“The hostels are full to the brim, people are going to eat at restaurants, I wish they could build more parks”
Enrique Salueña, mayor of Fuendetodos, was among the first to comprehend that the arrival of new green projects in the area would create an opportunity. "Because wind farms are now being brought into operation, the city council published job offers for people who would like to work in the parks and several local people have been working", he says proudly. And not just for residents of Fuendetodos. Endesa's training and courses on renewables have been extended to 60 people in the area. The idea is to train local people to break the trend of young people being forced to go to Zaragoza to seek out new opportunities.
Shared value in Fuendetodos
Apart from the creation of jobs in the building process and the subsequent operation and maintenance of a wind or solar project, Endesa differs from other companies in that it implements a development model that envisages actions for the creation of shared value in the surrounding communities. To do this, the company wanted to learn first hand about the area's needs, so as to contribute and set in motion projects that were in the pipeline waiting for the right time. For all these projects, the company has set aside 140,000 euro.
This is the case of the restoration of the old ice refrigerator known as Pilón Bajo. "If Goya hadn't been born, Fuendetodos would have been famous for the snow and its trade," says José Luis Ona, an archaeologist working on the recovery of these stone giants. Once, there were as many as 20 refrigerators, semicircular stone buildings in which snow was stored to transform it into ice and preserve food or medicine. Fuendetodos became the largest supplier of ice to the region and one of the largest in Zaragoza. These types of citizen's architectural constructions, which are recognised as a Heritage Site, have their origin in the sixteenth century and were in use until the twentieth century. Today, the Culroya refrigerator is the only one still standing in Fuendetodos, and it is one of the five that continue to defy the passage of time in the area.
The remains of the Pilón Bajo refrigerator are at rest in the vicinity of the wind farm. This architectural gem has suffered the passing of centuries and the plundering of its stones, which were used for other building purposes. "To me, personally as an archaeologist, I think it's lovely," says José Luis when referring to this type of action for conservation and recovery of heritage or the restoration and signing of the hiking route that has also been undertaken.
A locality with more people and more life
This is a walking tour that invites you to recall the customs and practices of a lifestyle that is not really so far in the past: one more closely linked to the countryside, livestock or ice-related commerce. "Thanks to this we are going to recover many things that we have lost", notes the mayor of Fuendetodos.
Pascual López, professor at the Engraving Museum workshop, has been teaching courses to explain the techniques of this art for 23 years. "Thousands of children visit and we suggest that, in addition to seeing Goya's house, they can make their own engraving". With an accent reminiscent of warmer lands and his Murcian origins, Pascual asserts emphatically: "Wind farms..., that's like gold, if there's money the City Council contributes to the workshop, and in the workshop I'm there".
New air and new and silent giants that will begin to spin their blades before the year is out. They come to Fuendetodos to stay; and not only to be part of the new landscape, but also to become part of the engine of activity in the region, as ordinary residents.