The International Appalachian Trail, a Privilege in Spain by Ruth Hernández

It was my privilege to present the IAT project in Guadalupe (a city declared Human Heritage by the UNESCO), during the conferences held by the Geovilluercas and Aprodevi Associations.

In this Spanish region, we can admire and enjoy Villuercas, Ibores, Jara Geopark, which became a reality on July 23, 2009. This Geopark is situated in the southeastern part of the province of Cáceres, in the region of Extremadura (Spain).

The morphology of the area corresponds with the morphology of the Appalachian Mountains in North America due to the similarity of its terrain, geomorphology and age. We have the possibility of hiking and admiring more than 40 geologically unique sites distributed throughout the whole area. All the people involved in this project are working very hard to obtain recognition as a European Geopark, its first presentation was made during the first week of October 2010 at the IX European Geoparks Conference, celebrated at Mytilene (Greece).

I would like to emphasize that this region is the only place where we can see the Appalachian geomorphology just like the one in North America and where one of the oldest metazoan fossils has been discovered (Cloudina carinata 630-540 million years).

The quality of the conference was exceptional, with the presence of naturalists, geologists, physicist, representatives of hiking associations, tourist agencies, politicians and the presidents of the two most active associations in the Geopark.

During this important conference, the Villuerquina Award was given to Mónica López Moyano, Head of the Meteorological Department of the main national television channel.

To conclude, to be able to walk the IAT in this exceptionally beautiful area will surely be a pleasure for all of us.