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A year in Madrid

James has taken the opportunity to spend 8 months in Madrid under the Erasmus+ Programme volunteering for local organisations and getting involved in the community.

My name is James McGuire and I live in Glasgow, Scotland. I am 26 years old and I have returned to Madrid after 2 years to undergo a long term European volunteering experience. 

My first week has been intense and has involved a lot of trips to the bank and also the police station! I lost my wallet on the second day while walking in Puerta del Sol. It was an extremely stressful few days…Especially because I had lost money that I had been saving before I arrived and also lost some important cards. 

However, I tried to remain positive and didn’t want this to have a negative impact on my time in Madrid. I reported what I had lost to the police which was difficult as my Spanish is not very good but I wanted to challenge myself and try my best. A few days later I was lucky to receive a phone call from the Police saying they had my wallet and everything was still inside. Lucky doesn’t quite cover it!  

I then got the chance to finally visit my organisation. Creando Huellas! I love the work they do and recognise its importance to the community. I feel like I will become a valued member of the team who have been extremely supportive and understanding in the early days of my arrival. I have been teaching english to small groups of young people and helping with some other activities. 

I would also like to say we have a very good group of volunteers from Scotland, Italy, France and Austria! I cannot wait to get to know everybody more and make the most of this experience we are so lucky to be apart of! 

Over the next few months I plan on challenging myself to learn Spanish and integrate into the Spanish way of life and culture. I also hope that I can visit various sporting events and travel across the country and experience more of what Spain has to offer. 

Thank you! 

Original text published by Asociacion Creando Huellas at their blog ‘Diario de un Voluntario Europeo’ > https://creandohuellas.org/diario-de-un-voluntario-europeo/?fbclid=IwAR1prgBBDSdOPudewpzDpJO0-B6zv408VofXWtbHiIJ7F14Bhz4oITD-DZM