Hello HistoriCorps past and future volunteers!

I am Irieix Costa, a technical architect from Girona, Spain. I spent four weeks this summer as a volunteer on three different HistoriCorps projects. So what brought me all the way from Spain to participate with HistoriCorps?

I am very interested in historic preservation and completed my master’s degree in Structural Analysis of Historic Structures. However, after my studies and work in the architecture field, I wanted to experience the hands-on work of historic preservation – to work with historic materials and building techniques and to be part of the effort to save buildings for a good cause! And I wanted to do it in USA due to the fact we have not this volunteer spirit in Spain and, also, because I wanted to work with HC so badly!

The three projects I participated in were Dodge Lodge (CO), Miller Ranch Barn (WY), and Harkness Peak Fire Lookout Tower (CA). The work for each project was very different, but there were many similarities in the volunteer experience. Being a part of the restoration crew gave me a better understanding of the preservation and construction processes. There is a great satisfaction from working and building with your own hands and a sense of pride in seeing what your team accomplishes and how it can benefit the community! I am not really used to working with timber (or wood) because Spain has not a lot of knowledge and tradition of working with that kind of material and was so helpful for my own experience to do my first small projects and tasks with this organic and amazing material!

One of the most important aspects of my time with HistoriCorps was sharing the week with my fellow volunteers and crew leaders. I was able to get to know people from across the US, of different ages, backgrounds, and perspectives. Sharing meals and conversation and getting to know the people in my team as friends was a very rewarding experience!

HistoriCorps was a great opportunity to learn more about preservation, give back to the community, and share the experience with new friends – it was a much needed break from the typical routine. I recommend to anyone looking for a fun and enriching experience!