Snow, scarves, winter coats and a glass of champagne in the hand while watching fireworks: that’s probably how most people in Europe celebrated on 31st of December. Not so much the participants of the New Year’s event “Winter is not coming to Paradise”, which was organized from 28th of December 2017 to 4th of January 2018 by AEGEE-Las Palmas. They went to the beach and took a swim in the sea! Silvia Herrera Ojeda, President of AEGEE-Las Palmas, told the Golden Times readers more about it.

Silvia Herrera

GT: How many participants did you have?
Silvia Herrera Ojeda: We had 31 participants from all over Europe: Hungary, Italy, Spain, Moldova, Germany, Estonia, Slovakia, Russia, Ukraine, Netherlands and Austria!

GT: Did your New Year’s event have a theme? If yes, what was it about?
Silvia: The main theme of our New Year’s event: “Winter is NOT coming to Paradise” was sports and culture. We really wanted to show the participants how different our lifestyle can be compared to other European countries during this period. The fact that the temperature doesn’t get below 20 degrees can be really shocking for a lot of people as we all have an idea of Christmas with snow, cold and mulled wine… We also prepared lots of sport activities, like kayak, surf, traditional Canarian games and camel riding!

The perfect group of participants!
The perfect group of participants!

GT: How was your new year’s party?
Silvia: Our New Year’s party started in the rooftop of the hostel with all of us together having dinner. At 00:00 we organised the traditional 12 grapes while our celebration was projected on the neighbouring house – and we watched the fireworks. Afterwards, we all went to the beach where there was music and of course, we all ended swimming!  I have to say that it was a super special moment for all of us!

GT: What were the other programme highlights?
Silvia: One of the highlights of the event was of course the camel riding because a lot of people have never done it before and it was super exciting, combined with the trip to the sand dunes in Maspalomas! It was as if you were in the Sahara desert. Another highlight was the boat party! It is always a success and even though it was December we were still able to jump into the sea and swim! We provided the drinks and food – and the people were super happy! The best highlight for sure was the visit to “El Pico de Las Nieves”, the highest peak of the island – approximately 2000 meters over the sea level – to see the sunset. No words to describe it, the colour of the sky, the most iconic monuments of Gran Canaria and Tenerife… If you want to see it for yourself, apply this year!

The spectacular sunset seen from “El Pico de Las Nieves”, the highest peak of the island – approximately 2000 meters over the sea level.

GT: What were the funniest or most exciting moments?
Silvia: For sure the funniest moment of the event was the end of the city crawl. The last challenge was at one beach. The participants really wanted to get more points to win the city crawl so we all decided to jump into the sea at midnight and with little clothes on including organisers! Really, no words to describe this city crawl, I will just say it was amazing! Our participants chose it as the best activity in their feedbacks! And we cannot miss our warcry… “AL CHOQUE!! Aul, Aul, Aul!”

GT: How was the group of participants?
Silvia: The group of participants was really nice! I think it was because there were a lot of different ages, since there were participants born between 1987 and 1995, and this created a very united group! Maybe, there were too many Spanish, but I have to say that this really didn’t affect the group! I, as an organiser, have to say that it was a great group! All of them were really active in all activities and we did everything together!

Surfing was one of many activities of the New Year's event.
Surfing was one of many activities of the New Year’s event.

GT: Anything you would like to add?
Silvia: I have to say that we really struggled to make this event happen, but in the end it was a total success and we are really planning to repeat it next year for sure!

Check also the New Year’s event in Paris: