My name is Angel Galdo Jr., I live in La Herradura. I am a retired journalist and I know Renate through her magnificent book “Reflections from La Herradura”. In this book it is clear that Renate is raising a flag for La Herradura as a model of cultural tourism, and I want to thank her for that and also to say that I am right behind her.
After so much of the natural beauty of Europe has been destroyed, progress has arrived in La Herradura too, andalthough it is much easier to just move with the times in order to boost the local economy and raise peoples’ standard of living, it will hopefully not make the same mistake. Quick and easy fixes should always be suspected, but it’s clear La Herradura will have to make a choice and the proof of this will not be in fine words but in actions.
The history of La Herradura has a power that is almost comparable to the power of nature and, in my opinion, this history could become the raw material for a project that will unite, attract and enrich the lives of all its residents, regardless of age, nationality or professional status.
The wealth that La Herradura’s combined history and culture could generate may not be immediately apparent, or definitive, or even enough, but its value won’t only be measured in Euros, but also in conscience, pride and prestige. In the long run, it will have an impact in the local economy, especially through the quality of jobs, personal satisfaction and the creation of entrepreneurial and vocational enterprise in our young people.
The past and above all, our attitude towards it, is what makes us different; it’s what personalises us, it’s what people from outside the village come looking for. Well, in my opinion, the most profound and dramatic element of the past still present in La Herradura is almost a ghost nowadays, or a shadow of what was about to disappear forever and that’s commercial fishing.
In particular, in the first half of the last century La Herradura was a force in the art of the Jábega – an ancient boat and net collaboration created by the Egyptians and brought here by the Phoenicians which some 50 years ago provided food for more than half of the population. This was a beautiful and complex example of teamwork which had an ethnographic importance that perhaps has never been seen anywhere in the Mediterranean.
The Association of Friends of La Herradura, founded in 1994, is currently working on a project to recover this art of fishing, but without fish having to die, which has been very well received by the local Town Hall. However, we do need external, public and private funding.
The future Centre of Interpretation will revolve around two images, one is a black and white photo of a ‘jábega’ boat called “Joven Consuelo”, from around 1960, which comes from a collection of old photos belonging to my friend Paco Alaminos.
The drawing is of the same jábega when it was already abandoned on the beach, the last of the 14 in total that sailed our waters. The drawing, made by a Canadian tourist called Marcel Laurie in 1986 and subsequently published as a postcard, seems without a doubt to have been made so that someone, someday could reconstruct this particular boat. Of course, either in person or in spirit, we would like to thank Mr Laurie for this.
For Renate, the creator of this cultural La Herradura online magazine, I will volunteer to provide her readers with an image, an idea, a fact or my reflections on this project, on a weekly basis, in the spirit of “productive friendship” and on behalf of La Herradura, Andalucía, Spain, Europe and humanity.
“The past has a future”
Angel Galdo jr.