Saturday, October 19, 2019
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Portugal

Second- Hand Shops

A second-hand store guide (Algarve) Born out of creativity and crisis, second-hand shops have been proliferating throughout the country, buying and selling almost anything you can imagine. Apart from cars, it is the gold business which has the biggest market share, since the Portuguese have always bought this commodity as a security in times of financial difficulty. Clothing, furniture, electrical appliances and similar goods used to be sold largely by charity shops, to which people donated things they didn’t want any more. But that is no longer the case and buying and selling these articles (even on consignment) has become …

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A life with the sea on the horizon

‘Mestre de terra’ * Joaquim Carneiro welcomed ECO123 to the warehouse where he practises his profession at the premises of Docapesca (1) by the river Arade and close to the town of Parchal (municipality of Lagoa). Nearly 84, master Joaquim still works every day, seated among kilometres of fishing nets which he mends with enviable skill and vigour. His discourse is frequently inflamed with the passion of those who still argue for what they believe in and who believe in a better future. Such as when he defends the indispensable practice of the closed season to protect species, or when …

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The Minister

It’s not every day that you meet the Minister, if you don’t live in the capital yourself, and even if you do, the Minister himself doesn’t spend every day in the capital. He often travels around the country, sometimes even abroad. Around midday he was expected at a lunch with the businesspeople of the Portuguese and Foreign Chambers of Industry and Commerce. You paid fifty euros for admission, plus VAT, and then were happy to wait for the Minister. Sometimes you wait your whole life for something, often you don’t know why, almost always without an obvious reason. Waiting is …

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From the Algarve to the world

‘A Rocha’, an organisation that is present in 20 countries (including the UK and the USA) came into being in the Algarve in 1985. It represents the fulfilment of the dream of Peter Harris, an Anglican priest and ornithologist, who decided to include nature conservation as a missionary objective in the church’s social agenda at a time when the environment and its defence were concepts that were little discussed in Portugal. And ‘A Rocha’ continues in the name because its founder and now honorary president speaks of the major contribution made by Portugal to the ‘Latinism’ of the project. ECO123 …

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Lura, learning naturally.

Just a few minutes from Faro is ‘Lura’, an educational farm set up with the motto of ‘learning naturally’, where environmental education is taught together with scientific knowledge. ECO123 talked to its founder and mentor, Sara Vítor. ECO123: What is the ‘Lura’ project? Sara Vítor: It began as a kind of way out for a teacher who didn’t get a teaching post. It’s a way of continuing teaching and working with children, linking this to my own personal evolution but returning to my origins. That’s why I returned to ‘Lura’, which is my family’s ‘burrow’. In this space in the …

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Transition in Coimbra

Annelieke van der Swijs (48), Sara Carvalho (40) and Sandra Rocha (26) work alongside over 30 other members of the Coimbra Transition group. They deal both with social needs and the ecological and economic problems existing in this city of 145,000 inhabitants and temporary home to over 30,000 students. Everything started in 2009 with the organic garden in the Coimbra Botanical Garden and the “Little Botanical Market” providing spices and aromatic herbs. In 2013, the association was founded to a large extent because the Municipal Council and other local entities were only willing to take the Transition group seriously when …

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Xávega net.

Fishing from the land. Six o’clock in the morning. We parked at the isolated spot where the team were starting to arrive, in the area of Meia-Praia in Lagos. We crossed the railway line and the dunes, heading resolutely towards the boat – known locally as a ‘calão’ – whose location we could guess, but which we couldn’t see. Once again, we were going to watch people fishing using the ancient ‘xávega’ net, similar to a beach seine. Just an outboard motor and lighter nets gave the process a modern touch. At six thirty and with the first light of …

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Transition in Portalegre

Everything began in 2011 with a guerrilla gardening campaign, Luís Bello Moraes (41), founder of Portalegre in Transition, told ECO123 on the patio of the FICAR cultural centre. They sowed thousands of sunflower seeds in all of the public gardens and parks of the city. And just as soon as they began to get growing, the mentors behind the initiatives met up with residents and invited them to plant vegetables in between the plants. In a shopping centre, the Transition group has its “Den” that serves as the surroundings for both tranquillity and relaxation and where they discuss and decide …

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Tradition at the right pace

A prior warning: if you are the type broadly indifferent to food and prefer to rush through meals quickly, ‘A Charrette’ is not the place for you. This is an establishment where everything takes its respective due time, from preparing and cooking the dishes on the menu, giving (even requiring) space for flavouring the excellent food, taking in the décor and ambience, chatting and enjoying the company. Located in the centre of Monchique, anybody entering immediately notes the traditional and welcoming environment with old (but well treated) wooden furniture and containing a wealth of working or household utensils from times …

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Living slow

The Slow Movement spans a vast range of areas of activity and has now spread globally. In Portugal, the NGO Slow Portugal seeks to promote and implement its ideas. To talk about its activities, ECO123 interviewed its Board President, Raquel Tavares. ECO123: How did the slow movement emerge in Portugal? Raquel Tavares: This took place following the founding of the ‘Slow Portugal’ NGO with the objective of filling a gap that had not been taken up in the national panorama accompanying a rising and deepening international trend. A slow movement style organisation makes every sense to the extent this defends …

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