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Interview with Laura Gonzalez Gomez

LAURA GONZALES GOMEZ

Laura Gonzales Gomez is involved in the Youth Initiatives Project, Action 2.1 (European Voluntary Service) entitled Fair Share: Awareness in Diversity and Fair Trade. The project (coded MT-21-E14-2011-R4) started late in 2012 and through this project Laura will be working with Koperattiva Kummerc Gust in Malta from our offices in Valletta.

Birthday: 14/04/1984

City: Toledo ( Spain )

Academic Studies: Sociology

Likes: Yoga, Bio dance

There are many Spanish people living in Malta, especially with the economic crises in Spain. After spending 4 months during your project you have come to known a lot of them. Moreover you are also living with Spanish person, Cristina. What are the advantages and disadvantages of spending time in an English speaking country but surrounded by Spanish people?

The disadvantages come from the fact that I cannot speak in English with them because when they are in a group Spanish people usually tend to talk in their own language since it easier for them to do so.

However this has its advantages. We have the same culture, humor and other common things to share. In this historical moment the Spanish people have the same problems and this way it is easier for that them try to help each other!

You have visited several countries in your during and after you teenage years. An interesting country you’ve been in is Perù: what are the most important differences you see between the countries in which you stayed? Have you ever been homesick?

Through my travels I have discovered that the most important differences between rich and poor countries are not only the social and political rights but also the general safety within the country.

I feel that Malta is very safe especially when compared to other countries. Here in Malta I could walk at any time during the day and night without problems. I cannot say the same for Perù where instead, you have to take more care to yourself. Safety-wise you cannot compare walking in Lima to walking in Valletta.

From a social point the quality of life here is far more better than in South America because, while in Europe the countries somehow assist people in poverty in Perù life is far more difficult and you could feel this in all the social life’s aspects.

During my travels I was never homesick. While abroad I exploit every opportunity to communicate with other people. Moreover I’m a person that easily adapts herself to different situations and I could feel good in a lot of different situations, wheverever I am in.

One solution I suggest to people who feel homesick is that one must try to change these feelings in a positive way. Thinking about the good things that could do and explore the new country to your fullest. Keep in mind that this could be the last time you’re visiting it.

Have you been involved in fair trade before coming to Malta? Do you like your work here, as an EVS volunteer? Is there anything to change?

Yes. The last year I was working in a project whose goals was getting a sustainable economic work to the poor women in Peru. In this project we tried to form a cooperative for them to work in such cooperative and export the goods, thus earning an income. Our objective was to improve the life of these women in a lot of aspects (economically, psychologically, culturally) and most importantly to give me an opportunity to become financially independent.

I enjoy working on my EVS project in Malta. However I think that we need to do more social awareness activities because there are a lot of people who absolutely still don’t know that there are a lot of alternative ways to be ethic and responsible consumers. It’s important to talk with the children and teenagers in the schools, but we have to do activities like conferences, promotions and out doors.

What do you think about the possibility of staying here even after this project?

I really would like to stay in Malta after my EVS project because I really like the country. Unfortunately in my country the actual situation for young people is not bright and there are not opportunities for us. I think that this is one of the best countries to try finding an opportunity to work.

What could you propose to Koperattiva Kummerc Gust to improve the fair trade’s development in the island?

I think that my organization should work more to raise social awareness which should consist namely in promoting responsible consumption, respecting environmental sustainability and improving the connections between the rich and poor countries.

Working KKG (as compared with other associations in Malta) seems to be more flexible and leaves time for you to work on other things. Do you this flexibility helps you or it could also be a cause for distraction?

For me it’s very good that we have flexible working house. This helps me to learn and work better and I could go to lessons to improve my English which is necessary for me to work and live here.

During my free time I love to go out my friends and know more places, people and travelling around the island.

You’re living here with people from 3 different nationalities (Italian, Polish and Spanish). Do you note any cultural and social differences between you?

Of course there are some social and cultural differences between us but in the end we’re young people with a lot of common hobbies, problems and situations. Then again I think the social differences could help you to learn more about other cultures. If you respect and tolerate the others you will not have problems. I honestly think that living in a multicultural contest is the best way to open your mind and become aware of different lifestyles.

Marco Vincezno Armento

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