Spain learns to grow a moustache

Despite the fact that Spain was the first country where Movember was exported from Australia, the campaign has had limited public support.

Movember’s aim is to raise much needed funds and awareness for men’s health issues, specifically prostate cancer and male depression. The international campaign responsible for thousands of men around the world sporting moustaches for a month is now in its eighth year. The collected money is invested on the Global Action Project which is an investigation on prostate cancer.

Today, official campaigns are run in Australia, New Zealand, US, Canada, the UK, Finland, the Netherlands, Spain, South Africa, Ireland and the Czech Republic. All these countries share the same goal, to increase male health awareness around the world. However, the number of men taking part differs throughout these countries. Spain holds last position in the number of Movember registrations with 1,101, which is 239,279 less than Canada, who have the highest numbers taking part.

Jaime Lanza, Spanish Movember coordinator, explains why Spain falls behind in participation, “In Spain there is too much disinformation, we do not distinguish between Foundations, NGO’s, Associations or Collectives. Moreover, we are Latins so we have distrust established in our genes. When it is time to put money in a money box, suspicions appear due to tremendous Spanish corruption cases held by politicians and charitable institutions. However, Spain is always very supportive of other causes such as disasters caused by inclemency of the weather (like the Indonesian tsunami or the Chilean earthquake).”

As Jaime Lanza confesses, “Spanish Movember is looking more for the increase of awareness rather than for donations themselves.” That is the first step in making more moustaches grow around Spain. Then the Spanish campaign can become stronger year after year.

Jaime also thinks there could be another reason for this, “Spain could not register its own website until this year. We are the only Latin country with an official campaign, so translations, banks agreements and other things differ from the rest of the countries”.

Juan Garcia, one of the Spanish participants, talks about his own experience as a part of Movember: “I knew about this campaign in my work. A work-mate had the idea to take part in it and some members of staff and myself decided to join him. It is enjoyable; it is the first time that I have let my moustache grow. It is also nice to feel support from people. Nevertheless, the most important fact is the work that Movember does and the feeling that you are part of it.”

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