A year is also made of words

Find out which words, in the opinion of a number of Algarve personalities, sum up the year

illustration of Rúben Bento

Can one word sum up everything that happened, lived, thought, imagined, suffered, over the 365 days of this year of 2021 that ends today? To try to answer that, the Sul Informação launched a challenge to several Algarve personalities, from different sectors: what, in your perspective, is the word of the year? The answers, from the most telegraphic, to the most elaborate and reflective, provide a good clue as to how 2021 was. 



Adriana Freire Nogueira

Regional Director of Culture of the Algarve


It was not easy to choose a word that summed up 2021, mainly because I didn't think there was one that could include all the emotions, feelings, experiences of an entire year. However, I accepted the challenge, believing that, together, all the words chosen can help to draw what was this year now ending.

At first, I thought I should choose an adjective, as it qualifies, helps to describe, but then I thought the year had been so intense, that it needed the substance of a… noun, that it needed a more meaning. dense.

So I looked for a word that conveyed the idea of ​​resistance, a place where all kinds of feelings dwell, where the intention, the will, the decision reside.

I looked for a word that meant life, but a pulsating life, that had spirit, spirit. I looked for a word that would house wisdom, a space where understanding would dwell.

I resorted to etymology, the science that was closest to hand, and reached my heart, or rather, a word that has its origins: courage.

Courage comes (even if it came to us indirectly from the French) from the Latin word “cor, cordis”(1), which literally means “heart”. This, in turn, has the same Indo-European root as the Greek word, with the same meaning, «kardia». Both fulfill all those meanings, many of them implied in our use of the word "courage".

We cry out "Courage!" when we want to cheer someone up, either to face a feeling or to make a decision. Sometimes we mumble it under our breath, to ourselves.

We take courage when we want to carry out an intention.

And there are so many times – how much simpler it would be to do nothing – when it is courage that gives us strength to move forward into the darkness, the lack of clarity that crushes us with prejudice, intolerance, in order to reach knowledge and understanding , lights that show us the path of solidarity, of the collective.

We need the courage to resist – and there are endless situations that life offers us against which we have to fight, to keep ourselves together.

Will it be possible to understand this word in its fullness? See the dialogue Lacquers, by Plato. There, it is stated that being courageous implies having an understanding of the danger that is faced, that “reckless and courageous are not the same thing”; and that "I call those gifted with sense courageous" (197b). In an attempt to define it (a task that turns out to be impossible), it is said that “courage is not only the science of what is dangerous and what is favorable. It is that it does not only encompass the future with regard to good and evil, but also the present and the past, and in all circumstances, as in the case of other sciences” (199b-c).

In 2021, there were so many moments when we felt that courage was slipping away from us and, with it, courage, strength, the ability to decide. And there were so many others in which she forced us to hug her, to accept that being afraid is normal, but that we cannot let it dominate us; that not knowing is normal, but that we cannot let ignorance prevail; that we think of ourselves first is normal, but that solidarity is what saves us as humanity.

What do I want for 2022? A lot of courage!

Note (1) Don't be surprised how I wrote it, but, in Latin, when we enunciate a name, we always say the form it takes when it performs the function of subject of a sentence – “color” – and when it is a determinative complement – ​​« cordis” – because that's the only way we can know the root of the word – «cord- » – which will allow us to recognize it in its other syntactic functions, as well as in other words, as «cordial», «agree», « disagree” or “know by “heart”».



Alexandre Lima

Algarve Regional Education Delegate



Year of learning for humanity when dealing with a pandemic.


Anabela Santos

Almargem Director


In a year full of uncertainty, perhaps we all ended up giving more value to what makes us different as a country, region, territory, village, place or person.

I believe in changing mentality and paradigm when choosing as a tourist, traveler or resident.

Authenticity has never made more sense than it does now. The search for the genuine and unique. A smile, a handshake or a simple but so warm boo. A taste, a smell, a sound. The simplest things can become the most memorable.


Ana Cabecinha

Olympic athlete


After catching Covid in January, my father's death in April, the bad result of the Olympic Games, a serious injury in October, there have been so many falls that I barely get up and I'm already “catching” with another “ disgrace”. It really took a lot of willpower and resilience to always get up and keep fighting.

This year 2021 was not easy, but here we are fighting for a better 2022.



Dino d'Santiago



I choose the word Culture, because, in fact, it started to have more the force of a word than to fulfill its origin.

The origin of the word Culture comes from the Latin term Colere, which means to care for, cultivate and grow.

Did we respect it this year?


João de Brito

actor and director


For me, it's the word that has been installed the most, because there is no certainty about anything and we are never completely free-minded, due to the impositions created around the pandemic.

Constraints, restrictions, fear, misinformation, geographic barriers, mental confusion, distance are all factors that cause discomfort.


Joao Fernandes

President of the Algarve Tourism Region


Resilience – sums up well the ability of the Portuguese in the face of such a demanding period in which we are living.


John the Minister

Founder and Managing Partner of ProActiveTur


This word gained particular prominence in 2021 mainly due to the impacts caused by Covid-19 both on economic activity – in particular on tourism – and on social.

There was a need to rethink and adapt the tourism offer in light of the effects of the pandemic – a process that will continue for some time to come – and we all adopted, little or no, new behaviors in light of the circumstances imposed by this health crisis.

“Resilience” was (and will be) also very present, albeit subliminally, in environmental issues in the Algarve. Water shortages, aquifer contamination, forest fires, lack of territorial planning, non-compliance with legal norms, among other aspects, reveal how resilient the Algarve has been.


