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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi there,
My girlfriend and I have have been talking about moving to Spain for a while now, we have just found out that she is pregnant with our second child (first is now 18 months) and have decided that it's now or never (well fairly shortly after she gives birth which should be July). With the state of British education and the general youth culture, we're determined to give them a better life in Spain.
Our problem is that we're not too sure where we want to move to! We did have great plans to move to Seville as my best friend from school lives there and has done for 7 years so it would at least give us a place to start- however, it really is just too hot!
Does anybody have suggestions on the best place for us to start thinking about moving to? We don't want to be moving to a "little Britain" but at the same time would like somewhere where (if need be) we can still hear/visit the occasional english speaker.
We both absolutely loved the people in Seville and felt very welcomed but being realistic it's just going to be too hot for us (we are Scottish!)
Any suggestions would be much appreciated as now that Winter is kicking in we need some light at the end of this dark, cold, wet tunnel:)
-Nicky
 

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Hi there,
My girlfriend and I have have been talking about moving to Spain for a while now, we have just found out that she is pregnant with our second child (first is now 18 months) and have decided that it's now or never (well fairly shortly after she gives birth which should be July). With the state of British education and the general youth culture, we're determined to give them a better life in Spain.
Our problem is that we're not too sure where we want to move to! We did have great plans to move to Seville as my best friend from school lives there and has done for 7 years so it would at least give us a place to start- however, it really is just too hot!
Does anybody have suggestions on the best place for us to start thinking about moving to? We don't want to be moving to a "little Britain" but at the same time would like somewhere where (if need be) we can still hear/visit the occasional english speaker.
We both absolutely loved the people in Seville and felt very welcomed but being realistic it's just going to be too hot for us (we are Scottish!)
Any suggestions would be much appreciated as now that Winter is kicking in we need some light at the end of this dark, cold, wet tunnel:)
-Nicky
I've never been to Seville because I can only really go in the summer - too hot - or at Easter - too religious! That region of Spain is known as the fying pan I believe so I think you're probably making the right decision. :nod:
As for which region or town you should go to it's a bit like me asking you which shoes I should wear tomorrow ie more info is needed.
What do you want from Spain, can you speak Spanish, do you need to find work, will you need an airport nearby, are you looking to rent or to buy, house or flat:noidea::confused2:
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi Pesky Wesky,
So what shoes are you wearing today? ha! fair point.
Neither of us speak Spanish at the moment but we are learning and hope to have a fair grasp by the time we come over. I run my own business with my brother in the UK which (so long as there's a decent broadband link) I can run remotely so work shouldn't really be an issue. Not so bothered about an airport but so long as there is one within a 2 hour drive.
We would be looking to rent to start of with, we're both being realistic and don't see the point in buying until we're certain we have found the right place. By the time we come over we will have 2 young children so a house would be preferable.
I know we're being very vague at the moment, we had been deadset on Seville till we got there and experienced the heat for ourselves. It would have been the perfect starting point for us as our friends there are just about as close to family as my family gets.
Any help?
 

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Hi Pesky Wesky,
So what shoes are you wearing today? ha! fair point.
Neither of us speak Spanish at the moment but we are learning and hope to have a fair grasp by the time we come over. I run my own business with my brother in the UK which (so long as there's a decent broadband link) I can run remotely so work shouldn't really be an issue. Not so bothered about an airport but so long as there is one within a 2 hour drive.
We would be looking to rent to start of with, we're both being realistic and don't see the point in buying until we're certain we have found the right place. By the time we come over we will have 2 young children so a house would be preferable.
I know we're being very vague at the moment, we had been deadset on Seville till we got there and experienced the heat for ourselves. It would have been the perfect starting point for us as our friends there are just about as close to family as my family gets.
Any help?

The best thing you can do is come over for a fact finding mission. Get a hire car and travel to those areas you think you'll like and look around objectively, ask the locals about things that concern you etc. But dont come over with those rose tinted spec, look at how it would be to live there day to day! Once you establish where you think is right then rent a property and move in for 6 months or so. Its not til you live in a place that you can confidently decide whats right for you all.

Remember tho that the south is very hot in the summer, cold in the winter. The northern climate is similar to the UK altho obviously not quite as cold and wet and most of the southern Spanish coasts are holiday towns and have a lot of British.


