The open minded traveller to my village can experience a way of life based on traditional agriculture (almonds, figs, wine) that is rapidly disappearing. Your contribution to the small local businesses can make a difference, helping compensate for the rapidly dwindling population. If it can be seen that it is worth developing rural tourism the village people will make use of their own abandoned properties to help augment their incomes, instead of leaving it to outsiders to do so.
I have been local councillor for last 4 years (Spanish vote) - have stepped down because of workshop commitments. I founded and was President of our local woman's group 12 years ago - I am now a 'vocal' and have seen the transformation in the role of the women in the village. I give information about local shops and eating on the website, in a folder and also verbally to visitors. A daily bus comes within 5kms of my village, with a direct connection Mon and Thurs to or from Granada and Orgiva.
Any local trade brought into the village helps the local community and economy in a declining rural area. Power supplied by hydro electric energy, produced locally. Also use solar power energy. Recycling all waste as normal practice recycling centre in the village. As this is a permanent drought zone, baths are not used – only showers which are more water efficient. There is a solar water panel on roof of apartments. I use energy efficient bulbs where compatible. We have half flush toilets, ecoballs, min cleaning chemicals, one washing machine between my house and the apartments and change sheets/towels once a week. Our huerta is organic of course, using mule manure only. Our land is registered with CAAE the Andaluz organic certifying agency. We feed food waste to animals and recycle glass, plastic, tetrabriks, tins, paper, cardboard in containers in the village or in other towns. Clothing etc goes to women's association shop to fund refuge for battered women. In notes for guests I point out that guests can recycle.
Local builders were used for the construction work on the house. I always buy local products when I can (from the green grocers, convenient store and the local bar) - they're superior in quality, cheaper in price and give a boost to local providers struggling to survive in an economically deprived area. We use our local builders, carpenter, ploughman, electrician, mechanic, ironworker etc, as well as an informal type of carshare scheme.
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