#PJstories – Interview with Andrea Beltrán

Andrea participated in the Youth Exchange Diversity hurts?” in Marrakesh, Morocco

Hello Andrea! ¿Can you give us an overall opinion on the project  Diversity hurts??

In December I was lucky enough to participate in the YE “Diversity Hurts?” , in the city of Marrakech. As an immigrant woman of African descent residing in Spain, a question I have come to ask numerous times in recent years, immediately caught my attention and when I read the infopack I realized that this exchange is more than interesting – was really necessary. Diversity Hurts? was a 9-day project in a diverse and intercultural space, where young people coming from 7 different European and African countries were able to share and acquire tools to combat radicalization, racism, xenophobia, gender inequalities and work in favour of social inclusion and integration.

This exchange has meant a before and after in my life, especially in my work at the associative level. I am not only saying this because it was the first time I traveled to the African continent and I was able to get to know a new culture in a magical city, try new flavors, colors and smells, I say this because of the emotional and learning load that has been an experience for me that I would repeat without doubts.

How did the group affect your personal experience during this youth exchange?

All the people in this project were indispensable, we all contributed something special to the different activities, even the totally opposite thoughts were necessary in this space since they reflected the diverse and changing society in which we live. But I must admit that it would not have been the same without the “Spanish team”. Each one so different and with our peculiarities we were a constant support. I felt lucky to have Jesus, David and Sergio as companions of adventure and Fatima sending all her good energies from Madrid. To say goodbye to them, although we keep in touch, it was the hardest time in this exchange.

What is the most important thing you have learned during the project?

The most important thing of this experience was to be able to learn much more about the Arab-Muslim world, which has allowed me to get rid of stereotypes that I had simply because of ignorance or misinformation obtained in the media and that had not been made in the exchange in this country I would probably still have them. Having obtained tools to combat Islamophobia in Spain is something that I consider important and necessary.


Thank you PROJUVEN for this experience. I invite other organizations to cross European borders and allow young people to change our mentalities, break barriers and stereotypes as we could do thanks to “Diversity Hurts?”.

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