We should never forget that one of the essential ingredients which make up the identity of a place is its history. Nor should we forget that history, after all, is written by its people. And the history of a city or town is written not only by those who inhabit the place, but also by those who had to move to other towns and cities. As Claudio Rodríguez, one of our greatest poets said, “we all carry a city with us”.
Indeed, those zamoranos who make up the ‘Casa de Zamora’ in Madrid carry our city and our towns and villages with us, very deep inside. And we never fail to show that.
Here, in Madrid, the zamoranos have managed to ‘accommodate’ Viriato’s Square in the Retiro, or walk down Gran Vía as if it was an extension of Santa Clara Street, making the waters of Sanabria’s Lake flow into the Manzanares river. In other words, the zamoranos in Madrid are fully devoted to strengthen the cultural, economic and social links between our two provinces. We have never stopped doing this since 1929, when our ‘House’ was founded, and we intend to keep on doing so, building Zamora not only in Madrid, but from Madrid.
This is the spirit which imbues the men and women who make up the new Board at the Casa de Zamora. We are aware that we have inherited a fantastic legacy from our predecessors, and that is the reason why we took on the responsibility to handle the job, adjusting their mission to our times and the ‘House’ to the demands of the 21st century and a social and economic scenario of unprecedented and vertiginous changes and transformations.
Our key goal is to make a lasting contribution to the present and future of our homeland. We have committed ourselves to upholding a set of values which is deeply rooted in Castile and Leon’s identity, and which may boast such a glorious future as its past.
Moreover, we are particularly looking forward to exploiting Zamora’s potential and wish to show Madrid all we have to offer: breathtaking landscapes, luscious cheeses and wines, colourful traditions and music, quiet and picturesque villages…
I, as Chairman of Zamora’s House, put myself forward to make every single zamorano, wherever they may be, feel at home at our always welcoming ‘House’ and leave the door as open to our guests as it has always been.
Throughout 2009 we are undertaking a modest but nonetheless important upgrade of our organization’s structures: we are going to combine tradition and modernity, as you may see when checking out this brand new website that you have just accessed.
We are also going to undertake a thorough refurbishment of our headquarters in Tres Cruces Street, as well as to pursue new business partnerships (co-operating with Hermandad Zamorana being the first step), redesign and launch our newsletter, seek new links with media and private and public local organizations, and particularly, programme more social and cultural events so that young and elderly members may find here, in Zamora’s House, a place of their own, where they can feel at home and realize that Zamora’s limits stand just there where we may wish to draw them.
I make a call to all zamoranos to join this new and exciting project. A project which, just as our homeland, has a history, a glorious past and – I am sure – a promising future. This, we must seek to achieve, now, in the present. With your help, we will surely make it.
Let’s hope that we, the people from Zamora, will carry on writing History, in bold letters. Here, at your ‘House’, we may meet.
Juan Antonio Barrio Ferrero
Zamora’s House in Madrid
La Casa de Zamora in Madrid is a non-profit organization which is open and made up by those people born in the Province of Zamora (Spain) and their offspring living in the Madrid region. It is chaired by Juan Antonio Barrio, an engineer born in Escuredo, in the north-western area of Sanabria.
Founded in 1929 as a Centro Zamorano-Leonés, La Casa Regional de Zamora en Madrid was set up on 24 January 1930, chaired by Geminiano Carrascal. It was closed during the Spanish Civil War, and reopened in 1940, at 42 Atocha Street. In 1959, in the wake of Ribadelago’s disaster, after a dam broke and flooded a small town in the area of Sanabria, the Hogar Sanabrés was incorporated into the Casa de Zamora.
In the mid 1970s, the organization bought the property which hosts its current headquarters, in Tres Cruces Street, in downtown Madrid. On 23 October 1970 it was declared utilidad pública, (‘public house’).
In recent years, Casa de Zamora has been chaired by the following:
Andrés Fernández: 1989-1995
Carlos Prieto: 1995-1996
Manuel Amador González: 1996 – 2005
José Luis Martín: 2005 – 2009
Juan Antonio Barrio: 2009 –
From its beginning, the House has sought to promote Zamora’s businesses and interests in Madrid. Nowadays, it hosts an array of cultural and economic events and training activities. The choir Coral Peña Tajada and the drama company Ramos Carrión, as well as other folk music groups are some of its more outstanding representatives.
In January 2009, the House Meeting Room hosted the foundation of the Hermandad Zamorana, a business organization which seeks to bring together businesspeople from the province living or based in Madrid.
The Boletín Informativo was first issued in 1956, an informal newsletter covering all the different events that were held in the House. During the second half of the 20th century, it was edited by the Zamoran journalist Eloy de Prada. In 2009 the first issue of Zamoranos en Madrid came out, a new and renovated newsletter publicizing the House’s activities and members.
In 2008, the House’s budget amounted to over 65,000 euros, mainly raised by means of annual membership fees and other institutional grants and donations from Diputación de Zamora (Zamora’s Province government), Zamora’s City Council, Junta de Castilla y León (Castile and Leon’s Regional Government), Comunidad de Madrid (Madrid’s Regional Government) and Madrid’s City Council, as well as Fundación Conchita Regojo from Fermoselle.
Board of Directors
It was elected by a vast majority of members during the Extraordinary General Assembly held on 7 February 2009
Chairman: Juan Antonio Barrio Ferrero
Vice-chairman: Rufino González
Secretary: Ana Belén Rodríguez Saavedra
Vice-secretary: Carlos González Maestre
Treasurer: Jerónimo del Estal
Accountant: María Luz Uña Riesco
Librarian: Maite Alonso
First Speaker: Manuel Mostaza Barrios
Second Speaker: Sebastián Baz Casado
Third Speaker: Julián Calvo Domínguez
Fourth Speaker: Obdulia Ríos Peláez
Fifth Speaker: David Redoli Morchón
Sixth Speaker: Susana Baz Blanco
Seventh Speaker: Balbina Peláez Silva
Legal Advisor-Speaker: José Antonio Peñas Alejo