‘I start again’, small human stories about the exodus to the countryside of Spain

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TVE Premieres New Program Showing People Who Changed Their Urban Lives to Settle in Small Towns

In the second half of the 20th century, the lack of prosperity in then inhabited Spain caused a phenomenon of migration to large cities in search of a better life. According to data from the National Institute of Statistics (INE), nearly 3.1 million Spaniards moved to cities in the 1960s. The industry’s take-up of surplus agricultural labor caused population loss in regions such as Extremadura, Andalusia or Castilla-La Mancha, of which the inhabitants determined their fate in other places such as Madrid, Barcelona and the Basque Country. Known as the ‘rural flight’, this had social and economic consequences that translated into depopulation that is difficult, but not impossible, to reverse.

The exodus from the big city to the small rural world is a reality that exists and that “one way or another is going to get more”, explains José Luis Domínguez, director of “Vuelvo astart”, a new program premiering today on TVE’s 1 (10:35 am) with the stories of people who have left their lives in the big capital to settle in small towns where they can develop their new professional and personal life project.

The idea for the format came before the pandemic, but after that everything accelerated. “When you go to those little places, you realize that there are people who have dared that change. He left the city because of the stress and found opportunities in the cities, despite the lack of services and the difficulties that exist,” he says.

The program team began investigating the matter and discovered the case of a man who was educated in Silicon Valley, California, with an important international professional projection. At some point, this person saw that this was not his place and decided to move to Somiedo (Asturias), where he developed a business project that he is now happy with.

During the first season, ‘I start again’ travels through 40 locations to show people who have reinvented themselves, created new professions or restore family professions of yesteryear that allow them to survive in towns or villages where they sometimes don’t even have 50 neighbors.

The program is a direct witness to everyday life in these rural environments, not only showing how the newcomers are integrated and participate in the customs, traditions and festivals of these cities.

The stress of the big city or the need for a family reconciliation are some of the justifications used by the protagonists of the public broadcaster’s new bet for Saturday morning.

“There are a number of recurring motifs, but each story is nuanced. There are people who have had health problems or someone close to them has died and who have realized because of the pandemic that they have not been able to spend their entire lives with their families ”, says the director, who hopes that ‘I back to start’ will serve as an inspiration for the viewer of the city who does not dare to take the step.

In the first program of the season, ‘I start again’ tells the story of Maribel, a woman who came to Belchite (Zaragoza) from England 25 years ago with her husband and their two small children. Although she is no longer married, she has remained in the village and has set up her own English academy in her home.

The first episode of the format will also focus on the major life change of Ricardo, who left his life as a big city computer programmer to become a blacksmith in Las Vegas, Toledo Province. From there, he defends that being in a city no longer “means living like a hundred years ago”.

Finally, the program team spends a day with Lucía in Perlunes (Asturias). She was a soldier in the army and abandoned the uniform and maneuvers to become a nomadic rancher. She also runs her own herd with her husband and son.

Source: La Verdad

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