All ferias and such events in Spain begin with an official opening called a pregón. Jimena's feria this year will be officially opened by two representatives of what has been for years our favourite charity: Asociación de Minusválidos de Jimena de la Frontera La Estrella. That's it's long, long official title, but our long-time readers know them simply as La Estrella. Over the years our readers have raised funds for the handicapped children of the village by holding car boot sales, markets, lunches, etc. Long may that continue. The President of La Estrella, our friend Antonio Mario Andrade Saraiva, and another stalwart friend and member of the board, Eloisa García Palacios, will be making the speech this year, onstage at El Paseo at (about) 10 on Friday evening, before the coronation (See full programme). To quote from the feria programme, written by La Estrella: "Our needs are many, and our resources too few. We are a total of 50 members and our membership fees only €3 per month, to which we add raffles, charity events, markets, concerts and precious little else."
The association began officially on November 18, 1999. A group of parents and family members got together to find a common front with which to face the challenges their children presented daily. They started by locating and hiring the services of a speech therapist, a basic need for these children's various handicaps, as a way for better integration, a way to diminish the consequences of marginalistaion.
The parents do as much as they possibly can but they have very little time for leisure or relaxation, absorbed as they are by the needs of their boys and girls. So they therefore need the rest of us to set up as many events as we can - anybody out there willing to take anything on?
As this is written, the stars of La Estrella are headed to the swimming pool having just taken part in their daily workshop, which is fun as well as an educational experience. The summer activities are possible only through the funds raised by the rest of us. And, we're told, a continuation of their daily school-term routine is very important for them, because they remain active and stimulated.
You can easily become a member even if you do not have a challenged child. Just e-mail us at CampoPulse with your details, and we will make sure you get the minimal paperwork needed. (Prospero takes a big interest in La Estrella just because of how grateful he is that his children are not handicapped the way La Estrella's kids are.)
You will see some of the kids at the coronation ceremony on Friday evening (See programme)