Love Spain 2018 Vision Trip

Please check out the daily details of our Love Spain 2018 Vision Trip itinerary from September 21-29, 2018 below.  We begin in Madrid with a day of community service with the Rivas Light and Life Cultural Center followed by a car transfer to scenic and historical Andalucia, the southernmost region of Spain.  Our vision trip makes stops in Cordoba, Seville, Jerez de la Frontera, Cadiz, Gibraltar, Algeciras, Ceuta (in North Africa!), Marbella, Malaga, and Granada.  We will be learning from and volunteering with various churches and strategic ministries serving migrants and refugees in the region.  We will also have ample time to sightsee and shop and will stay in historic "Parador" hotels - the last two nights within the grounds of the magical Alhambra in Granada.  Each registrant's fee helps us pay for a half scholarship for a Rivas Light and Life Cultural Center student and participants are encouraged to raise the half scholarship match ($360).  Participants may also sign up for the prior Love Spain 2018 Cycling Tour from September 14-23 and join up on September 23 in Seville with participants on this Love Spain 2018 Vision Trip at a reduced combined cost.  For additional details about both trips, consult the blog for occasional updates.    To download a summary sheet of the Love Spain 2018 Vision Trip, click here

 
 
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Itinerary

 
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Friday, September 21

All participants need to fly into Madrid, Spain - arriving early afternoon at the latest, if possible.  We will do all airport pickups and transport you to the Holiday Inn Express Rivas where you will be staying for two nights.  We will organize a late afternoon / early evening tour of Madrid followed by a group dinner with introductions, discussion of the overall organization and schedule of the event followed by a "Love Spain" campaign presentation.


Saturday, September 22

We will be staying in Rivas Vaciamadrid for the day to get involved in activities in conjunction with the Rivas Light and Light Cultural Center.  You will have a chance to meet some of the students and we will plan a variety of community activities and volunteer for some of the Cultural Center's activities.  We might also go on a walking tour of "La Cañada Real" an informal settlement adjacent to Rivas Vaciamadrid where some of our students live.  We will plan an evening pool party and "paella" dinner at the home of Peter Clark, a long-time Rivas Vaciamadrid resident.  

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sunday, September 23

We will depart Madrid early by car for the four-hour drive to Cordoba, where we will stop to tour the ancient city center, visit the old mosque (now converted to a church) dating from Moorish occupation times, visit a ministry partner doing excellent work in Cordoba, eat lunch and continue on for another 80-minute drive to Seville where we will be staying at the Hotel Las Casas de la Juderia located in Seville's old Jewish quarter.  All major sites are within walking distance of the hotel.  At the hotel we will meet up with any cyclists staying on past the end of the Love Spain 2018 Cycling Tour who wish to extend their time in Spain to join our group.  Evening is free to explore Seville.  


monday, September 24

In the morning, we will drive from Seville one hour south to the town of Jerez de la Frontera, known as the world capital of sherry wine.  We will also visit a Spanish church working closely with local migrants and refugees, a very encouraging example of how local churches in Europe can engage the crisis.  After our stop in Jerez de la Frontera we will continue on to Cadiz, a further 30 minutes to the south on the Mediterranean coast, where we will stay on the beach at the lovely Parador de Cadiz.  The old town is a short walk from the hotel.  Every year, during Carnival, the citizens of Cadiz remember their history as a port from which many explorers departed for the New World.  The warm air and the Mediterranean breeze should get everyone in the mood for more adventures in southern Spain the following days.  

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tuesday, september 25

In the morning, we will first make the one hour forty-minute drive to the British enclave of Gibraltar where you will have a chance to go up the famous rock, visit the bunkers where the Allied Command was posted during part of World War II, and enjoy the little outpost of Brittania in a Spanish sea.  From there, we will make the short drive to Algeciras, the port where ferries depart from Spain to Morocco and other parts of North Africa - and some migrants enter Spain.  We will visit an important outreach in Algeciras, and then take the hour ferry across the Mediterranean to Ceuta, a Spanish enclave in North Africa.  Some call it the front line - the point of entry for many migrants and refugees seeking to enter the European Union.  We will visit some extraordinary, strategic work in Ceuta and spend the night at the lovely Parador de Ceuta.  


wednesday, September 26

In the morning we will take the ferry back across from Ceuta to Algeciras and continue driving east near the southern coast to Malaga.  On the way, we will, time permitting, make a stop in Marbella, for those who are intrigued by the lifestyles of the rich and famous.  Around lunch we will check into our lodging, the Parador de Malaga Gibralfaro, before continuing in the afternoon to visit and volunteer at a center working with North African migrants.  The directors of the program have an amazing story to tell.  

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thursday, September 27

Thursday morning in Malaga we will visit several strategic communications efforts preparing programming of benefit both to migrants and refugees in Spain and for their countries of origin, before continuing on a 90-minute drive to Granada where we will be staying for two nights at the beautiful Parador de Granada situated within the grounds of the Alhambra palace.  In the afternoon, we expect to volunteer with an outreach effort in the city, before finishing with a typical, local dinner at a live flamenco show inside a local gypsy cave.    


friday, september 28

During the morning in Granada, we will have a chance to visit with several organizations training people to work within Spain and around the world with migrants and refugees.  There are many interesting stories of transformed lives.  Afternoon will be free time to explore Granada, and in the evening we will have an exclusive private tour of the Alhambra followed by a group debriefing time and dinner by candlelight insight the Palace.  A great way to close a great week!  

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saturday, september 29

Alas, this trip too comes to an end and everyone must set sail for the farthest parts of the earth.  Our hope is that the trip educates you, raises awareness, and touches your heart for migrants and refugees.  We hope the people you meet inspire you and you see the strategic value of what they are doing.  We hope you will be able to transmit many things back to your families, friends, and churches based on what you have seen, heard, and participated in.  We hope you gain a broader and strengthened vision.  We are grateful for what you will contribute to "Love Spain."  Morning flights out of Granada connect easily in Madrid to overseas international flights that will get you back home the same day - even if you live far from Spain!  

 
 

Registration and Payment

 

Stay tuned.  We will be including registration and payment details soon (by December 20, 2017) so you are easily able to register and pay for the Love Spain 2018 Vision Trip.