|sent from: El Barco de Avila, Spain. destination: Burbank, California, USA|
In the Plaza Mayor of El Barco de Avila, there’s a plaque that I’ve never seen before, celebrating one “Juan del Barco”, a supposed village resident who was part of Columbus’ expedition across the Atlantic in 1492 that “discovered” America. He may have been the first to leave looking for far-away riches, but he wasn’t the last – over the last century Spanish villages were decimated as people left for cities around Spain looking for something less back-breaking than farming and manual labour, and many succeeded.
Now, with the European recession continuing, many are looking back to the villages, to simpler ways, perhaps more austere; earn less, spend less, save more, as possible ways to find a new kind of satisfaction in a world that promised much yet proved to be an empty glittering box.
I don’t know what happened to that Juan del Barco, but this Juan came back from America, still searching.