Adopt a tree. Adopt a polar bear. Sponsor a child in a poor country. The concept has caught on in Spain’s troubled academic system and now people and companies can sponsor a university student.
The corruption scandal enveloping the governing conservative People's Party in Spain and its leader, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, calls into question the funding model for political parties and points towards the need for strict controls, experts say.
"You live there for free, don't you?" asked a woman as she passed by the Buenaventura "corrala", a community in a building in this southern Spanish city occupied since February by families evicted from their homes for falling behind in their mortgage payments due to unemployment.
A 280-square-metre warehouse in Coín, a municipality in the southern Spanish province of Málaga, is home to a unique type of farm, where insects are raised for human consumption and the production of animal feed. But despite FAO’s endorsement of insects as food, there are numerous obstacles holding back the development of this industry.
The people in the textile factory where Lourdes Soler presented the design of her skirts had never seen such detailed “blueprints” of a garment. Spain’s depressed labour market forced the technical architect to reinvent herself and create her own job – a growing trend in this crisis-stricken country.
The death of a young Senegalese man from tuberculosis in Spain, following alleged lack of medical care, triggered a new outcry by civil society organisations against the law passed last year that excludes undocumented immigrants from the public health system except in emergencies.
Isabel Rodríguez decided to pull her then nine-year-old son Ulises out of the school system and homeschool him instead – an alternative chosen by more than 2,000 families in Spain, who are calling for a law that would overcome the legal vacuum surrounding the growing phenomenon.
A new mortgage bill approved by Spain’s lower house of parliament would merely put a bandaid on the plight of people whose homes are being repossessed, and would not guarantee protection for most families facing eviction, activists complain.
Wholemeal rye bread, lettuce and chard are some of the products on offer from the El Caminito urban vegetable garden at the small organic produce market in this southern Spanish city, with prices set in "comunes", one of more than 30 social currencies circulating in the country.
Spain has more large-scale plantations of genetically modified seeds than any other country in the European Union (EU).
“They wanted to hire me, and that was something that hadn’t ever happened to me before,” says Marta Seror, a 25-year-old college graduate from Spain who is now working in an outsourcing company in Poland.
“We used to be seen as really useful, and now we’re a pain in the neck,” said Roberto Suárez, an Ecuadorian who was complaining about proposed fines or prison sentences that could target Spanish citizens who help undocumented immigrants.
Public outcry against evictions this week led Spain's parliament to accept a popular initiative against mortgage-related evictions for unpaid debts, which in the past seven days have led to four suicides.
The Spanish public is well aware of the widespread exploitation of workers in the globalised garment industry. But low prices, shrinking buying power and the lure of brand names act as strong disincentives to responsible clothes shopping.
The severe crisis crippling Spain is also sparking some creative responses, such the Okonomía project, a teaching initiative that helps individuals and communities to understand the workings of the economy and make more informed decisions to manage their finances.