold for most of the week. Brisk winds increase the wind chill factor and for the most part it felt like minus 5.
I began the week with a short flight from Granada to Madrid and settled into a hotel near the Plaza Puerto del sol centrally located for the metro, shops, bars and restaurants. The bear (oso) and the madroño tree are the symbols of Madrid. Interestingly, when I was at my last Diverbo in Cazorla the madroño trees were growing and I was able to eat the fruit directly from the trees.
I took a short walk around the area before arriving at a local restaurant for a ‘welcome meeting and lunch’.
The following morning I met with fellow volunteers and Spanish students before taking a 4 hour coach journey to La Alberca.
Accommodation was in chalet style houses with a Spanish volunteer in the upstairs bedroom, the ‘Anglo’ downstairs and a shared lounge.
Not 5 star, but adequate as you don’t spend a lot of time in your room! The hotel is located 20 minutes walk from the town in a very pretty setting.
Work started early with a meeting at 5.0.p.m and the week continued in hectic style which totally immersed the Spanish students into speaking and listening to the English language.
The Spanish students were from a variety of backgrounds which made for fascinating conversations.
Mid-week we had a visit into the local town for lunch and an opportunity to do some shopping. Here we visited a bodega to watch a master ham carver and sample the local cheese, ham and wine.
This is my second ‘volunteer’ week as a native English speaker and I would certainly recommend it as an amazing experience to visit beautiful areas of Spain whilst having the opportunity to meet wonderful people and form new friendships.
If you want further information about volunteering take a look at http://www.diverbo.com/en/volunteer-abroad