Jo xxxx
 

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Hi there,
My girlfriend and I have have been talking about moving to Spain for a while now, we have just found out that she is pregnant with our second child (first is now 18 months) and have decided that it's now or never (well fairly shortly after she gives birth which should be July). With the state of British education and the general youth culture, we're determined to give them a better life in Spain.
Our problem is that we're not too sure where we want to move to! We did have great plans to move to Seville as my best friend from school lives there and has done for 7 years so it would at least give us a place to start- however, it really is just too hot!
Does anybody have suggestions on the best place for us to start thinking about moving to? We don't want to be moving to a "little Britain" but at the same time would like somewhere where (if need be) we can still hear/visit the occasional english speaker.
We both absolutely loved the people in Seville and felt very welcomed but being realistic it's just going to be too hot for us (we are Scottish!)
Any suggestions would be much appreciated as now that Winter is kicking in we need some light at the end of this dark, cold, wet tunnel:)
-Nicky
Hi Nicky

We live in a small village, about an hours drive from sevilla, but we are still in Sevilla province. I suppose I am biased but it is a Great village. There are about 200 houses, a few of which are owned by Brits! The Spanish are really welcoming and involve you all the time. There is a village school with about 30 kids in it, community pool, sports facilities, shop, bank, doctors. The weather does get hot in July and August but you soon get used to it. We also get broadband, which is quite unusual for a small Spanish village. If you do decide to move to Spain with two small children in the current economic climate, I would suggest unless you have an income that you can live on, you think very hard about it, as jobs are very scarce at the moment!! Good luck
Caz
 

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Hi Pesky Wesky,
So what shoes are you wearing today? ha! fair point.
Neither of us speak Spanish at the moment but we are learning and hope to have a fair grasp by the time we come over. I run my own business with my brother in the UK which (so long as there's a decent broadband link) I can run remotely so work shouldn't really be an issue. Not so bothered about an airport but so long as there is one within a 2 hour drive.
We would be looking to rent to start of with, we're both being realistic and don't see the point in buying until we're certain we have found the right place. By the time we come over we will have 2 young children so a house would be preferable.
I know we're being very vague at the moment, we had been deadset on Seville till we got there and experienced the heat for ourselves. It would have been the perfect starting point for us as our friends there are just about as close to family as my family gets.
Any help?
Hmmm, some good, some not so good. It's great that you're learning Spanish and I firmly believe everyone coming to Spain should learn as much Spanish as they can. If your partner ever wants to work in Spain you'll need more than a grasp of Spanish to do it - or you work with, and rely on the expat community. A higher level of language for your run of the mill language learner is a process that takes years not months.
But you can continue working on internet so you only need a good connection. That's going to have to be smth you check out in every area you look at as it varies a lot. Search the forum for broadband or internet and you'll find lots of info.
I agree with Jo that the only way really is to come out for extended trips with or without children perhaps using your friends house as a base to look at regions round about.
Don't forget to find out what places are like in winter and summer, for foreign tourism, and Spanish as well, temperatures, bus/ train services, facilities etc
Search the forum for place names as well. There's lots of info here already!
Sorry can't be of more help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hi there,
Happy new year etc etc! Well we've finally sorted ourselves out in terms of getting over to spain on a fact finding mission. We're coming over at the end of February for a week, flying into Alicante. Basically we're going to hire a car and drive around the surrounding area (about a 3 hour drive radius) for the week and see what we find/like.

Does anybody have any suggestions on the best place to stay in alicante and also some guides on where might be good to visit in this area? I think a 3 hour driving radius will take us as far south as Almeria and as far north as Amposta.

-Nicky
 

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Hi there,
Happy new year etc etc! Well we've finally sorted ourselves out in terms of getting over to spain on a fact finding mission. We're coming over at the end of February for a week, flying into Alicante. Basically we're going to hire a car and drive around the surrounding area (about a 3 hour drive radius) for the week and see what we find/like.

Does anybody have any suggestions on the best place to stay in alicante and also some guides on where might be good to visit in this area? I think a 3 hour driving radius will take us as far south as Almeria and as far north as Amposta.

-Nicky
Well it does depend what you want. Near the coast with lots of fellow ex-pats - or out in the sticks at say 3000ft - where it is pleasant in the summer and very possibly cold in the winter (say -5 regularly for at least a week or so). If the latter pm me - I can put you in touch with a neighbour of mine whose new wife can't stand either the weather or the isolation!
 

