Mid july until mid november 2015
To begin with, thank you for your interest and taking into consideration to come to Croatia, do your EVS here and give your contribution to this project and rural development. Herewith, we kindly would like to give you some basic information about our way of living. This info pack serves as a means to provide you with valuable insights and information prior deciding to come.
The main goals of our organization are: (1) the promotion and support of peace building in the local community, (2) the protection of the environment and the exertion of an ecological way of living, (3) intercultural learning; promote differences among human beings and decrease prejudices, (4) to inform and raise awareness about environment degradation and ecosystem, (5) the support of personal growth and community development, (6) the promotion of philanthropy and cooperation and finally, (7) the development of rural tourism.
All activities will be based upon an educational and practical part responding to the principle of lifelong learning. The goal our organization pursues is to contribute to the community development as such, connect and network with local people, attempting to create possibilities for a better life & future providing a higher quality of living for both generations. Examples to achieve this are for instance different programs, touristic offers, social and small entrepreneurship and sustainable living education.
Information about the village
Latinovac is one of the smallest villages in Croatia located in eastern Croatia. It is part of the municipality of Čaglin with approximately 60 inhabitants. This municipality is on the eastern part of the county of Pozesko-slavonska. It is consisting of 31 settlements. Altogether, this counts a population size of 2691 inhabitants according to the 2011 population consensus index. What is striking, however, is a constant decrease of the local population from 312 inhabitants in 1961 to currently 60 living inhabitants in 2015.
This area is characterized by outstanding beautiful nature reserve and protected areas. The area illustrates enormous potential for development. As the number of inhabitants already indicates Latinovac is very little village and somewhere ‘in the middle of nowhere’. We don’t have lighting on the streets in Latinovac. There are no shops or anything similar in our lovely village. The closest shop is in Čaglin with approximately three km’s distance reachable by walking. However, there are two mini mobile shops passing through Latinovac twice a day providing you with certain products. Nearby bigger cities are Požega, Slavonski Brod and Našice with a distance of more or less 30 km. Thereby it is worth mentioning that Požega is the main city of our county Pozesko-slavonska. There you will find coffee places, shops et cetera. Zagreb is 200 km away and Osijek 80 km.
Major challenges our village is faced with are (1) the abandonment and extinction of the village leading to declining population, (2) low economic activity causing young people to move away and search for better career and educational possibilities out of Latinovac and thirdly, passivity among the younger and older generations.
Arrival to Latinovac
Usually volunteers arrive by airplane to Zagreb airport. In the majority of cases our organization is making reservations and is buying the airplane tickets for the volunteers. However, the option exists that you organize your flight tickets all by yourself. In those cases please communicate with us that bookings won’t be done twice. Once arrived at Zagreb airport please take the bus connection to ‘Zagreb central bus station’. Buses leave every full and half hour outside of the airport on the right side. Inside the airport there is also tourist information to obtain further information if needed. The bus ride from Zagreb airport to Zagreb central bus station takes approximately 30 minutes. From Zagreb central bus station you have to take the bus or train to Slavonski Brod. Under the following link you can check the bus availability and the bus timing: http://voznired.akz.hr/VozniRed.aspx?lang=en
The connections by bus are better and more regular. Train and bus station are 15 to 20 minutes walk away from each other (or 5 minutes by tram nr. 2 or 6).
You can also travel by bus or train from some countries if you prefer to not use a plane. In these cases also please come to Zagreb central bus station and chose a direct connection to Slavonski Brod. Finally arrived in Slavonski Brod the organization will arrange someone to come and pick you up by car and drive you to Latinovac. Travel expenses are covered by the country specific amount that is determined by the Erasmus + Program.
Please note that we will organize an introduction meeting for you once you have arrived.
