MADRID – People in Spain who do not have a job are given the opportunity to settle in small villages that are in danger of becoming depopulated. To this end, Holapueblo (hello village) is looking for new villages and people who want to live there.
All villages in Spain with less than 2,000 inhabitants can join the platform. In collaboration with companies in those villages, the municipalities, partner companies, and social institutions, Holapueblo makes it attractive for new inhabitants to settle in such a village.
A new feature of this campaign is those small local businesses in those villages are also open to the (long-term) unemployed. They are guided through a personalised process. They receive help while settling in the new village, finding a home, starting their new job, or setting up their new business.
Holapueblo‘s initiative already supports villages whose population has shrunk considerably in recent years. Municipalities that want to participate can register if the villages have a minimum number of basic services. In addition, it may not have more than 2,000 inhabitants.
New residents for 19 villages
So far, Holapueblo has managed to deliver new residents to 19 municipalities in 14 provinces. This mainly concerns couples between the ages of 41 and 50 with children, the platform reports in a press release. Specifically, 70 entrepreneurs received support from the platform when starting their new life in a rural environment. Twenty-seven of them did so together with their families.
New residents for Arroyomolinos de Leon
One of the villages participating is Arroyomolinos de León in the province of Huelva. This is where the presentation of the third edition of Holapueblo took place on Thursday. Virginia Mate and Azucena González are two new residents of this village. They moved south from Valladolid with their daughters in September 2021. Holapueblo allowed them to expand their current photography business to include corporate communications for businesses.
The platform was born from a merger of Grupo Red Eléctrica and the company AlmaNatur. Together with the partners, they give advice and tips and bring the villages and possible future residents into contact with each other. Its main function is to establish a connection between the supply of work in the villages with job seekers who would like to start a new life in the countryside.
A new partner in this third Holapueblo campaign is Ikea. The Swedish furniture giant wants to revitalise municipal spaces intended for the population through a new interior design and the necessary furniture.
Another partner is Reale Seguros, which offers rent protection insurance with guarantees. This insurance should encourage homeowners to make their homes available to new residents.
Correos Market is also participating in the Holapueblo initiative. This is the digital platform of the Spanish Post (Correos) which offers artisanal and Spanish-made products. The Spanish Post founded the platform in 2019 with the goal of helping the population in rural areas reach customers for their products. The consumer can order from the huge range without having to pay shipping costs. This promotes the sale of quality local products and gives a boost to the economy in rural areas in particular.
Finally, the Dutch sustainable bank Triodos – now also based in Spain – has also joined with a fund of €10,000 to stimulate the creation and consolidation of new companies.
If you are interested in starting a new life in a Spanish village, you can register via this link.
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