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Wow, wow. You are trying to do FAR too much. You may "think"you can get there but Alicante to Almeria is like London to Manchester and Amposta the same again in the other direction! You'd see nothing but the toll motorway. (Enough to put you off Spain for life)

I would suggest you decide whether you want the sea or inland. If you want the sea your choice is much easier because everywhere within 90 mins north and south of Alicante has expats within reach. Some are expat enclaves Orihuela Costa, Gran Alacant, Rojales where I would personally not live if you paid me but may well be great starting points for your family.

If you go inland you will have to be far more careful as you need to think of distances from nursery schools, doctors, hospitals. While buying a derelict shack in the middle of nowhere may sound fun, it won't be without water, electric, sewage and if you get denounced for adding UPvc windows.

Also there are three big cities you might consider - most expats don't! So, if you need culture on your doorstep there is Alicante, Elche and Valencia. Three cities that I love that sadly missed by most expats.

Rent first and then you have a good chance to see what you want. It took me 8 years to find paradise (MY paradise) and I speak the language, know the country and had been coming for years. You may also find yourself in a valenciano speaking area. Two languages to learn!

GOOD LUCK. If I am in Alicante that week I'd be happy to meet for un cortado - probably the most important word in the Spanish language.
 

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Final thought, I'm not sure why you are excluding Seville. You find it hot because you were not used to it but your friends are fine after 7 years. It could at least be a starting point although I'd agree, I'd not necessarily start there in July!

Minus 24 here as I write this. Anywhere in Spain sounds good!
 

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Final thought, I'm not sure why you are excluding Seville. You find it hot because you were not used to it but your friends are fine after 7 years.

Minus 24 here as I write this. Anywhere in Spain sounds good!
Mmmm ....-22 where I am - but forecast to improve to -15 for the next week. Snowing most days too - but back to Spain very shortly in a few weeks.
 

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Hi Nicky

We live in a small village, about an hours drive from sevilla, but we are still in Sevilla province. I suppose I am biased but it is a Great village. There are about 200 houses, a few of which are owned by Brits! The Spanish are really welcoming and involve you all the time. There is a village school with about 30 kids in it, community pool, sports facilities, shop, bank, doctors. The weather does get hot in July and August but you soon get used to it. We also get broadband, which is quite unusual for a small Spanish village. If you do decide to move to Spain with two small children in the current economic climate, I would suggest unless you have an income that you can live on, you think very hard about it, as jobs are very scarce at the moment!! Good luck
Caz
Hi Caz - where exactly do you live in 'inland andalucia'?
Graham:confused2:
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Wow, wow. You are trying to do FAR too much. You may "think"you can get there but Alicante to Almeria is like London to Manchester and Amposta the same again in the other direction! You'd see nothing but the toll motorway. (Enough to put you off Spain for life)

I would suggest you decide whether you want the sea or inland. If you want the sea your choice is much easier because everywhere within 90 mins north and south of Alicante has expats within reach. Some are expat enclaves Orihuela Costa, Gran Alacant, Rojales where I would personally not live if you paid me but may well be great starting points for your family.

If you go inland you will have to be far more careful as you need to think of distances from nursery schools, doctors, hospitals. While buying a derelict shack in the middle of nowhere may sound fun, it won't be without water, electric, sewage and if you get denounced for adding UPvc windows.

Also there are three big cities you might consider - most expats don't! So, if you need culture on your doorstep there is Alicante, Elche and Valencia. Three cities that I love that sadly missed by most expats.

Rent first and then you have a good chance to see what you want. It took me 8 years to find paradise (MY paradise) and I speak the language, know the country and had been coming for years. You may also find yourself in a valenciano speaking area. Two languages to learn!

GOOD LUCK. If I am in Alicante that week I'd be happy to meet for un cortado - probably the most important word in the Spanish language.
Hi Steve,
I think we're looking for somewhere inbetween "expat central" and "out and out Spain", I can completely understand why some people wouldn't want to live in an expat enclave and to be honest in the longterm neither are we, but we need to start somewhere and with two very young children I think my girlfriend will need some English speaking people nearby to keep her sane. We are looking at this as a life change and so we'd rather make the move from English (Scottish!) to born again Spaniards slowly. The overwhelming reason for the move is for our children.
We're looking to find a town, near or on the coast, that isn't too far from a city. I guess we probably are looking for an expat population to start with as a stepping stone in to the big wide world of Spain. We're not looking to buy anytime soon at all and are more than happy to rent for the next couple of years until we find where we want to be.
The hardest part of getting the ball rolling is the fact that we're in Edinburgh!
-Thanks for any advice, Nicky
 

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Nicki Well you obviously love a challenge but best of luck to you.

