The Jeuns

The amazing growth of the oak trees in Huétor Vega

May 5, 2024 | by The Jeuns

The battle against desertification is a pressing issue in Granada, as the Camino de los Neveros path faces the encroaching desert, threatening its historical significance. The Veleta peak watches over this trail, once vital for transporting ice to the capital, now devoid of its former snowy peaks and water sources. However, amidst this bleak landscape, Pepe Víbora, a 66-year-old mechanic, is leading a remarkable reforestation effort in Huétor Vega.

Víbora and a group of 200 families have planted 8,000 oak trees in Huétor Vega, with astonishing growth rates that defy the arid conditions of the region. Through innovative techniques like planting sweet acorns in recycled plastic bags and utilizing rainwater collection methods, Víbora ensures the success of each tree in this challenging environment. Children in the community enthusiastically participate in caring for the trees, fostering a sense of environmental stewardship from a young age.

The Operation Encina project, approved by the Camino de los Neveros authorities, is entirely community-funded and showcases the power of grassroots initiatives in combating desertification. With support from experts like agricultural engineer Mar Verdejo, Víbora and his daughter Beatriz have created a successful model for accelerating reforestation efforts and creating a sustainable future for the region.

Beatriz is dedicated to engaging the community in this environmental restoration project, distributing planting kits to over 200 children and uniting individuals from various backgrounds in the common goal of revitalizing the oak forest in Huétor Vega. The project serves as a beacon of hope, demonstrating that through collective action and innovative approaches, it is possible to combat desertification and restore biodiversity in the face of adversity.


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