That’s the population of a mountain village in Spain known as La Estrella. Apparently this little enclave in the Aragon mountains has caught the interests of travel writers in recent times. The town used to have the population of a normal village, but only a long residing and very old couple remain today. What’s pretty neat is how the two of them look after the entire town, everything from its infrastructure, to its church, to its livestock. From Aeon (1):
“Before the Spanish Civil War, La Estrella was a tiny but lively village in Spain with a population of roughly 200, but following the war’s end in 1939, many residents left to pursue work in cities. Continued shifting economic tides have left La Estrella, and many similar villages throughout Spain, all but abandoned. The Last Two profiles Juan Martín Colomer and his wife Sinforosa, La Estrella’s last inhabitants. Left childless since the death of their daughter decades ago, Martín longs for life in a less isolated place, while Sinforosa refuses to leave her home.”
A BBC article found here, in which the journalist’s turbulent (but irresistibly enticing) journey into territory relatively unknown even by the locals is documented, discusses Sinfrosa Sancho and Juan Martin Colmer’s hospitality towards sudden visitors. At the same time, the two are movingly content with the simple rural life and don’t express a desire to turn their village into a town:
Colomer gave me a wistful smile. “Life as we love and live it, isn’t going to end anytime soon,” he replied. “Access to La Estrella is very difficult, there is nothing to do, no entertainment. We are in our 80s, just taking things one day at a time.”
It was an uplifting experience to have met two content and fulfilled people who prefer their more than 30 years of near isolation to the trappings of modern life.
Anyone who’s in Spain or is going there any time soon should check this place out if they can. But don’t make an effort to actually relocate there, please! Some things are a little too enigmatic to change.