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Revitalizing Rural Portugal
"For nine months, a team of  9 graduates moved to Querença – a small village in the interior south of Portugal – with the aim of developing projects and activities to revitalize the territoryand dynamize the village. According to the 2011 Portuguese census Querença has a population of 759 inhabitants and an area of 37,18 km².

The interior area of Portugal is suffering of severe human desertification, young people are fleeing to cities in order to find jobs and the ‘modern’ living. Many villages are becoming ‘ghost villages’ being completely abandonded after its elder inhabitants pass away.The first phase of Project Querença started in 2011, when 9 recent graduates from University of Algarve joined this initiative. 

The participants were picked based on their CV and motivation letter, from a list of 75 applications. The multidisciplinary team has backgrounds in different areas ranging from biologic engineering to architecture. For 9 months they lived in Querença to develop a range of projects that complemented each other. Initiatives developed by the group of youngsters include, among others, a monthly market – selling only organic and local products, a completely natural energy bar – made of local fruits and honey and a greenhouse to cultivate strawberries..."

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