Doña Paquita dies at a 103 – Almeria mourns for the “grandma of the park”

Doña Paquita has died at 103 years of age.

Doña Francisca Díaz Torres, named hija predilicta de Andalucia, “favourite daughter of Andalucia” by the Parliament of Andalusia in 2010, Doña Paquita is considered to be one of the first feminists and ecologists in Almería, and the “grandmother” of the Cabo de Gata natural park.

She was born in Almeria city to local Judge Andrés Díaz, and Josefina Torres, from a well off family in Nijar.

In 1931 she married José González Montoya, and the union created a massive farm called “La Romera” in what is now the Cabo de Gata natural park.

For over 80 years she managed the finca, running it with great business acumen and helping to add to the family fortune. But, due to her great love of the Cabo de Gata, she always refused to venture into any business that would “scar” the area, limiting her activities to farming and ranching.

In later years, she would embrace and encourage the ecologist movement, and moved all of the finca towards sustainable farming methods.

Indeed, it is basically thanks to her 80 years of running the farmland that today we can enjoy the Cabo de Gata natural park. By not opposing, and indeed encouraging the creation of the park, she was a main backer in the 80’s of the creation of this unique treasure; by her foresight during the harsh years of the Franco regime, there was something to protect once democracy came along.

Doña Paquita, we salute you, a true daughter of your land, and we remember you fondly.

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