Nunca Máis

Nunca Máis is a Galician language expression meaning “Never Again” which became very popular in Spain in early 2003, soon after the natural disaster caused by the “Prestige” oil tanker on November 13th, 2002. This ship spread around 20 million gallons of oil (twice the amount spilled by the popular Exxon Valdez disaster) and caused a natural disaster that Galicia is still trying to recover from.

When that happened, volunteers from all over Spain (all over the world, actually) went to help cleaning the Gallician coastline. At that time, work and my studies kept me from being one of those volunteers, and I’ve always had a guiltiness feeling about that, as if I was in debt with Mother Nature or something like that…

Sadly, last December 7th. another oil spill took place only 90 kilometers away from the South Korean county of Taean. Being a much smaller oil spill than the one caused by Prestige, this has been declared South Korea’s worst oil spill ever, and affected a region which is (or was) a tourist resort popular for its natural beauty. From the Wikipedia:

Taean County is most famous for Taean Haean National Park, known for its clear seas, unpolluted soils, coastal flora, tidal flats, coasts, and white sand.

While I was spending Christmas in Spain, my friend Ga-Young told me if I wanted to volunteer to help with the cleaning. This time I said yes:)

In action, with Jairo.

Volunteers working.

The coast was full of dead animals (this one was was still alive…)

Once you get to such a devastated place, the feeling of helplessness is unavoidable. We spent several hours cleaning a little beach, and did a pretty good job, but as soon as the tide rised, the whole beach got black again, so you wonder if you have done anything at all. Hopefully some more volunteers would come next day and remove more oil, little by little, day by day…

The trip from Seoul was organized by e-tomato, a local television channel. We made it to their website (we are on the 9th picture, the coment says “Foreigners also came to volunteer. Thank you.”

You are very welcome.