Carlos Miguelez is a man for whom sustainability is not just a noble-sounding concept, but a way of life. His work centres on sustainable fishing, applying traditional practices and approaches, and he built a passive cottage with his own hands, using local resources and with the help of his family.
Carlos lives in the village of Barazón Grande in central Galicia. In addition to the beautiful countryside that the local people respect and cherish, the area is rich in traditions inherited from their ancestors. The local culture is all about making the most of the resources available. Long before sustainably and recycling became buzzwords of our age, they were already firmly established here. And it is this traditional approach that Carlos tries to apply to all the challenges of modern times, looking for ways to incorporate ancient wisdom into contemporary practices. On top of that, he’s thinking about how to preserve all of this for future generations, how to pass it on to his descendants – not just in terms of ecological practices, but as a way of life and a philosophy.
Using local resources and with help from his family. Carlos built a passive cottage which they now enjoy using.
He sees sustainable fishing, which does not deplete the natural stocks of fish in rivers, as fundamental. One part of his work is to educate students and local communities about the environment. In doing so, he emphasises how everything in nature is interconnected and every action can have far-reaching impacts on the complex web of life. Everything Carlos does reflects his mission: to ensure that future generations inherit a well-preserved environment.
Originally a forestry technician, Carlos works at a fish breeding and reproduction centre in the Galician village of Barazón Grande. In his work, he helps manage fishing in the province of Orense and other regions, among other things. His fish farm serves as a genetic reserve for fish from the different rivers of the province and aids the recovery of fish populations in ecologically damaged rivers.
Carlos Miguelez (right) and a friend out fishing.
So it’s no surprise that Carlos’s passion for sustainability has translated into his abodes. Built with local materials and using techniques handed down to him by his father, his cottage represents a deep connection with their heritage and the land. It serves as a legacy that they hope to pass on to future generations.
The idea came while he was working on the river, where his colleague Miguel, who was finishing his architecture studies at the time, offered his services. Carlos’s brother, son and daughter also pitched in. The cottage was built over two summers with the aim of creating an ecological and sustainable structure using local – meaning from the immediate, “zero-kilometre” vicinity of the building – raw materials, which they obtained in the most nature-friendly way possible. They also used a lot of recycled materials and components, such as old windows. The cottage has its own solar panels and biotope pool water purifier.
How does he use the cottage? For celebrations and gatherings with family and friends. And, as we know, the Spanish don’t need to look hard to find reasons to party – the arrival and departure of storks, the full moon, the changing of the seasons… They even pay tribute to the Vikings.
Explorers of sustainability
Films about sustainability, connecting with nature, living in harmony with the world around us, not destroying the environment and taking only what we need from it… That sums up a documentary series showcasing interesting and inspiring people, their imaginative projects and their unconventional and humble approach to life. But as they all live and work in today’s modern world, the documentaries also show the connection between the topic of sustainability and the current world of transport. The people portrayed in the films can draw on resilient and sustainable partners – cars with a winged arrow in their emblem.