The Rede das Aldeias do Xisto (Schist Villages Network) is a regional sustainable development project led by ADXTUR - Aldeias do Xisto Tourism Development Agency, in partnership with 21 municipalities in the Centro Region of Portugal and over 200 private operators. The objectives of Aldeias do Xisto are the preservation and promotion of the cultural landscape, the incentive to the socioeconomic fabric, and the reinvention of the culture of the places. Aldeias do Xisto are governed by environmental and social sustainability values, affirming the territory as a quality destination to live, invest and create. Aldeias do Xisto are a living laboratory, a place of knowledge, experimentation and multidisciplinarity.
The Aldeias do Xisto brand is a collective actor who points a new idea for the future of the territory. It reconstructs the imaginary from the identity and drives it forward using the communities’ vital energy. It depends on the establishment of a modus operandi based on respect for the people who still live there, as well as for their memory. Only by making use of a broad framework of relationships between villages, their inhabitants and new participants, can we generate a project-building dynamic based on responsibility and the knowledge on how to do, how to exist and how to be.Finding opportunities to cope with the economic and social hindrances facing the majority of Aldeias do Xisto territory requires an experimental attitude and a renewed glance over current issues. The plan is to reinvent the culture of the places with the people who live there, generating social and economic value in the region. Experimenting with identity, making use of creativity and knowledge.Villages are vital cells in the relation with its territory and with the world. Aldeias do Xisto is working to find interdependencies between tourism and agriculture, and between these and forestry, herding or gastronomy. And also to connect local and scientific and artistic knowledge.