Las Hurdes

The potatoes have run out.
The villagers eat unripe cherries.
lt gives them dysentery.
This is when the exodus begins.
All the able-bodied men who don't have a fever...
...head for Castilla or Extremadura to find work in the fields.
We came across several of these caravans: of 10, 30, 50 men.
They were carrying only a blanket.
They have neither money nor bread
and they are going on foot to find work.

We came upon another group several days later.
They were returning as they'd come, without money or bread.
How do the Hurdanos prepare the land to grow their crops?
First they choose a spot close to the riverbank.
Then they cut down the rockrose and heather.
Their tools are rudimentary: pickaxe and shovel.
These are the only tools they have.
The plough is almost unknown.
Once the plot has been cleared...
...they put up stone walls, without mortar.
The wall will protect the plot from winter floods.
One the wall is up, they have to look for...
...fertile soil in the hills.
They put it in sacks and carry them through the brambles to their plots.
This usually takes several weeks.