27 November 2011

Alcalá Solidaria


It is well known that the poor give proportionally more of their income to charity than the rich do, probably because they are more attuned to the needs of others.  This was demonstrated beautifully in Alcalá yesterday when, despite the economic crisis, alcalainos of all ages thronged the Paseo de la Playa  for the town's third Día Solidaria.

Our "Typical British fare" went like hot cakes
Although solidaridad translates literally as "solidarity" it has a wider meaning in Spanish, embracing sharing, community, empathy, compassion and equality.  The English equivalent would be "charity", but in Spain caridad is more usually associated with aid offered by religious institutions.

The Playa was lined with stalls offering goodies for sale, the proceeds going to various fundraising activities.  The Fair Trade (Comercio Justo) stall had bottles of 40% proof Cuban rum nestling amongst the organic chocolate bars, and the nuns from the Beaterio had a bric-a-brac stall piled with china ornaments, ashtrays, cups and saucers, some of which looked like candidates for the Antique Road Show.  

AMAG, the town´s equivalent of the Women´s Institute, sold a range of "typical English" cakes, biscuits and sausage rolls donated by us Brits, with proceeds going to breast cancer research.   Despite suffering somewhat in the warm sun, apparently they were all sold (and no, we didn´t buy them ourselves).

As ever there were plenty of activities for the kids; a solidarity procession, a solidarity train, a solidarity football match and even a solidarity gymkhana.  The students from the Sainz de Andino secondary school each donated a euro towards the preparation of an enormous paella, cooked by staff and parents and sold off to passers-by to raise money for the annual visit of children from Western Saharan refugee camps.  Meanwhile the team from the Adult Education Centre offered more traditional local fare of gazpacho caliente and tagarninas y garbanzos.   To finish the day, the Asociación de Inmigrantes Áve Fénix organised a few games of Bingo Solidario.

A beautiful warm sunny November day saw the good people of Alcalá de los Gazules at their best.  What better antidote to Deep Gloom?

Paella!
Pounding the garlic and tomato for hot gazpacho

1 comment:

Tumbit said...

Despite the grim state of the economy, I have yet to hear a Spaniard complain about the hand that they have been dealt (note I said 'Complain' as opposed to 'Protest'). They seem to just get on with life and make th ebest of a bad situation.