With an economy based mainly on fishing and canning, Burela is a municipality located on Galicia’s Cantabrian coast.
As a result of the economic movement generated through its port, its population grew from less than 1,000 inhabitants to over 10,000 during the last years of the 20th century. The job offer has turned this locality into a multicultural hub.
People of more than fifty nationalities from all over the world coexist within a space of 8 sq. km.
In the sphere of oral expression, more than 8 out of every 10 people going around the streets of Burela spontaneously communicate with each other in Galician, but in the sphere of written communication the use of the language falls to less than 5% of the population.
To correct this asymmetry that is hampering intercultural coexistence, the Perdouro Institute started an educational scheme (2004) targeting the school community as a whole but exerting an influence on the municipal and regional environment. Its normalising impact (on commerce, healthcare, sports, ceremonial communication in weddings, baptisms, first communions, brief announcements, etc., the integration of immigrants and even in obituaries) has encouraged Burela town council to adopt this project as the basis for drawing up the Burela Model of Municipal Language Planning, which was unanimously passed on 2008 and which has become a benchmark in terms of managing multicultural coexistence in Galicia.