Created in June 2010, the Vezeira Foundation is an entity that aims to improve the village of Fafião, located in the Peneda Gerês National Park.

This Foundation has set up several initiatives and activities to boost the village and to preserve its heritage and culture.

The village of Fafião is well known for its history related to wolves, which are the symbol of the village. Initially, the tourism in the village starts by curious minds in search of mythical stories about wolves.

Nowadays, it attracts a lot of tourists due to its viewpoints and the famous Poço Verde of the River Fafião, but the culture is the main attraction.

 

Vezeira da Rés Project in Fafião: preventing the extinction of the Tradition and the Wild Goat in Peneda Gerês National Park

One of the biggest cultural traditions in the village is the Vezeira da Rés.

The Vezeira is the village’s community livestock.

Vezeira means to guard the livestock in turns, while Rés means goats. Thus, the Vezeira da Rés is the act of guarding the goats in turns. 

The Wild Goat (Capra Pyrenaica Victoriae) is the goat with the best aptitude for the mountains. They do the work of sapadoras, in other words, they clear the Peneda Gerês National Park of bushes, protecting it from possible fires.

The five-century-old tradition involves all the goat owners in the village working together all year round. Every day, the shepherd in charge walks between 15 and 20 kilometers, regardless of the weather, with the goats to do their job. 

Although this tradition remains, from 2016 to 2019, the village went from 800 wild goats to 75 and from 20 shepherds to only 2. In this way, this tradition and the wild goat were in danger of extinction. 

The Vezeira Foundation didn’t allow it. In 2019, they bought 200 goats and brought in a shepherd.

In sum, the Vezeira da Rés Project focuses on three main principles:

– Not allowing a five-century-old tradition to extinguish;

– Maintaining the Wild Goat, so that it doesn’t become extinct;

– The cleaning of the mountains within the Peneda Gerês National Park, in order to prevent fires.

 

The image shows a shepherd leading his livestock.

Source: Vezeira Foundation

The partnership between Detours and the Fafião Vezeira Foundation

We believe that tourism only makes sense when it has a positive impact on the surrounding community. This is why we directly support local development projects, in each territory where we operate.

Supporting this project requires just one simple action: sponsoring the animals. By doing this, you’re helping to deworm, to manage the wild goats, to provide supplementary food and medicines for them. 

As ambassadors and partners, we sponsor several goats every year in order to support this Foundation’s excellent and much-needed project to keep the flame of tradition alive. 

We also believe that the connection between people is the greatest bond we can create with the territories.

So, on our Tours to the Peneda Gerês National Park, our clients visit the Barroso Ecomuseum. There, they know about the traditions of Fafião, the community lifestyle and the Vezeira da Rés Project with Júlio Marquez. 

 

In this image, you can see the wild goat species from Gerês.

Source: Vezeira Foundation

 

By taking a Tour with us to the Peneda Gerês National Park, you will be contributing directly to this Foundation, the project it has created and to the improvement of the local people’s living conditions.

It will make your day a memorable one!

Come on a Detour with us!

São João in the city of Porto