Everyone talks about the upcoming Agora in Mannheim. However, the autumn Agora 2013 in Zaragoza is also already taking shape. In mid-November the organising team met for the first time. The AEGEE Golden Times asked main organiser Chema Rueda how the event will be. The following interview contains answers of Chema and his team. You can already now look forward to it, because the team wants to do a spectacular Agora. It will be in one of the most emblematic buildings of Zaragoza – and it will be an Agora of short ways, where the participants don’t have to walk more than just a few minutes. Chema: “We want Fall ZarAgora 2013 to be the best Agora ever.”

Agora main organiser Chema

Golden Times: Chema, you just had your first meeting about Fall ZarAgora 2013. How was it? And what did you discuss?
Chema Rueda: It was just perfect. Twenty people participated, so it was quite a crowded meeting on which we talked about the first steps we should follow after the official confirmation was announced at Agora Budapest. We have already defined the guidelines that we will follow during the next eleven months until the ZarAgora will takes place. These are guidelines about internal communication, meetings, we also have set the deadline for every task that has to be done. In addition to this, we also got some wise advice from AEGEE-Alicante, where the last Agora was held in Spain, because we want Fall ZarAgora 2013 to be the best Agora in AEGEE history.

Golden Times: What’s the approximate date for the Agora?
Chema: Initially we planned to hold it at the end of October 2013. Right now we cannot set  the exact day yet as we still have to arrange some meetings with the staff at Zaragoza University and the Town Hall. We will announce the final date as soon as possible.

The first meeting of the organisers after Agora Budapest

Golden Times: How excited were you when you found out that your antenna got the Agora?
Chema: It’s hard to explain how we felt when they told us we were “the chosen ones” to organise the Autumn Agora 2013. On one hand, we felt very happy, since we had put a great effort in this project. On the other hand, there was a little feeling of fear in the views of all… In my opinion, these are normal feelings when you are facing such a big project, the biggest one that an antenna can organise in AEGEE. We are afraid of nothing, since we were conscious from the very beginning of how important this project is, and since we have a very strong and motivated team.

Golden Times: Who is the main organiser?
Chema: I am the main organiser, but it is just a position that needed be filled. This is a project of every member of AEGEE-Zaragoza, all of us will be very involved. We also want it to be not only a Zaragoza project, but of all our region. We had and will have a lot of support by many antennae and we want the locals of our region to feel included in this project. Just an example: less than a week after the official announcement, more than 30 people offered themselves as organizers or helpers four our Agora.

Already in autumn 2003 the Agora took place in Zaragoza

Golden Times: Sounds impressive! Can you tell a few words about yourself?
Chema: I’m 26 years old and joined AEGEE in March 2010. I’m finishing my studies in computer engineering. Currently I am doing my final project – in Spain you need to make a final project in order to finish your studies in engineering. Since I joined AEGEE, I was in two LTCs, one EBM, three Network Meetings, four Agoras…

Golden Times: Were you in the board of AEGEE-Zaragoza?
Chema: Last year I was fund-raising responsible in the board of my antenna, this year they forced me to continue doing it (smiling).

Golden Times: Do you already know where precisely the Agora will take place?
Chema: We already had a few meetings with the University of Zaragoza and other representatives from the city council, and they totally support us. Yes, we do know where the Agora is going to take place, but we still want to have more meetings to confirm everything that we agreed months ago. We can do confirm that Autumn Agora 2013 will be held in one of the most emblematic places in Zaragoza.

AEGEE-Zaragoza is famous for its Jamon t-shirts

Golden Times: How many people can you accept? More than 700?
Chema: We are able to say that the final number of participants will be a number greater than 700. In fact, we would like to accept all the people that apply for it. Several different budgets, depending on the number of participants, were included in the project. The final number of participants of the Agora will be decided depending on the decisions that will be taken in the following meetings.

Golden Times: What about lodging?
Chema: We want all the buildings for the Agora to be near to each other, so that we won’t need transport and we won’t waste our time running back and forth. We are not supposed to have to walk more than seven minutes on foot, we are trying to change some points in our plans in order to reduce these seven minutes to three.

Golden Times: That would be great! What about the parties?
Chema: About the parties we are thinking about two different places – both near our lodging: five minutes on foot. But, in Zaragoza, we have around seven different options, so, as soon as we are progressing in the Agora project, we’ll make a decision about that. By the way we can promise that you won’t have to go in costume every night, because we know that packing five costumes for five days is excessive!

AEGEE-Zaragoza is famous for its great spirit

Golden Times: A few words about your local: how many members do you have? What were your biggest events in 2012?
Chema: AEGEE-Zaragoza has about 140 members, 40 of them are active. In 2012 we have been organising a lot of local events, such as the Erasmus Welcome Week – around 600 Erasmus students were participants. We organised trips around our region and Spain, to Barcelona, Madrid, Basque Country, Andalucia.. with around 55 participants each. We have also organised some regional events: the New World Maño Records in March 2012 and a Summer University in August, also informal meetings with AEGEE-Burgos, AEGEE-León and AEGEE-Santander.

Golden Times: You want to add anything?
Chema: I just want to add that in AEGEE-Zaragoza we are going to pay attention to the smallest details in order to make the Autumn Agora 2013 the best Agora ever.