A program by the Galician Rural Development Agency (AGADER) for the recovery of agricultural land, aiming to sustainably put into production abandoned lands of high productive capacity surrounding population centers, thereby contributing to the creation of agricultural and livestock activities and reducing the risk of wildfires.
In October 2022, Think Tank AlterContacts conducted fieldwork in five villages that are part of the program Aldeas Modelo. The objective of the fieldwork was to collect data supporting a set of project proposals to recreate the socio-economic fabric of the rural areas of Galicia. You can find a short introduction to the villages below.
Mouteira-Parada, situated in the municipality of Cerdedo-Cotobade, Pontevedra, Galicia, was designated as a model village in January 2022. Covering 17.99 hectares with 427 plots owned by 109 landowners, its primary goal is to advance ecological livestock farming and sustainable forest management to address climate change. The Consellería de Medio Rural has granted a ten-year model village status, and the village is presently in the execution phase, progressing towards full-scale production.
Mouteira-Parada comprises two small and modest settlements adjacent to each other. Notably, the village appears potentially disconnected from essential services, as observed by a resident washing laundry in a spring. The proximity of an old forest road and fields signifies the village's close integration with natural surroundings. Additionally, the presence of a few inhabited houses and an abandoned complex into the forest raises questions about the village's population density. A chapel serves as a religious center for the residents.
Penedo, nestled in the municipality of Boboras, Pontevedra, Galicia, was designated a model village in October 2019. Encompassing 23 hectares, the village focuses on ecological livestock farming and sustainable forest management to address climate change. The Consellería de Medio Rural has bestowed a ten-year model village status, and Penedo is currently in the execution phase, progressing towards full-scale production.
Penedo stands out with a larger complex of houses, showcasing a mix of both abandoned and renovated structures. Notably, the village's forest and fields are positioned further away, emphasizing a balance between human habitation and natural surroundings. The prevalence of wasps and the implementation of wasp traps pose environmental considerations for the village. Additionally, an old train station, surrounded by a square, remains locked up but holds potential for community projects.
Osmo, a parish within the municipality of Cenlle, Ourense, Galicia, Spain, has been designated an "Aldea Modelo" (Model Village). According to the Instituto Galego de Estatística (IGE), the parish recorded a population of 53 inhabitants in 2013. The parish spans 23 hectares, with 18.32 hectares of productive land distributed into 153 plots owned by 48 landowners. Notably, the initiative operates on a voluntary basis, with landowners retaining ownership of their respective plots.
Osmo presents a distinctive setting, situated on the slope of Mount Barazal, providing breathtaking views of the Avia valley adorned with green oak, chestnut, and alder trees. The parish features several notable landmarks, including the original Romanesque-style San Miguel de Osmo church, adorned with manierist paintings. Additionally, there are three privately-owned chapels and three chapels owned by locals. The annual pilgrimage to the Virxe do Socorro chapel, located in the parish's oak grove, adds to Osmo's cultural significance. Osmo stands as a small settlement of fincas with land in close proximity to the forest. The village faced a fire approximately a year ago, underlining the challenges associated with its unique location. Positioned high above the valley, Osmo boasts a viewing area on the hill with boulders, enhancing its scenic appeal. An organization is actively involved in developing resting areas for the community, highlighting collaborative efforts for community well-being. The village's road, notably narrower than in previous observations, poses infrastructure challenges.
Muimenta, a parish and locality within the municipality of Carballeda de Avia, in the province of Ourense, Galicia, Spain. According to the Instituto Nacional de Estadística (INE), the parish had a population of 71 inhabitants in 2022. It encompasses a total area of 34.02 hectares, with 29.1 hectares of productive land distributed into 1,660 plots owned by 241 landowners. Notably, the initiative operates voluntarily, with landowners retaining ownership of their respective plots.
Muimenta's unique geographical features are noteworthy, as it is situated high up in the mountains, showcasing a distinct flora. The challenging and narrow roads, characterized by steep inclines, present infrastructural challenges. The population appears evenly split between inhabited and uninhabited areas, with visible flag lines suggesting an active community. The village's topography makes it a suitable candidate for mountain lift carriages.
Cortegazas, a parish and locality within the municipality of Carballeda de Avia, Ourense, Galicia, Spain, has been designated an "Aldea Modelo" (Model Village). According to the Instituto Nacional de Estadística (INE), the parish recorded a population of 71 inhabitants in 2022. The parish spans 15.11 hectares, with 727 plots owned by 99 landowners. The initiative operates on a voluntary basis, allowing landowners to retain ownership of their respective plots.
Cortegazas stands out as a small settlement, characterized by an active cemetery and chapel. The village is located in a dead-end, highlighting its secluded nature. Its proximity to stone production adds an industrial facet to the area. While the electric and phone lines are connected, their proximity to trees raises potential environmental concerns. Notably, Cortegazas comprises only a few houses, with 2-3 inhabited residences.