New reality show battles depopulation in the Spanish interior

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MADRID – The idea of ​​the makers was to give a ‘modern vision’ of the rural world’. Thus Ruralmind was born. “A reality show that in a fun way that attracts attention and brings growth to rural areas,” said one of the founders of the initiative. 

The programme lasts 24 hours, is spread over 20 days of live broadcasts. It is recorded in three villages, each with less than 5,000 inhabitants. These are Santa Eulalia de Gállego in Zaragoza, Villarrín de Campos in Zamora and Villanueva de los Infantes in Ciudad Real. In every city, there is a similar house where the reality show will take place. 

Ruralmind will air on YouTube and Twitch from October 13 to 31. As such, the makers want to attract a young audience. Therefore, according to co-founder Alejandro Hernández, the participants must present a viable business idea. This will then be enriched by contributions from the mentors, the ambassador, and the area itself. 

Hernández himself lives in one of the three villages selected for the programme –  Santa Eulalia de Gállego. He has a marketing agency there. “A year of teleworking in the city gave me the idea to point out to others that they could do the same,” he explains. 

Look at the countryside radically change 

As reported by The Guardian, co-creator of the show, Patricia García Gómez said “The goal is to radically change people’s views of rural areas. We see villages as places for rural tourism or agriculture. However, we never see them for what they are in the 21st century. But they are places where you can launch any kind of startup.” 

Throughout Spain, there are villages with abandoned houses and shops with closed shutters due to a lack of inhabitants. Therefore, Ruralmind aims to counteract this image by giving the villages a starring role alongside the participants. Additionally, giving them the opportunity to showcase the local gastronomy and the historical sites and nature that surrounds them. 

Elimination race 

In Santa Eulalia de Gállego, the common area, which the program calls co-living, is Casa Felisa. This is an old oil mill that has been transformed into a rural tourist house. Ten of the 40 selected entrepreneurs will be installed here. “We select 40 people, 10 of whom drop out in the first program. Then the remaining 30 are distributed among each community. 

With Ruralmind, the initiators want to attract entrepreneurs to the countryside. They spend 19 days there with mentors who help them develop their initial ideas and see if they are viable. 

The grand final is on October 31. Each city has a finalist chosen by the program. The winning entrepreneur receives €3,000 to further develop their business and the public winner receives €2,000. “The idea is that the winner stays in the city. 

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