The project EEFEct, approved and sustained by Erasmus+ KA2 Strategic Partnerships | Adult Education started in September 2017 and will end in August 2019 and its focus is the promotion and fulfilment of ecotourism. The participants are five countries: Italy, Greece, Romania, Portugal and France and they will continue to cooperate for the whole duration of the different courses and workshops in different countries.
From March 4th to 10th 2018 an important Training Course was held in Portugal, specifically in Arcos De Valdevez, a small city in Viana do Castelo district, in the Minho region. Two learners (for each association) took part in this course, later followed by various teachers. Before this, there had been an on-line study and preparation on the subject.
The associations that partook in this important project are: Travelogue (Italy); Emil Racoviţă 2000 (Romania); InterMediaKT (Interactive Media Knowledge Transfer) (Greece); SC CEDRA TOUR SRL Bacău (Romania); CIARA (Martinica – France); Epralima (Portugal).
During the TC in Portugal, the agenda, called “Green Aula” was filled with activities that aimed to promote a non-formal teaching to adults and youngsters, starting from the meeting with the mayor of Arcos De Valdevez, during which we spoke of the importance of eco-sustainability, for one’s country, for the citizens and for those who want to visit and experience a clean and eco-friendly environment during their holidays. After this, there was a first meeting with the school of Epralima, the principal and the teachers/promoters.
There were also cultural visits like: the tourism office in Arcos De Valdevez, a meeting spot for tourists and residents where one can find up-to-date informations on all the activities in the area. Also, guided tours were held in: Paço de Giela, Peneda-Gerês National Park (ADERE); Porta do Mezio, Lindoso, Ponte da Barca, Ecovia di Sistelo; and trekking in Aldeia do Soajo.
We had the opportunity to witness how various businessmen and private associations approched to eco-friendliness, visiting houses built in rural towns (particularly Sistelo, which is one of the 43 villages chosen from the jury of the contest “The 7 wonders of Portugal”), powered almost completely by “green” energy, destined to tourists.
We learned many things during this fantastic Training Course, such as respecting the nature, history and shape of every area and the importance of neatness in every city.
The public parks and the streets, despite the bad weather, were always at their best andthis is one of the “small” considerations that could certainly be applied to our territory, as well as creating tourist offices to help people who want to discover the beauties of our country. Same can be said for the appreciation of the peculiarities of every area, through field trips and/or the creation of parks, to teach kids and adults how to support and live in an eco-friendly environment.
In our country, companies, together with municipalities and private associations, could and should cooperate in the promotion of eco-friendliness, through workshops and meetings; awareness should be a constant, even in schools and in our students’ lives. Promotion towards citizens is the key.
In conclusion, the strenght of this project is the cultural exchange between the various participants, youngsters and adults, that could study this subject also through debates and comparisons, an experience that can help personal growth and that teaches one to be a citizen of the world.