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It has been a long way since in 1979 our parents decided to return to their village and they had the courage to risk investing money that they did not have to begin to build a future for their children.


By then, the only people coming to Grazalema were some loyal vacationers, some other adventurous hikers or some people who required it because of health problems. A few years later, the first group of English botanists began to come here, looking for our unique flora. I remember their guide, Ros Evans, with much affection.


During all these years of daily struggle, there have been many people who have been by our side and who have always supported us. This is why we could not pass up the chance to thank those who have worked with us day by day, in the good and in the bad moments: Toñi, Elvira, Ana María, Rafi… and all the others, although we do not name them, we also remember about them. Of course, we also want to thank all our clients, some of them met us when we still were children starting to work and to know how life is: Emilia Carrasco, José Cortabarría and Elena, Ángel Perdiguero and María Gómez, Gerardo Guidera and Bárbara, and many more… To all of them, we are grateful to them for understanding our mistakes, because those mistakes always impelled us to carry on with enthusiasm, and because they taught us to trust ourselves. We also want to thank other guests, like our currently neighbour Mr. Ginés Serran Pagan who, in that Fiesta del Toro in 1984, asked us the complaints book.


They have taught us our job. Some days ago, while on the phone with Doña Francisca, Paula Contreras as you know her, we remembered the first time she visited us in 1981-82 with her husband, who suffered from his heart (and she suffered from her bronchi), and we put them in the smallest and highest room… they had the feeling to leave the hotel and go away immediately! However, they stayed here and told us stories about people with no history and taught us to value all the little things in life.
And how could we forget about Juan A. Espejo, who turned our daily coming and going into “seguidillas”, “alegrías” and “fandangos”, writings that we keep like a treasure. We also thank the affection and continuous contact of our relatives and friends, whom we have always had in the background because of the lack of time to attend them. I want to thank my husband and my children, for always believing in me and having so much patience; our grandfather for coming each season to help us prepare the meat of quince that we served as dessert to our guests, and for the will force that has taken him to accompany us during almost a hundred years; I want to thank Juan Naranjo, because he was the impeller of our remodelling and for transmitting us so much enthusiasm, like Edward, who arrived almost 2 years ago and conveys us tranquillity, joy and new ideas with his criticism every day. We want to thank all our neighbours too. They have managed to withstand the pros and cons of the tourist invasion and they have always had good recommendations for those who visit us. We are grateful too to the various public and private agencies, that trusted us and especially to our mayor, Antonio Mateos, to fight for our village, although it is never to everyone’s likes and he might make mistakes, like every other human being.


Together, we have arrived here thanks to our effort, work and sacrifice, as our board of governors conveys in the diptych that we received a few days ago, and it is up to all of us to continue working with enthusiasm.
This is why we invite to reflection all the Grazalema people who want to work, especially young people. As our parents say, work is health, and let me clarify, physical and mental health if we work with joy, enthusiasm and aim to progress (and not only economically); as well as it is also a cause of anxiety, frustration, boredom or disappointment if we work without belief or enthusiasm. Good work is a way to express our personality, develop our energy and thus leave our footprint in the world.


Finally, we want to thank our parents, who have sacrificed their time and their life and have gone through so much to be able to teach all this to us.


Caty Garcia and family

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