(01 March 2019) – Action to tackle the accelerated process of depopulation in rural Spain has focused in some cases on promoting the settlement of an immigrant population to revitalise these areas, while improving the quality of life of the groups that settle there. María Coto Sauras analyses these initiatives and extracts some elements to be considered in future interventions.
Among the range of initiatives that are aiming to support the integration of immigrant populations into rural areas, it is worth highlighting the experience of the Nuevos Senderos (New Paths) programme of the Cepaim Foundation.
It stands out for being an integral action that combines working with and raising the awareness of the host municipalities while preparing family units for a long and complex process that seeks to ensure, as far as possible, successful integration.
Nevertheless, the integration of immigrant population in rural areas must be conceived as one option in the search for solutions to deal with the phenomenon of rural depopulation but it is not the only solution.
Apart from encouraging the arrival of new settlers, it is also important to create the conditions for the indigenous population to want to stay, and even for encourage some of those who left to return.