17 July 2012

An evening at the Beaterio

At the heart of Alcalá de los Gazules, literally and figuratively, is the Beaterio de Jesús, María y José. It is tucked in between the church of San Jorge and the remains of the castle, at the highest part of the town. The entrance is in the narrow street which bears the name of its founder, a priest called Diego Angel de Viera.

The Beaterio opened in 1788 to provide free care and education for those in need. Today, this takes the form of a hospice for the elderly, and a school with boarding facilities for kids who don't have a stable home life, both run by a small but energetic group of nuns and volunteers. There is also a delightful chapel and a walled garden with spectacular views over the town and the surrounding countryside.

Last Friday we attended a concert there to raise funds for a well to provide clean water and irrigation for a village in Kenya, part of a project undertaken by three Kenyan nuns currently staying at the Beaterio.  It was a great chance to take a peek round the building and the grounds, and enjoy a highly entertaining evening of local talent.  I managed to park myself in the front row with my camera, and record some of the highlights: please forgive the occasional wobble, but hopefully it gives an indication of the wonderful atmosphere!


tobyo said...

it does give that indication, yes! I absolutely loved the music, thanks so much for sharing what you recorded. I love the pics as well.

neddie said...

....sitting and watching the clip here in Atlanta i almost felt as though i was in the audience in Alcala!! I assume all the performers were from 'the pueblo'
Well done.

Claire Lloyd said...

Glad you enjoyed it Neddie! I hope you can come and visit us some time.

All the performers are local except the young copla singer Javier, who is from Algeciras, and the nuns, who are from Kenya but staying here for a while.