João Soares

hotel director


The word believe was what followed me in 2021, despite the vicissitudes we struggled with and the challenges we were exposed to.

Adaptations of various natures, faced with advances and setbacks, flooded with contradictory information, we always believed, we always sought to improve and fight daily to maintain the dignity of our hotel product, as well as the Region, providing those who chose the Algarve for their good holidays 2021 memorabilia .



José Apolinario

President of the Algarve Regional Coordination and Development Commission


Science produced a vaccine against Covid-19 in less than a year. Vaccination was, at the beginning of 2021, the hope to quickly defeat the pandemic and was a source of pride and a rise in self-esteem due to the coverage rates that we collectively reached in Portugal.

Science and Knowledge tell us that vaccination will continue to be the best antidote against Covid – perhaps going from a pandemic to an endemic one – and the challenge will be to reach even more people in Portugal and … in the world.

In addition, this year 2021 reinforced the importance of Public Health, the National Health Service and an integrated vision of Civil Protection, leaving a debate to follow: knowing the role of the European Union in globalization and evaluating the responses that, in together, we will be able to build in the health area.



Jose Gameiro

Scientific Director of the Portimão Museum


Resilience, vaccine, certificate, test, telecommuting, hope or even “omicron” will probably be some of the most popular words this year, but even at the risk of straying a little from eventual majority preferences, my choice fell on word “SCIENCE”, to mark 2021.

This choice of mine is not directly related to the dimension of the greater or lesser number of times it was verbalized or written, over the 365 days, but above all because of the relevance of its intense and continued contribution, in a particularly difficult context, on a worldwide scale. .

The alerts, the work of applying knowledge and understanding the natural and social world to be protected, carried out by its professionals, were essential, seeking to benefit and ensure more and better life for everyone, within a global and planetary perspective.

As the result of a systematic methodology based on research, especially in the ability to doubt and confront us in critical moments of uncertainty, in the analysis of experimentation and evidence, science has prepared us for a more correct preview of the plurality of perspectives, for a clearer and more rational presentation of change responses, decisions and solutions.

Science has this remarkable solidary, public and dynamic mission of public cause that, in this year of 2021, was more accentuated by the anticipation of warnings for problematic situations and for the negative consequences, not only for the treatment of the pandemic and the health of populations , but with reflection on the environmental sustainability of planet Earth itself.

The fight continues and for this reason, SCIENCE really has to go out on the street more often!



Manuel Cajuda

Soccer coach


It was, above all, an unfair year, due to the complexity of the decisions and changes that we had. Unfair for the Algarve, because of tourism, a decisive factor in our economy, unfair for the lack of freedom to which we are compulsorily subjected, due to this, which is the worst war we have lived.



Marco Lopes

Director of the Municipal Museum of Faro


As far as is known, it must not have been the pieces kept in the museum, some of recognized magical properties, which helped to alleviate darker scenarios, fatigue, uncertainty and a certain sadness, seeing closed spaces and few people visiting them.

This unwinding, marked throughout the year, made up of good exhibitions, renovated rooms, various educational activities, as well as restoration interventions and news of national treasures, came out of the work of the entire Museum team, mainly from the capacity for resistance, from its innovation, his ingenuity and his optimistic smile.

As for the pieces, they remain serene and in good health, without revealing whether they ever crossed their fingers.



Maria Augusta Casaca

TSF journalist


It's the word I choose and that marks the year that ends. A way of life that has been with me for a few years now, when I found myself working at home, after having closed the TSF delegation in the Algarve, but which many comrades at work are now experiencing.

It may have the advantage of interviewing the prime minister by telephone and with slippers on, but it takes away all the essence of a newsroom. This is the place where journalists can be together to discuss ideas, news, topics for reporting that, for several moments, have been removed from us by the pandemic.

Telecommuting, no matter how many videoconferences and WhatsApp calls you make, it's always a place of solitude. I say so. And it scares me to see that there are so many people praising their virtues and that this could be the way of the future. It's not good for anyone. Neither for workers nor for companies.

Sooner rather than later, we'll all come to this conclusion.

Despite all the vicissitudes that we are currently going through, have an excellent 2022.



Miguel Gião



All people and employees, in addition to deserving it, have the right to have a good Leader. "Leadership is character in action."

In summary, a leader must have the ability to influence people in order to work enthusiastically, aiming to achieve identified goals for the common good. These are my votes for 2022.



Nuno marques

President of the Algarve Biomedical Center


The year was marked by great resistance from the Ministry of Labor, Solidarity and Social Security with measures for homes, with a very positive impact on the number of deaths.

Health professionals showed great resistance throughout the year of uninterrupted work.

Science has also shown great resistance, overcoming the problems and creating, in record time, a vaccine.

The economy has shown resilience to the impact of the pandemic.

The Algarve showed great resistance to all the clashes of the pandemic and helped the whole country to resist, setting an example (mainly the ABC in its multiple fields of action in the community).

We all showed great resistance that now gives us hope for the year 2022.



Paulo Waters

Rector of the University of Algarve


For the lives you saved and will continue to save. For what it represents in terms of the responsiveness of Scientific Knowledge in solving Humanity's problems.



Pedro Valadas Monteiro

Algarve Regional Director for Agriculture and Fisheries


The Portuguese, in the year that has just ended, were always accompanied by hope: in the effectiveness of the vaccines and the vaccination campaign, and in what this might influence the return to approximately normal times.