By Darlene Lopez
It was an unprecedented start to Wednesday morning in Alicante, Spain! Just when I thought that I witnessed the most beauteous ocean views, I was once again captivated by Alicante’s Mediterranean coastline during my ride to Proyecto Hombre (Project Man). As the car drove through narrow roads surrounded by green pastures, my imagination wandered what the physical building and the vicinity of Proyecto Hombre Alicante looked like and what their occupational therapy service entailed.
Needless to say, before I joined the USF Toros en Espana journey, I had a vague understanding of social work. Being that I am a Humanities & Cultural Studies major, my knowledge of social workers was that they were employed by local government and dealt with only helping low income families. Now that I had to honor to partake in this course, A Comparative Study of Socio-Cultural Context of People’s Health in Barcelona and Alicante, Spain I & II, I gained a wholesome understanding of international social work.
Nonetheless, our visit to Proyecto Hombre Alicante was informative and interactive thanks to Encarni, an experienced social worker. I enjoyed her thoroughness and it was encouraging to hear her speak with so much passion about Proyecto Hombre Alicante. She emphasized that Proyecto Hombre is a national, non-profit, non-partisan, and non-denominational organization in Spain with 26 regional centers throughout the country including two in Alicante. Their humanist perspective was indigenized from methods used in USA and Italy. Similarly, Proyecto Hombre focuses on three main scopes of intervention for adults with problems of addiction: behavioral, cognitive, and affective (dynamic). Unlike other addiction treatment centers, Proyecto Hombre applies a therapeutic educative method that promotes the personal autonomy, the growth of individual responsibility, and the capacity to make decisions and return to be member assets of society.
Proyecto Hombre’s practical approach is complemented by their ecological approach at Alicante’s facility. Lydia, the director of PHA, gave us a tour inside and outside the vicinity and I noticed many wonderful things and services provided to the residential patients. I was particularly impressed by their multidisciplinary team training and the holistic environment they created for their patients. PHA’s atmosphere felt clean, safe, and most importanly open-spaced. A Spain-born British client gave his personal account of a prior experience with a treatment center in London and how it was unsuccessful for him because he would go to a clinic and meet with a psychologist about every two weeks not being enough but ever since he enrolled with PHA he has had a life changing journey. He even suggested others stay to separate themselves from the toxic ties of everyday life. For further information please browse their website at: http://www.proyectohombrealicante.org/es/
Take a look below at the different common areas!