The alpine town of Ostana witnessed the birth of Pablo, the first child born in this town in 28 years.
Pablo, his father and mother Josè Berdugo Vallelago and Silvia Rovere respectively, sisters Clara and Alice, form 10% of the this town’s population.
Ostana was home to 1000 people a century ago. Since then the population has been declining drastically. In 1980s the population of this town was only 5. The last baby was born in 1987.
“At first I couldn’t believe it was true,” said Giacomo Lombardo, the town’s mayor. “The news almost shocked me. It’s a dream come true.”
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Josè had moved to this town where he unexpectedly got a call to manage an alpine refuge.
“When the city selected our project, we moved to Ostana, and we have never regretted our decision,” said Josè. “We love the quality of the life here. Ostana is a safe place for our daughters, and we feel part of this community.
The last time a child was born in this town was in 1987. Attempts have been made to increase the population by initiatives like investing in cultural activities and tourism to create new jobs and attract young people.
A variety of solutions have been tried: The Sicilian city of Gangi has offered abandoned houses for free, demanding only that their new owners renovate them; in other cases, entire villages have been put up for sale.
The town of Ostana who have celebrated the arrival of Pablo hope that this is a new beginning for their town and hope that they welcome more babies in future.
“We broke the ice,” said Josè, “and I hope other people will come here.”