Enriched with diverse traditions, historical epochs, and regional uniqueness, the history and culture of Spain weave a vibrant tapestry that continues to fascinate explorers. Our Conservation Volunteering Project in Spain offers a unique opportunity for an immersive journey into the depth of Spanish history and the vibrancy of its culture.
Spain’s historical narrative traces back to the Middle Ages, with tales of powerful empires, influential wars, and dynamic internal changes. As the 16th century dawned, the Habsburg rule united the regions of Spain, establishing it as a force to reckon with among European kingdoms. The country actively participated in the significant European wars of that era, but its imperial strength began to wane towards the late 17th century due to various factors. By the onset of the 20th century, the empire had fragmented due to colonial independence movements and severe internal liberal-conservative tensions. Spain’s political landscape oscillated between a constitutional monarchy, a dictatorship, and eventually, a democracy post the death of the dictator Francisco Franco in 1975. The economic crisis of 2007-8 left a lasting imprint on the country’s economy, despite an economic boom.
Predominantly Roman Catholic, Spain has historically been a cohabitation ground for various religious groups, including Muslims, Jews, and Christians. This rich religious history is evident in the magnificent churches and cathedrals dotted across the towns. The ethnic landscape of Spain is composed of Castilian (75%), Catalan (16%), Galician (6.5%), and Basque (2%) populations, each speaking a distinctive Spanish dialect. Known for their extroverted nature and friendliness, Spaniards uphold modesty and personality over professional success.
Each region in Spain takes pride in its unique culinary traditions. Seafood, thanks to Spain’s extensive coastlines, significantly influences most dishes. Must-try delicacies include the renowned Paella, a rice dish from Valencia laden with vegetables, meat, fish, and aromatic spices, Tortilla Espanola, an omelette featuring potato and onion, and Tapas, an assortment of hot or cold appetisers.
Despite the dictatorship that forced many artists into exile, Spain’s cultural history, brimming with art and culture, has endured. Spanish art was significantly shaped by remarkable artists of the early 20th century, such as Pablo Picasso, Juan Gris, Joan Miró, and Salvador Dalí. Spain’s architectural panorama spans from prehistoric monuments in the Balearic Islands to Roman ruins, Mudéjar buildings, Gothic cathedrals, modernist monuments, and Gaudí’s intricate sculptures in Barcelona.
Spain’s traditional music is symbolised by the iconic Spanish Guitar, invented in the 1790s, and the Flamenco guitar, which accompanies the passionate Flamenco dance. The Spanish have also made significant contributions to the global ‘techno’ scene through Bakalao from Valencia. Valencia’s Falles festival, a celebration in honour of Saint Joseph featuring elaborate firecracker-filled paper mache monuments, is a cultural highlight. Uniquely, the ‘Royal March’, the national anthem, lacks official lyrics.
Immerse yourself in Spain’s unique geography and climate, and be a part of the effort to conserve its precious wildlife and biodiversity. A volunteering journey in Spain promises a unique and fulfilling adventure, steeped in a deep understanding and appreciation of the country’s history and culture.
Immerse yourself in Spanish culture and volunteer on a conservation project in the coastal cities of Valencia or Denia.
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