I cannot share your vision that “With the state of British education and the general youth culture” you will find it better in Spain. Crime, drugs and prostitution are rife in the cities as they are in many parts of Europe and with 25% unemployment beggars are more common than in Edinburgh (although here I get pestered less by those do-gooder charity commission earning vultures that beg £2 a month in Princes St.). Equally crime, drugs and prostitution are almost unknown in my Hampshire village and my Asturian pueblo.

Like many things here in Spain including the hospitals and health systems it is very different. Thus your command of the language is vital. Now as Pesky said for most this is a thing of years not months but there are those lucky ones who have good ears and linguistic brains that can achieve remarkable things.

I think a massive advantage for your kids will be that they will learn another culture and easily pick up the language. For that latter reason only I would avoid areas with a heavy bias towards the regional language within the education system.

Side note: Some years ago I remember an English family living in Catalunya. Their kids chatted in Catalan (learnt mainly in the playground) but the parents understood almost none of it having focussed on Castellano. Wish I had had that advantage as a kid but I guess my brother and I got up to enough trouble :)

Also I may be biased but the Spanish people in general are just great and I have been easily accepted in both Madrid and Asturias without problems. Must admit as a guy alone at first it helped liking football – certainly when practising your Spanish in bars.

Just three thoughts which you can throw away of course but they are offered in good spirit:

I would suggest as others have that you consider investing far more time doing your research. If it is for life a year will make little difference.

You also suggest your wife would go mad without English people to talk to. I’m not sure that is a good sign. With two young children in a foreign land she might find it hard to start the life change process. Have you thought of getting a Spanish helper to join you in Scotland for a year as a sort of stepping stone?

You say Edinburgh is not a good base but there is an Easyjet flight direct to Madrid. It is a great base to explore another side of Spain

But all the best whatever with your adventure and do keep us up to date here.
 

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Hello, I'm new on this forum (just 10 posts, I think) and I'm looking forward (after I'll do searching, getting a lot of info and sale my stuff, here, in Romania) to move to Spain.
I'm also looking for a business, so here what I found on "european property" - Commercial for sale in Calpe. Price €60,000 - it is a bar in Calpe, Alicante area, that is selling for around 60,000 euros. I don't know the prices for such things in Spain, so... can you tell me if it's a good price, a fair price or it's expensive (I rather doubt so)? Also, I would like to know if somebody could tells if can I find something like this (I didn't find yet) on the other side of the country (Vigo, Lugo, Pontevedra area etc) to a similar price, lower... or above?

Thanks!
 

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Hello, I'm new on this forum (just 10 posts, I think) and I'm looking forward (after I'll do searching, getting a lot of info and sale my stuff, here, in Romania) to move to Spain.
I'm also looking for a business, so here what I found on "european property" - Commercial for sale in Calpe. Price €60,000 - it is a bar in Calpe, Alicante area, that is selling for around 60,000 euros. I don't know the prices for such things in Spain, so... can you tell me if it's a good price, a fair price or it's expensive (I rather doubt so)? Also, I would like to know if somebody could tells if can I find something like this (I didn't find yet) on the other side of the country (Vigo, Lugo, Pontevedra area etc) to a similar price, lower... or above?

Thanks!
I dont know much about bars apart from the fact that most are struggling and there are alot that have gone out of business. You'd be better leasing or renting a bar rather than fork out that sort of money!

You need to come over and have a proper look round before making any decisions. Get a feel for how things are here. One thing you must do is view all bars without the agents or owners knowledge, cos they sometimes organise "rent a crowd" - getting their friends etc in to make it look busy

Jo xxx
 

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I dont know much about bars apart from the fact that most are struggling and there are alot that have gone out of business. You'd be better leasing or renting a bar rather than fork out that sort of money!

You need to come over and have a proper look round before making any decisions. Get a feel for how things are here. One thing you must do is view all bars without the agents or owners knowledge, cos they sometimes organise "rent a crowd" - getting their friends etc in to make it look busy

Jo xxx
I see...
Thanks for the tips, Jo.
Anyway, I will coming and stay for a while before I will decide to buy something, but I do some sort of research now and collecting, as I told, info. I'm thinking to, somewhere on a summertime (when I got plenty of time) to get a mini-RV and start running the country for the place I wanna live. That's an old idea of mine which has given me sleepless nights...
 

