Welcome to Engelvents!!
As I write this section "About us," I have to confess that Engelvents is primarily about me, Alvaro Morcillo Espina (Spain, 1979), and little by little, about the people who are getting closer and participating or supporting this project in a wide variety of ways.
To understand this project, you should know that my life has been enriched by many different experiences. From being immersed in an exciting-exhausting intellectual and international academic career path (teaching and researching) to doing manual work during my time in the Swiss Alps. Regarding my earlier academic life, there are several milestones about which people often ask me. One is that, yes, I hold a Doctorate (PhD) in Sociology from the University of Granada (2010). If you would like to know more about my thesis titled "Migration Policies in Spain," you can try searching for it online. However, I consider my most challenging academic merit to be earning a Master's degree in Social Research Methods from the London School of Economics (2013). The entire application process, admission, and approval of my MSc thesis ("Cooperation with the Police in South Africa") were even more demanding experiences for me. If you would like to know more about my skills and expertise in those fields, feel free to ask. I have also been a visiting scholar at the International Migration Institute in Oxford, the Office of Population Research in Princeton, and Manchester, and I can provide references or certificates if needed.
However, spending my time in front of a computer conducting statistical analysis and writing reports that may not be very relevant to anyone, except for inflating one's intellectual ego or, in a worst-case scenario, one's intellectual humility if they are constantly rejected by academic journals, was not my dream life. At that point, I decided to build a new life closer to nature, and by chance, I ended up in the Swiss Alps.
In summary, in bullet points, Scuol (Graubunden) was my home for three winters, where I washed dishes and learned snowboarding in Motta-Naluns. Quinten (St. Gallen) became my second home and remains my favorite place to visit when I need to reconnect with my Swiss family and recharge my batteries. In this small paradise on Walensee, I helped take care of a vineyard for two unforgettable summers. Then, Engelberg offered me the opportunity to stay in one place throughout the year, avoiding more long breaks and tiring moves. If you live in Engelberg, there's a good chance we have met before. I have worked at Waserfall Restaurant, Trubsee, SAC Brunni, Schaukasarei, a garden company (S+K Schleiss), and Gasthaus Schwand. Currently, I work part-time for Alineas in Stans, assisting with the delivery and installation of top-brand furniture.
After a long search for an atelier or a space to develop creative projects, I found this wonderful wooden room in the heart of Engelberg. I am grateful to the owners for entrusting me with this space and the opportunity to contribute something to the village. The name Engelvents came from the desire to combine cultural events in Engelberg. So far, I have been behind every workshop, event, and activity that has taken place here. Therefore, the success or failure of this project rests solely on my shoulders.
However, little by little, I am trying to expand the activities and collaborate with people who share my enthusiasm and vision. From the beginning, some local creative people were eager to lend a hand. Markus LHoste (https://m.lhoste.ch/), took some excellent pictures of the first events, helping me improve my business image. Matthias Maeder (http://matthiasmaeder.ch) and Claudia Vogel (https://www.claudia-vogel.ch/), have openly shared their knowledge, experiences, and contacts. Currently, in collaboration with Ruben Herrmann and Melina Affolter from the Engelberg Concerts Association, we are organizing a music event section. The Tourist Office, especially Janine, has been immensely helpful in promoting the workshops and events.
I may forget some names, but Ruth I., Greth R., Andreas D., Ursi v.M. , Noldi H., Beat G.(Prime Schule), Ruedi E., and Christian H. have all somehow helped me at some stage of this project.
Other creative individuals from Engelberg or nearby, such as Ian C., Natalie M., Toni O., Nina W. , Daniela R., Franziska G., Beat and Christine S., and Tilde, have shown their support and participated in various activities over the past few years. Strengthening the bonds between all of us and creating a vibrant and joyful artistic atmosphere is a dream I cherish.
Without clients and visitors, of course, this project would not make sense. From the first painting exhibition to the winter market, and then the workshops and music events, it is the visitors and clients who provide the main motivation to keep investing energy and resources into Engelvents.
In this regard, with a very limited budget, I take pride in emphasizing that Engelvents is based on the sustainable use of resources and materials. I am strongly committed to reusing objects, furniture, and tools that are still in good shape and align with the purposes of this enterprise. Innovation and investing time in repairing and renovating things are part of the essence of this project.
Furthermore, there is a social and educational motivation. Most of the workshops and activities aim to help participants discover the powerful and positive effects of working with their hands and natural elements whenever possible, while fostering creativity. Using wood, natural pigments, traditional techniques, hand tools, and basic materials to create one's own artwork slowly and within a relaxing and friendly atmosphere is a unique experience that many people miss in their busy lives.
With all these elements combined, I am optimistic and enthusiastic about the future of this project. I look forward to hearing from you and learning what you think Engelberg needs and how Engelvents could make a small or significant contribution. Engelvents welcomes financial support, sponsors, and any other type of assistance to achieve its goals.