Diving into the Mediterranean Culture

Authored by:
Ryan Lopez

My favorite part of this program is heading out of the city to the countryside of Mallorca. Our weekend excursion to Alcúdia can be challenging for some kids as it takes them out of the comfort zone that they have built in Palma. They are forced to dive into the second culture that the island offers, the Mediterranean culture. In order to fully appreciate Mallorca, one needs to understand all the beauty it offers. The Spanish culture is evident throughout the metropolitan area, but it is hard to capture the Mallorcan/Mediterranean culture if you are limited to the city. I love this weekend because it gives the chavales a chance to appreciate the nature and beauty that the city cannot offer.

(Photo cred: Sam Dodson)

When we head to Alcúdia for our weekend trip, we normally stay and an albergue, or as we call them a hostel. However, the albergue has been closed down indefinitely but we managed to secure camping spots very close to where we normally stay. At first the chavales were hesitant to go “glamping”, but I figured that once we all settled in and started the activities that kids would truly enjoy the experience out in nature. Many of the kids not only adapted to our new living quarters, but fell in love with the experience. Jackie was one who loved our experience in Alcúdia. “I am actually happy that we camped instead of staying in the albergue. I like the city, but I love being out here in nature.” We eventually had to “drag” Jackie back to the campsite so she could collect her belongings to go back to Palma.

Jackie getting ready to jump off the rock. 

During the trip, the chavales get to spend as much time in the water. They get to snorkel, swim, and much more. The favorite activity by far was coasteering, which is where you jump off of cliffs into the sea. Below are a couple of videos of our chavales jumping into the Mediterranean. 

 

Stephanie jumping off the highest jump of the day.

 

Program Leader Zach and 'Dito' jumping together.

 

Avery and Steph following suit.

 

Mariana jumping into the Mediterranean.

 

Raine taking charge and showing us how it is done.

 

Sam and Jonah jumping with no fear. 

The terrain of the coastline is very unique. It allows you to climb up some rocks so you can get a great view of the ocean and mountains in the background. Pedro (Peter) decided to climb up a little to get a better view of the Mediterranean, and some of us eventually caught up to him and decided to climb a little more. Once we found a great outlook point, we sat there and looked out at the sea, taking it all in on our last day in Alcúdia. 

Chasing new heights. (Pedro, Vicente, Celeste, Sam, and Jonah)

The best part about Alcúdia isn't the views or the activities, but it's the time and the bonds that we get to create during a weekend get away. I noticed that many of the friendships that were already formed became stronger, and that these relationships could potentially last longer than the final week that we have here in Palma. Here is a video of a Salma, Caroline, Camile, and Sydney dancing along the coast living in the moment and enjoying themselves. 

Overall, it was a great weekend. The chavales are getting sad that our time here is coming to an end, but they are prepared to take advantage of their remaining time here in Mallorca. I hope this last week will be there best week after such a great weekend. 

-Ryan 

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