Live in Spain and get paid for it? It’s possible!

Since 2019, Spain has been implementing the Volver al pueblo (“Return to the Village”) program, developed by the Confederation of Centers for Rural Development (COCEDER), which aims to increase the population of small towns, villages and villages. During the financial and economic crisis, they experienced a large-scale outflow of local residents who went in search of work and a better life in larger settlements.

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Thanks to this program, which involves attracting new residents from outside by providing them with houses, jobs or businesses, as well as “lifting” benefits of up to several thousand euros, it has become possible for almost everyone to live in Spain and receive money for it – as citizens country and foreigners who are here legally.

In order to become a participant in the “Return to the Village” program, you should familiarize yourself with the list of villages and hamlets whose administration is ready to provide visitors with housing, land and employment for any of the available vacancies. Next, you need to contact the relevant Center for Rural Development (Centro de Desarrollo Rural), whose employees will help you make the final choice and come to an agreement with the owners on the purchase and sale, rental of the property or its free transfer for temporary use.

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Currently, the project database contains proposals from nine Spanish autonomies (Andalusia, Aragon, Asturias, Valencian Community, Galicia, Cantabria, Castile y Leon, La Rioja, Extremadura) and their 19 related provinces. For example, in the town of Sukaina (Castellon province) they are ready to accept a family with school-age children and employ its head as a construction worker. Chefs and waiters/waitresses needed full-time or part-time in El Barco de Avila (Province of Avila).

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Finally, in Cervatos de la Cuesa (Palencia) they are ready to transfer the pharmacy business “into good hands”, and in Casas de Miravete they are ready to sell or rent out the bar-restaurant along with the house.

Preference is given to couples with school-aged children for the simple reason that in many of these localities schools are closed due to insufficient numbers of students. In this regard, one can recall the city-museum of Guadalest in the province of Alicante, where they were looking for at least one student in order to preserve a primary school with more than a hundred years of history. A similar situation has developed in the cities of Arganza (Leon) and Elijat (Almeria), and in Ponga (Asturias) they decided to work for the future, offering a one-time payment of three thousand euros to those couples who want to settle there, and the same amount for each newborn.

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An example of a successful program is Olmeda de la Cuesta (Cuenca), which is one of the oldest villages in Spain. Local authorities did not have such sums at their disposal, but instead auctioned empty plots of land for development at incredibly low prices (from 200 to 3,000 euros) and were able to sell more than 40 of them.

You can rent a furnished house in a Spanish village that is on the verge of extinction for 100-150 euros per month. Such prices were set in the Galician villages of Shesta (Pontevedra) and Rubia (Ourense), which are located at a considerable distance from the coast and the main highways of the autonomy.

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There are quite a lot of options for saving Spanish “ghost towns”, and the growing popularity of rural tourism among foreigners and the Spaniards themselves gives them a chance for revival. It is possible that one of the profitable investments in Spanish real estate in the not too distant future will be the purchase of hotels and guest houses in rural areas.

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