Once a thriving village of , today Olmeda de la Cuesta has 15 permanent residents, with the remaining 20 visiting at weekends or for holidays. Even he doesn't spend all year here— his time is split between the village and his job in the city of Cuenca, some 30 miles away.
Four years ago, TV crews descended on Olmeda de la Cuesta after it was named the village with the oldest population in Spain , its average age hovering around It has come to exemplify the challenge facing some Spanish communities fighting to survive in times of urbanisation and economic crisis. It has a church, a medical clinic that is staffed once a week and a bar. The local school closed 40 years ago, due to a lack of students.
The regional government requires a minimum of 11 students to reopen the school. This week's sale is the second time the village has tried to woo residents by selling off cheap land.
This time the land is going for much less, says Regacho, noting that he has already had interest from buyers in Argentina, Mexico, the US and Russia. He tells all of them the same thing. This isn't a place where people can move and expect to find a job. There are really no work opportunities here. Or a writer who wants a quiet place to work or an artisan who wants a place to make and store products.
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