Friday, December 2

The Provincial Hospital of Badajoz is reborn

The actor Pepe Viyuela in a moment of his performance this Saturday at the Provincial Hospital. / jv arnelas

The actor Pepe Viyuela, the gastronomic market and the ‘Repair Café’ attract hundreds of people from Badajoz this Saturday morning

Rocio Romero

Pilar Jiménez and Juan Sánchez, 23 and 29 years old, were stationed on one of the walls of the Provincial Hospital of Badajoz this Saturday morning. They had arrived at the building attracted by Pepe Viyuela’s performance, which achieved a full house in the central courtyard of the building. But the pull of the actor is so strong that two hours before he went on stage, there were already seats filled. So, like Pilar and Juan, many people from Badajoz stood up for a laugh.

«It is important and necessary that Badajoz host events of this type, it energizes the city and more with such well-known people. And if it is done inside a rehabilitated building like this, better, ”said Juan Sánchez shortly after twelve. “If it is difficult for us to see it from here, it is because there are many people who are with him and at the Hospital,” added Pilar Jiménez.

Together they toured the entire offer of the building yesterday, which the Provincial Council has proposed to turn into a pole of attraction for locals and visitors every first Saturday of the month. There were two exhibitions, the tourist photography contest of the provincial institution and another called Carne(s) by the German painter Annette Shock. This can be seen until November 6 and draws attention for the way of capturing animals and women’s bodies.

Through some of the hospital corridors, shortly before one o’clock, it was difficult to walk. While Pepe Viyuela drew smiles, Manuela Mera unstuck a zipper on a school uniform. She is one of the volunteers who this Saturday inaugurated the ‘Café Repair’, an international movement that fights against the culture of ‘use and throw away’ to bet on a more sustainable world. She is used to teaching sewing classes every morning at the Alfa store that is located at the back of the building, but this Saturday she was inside the building doing small repairs for free. Or giving instructions on how to make an awning. Like Soledad Infantes, who has the Reelectro store in San Roque, and this Saturday she saved a blender from ending up in the trash by fixing its cable or turning on a radio that hadn’t made a sound for a long time.

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The idea, as explained by the organizer of this conference, Iván García, is that the first Saturday of each month, volunteers from the city go to the hospital and try to help those who have a damaged object at home, but who do not want to throw it away. This worker from the Rural Development and Sustainability area promotes a movement that emerged in the Netherlands in 2010. And since everyone in the Netherlands travels on two wheels, the owners of La Bicicleta had a few tools this Saturday to fine-tune the bikes that they will arrive

All this is free for people from Badajoz, who can receive lessons on how to solve the problem that renders their item unusable, help if the repair is complicated, or directly with a card in hand from these volunteers who, from Monday to Friday, have these repairs in their form of life. So these gain visibility.

If someone wants to join for Saturday, November 5, they can do so by sending an email to [email protected] That same day, the workshops will share space with local producers in a new edition of the gastronomic market.

Felisa Rodríguez is a regular at this other date, where she goes whenever she is in Badajoz to take the cheeses from Marina, from Mérida. “We discovered them here and we love them at home, so we like to come,” she explained as she decided on a wide variety of goat cheeses. “I am glad that this building has life, although I think there is still more to give it.”

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This Saturday the entire rehabilitated ground floor was occupied, which is half of the existing one. The other half and all the upper floors remain. The next work will consist of installing smoke outlets to offer more gastronomy and the rehabilitation of its iconic staircase. The same one that many people from Badajoz probably uploaded decades ago, when it was the city’s reference hospital.

In the same corridors where the doctors used to work, this Saturday there was room for the El Cristo de Zalamea sweets and a good variety of ecological breads from the El Colibrí bakery in Zafra. Roberto Moreno stopped at this exhibitor for spelled biscuits, chocolate, walnuts and almonds. “They are more natural,” he would say, pushing a children’s stroller past a counter full of breads like Granja’s Swiss, with raisins and nuts.

Pedro Iglesias, from Calzadilla de los Barros, brought all the products derived from the geese that are raised freely on the El Pardo estate. They roam freely and feed on acorns. Perhaps that is why the rillette that he gives to taste tastes so special. For five euros you can take any of the rillette creams. There is, for example, with blueberries from La Vera. Pedro Iglesias points out that “in Extremadura there is little culture of eating goose”, little more than foie and on special occasions. But he produces duck breast, confit and consommé in this region, which he sells more easily in Madrid under the Sánchez Iglesias brand. Despite this, every first Saturday of the month he brings his products to Badajoz at the Hospital.

As does Glasai, with its traditional jams, the Orán de Almendralejo winery with its wines or the Molero Maza mill, which brings its oils from Lobón.

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Between one exhibitor and another, at two in the afternoon, he begins to smell of chickpeas. They are from Valencia del Ventoso and they have been cooked in the Plaza de San Atón. They have been prepared by José Durán and Vicente Mateos, who have come to Badajoz from Los Santos de Maimona with Manolo Gil. His restaurant, Las Barandas, won last year the award for best traditional cuisine restaurant in Badajoz by popular vote within the En Salsa gastronomic contest.

They cooked 400 portions of chickpeas that were tasted inside the hospital, where the workshops had already disappeared while Pepe Viyuela continued signing autographs and taking photos. Each dish cost three euros, money destined for the Nuestra Señora de la Luz school, whose students were waiters for a day.

Miguel Antón, an employee of the Diputación, coordinated this Saturday all the activities within the Hospital. The center hosts appointments on other days of the week, such as the European Night of Researchers of the UEx, which brought together 3,100 people in its first edition outside the campus this Friday afternoon.

Antón explains that the Diputación has many plans to continue giving content to the building. For example, turning it into a base for ornithological routes to show whoever wants the richness of Badajoz with an initial session and then tour the river or the Alcazaba. Or as a meeting point for cultural bike routes on weekends. The objective of the institution, he points out, is that as many people as possible attend with very different activities, such as the circus series that he brought Pepe Viyuela, free for those attending, to Badajoz.

The reopening of the Hospital will be one year old in December and has already managed to become an attractive point every first Saturday of the month.

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