On 4th and 5th June 2014, students from 1º ESO (Bilingual Project) IES Nicolás Copérnico went on a school trip to Aracena and Ríotinto. They went with two teachers from the English Department: Luis Daniel Navas Vera y Juan Jesús Aguilar Osuna.
We left Écija on Wednesday 4th, at 8:00 a.m. The day was very sunny and it was quite hot.
Our first stop was Aracena, a town in Huelva. There we met Alberto, the person in charge of our hostel and of the different routes we were going to take part in.
We were informed about the socioeconomic aspects of the area and introduced to its biodiversity in a preliminary visit to an information center.
After that, we entered “Las Grutas de las Maravillas”. It was a great experience!
Later on, we went trekking across a forest and learnt a lot about trees, plants, lichen, and their relationship with animals. It was a great lesson on Natural Science, but in nature itself!
(By the way, the forest was enchanted and some of the trees tried to trap us!) Finally, we arrived at our hostel in Nerva, called “La Estación” because it had been a train station in the past. It was a very nice place. We had dinner and played a lot of games before going to sleep. We know our teachers and the people in charge of the hostel wanted us to be really tired, so that we slept like logs. We had a great time!
On the next day, Thursday 5th June, they woke us up at 8:30 a.m. with two extremely loud songs: “Soy minero” (by Antonio Molina) and “Hoy no me puedo levantar” (by Mecano). We had lunch and the bus took us to Riotinto’s Mining Museum. We learnt a lot about the history of the mining industry in Huelva and its relationship with the British companies of the time.
After the explanations in the museum, we were ready to visit the English Village of Bella Vista, and we came into one of its Victorian houses, number 21. We could imagine how British people lived in Huelva at that time and how they brought some of their habits, hobbies and sports to Andalusia and the rest of Spain. It was as if we had entered a time machine and had gone a century back into the past.
Later on, we didn’t get off the time machine. We took a train which lead us on a 22-kilometer route by the Río Tinto river, the same way the wagons loaded with mineral took from Corta Atalaya to Zarandas. It was an incredible landscape: the colours, the land, the old machines, the water, the sky… It seemed we were not only in a different time, but in a faraway planet. Maybe Mars?
After so much excitement, we abandoned the time machine and went back to the hostel to have lunch. We needed to charge our batteries for the last visit: the mine!
Unfortunately, we couldn’t go the Corta Atalaya, which would have been great. However, we visited a smaller mine which represented the same mining system. Even if it was not such a huge mine, it was amazing. The colour of the water was incredible!
This was the last moment in our trip to this world from the past in which Andalusia and Great Britain had such a strong bond due to the mining business. We got on the bus and went back home. They were two unforgettable days and we want to say THANK YOU VERY MUCH!!! to our teachers. We will always remember them because they decided to share this wonderful adventure with us!