banner image showing hunger looming over Valencia, Spain

Our Country and Community
Like the ASV students, people of Valencia people are very friendly and nice. But before everything else, they are especially proud of their traditions.

Las Fallas is a fascinating festival that celebrates spring, St. José, and the families of Valencia with Las Mascletás (fire crackers); the nightly fireworks celebrations between the bridges, culminating in La Nit del Foc; continuous parades, each with marching bands; Ninots (interesting politically charged statues that are often as tall as three story buildings); La Cremás (the burning of the Ninots); and bullfights.

There are other celebrations throughout the year such as the flower parade, the running of the bulls, and la Tomatina (a city wide food fight with tomatoes). In addition to the celebrations, Valencia boasts of beautiful historic and modern architecture, spectacular beaches on the Mediterranean Sea, and an old riverbed that was converted into a beautiful park and circles the city.

Paella is one of Valencia's traditional foods and one of Valencia's proud traditions. In addition to Paella, Spain produces rice, oranges, olives, almonds, walnuts, vegetables, fine wines, Serrano hams, etc. The fine arts, ceramics on the buildings throughout the city, and beautiful Lladrós (Valencian ceramic dolls) are wonderful too.
What Does Hunger Mean in our Culture?
Spain is a land of plenty. The food that Spain is blessed with is varied and delicious. We have all the fish and seafood that we need from the Mediterranean Sea, as well as oranges, walnuts, almonds, olives, goat, sheep, beef, rabbit, chicken, cheeses, wines, and on and on. So we don´t have a problem with hungry people, right?

That is pretty much right. The terrible devastating hunger that afflicts many countries in Africa and Asia particularly is not seen here, although there have been times throughout the history of Spain where our people have been hungry. It is during wars that our people have suffered the most, and an earthquake in 2011 affected a small Southeast coastal region.

Currently, we are beginning to experience more poverty and hunger than we are accustomed to. It is because the unemployment is Spain is increasing in recent years. This year, unemployment for younger people (between the ages of 20 and 30) is over 40%. Unemployment for the general population is approximately 24%.

As the Spanish people have a culture that is very family-oriented, many people do not feel the full effects of this lack of employment because they simply rely on their extended families to provide a roof over their heads and food in their bellies. There are some people who do not have the luxury of a family who can take care of them when they are unemployed. There are some people that seem to always have been living on the street and they continue to suffer.

And when we look on the streets and see the people asking for help, it seems to be a growing problem.

(WorldDelta, 2011)

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Content on this page contributed by Valencia Students:
Ji Yea S.
Nate D.
Isabella M.
video credit:
Noelia D.