MORE projects than ever are being presented to the Levante Almeriense Rural Development Group in Los Gallardos. According to one of the group’s managers, Pilar Iranzu, due to the economic crisis, people are coming up with new ideas to get ahead, breaking with conventional projects, or going back to activities which had been pushed to one side in the area.
“Many people are returning to farming”, she said, “but it is obvious that the economic situation shows people’s ability to find different alternatives”.
She explained that many people who jumped on the bandwagon of construction when they could earn good money from it were not qualified and didn’t think of what could happen in the future. They did not invest or save, and instead, spent the money they earned.
Now, relatively young couples are left with almost nothing, and have no alternatives because they left school early and the building trade is the only thing they know.
Many of them have had to take the decision to further their studies, and when they have a little more knowledge, they go to the Rural Development Group full of ideas for new projects or plans for businesses which will give them something to live on.
Iranzu pointed out that some of these projects are extremely innovative and this is what the group is really interested in.
This, she said, is the “up side” of the economic crisis, because when things are going well, people show no interest in developing new ideas such as alternative energy sources, tourism or farming.
She also pointed out that there are areas where people should be focusing on creating new businesses, such as services to locals, for the elderly or for children, such as catering, so people who can’t cook for themselves can continue to have a healthy diet.
The important thing, Iranzu said, is for people to “believe in their project, like it and want to develop it, but also realize that it is something which will take a long time”.