La Alcogida is located on a large plain in the South of Tefía (Northwest of Fuerteventura). In the whole, this village is a sample of the traditional habitat in this island, and this is why it was restored as an eco-museum. There the majorera traditional daily life is re-enacted, by means of tools and activities which took part in the daily routines of those people.
With the old majorera generation knowledge the inhabitants in this island, conditioned by the cyclical droughts, managed to create a sustainable in time environment. The ecomuseum La Alcogida is a proof of that. The origin of this settlement is directly related to the majorero’s need to obtain one of the scarcest resources in the island: water. The settlement is placed near an «Alcogida», that is, a plot of land used to keep rain water, and take it, through pipes to wells or cisterns. All the activities in the daily life of locals developed around the collection of water, often based on stockbreeding and cereal farming. These business-related activities have left their stamp on the landscape, which has been conditioned for farming and for the exploitation of water resources.
The village is made up of a group of dwellings, representative of the traditional household farming in Fuerteventura. The use of local rough material and the winding shape of the island mark the environment. The dwellings walls are made of limestone, and the hollows are filled up with debris and mud. The coating, a mixture of lime and sand, leaves some big stones and ashlar stonework bare, giving shape to the corners, the door frames and the windows. The red pumice was taken from «Montaña Bermeja», in the South: it’s a heat-resistant stone which was used to build the «tenique» —a cavity surrounded by three stones on which you place a cauldron for cooking (fire underneath) — and to finish off the corners of the houses.
Some typical elements and rooms that were in these dwellings, and we can find in the ecomuseum La Alcogida, are the bread oven, the water distillers, the flourmill to grind the grain and make gofio, the threshing floor to thresh the cornfields, the barn, the farmhand house, to shelter the most valuable animals: cows, camels, donkeys, mares…, the storage room, to keep tools and farming implements, «el sobrado», isolated from humidity and rodents, to keep the crops and products taken from the farm animals: cheese, dry figs, «porretas», «pejines», «jareas»…
The restoration of these areas was made very carefully, so as to leave a legacy as similar as possible to the traditional majorera life. Some of the houses were restored and turned into areas dedicated to the recovery and spreading of the island’s craftwork; this way we can find craftsmen and craftswomen developing their respective jobs in the openwork workshop, that of traditional pottery, textiles, and palm leaf basketwork. Other houses were restored and turned into multipurpose rooms: exhibitions, training workshops etc; besides, every Tuesday and Friday traditional wood oven bread is made.
The ecomuseum La Alcogida constitutes an important part of Fuerteventura’s cultural heritage. It’s an area where we can get to know and enjoy a culture created by various generations of men and women who set up the collective heritage of the majorero people.
If you want to come closer to the way of living of this island’s ancestors you can visit the eco-museum from Tuesday to Friday and from 10-18h.