Yesterday was the first meeting of a group called 'Meetings 40 years of democratic councils'. This initiative of IDEAL newspaper and the Provincial Council of Jaen aimed to highlight and analyze the development of the province's municipalities over the past four decades.
The table was hosted by the Ciudad de Cazorla Hotel. It featured people of different professions and ages. Jose Luis Adan, IDEAL delegate in Jaen moderated a meeting where Teresa Moro, the former mayor of Cazorla was interviewed. Antonia Vicent, director of the Maria Mackay Assistance Complex, Cazorla was also present. Jose Caballero, the president of the Sustainable Tourism Association of the Natural Park of Cazorla Segura, Las Villas Natural Park, Jose Luis Diaz Vinas, and Ana Belen Aibar, the psychologist and businesswoman from the Aio de Cazorla'sicio de Cazorla and David Gomez, and Francisco Zaragoza, is the CEIP San Isicio de Cazorla'sicio de Cazorla was the president of the CEIP San Isicio de Cazorla'sicio de Cazorla San Isicio de Cazorla and the president of the AMPA of the CEIP San Isicio de Cazorla; and the president of the CEIP San Isicio de Cazorla of Cazorla; and the president of the CEIP San Isicio de Cazorla; and Francisco Zaragoza, the theater director of the Theater de Zaragoza, and director of the CEIP San Isicio de Cazorla; and the CEIP San Isicio de Cazorla;
Participants at the table reviewed the past forty years, focusing on cultural, educational, and tourist aspects. They stressed the importance of respecting the land and the Sierras de Cazorla Segura Las Villas Natural Park and maximizing its potential to promote sustainable quality tourism, which has been a major driver of economic growth.
This territory's social evolution has been marked by its connection to the natural landscape. It has been and continues be their greatest potential.
Tourism is not affected by the seasonality change in tourist arrivals. This has been true for many years. The cultural and sporting events promoted in town halls are of great importance throughout the year. Some of these festivals stand out for their impact such as Bluescazorla or the Air Festival of Segura.
Realizing the importance of offering tourists alternative options to returning to the territory, the administrations have filled the agenda with appealing activities, both cultural and also sporting, like the Ultra Trail Bosques del Sur. This encourages visitors to spend several days in the municipalities to soak up the cultural, historical, and gastronomic wealth.
This is accompanied by an increasing number of museums, interpret centers, and rehabilitation of the artistic historic heritage of the municipalities that make them unique. Apart from the many examples that were highlighted at the Meeting, notable examples include the Zabaleta and Miguel Hernandez Museums, the Toya Sepulchral chamber Interpretation Center, or reconstruction of Ruins of Santa Maria and the Hornos Cosmoolarium, or Segura castle.
All participants agreed to emphasize the role of Jaen's Provincial Council as the primary support for all the cultural and sports programming offered by the parks' city councils. The importance of citizen participation in the protection of these events as well as in the promotion and preservation of their natural, cultural, or monumental resources was also highlighted.
These speakers spoke about what these cities were like 40 years ago, and how they have changed over time. Cazorla was the regional head. In the educational field, they mentioned that very few people could study in the newly elected democratic era. However, the education system changed in a few years and society has seen significant progress. Many people got their degrees by going to the Seminary. After they finished training, they went on to pursue other pursuits. This is a huge difference compared to the compulsory and free schooling available from 3 years old, and even the optional education from 0-3 years which is now possible in most of the territory due to nursery schools.
Jose Caballero was an example to follow. He was only 13 years old when he decided to leave the institute and become an independent student. It was a drastic change in relation to the opportunities available today.
Paco Zaragoza said that the "greatest previous change in 40 years of democracy" was the "educational change". Cazorla was highlighted as a special municipality in this regard. It was special because it had a unique cultural elite. They were from a certain middle class or aristocratic and had a culture level that was different from the rest of the towns. It was a very conservative, but very open-minded, elite that served as a stimulant.
Antonia Vicent remarked that there was a different social, cultural, and tourist movement in her hometown 25 years ago. Despite this, she acknowledged how difficult it was for her to work with families of people with intellectual or physical disabilities. They were suspicious about what could be done with their children and relatives.
David Gomez also mentioned the importance of education and keeping people in the territory, despite being trained at the university level. He said that "something is happening" in rural areas. Society must recognize the value of rural life, as well as the quality of life, in order to settle people in the territory.
Ana Belen Aibar echoed this sentiment, insisting that "young people don't have to move out of the towns" and that they can still live in quality of life while pursuing their professional careers.
The Parque Natural de las Sierras de Cazorla Segura y Las Villas is a brand that continues to grow and become a household name on the international stage. Despite the fact that it has been a landmark for many for decades and a place that very few people visit, This area has been and continues to be a valuable growth resource for both tourism and the environment since its designation as a Natural Park.
Teresa Moro spoke out about the promotion of the Natural Park of the Sierras de Cazorla Segura and Las Villas and the marks that it contains. "The importance that after five year of democracy, this protected space was designated a biosphere reserve. It was an impulse that this territory received a universal declaration>>." He believes that "back then people had have to be convinced that the intent was to promote sustainable development in the three counties, and the conservation values. So thanks to all of this, we can now talk of a space which is in the first row both at the Spanish and European levels in terms of natural resources>>
Jose Luis Diaz, for his part, stated that Renfe's disappearance was the culmination of the Natural Park's boost. The administration then considered how to use the natural resources available to develop the area, avoid further depopulation and give people other tools to help them live. He also stated that citizens viewed him with suspicion and fear because they believed his declaration would lead to more depopulation. However, it was ultimately a success.
Set the population
Jose Caballero, on the other hand, predicted that "in 10 or 12 years, the population will realize it's possible to work in rural areas, since the tourism industry is helping to establish population in the territory and that it helps generate small businesses and companies supported with new technologies, who are helping to globalize this sector>>
There are currently thousands of people who visit the Natural Park each year to explore its surroundings, go hiking, do outdoor activities, and to share rural getaways. This is something that was impossible 40 years ago when the mountains were reserved for a select few and locals who had benefited from their wealth.
Tourism is an important economic resource in this region and from which many families now live. It owes its existence to the preservation of this sustainable space. This must be done to ensure that it continues to bear fruit.
Visitors are attracted to the new infrastructures built within the Natural Park. They are an important source of income. Therefore, it is still vital to invest in areas that will have a positive effect on the area.