Rubén “Harry” Sanz: “EPM Burgos was the EPM of Friendship”


One year ago, from 18th till 22nd of Feb­ru­ary 2015, AEGEE-Bur­gos orga­nized AEGEE’s first Euro­pean Plan­ning Meet­ing (EPM). For a lot of peo­ple this amaz­ing­ly orga­nized event was the was the event of the year. The Gold­en Times asked main orga­niz­er Rubén “Har­ry” Sanz Martínez to look back at the EPM.

Rubén “Harry” Sanz Martínez
Rubén “Har­ry” Sanz Martínez

GT: The EPM Bur­gos was an amaz­ing event. How do you remem­ber it?
Rubén: I am in nos­tal­gic mood, all peo­ple know that I love the AEGEE phi­los­o­phy, and to me EPM Bur­gos was my best mem­o­ry in the most impor­tant peri­od of my life. I remem­ber I was wor­ried all the time, with a sched­ule in the back­ground in my mind; I was always try­ing to be grate­ful to all the par­tic­i­pants who did the effort of vis­it­ing my city, and try­ing to be an exam­ple to the rest of the team, work­ing as hard as the hard­est work­er, being as nice as the nicest girl and mak­ing fun as the fun­ni­est guy.  But I want to remark that it was the EPM of friend­ship.

GT: Indeed, the friend­ship among the organ­is­ers was out­stand­ing. You infect­ed the par­tic­i­pants with it.
Rubén: The group of AEGEE-Bur­gos was very close, very moti­vat­ed and well pre­pared. We were doing a lot of team build­ing, all of us went in the same direc­tion like if we were one per­son. We added a lot of friends from oth­er near cities, who want­ed to help us, and I am very grate­ful of it. They could have come just to enjoy the event as par­tic­i­pants, and instead of it, they decid­ed to come to work, just because of our friend­ship. This amaz­ing spir­it was the best part of EPM, and I am sin­cere­ly grate­ful to absolute­ly all of them, all of us were orga­niz­ers and all of us gave 200% for it. I will nev­er for­get all the mem­bers of our team.

The organ­is­ers cre­at­ed a per­fect atmos­phere, the par­tic­i­pants enjoyed it a lot!

GT: Did you man­age to sleep dur­ing the EPM?
Rubén: I stopped sleep­ing four months before the event. I had no time, since I had to man­age a lot of areas… So it means to sleep less than three hours per day…

GT: What were the three best things or your strongest impres­sions of the EPM?
Rubén: The best thing was to show to all AEGEE mem­bers that small groups are able to do big things, just with moti­va­tion and high­lights in the orga­ni­za­tion. The sec­ond was to show Bur­gos to Europe, I love my city, and I was glad to share it with all AEGEEans. The third was the work with Bur­gos Uni­ver­si­ty, it was an open-door work togeth­er, very coop­er­a­tive. A lot of peo­ple don’t under­stand well what is AEGEE, to see all these young peo­ple work­ing togeth­er, try­ing to help in such a seri­ous mat­ter like the rela­tion between Rus­sia and Ukraine. This touched a lot of boys and girls like us every day… I am proud of it.

Loca­tion and logis­tics of the event were absolute­ly per­fect.

GT: The men­tioned Rus­sia and Ukraine, the main top­ic of the EPM, next to mak­ing the Action Agen­da. What do you think of the qual­i­ty of this part?
Rubén: AEGEE Bur­gos paid with its own bud­get the fees to East­ern Europe par­tic­i­pants in order to have high qual­i­ty debates. I would have liked to have more from this area, but I was sur­prised with the lev­el of oth­er people’s knowl­edge of the sit­u­a­tion. My first con­tact with AEGEE was the Tran­si­ber­ian Dream SU, and I have been in the Win­ter Uni­ver­si­ties in Mosk­va and Kyiv too, so I am very involved in the top­ic. There­fore I was real­ly enjoy­ing all the debates and ple­nar­ies.

GT: The organ­is­ing team grew very close togeth­er. Do you still see traces of this today, did it help AEGEE in your area?
Rubén: I think it is a group of friends for­ev­er. I am very proud of see all the AEGEE-Bur­gos new­bies who were work­ing in the EPM and are AEGEE-Bur­gos board mem­bers now.

There was even a birth­day cel­e­brat­ed dur­ing the event — and it felt like fam­i­ly!

GT: You seem to have left AEGEE after the EPM and trav­elled a lot…
Rubén: I have not left AEGEE, I am a mem­ber and I will con­tin­ue in the future, but it is true: I am not active now, I have been going to all the events for four years, orga­niz­ing all kind of events and with a lot of dai­ly work, espe­cial­ly in the hard times when we were just a cou­ple of active mem­bers.

GT: How did you spent the last year? And what are you doing now?
Rubén: My last year… There is a proverb: “Trav­el is the only thing you buy that makes you rich­er”. I thought this already before my AEGEE time, so I spent all that I can on it. Last year I have been in all five con­ti­nents — in all six if we split Amer­i­ca — and my plans for this year are quite sim­i­lar. Trav­el­ling with friends and vis­it­ing friends too.

GT: Will we see you again at an AEGEE event or is that chap­ter closed for good?
Rubén: I will answer this with some sen­tence that are burned in my mind:
“See you some­where in Europe”
“Some call it Europe, we call it home”
“Bur­gos will not leave you cold”

Check the EPM report in the GT:


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