People from Alta Mora show the world their memories and their almond trees

The older population of this village of Castro Marim is at the forefront of the preparation and promotion of the Almond Tree Festival in Flor do Algarve


There are thousands of them and “at least 23 different nationalities”. The normally peaceful village of Alta Mora, in Castro Marim, was filled with walkers, music, crafts (and artisans) and mouth-watering cuisine, thanks to yet another edition of the Algarve Almond Trees in Bloom Festival (FAFA) , which has been running since Friday and ends today, Sunday, February 4th.

Despite having hiking as its central element, followed by a mountain lunch, the initiative of the Associação Recreativa, Cultural e Desportiva dos Amigos da Alta Mora (ARCDAA), which mobilizes the entire village community, also celebrates traditions and memories, very due to the “fault” of the local inhabitants.

«Those who help to set up the festival are the oldest community here in the community, who are around twenty people. And then there are other people who join, including family and friends. It was these people who, over the course of two months, built the festival», said Valter Matias, president of ARCDAA.

The local inhabitants, older, “are always the first to arrive in the morning and immediately ask: Matias, what is there to do today? And some will whitewash, others paint, others pull weeds, others take care of the decoration. They are always available».

On festival days, the villagers also help with whatever is needed, with smiles of pride on their faces.

FAFA also has a strong ethnographic component linked to memory, in such a way that «people get the feeling that they are going back dozens of years in time».

«This is not just another festival. It is an event that has the particularity of being organized by local inhabitants, by the people of the Algarve Mountains, where they show their experience of other times», he assured the Sul Informação Francisco Amaral, president of the Chamber of Castro Marim, on the sidelines of the inauguration of FAFA, on Friday.

That morning, despite it being a weekday, the streets of the villages were already full of people, some who had gone for a walk early in the morning, but also many who came to see the Craftsman's Village, to buy something from the stalls that line it. on the streets or eating in taverns, of which there are even more this year than in 2023.

And, in addition to Portuguese, you hear different languages ​​spoken and you can see that foreign visitors are well represented, if not in the majority.

«Each time we have people here from more different places. For now, we have people of 23 nationalities among those registered. It's already an international party», revealed Valter Matias.

In the 2024 edition, the festival benefits from the Cultural Patronage Statute and has financial support from the Portugal Events program, from Turismo de Portugal, and with the support of the Employment and Professional Training Institute through the Arts and Crafts Promotion Program . This ARCDAA initiative has the partnership and support of the Municipality of Castro Marim and the Parish Council of Odeleite.

The organization provides free transport from Altura, Monte Gordo, Vila Real de Santo António, Castro Marim and Monte Francisco.

«We will also have a train connecting the parking lot and the festival entrance», added Valter Matias.

Those interested can still visit the festival, which ends at 16:30 pm today. The program can be consulted here.


Photos: Hugo Rodrigues | Sul Informação


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