Blogs in this series

Life in Culebrón is a disconnected series of pieces about the banal and ordinary of everyday life in an inland Alicante village seen from my very British perspective.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Maxi Banegas

Pinoso is definitely going all out for the tourist trade. Back in February we got the new street furniture and today we got the Maxi Banegas route. Veritably a seething cauldron of tourist activity.

But who, you ask yourself, is Maxi Banegas? Well, a couple of years ago, I asked that same question and I drew a blank. But tonight I got a clear answer.

Maximina Banegas Carbonell was born on September 15th, 1923. She grew up in her father's barber's shop at Monóvar street, in a warm and family atmosphere, humble but educated, surrounded by books and newspapers, ideal for Maxi's formation and imagination.

Her family's sacrifice and her desire for bettering herself, in spite of the difficult times during and after the Civil War, bore fruit on September 29th, 1951, when she graduated as a Primary School Teacher. She taught in Bacares (Almería), Monóvar, different municipal districts from Pinoso, and finally at San Antón School, where she stayed until her retirement in 1999.

Her nearly 40 years of teaching career left an imprint on the people from Pinoso. As a sign of this, the 'Maxi Banegas' Poetry Contest was created in 1997, currently nationwide. Moreover, in May 1999, Pinoso's Public Library was given her name, and a year later this garden was dedicated to her.

She died on March 27th, 2002, after spending her whole life next to her beloved sister Conchi. Her teaching and her poetry were her legacy.

During her life she wrote eloquent lines, some of which are compiled in her book ‘Entre Pinares’ (Among the Pine Trees) (1999). In her poetry predominates sincerity and the simplicity of her figures, personal feelings and everyday characters from our village, remembering its festivities and devotions, the landscape, her dreams and hopes, which reflect the woman and the teacher.

So now you know as much about Maxi Banegas as I do.

The route, which I went to see opened this evening, is marked by a series of lecterns which explain details of various spots in Pinoso. Each stop also features a few lines of Maxi's poetry about the place. There were seven stops along the route. Each lectern carries a QR code so, if your phone has the right app, you not only get the information in Castillian, Valenciano and English but also the route shown on Google maps so you can't get lost. Pretty go ahead I thought. The text above is the English page for the board in the Maxi Banegas garden.

I'm sure the busloads of tourists will be with us very shortly.

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