This legal association project at Chao Sobral (hamlet with 100 people) is the context for people of all ages participation in leisure, education, environmental and cultural activities. Every year the project is created and managed by local volunteers/members of the association.
The project emerges as an association with a general members assembly every year to program a set of activities to be carried out in or around the hamlet and surrounding mountain ridge natural environment.
We have the support of the local council - municipality, and are sponsored by several local businesses.
"Chão Sobral" is the name of the hamlet, our land stands on convex steep ridge slopes in central Portugal mountains - Goshawk range.
Our ancestors built many terraces during the last centuries so as to retain and grow some living soil for gardening. Though goat herding was one of the main activities.
Our Association (UPCS) activities include:
- managing the multifunctional community center,
- promoting local traditional low-input agriculture, handcrafts and selling local hand made produce, from slow-sustainable agriculture,
- local political advocacy,
- traditional food feasts,
- mountain bike tours,
- thematic walks in the mountains, night mountain hikes
- excursions to other bioregions-towns,
- planting trees,
- free internet center,
- promoting folk life stories, local traditions, books and history, open library, supporting the local brassband, local goat skin drumers band, suporting local sports,
- creating a green tree sanctuary space - forested park in the association property - inside the hamlet area. trees: cherris, apples, plums, olive, chest nut, arbutus, prunus lauroceresus, ash, lime, plain, oak, silverbirch, quince, pawlonia, abies alba (Xmas tree)
- developing a mountain (Colcurinho water shed) ethno-ecosystem information center,
- reparing and creating community public spaces like streets, water channels, yards and a belvedere,
- managing the local old primary school for people's activities (brass band rehearsals, newyears party, feasts) and children playground,
- summer holidays occupational and community service projects for local students-youth supported by the local council
One step at a time, all this activities are emerging in the recent years as we, as a mixed team of older and younger people, grow to trust and learn from each other.
Probably one thing that motivate us is the passion for our sense of place, sense of being a community on our ancestors land, that has it's difficult times, and forgives and enjoys the moments that we create together.
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Community projects are projects that help develop sustainable community interaction and increase localised resiliency.