From the Mayor of Loulé

I’ve fallen in love with the city of Loulé (“Loh-LEH”), even though I barely passed through it. It has the usual medieval castle, winding streets, roundabouts directing us up the hills where we were planning to hike the Rocha da Pena (and did). It was after that hike, at the ubiquitous cafe where we soaked our throats with a beer, that I saw the “Agenda Municipal de Loulé” for April 2022, a small booklet listing the community events and services for each month.

Some background: On April 25, Portugal celebrated the anniversary of the birth of its democracy, a largely peaceful transfer of power following almost five decades of dictatorship under Antonio Salazar. Here is part of the mayor’s message at the opening of the monthly city agenda in its English translation:

“April marks the 48th anniversary of the Carnation Revolution, being the first anniversary where the country has lived more days of democracy than of dictatorship. Marking this date translates into responsibility, because democracy is built every day, it is a collective gesture, and it depends on our own actions. By reinforcing the values of freedoms, equality, equity and humanism we promote education and culture in the growth of free generations aware of their civic role. We must continue to defend and emphasize it importance!”

What a reminder from the mayor of a city about the size of Davis! In the remainder of the agenda, events and opportunities are listed, including concerts, theater, but also assistance for hosting Ukrainian refugees, classes on dementia and lessons on parenting and parent care, classes in tile work, book clubs, art classes and more. What a great city this must be to live in and to benefit from the eloquence of its leadership. The Portuguese do not take their democracy for granted. I was honored to be present here when this day was celebrated.

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