Extremadura's image

Please take this section for what it is a partial and subjective sketch of prevalent attitudes!

There were obviously always exceptions, but 20th century Spanish literature and cinema too often tended to depict Extremadura as a desolate and inhospitable backwater or featured exiles from Extremadura lost in the big city after migrating there in search of work. Buñuel, meanwhile, made a famous documentary in 1932 titled Tierra Sin Pan (The Land Without Bread) showing the terrible poverty endured by the inhabitants of an area called Las Hurdes in northern Extremadura. Many Spanish city dwellers are only now starting to shake off this anachronistic image of Las Hurdes and by extension all the region. In fact, recent years have seen European funds being poured into Extremadura: many new roads have been built (even in Las Hurdes!), together with schools and hospitals, etc. There have also been subsidies to help local companies invest and export, and a small but growing number of local businessmen have been astute enough to build long-term projects.

The key consequence of this is that Extremadura has finally stopped being a land of emigrants. Since the times of the conquistadors, many of whom were from the region and named their new settlements after towns in Extremadura (Trujillo, Mérida, Medillín, etc) up to the 1950s and 60s when thousands headed for Madrid, Barcelona, Bilbao, Germany and Switzerland, Extremadura has haemorraged inhabitants. Until now, that is, as the local economy begins to pick up and grow.

All of a sudden an extra workforce is required each year for picking grapes and olives. Moroccan, Romanian, Polish and Russian migrants pass through the region every summer. Some stay, and this is now one of Extremadura's great challenges, the role-reversal of long-suffering emigrants now learning to make immigrants welcome themselves.
This web site is the property of extremaduraguide.com. Please do not copy or duplicate any of our content without prior consent. Site optimised for 1024x768 px.

Valid HTML 4.01 Transitional