Fátima Martín from Pinturas Quimpla and Francisca Rodríguez / sur

Painting the town white: the women restoring their village after the calima left it stained orange

A local association in Totalán is asking for donations from paint companies and has already obtained the first one from a firm in Mijas to enable them to work on the church

Eugenio Cabezas

The historic calima that the Costa del Sol experienced in spring is still leaving its mark and especially in the villages of the Axarquia, which have always been proud of their traditional white façades.

In the village of Totalán the women have decided to take action to restore the original colour to the main buildings and the local women’s association has launched an appeal for help from paint companies to donate materials.

So far they have already obtained the support of Pinturas Quimpla SL from Mijas Costa, which has donated eight 15-litre cans, with which the women plan to paint the Santa Ana church. "We are also trying to get painters to help us, or to give us a small budget to do the work," explains the president of the Totalán Women's Association, Francisca Rodríguez.

What you can do for your village

With the philosophy of "don't ask what your village can do for you, but what you can do for your village", the group, made up of around forty women, is still trying to get more donations. "We are deeply grateful for the gesture of Fátima Martín and her company in Mijas Costa, who was the first to reply to us," says Rodríguez, who believes that the town hall "has not been sufficiently involved in returning the white to the village and the streets".

"There is still a lot of mud, they only cleaned some of the area for the fair we had in May, but nothing else, and they have been given money from the Diputación to clean up the calima", said Rodríguez.

She also says that they are "waiting" to talk to the parish priest "to see if the diocese can help us, as the church is theirs". He also hopes that in the coming weeks more paint companies in the province will join in with their in the appeal for Totalán "to become a white village again".

Other initiatives

In other villages in the Axarquía, various initiatives have been taking place to facilitate these clean-up tasks. In Almáchar, the town council has given 12,500 kilos of paint to the villagers so that they can restore the original colour of the façades.

Frigiliana town hall opted for a 40 per cent discount on the water bill to compensate for the extra expenses incurred in the clean-up. "Here, we are collecting signatures to lower the price of water," complains Rodríguez.

Totalán's church is still orange after the calima / SUR