The national currency in Croatia is the Kuna despite being the youngest member in the European Union. The international currency code is HKR while the shorting kn is usually referred to in Croatia. 1 euro is approximately 7,6 Kuna. Exchange rates may vary. Please check the latest updates. You can exchange money at the airport. There is also ATM. Nevertheless, you can also exchange money in advance back at home.
To begin with, please be aware that Croatia is among the poorer countries that just recently joined the European Union. You may have different expectations and standards in your home country. If you agree to come and to your EVS here you should be open minded towards your hosting country and culture. Things are not better, worse, right or wrong – things are just done differently.
Volunteers are going to live in the village Latinovac. Eko centar Latinovac is part of this village. Some volunteers will be hosted in our organization. Others may live together with villagers in their houses. Both are valuable experiences. The accommodation is simple and not exclusive. This means you should be willing to share room, toilet and bathroom with other volunteers. Simple accommodation means that you will be provided with a bed, pillow, sheets, duvets and blankets, something to put your clothes, heating and warm water. Houses in Croatia have different isolations and not necessarily heating. However, we do have it in Eko Centar and also our villagers will take good care of you. We also have a washing machine and dryer here though we are an Eko Centar and prefer drying our clothes outside! Upon your arrival we will arrange your sleeping place and provide you with the points mentioned above.
If you wish, you can bring your sleeping bag or your favourite pillow.
Food is organized by us. We buy ingredients and prepare most of the meals (in agreement with you). Volunteers can always participate in food preparation. We are happy to have opportunity to exchange recipes and ideas with you 🙂
During free days volunteers will receive money for food (cca 6 Euros per day). Food is basically vegetarian. Once in two weeks we can provide meet. For us, it is very important to buy local and organic products as much as possible. We will go sometimes to visit some food producers. Some food will be produced by us on our property.
We plan to organize international evenings and volunteers can present food from their countries (we invite you to think about vegetarian recipes). You can bring some special spices if you need it for that.
Volunteers are supposed to work five days per week, six hours per day according to the EVS Charter. Two days per week are free. We can make agreements with volunteers how and when to organize free days. Monday to Friday we typically meet at 9,30 am to start to work. In the noon we will have a lunch break and continue working until the afternoon. Physical activities are scheduled in the morning and theoretical and creative activities will take place in the afternoon. Part of the work also includes Croatian lessons, language exchanges and much more. For details please contact our organization. It can happen that on some days we will work a little bit more while on others less – depending on the weather and the job. Please be flexible as we are.
Every volunteer will receive a pocket money of € 90 per month. Pocket money will be handed out to the volunteers at the beginning of the month.
The project will gather 6 young people from Lithuania(2), Latvia(2) and Spain(2)
Goals of the project are the following:
– to connect different generations and cultures
– to embrace cultural differences
– to decrease prejudices
– to make life in Latinovac more dynamic
– to foster European integration
– to promote mobility and voluntarism
– to promote sustainable and active way of living
Greenway Straw fest
Advancement of abandoned property for Artistic/Permacultural use
Renovation of the Village (Community) house of Latinovac
Help in the local community
Promotion of mobility
What can/should you bring?
weather can change (bring with you something warmer but mostly you can have spring/summer clothes)
bring clothes and shoes that are old, working and comfortable (for working part)
European blue card (for health insurance)
music instruments if you play some
music that you like to listen
laptop (if you want and have one; there is Wi-Fi connection)
flashlight (for walking outside in the evening as there are no street lights in the village, only moonlight and star lights)
some materials about your country
recipes and spices for traditional cooking
smiles and good will 🙂
For the selection of the volunteers we will need:
– Europass CV with picture (made in the last month)
– Motivational letter, writing that your sending organisation will be “Building Bridges”. We ask all candidates to send a specific letter of motivation – why they want to volunteer with us rather than just a general EVS one.
Remember to write in the motivation letter that your sending institution is “Asociación Building Bridges”.
All documents written in english you can send to: firstname.lastname@example.org with subject “EVS Croacia Rural Latinovac”.