The Youth Exchange is finishing and one of the most difficult task, the Romería is already done. Now we deserve a good trip to discover the amazing nature of the island. For that we had a special activity prepared, thanks to the help of “El Cardón” we have the chance to discover the Northwest corner of the Island in a Kayak trip of around 3 hours.
We split in couples and start by learning the basic skills to drive a boat, and then just go.. and learning by doing. Every couple, has to adapt to the rhythm and speed of the other, and coordinate to go in the desired destination. It seems not so easy to everyone, but with a little bit of help all the group enjoyed a great experience on open waters.
The members of every couple were from different countries to encourage the cultural exchange. In addition, a game was proposed: during the activity, each couple must think in the stereotypes they have about people from other countries. This game served as an introduction to the stereotypes and tolerance workshop.
That was a great example of how a tourist activity can be friendly with the environment, enjoying and preserving the place that is being visited. During that trip we also learned about the problem that means the rubbish on the ocean, specially the plastic bags, and we had the chance to “fish” some rubbish with the paddles…that required some hability to control the kayak!. So, I was a real example of enjoying nature spaces in a more sustainable way, we play some sport while we contribute to maintain it clean.
El Cardón is a Nature Tourism company in Tenerife. They are specialized in providing unique experiences in nature to its customers, allowing them to enjoy the natural and cultural values of the island in a special manner. It was funded in 1999 and it is committed to the environment in general and to local development in the areas where they work.
At the end of the trip we reach a group of abandoned fishing cages; we could learn more about an example of an activity no so sustainable. As nowadays the EU funds for these facilities dissapeared, the activity become not profitable, so they are not running any more. Also it was a good chance to open a debate about the impact that a facility like that have in the middle of a nature protected area (even it is included in Natura 2000 network!).
In the evening we took the bus back to the dorms, with the feeling of too much sun in our skin, a lot of new experiences in our memory, and expecting the Latvian team for their presentation.