AEGEE-Valladolid is back from the Dead

By | April 25, 2012 at 3:45 pm | Network | Tags: , , ,

A Spanish city not too far from important AEGEE cities such as Madrid or León used to be an important brick of the AEGEE Network. This city was the host of the Spring Agora 1996 and the home city of AEGEE-Europe president Pedro Panizo in 2001/02. This city is called Valladolid and they signed the Convention d’Adhésion during the recent Network Meeting (NWM) in Burgos, putting them back on the AEGEE map.

When The AEGEEan editor Patricia Anthony visited Valladolid during the autumn of 2011, Sergio Gomez Oliveros had already been lobbying for a year to bring Valladolid back to the AEGEE Network. Getting the support from University of Valladolid proved to be quite a difficulty for Sergio despite having great motivation to sign the Convention d’Adhésion and making people of his city realise how great AEGEE is. He describes it as a vicious circle in which there was always an obstacle in their way, which was anything from requirements from the University of Valladolid, AEGEE-Europe, or a third party. However, Sergio kept going because for each disappointment there was always a reason to keep going. This came in the form of help from people interested in helping, or newfound motivation from an AEGEE event such as the Summer University of AEGEE-León or Renove organised by AEGEE-Madrid.

It all began in the mountains of Madrid

Actually the idea of intention to (re)create AEGEE-Valladolid originated in the same small village in which AEGEE-Madrid organised the famous event “Renove” last October 2011, gathering more than a hundred AEGEE members. The year before Renove, in October 2010, AEGEE-Madrid organised NWM Madrid which was the first NWM that Sergio attended. After enjoying AEGEE in a few more events such as European School 1, Agora Alicante, and EBM Riga, Sergio knew that he had to create AEGEE-Valladolid so that all Europeans of the AEGEE Network could enjoy events organised by him and his city the same way as he had enjoyed their cities. “Furthermore, whenever I set a goal for myself I never stop before I achieve it, and this was a wish that I really wanted to make come true”, founder and president of AEGEE-Valladolid version 2012 Sergio Gomez Oliveros tells The AEGEEan.

The potential of AEGEE in Valladolid

If you had asked Sergio and the rest of team Valladolid one week ago about the potential of AEGEE in his city they would have responded that the potential was based on numerous good ideas but that there was a lack of team members and actual help. However, the situation has since then changed because the Summer University campaign has tripled the number of members of AEGEE-Valladolid and what is even better is that in the all of the presentations about AEGEE there are people interested in becoming engaged in AEGEE beyond Summer Universities. “When I spoke about the needs for an upcoming Local Training Course in one of the upcoming weeks in order to explain everything about AEGEE, one of the new members offered to organise the event in a big house in her village”, Sergio tells The AEGEEan with a smile on his lips, and he continues “In reality I am very impressed by the motivation of the people, and I might not know where it will take us, but I do know that the eagerness to bring back AEGEE-Valladolid is very big!”


The mascot of AEGEE-Valladolid in his home city


Valladolid is both the capital and the biggest city of the region Castillá y León with around 340.000 inhabitants, located in the middle of Northern Spain. Valladolid is furthermore a well-communicated city having University of Valladolid connected to four cities (Valladolid, Soria, Segovia, and Palencia) giving plenty of opportunities which is a good guarantee to begin with. In the beginning this university was not too fond of AEGEE and giving their support, thinking that it is just another association organising parties for Erasmus, but after numerous personal meetings with the responsible their opinion changed little by little and AEGEE-Valladolid reached the opportunity to speak with the vice-principle of the University of Valladolid. This meeting was used wisely to explain their local and international objectives and they hope to receive their definitive support.

When asked about what is so special about Valladolid in comparison to other Spanish and other AEGEE cities Sergio responds that he believes all cities are special in their own way, each one of them has something to share, something to teach, and none is greater than the other. They all become a part of our memories, and take a place in our hearts. For Sergio that is the spirit of AEGEE and the spirit of AEGEE-Valladolid.


AEGEE-Valladolid members at Renove

Renove 2.0

As previously mentioned, Renove organised by AEGEE-Madrid last October was one of the events that kept Sergio going in the fight of establishing AEGEE-Valladolid. Actually, he enjoyed the event so much that team Valladolid is applying right now to become the host of Renove 2 this September. But that is not the only event in plans of this Spanish city in the middle of Northern Spain. Right now they are finishing the express campaign for Summer Universities, but also working on organising a local training course in May, and a trip to Brussels in October.

Other than working on future events AEGEE-Valladolid is also working on becoming the host and sending organisation of the European Voluntary Service (EVS) program. “The EVS program is a very interesting opportunity which is not present in the city of Valladolid yet. It is a great service in which our volunteers can become ambassadors of Valladolid thanks to AEGEE and this EVS program. It is another great opportunity to get an international experience, similar to the Erasmus program, and it is an opportunity that we in AEGEE-Valladolid definitely are going to take advantage of, if possible”, Sergio comments on the effort of AEGEE-Valladolid for this program.

Welcome (back) to the Network, AEGEE-Valladolid!


Written by Patricia Anthony, AEGEE-København 

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