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I am partial to Madrid myself, if you don't mind big cities that is (it is the third largest in Europe) which are inevitably more impersonal than small towns. The advantage of Madrid is it's got a bit of everything all mixed up, including large ex-pat communities and many more job opportunities than elsewhere in Spain barring Barcelona, another good choice. Admittedly, it is very expensive, and moving to the outskirts doesn't save you all that much as you end up spending it on transport anyway. Sometimes on my way to work I come across a Scottish mother and child on the train who I gather head into the city every morning from Parla to a bilingual school. They're adorable, both bilingual and the little boy will frequently switch languages. Barcelona feels much more European than Madrid. As far as regional languages, I don't think they're a problem... actually English-accented Catalan sounds very pleasant and even strangely appropriate and is certainly not the subject of jokes like English-accented Spanish (and Catalan-accented Spanish, come to think!) ;) In any case, Barcelona is bilingual.

I'd agree with the other posters who say explore a bit first and see what you like best... when it comes to judging whether or not you would like living someplace it usually pays to listen to your instincts, I think.

As others have said it is necessary to speak Spanish to find normal work here, but these days it is by no means easy even then. I'm bilingual and work as a translator and even so it is very rough these days. I'm learning French to try to improve my prospects. On the other hand, while the 20% unemployment rate may seem catastrophic it is mostly due to the real estate collapse. Most of those put out of work are the army of foriegn construction workers previously employed during the property speculation bubble. The rest of the economy is struggling because the Spanish economy is based on tourism and real estate, basically (this is the big problem with Spain), so the real estate collapse has led to falling demand and unemployment in nearly all sectors - but not nearly so exaggerated as in the real estate industry. Supposedly the government are going to "change the productive model" now, but I'll believe that when I see it. :p

Also bear in mind that Spain is a country of stark contrasts. In wealthy industrial areas like Madrid, Barcelona or Bilbao unemployment hovers around 10% even now, while in some towns in Andalusia it is reportedly at 50%. Madrid is a city of immigrants and many Spaniards come here from all over Spain looking for work, as lost and confused as any Briton at first.

Good luck to you!
 

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I am partial to Madrid myself, if you don't mind big cities that is (it is the third largest in Europe) which are inevitably more impersonal than small towns. The advantage of Madrid is it's got a bit of everything all mixed up, including large ex-pat communities and many more job opportunities than elsewhere in Spain barring Barcelona, another good choice. Admittedly, it is very expensive, and moving to the outskirts doesn't save you all that much as you end up spending it on transport anyway. Sometimes on my way to work I come across a Scottish mother and child on the train who I gather head into the city every morning from Parla to a bilingual school. They're adorable, both bilingual and the little boy will frequently switch languages. Barcelona feels much more European than Madrid. As far as regional languages, I don't think they're a problem... actually English-accented Catalan sounds very pleasant and even strangely appropriate and is certainly not the subject of jokes like English-accented Spanish (and Catalan-accented Spanish, come to think!) ;) In any case, Barcelona is bilingual.

I'd agree with the other posters who say explore a bit first and see what you like best... when it comes to judging whether or not you would like living someplace it usually pays to listen to your instincts, I think.

As others have said it is necessary to speak Spanish to find normal work here, but these days it is by no means easy even then. I'm bilingual and work as a translator and even so it is very rough these days. I'm learning French to try to improve my prospects. On the other hand, while the 20% unemployment rate may seem catastrophic it is mostly due to the real estate collapse. Most of those put out of work are the army of foriegn construction workers previously employed during the property speculation bubble. The rest of the economy is struggling because the Spanish economy is based on tourism and real estate, basically (this is the big problem with Spain), so the real estate collapse has led to falling demand and unemployment in nearly all sectors - but not nearly so exaggerated as in the real estate industry. Supposedly the government are going to "change the productive model" now, but I'll believe that when I see it. :p

Also bear in mind that Spain is a country of stark contrasts. In wealthy industrial areas like Madrid, Barcelona or Bilbao unemployment hovers around 10% even now, while in some towns in Andalusia it is reportedly at 50%. Madrid is a city of immigrants and many Spaniards come here from all over Spain looking for work, as lost and confused as any Briton at first.

Good luck to you!
Hi!
Nice first post full of info and good ideas!!
I'm in the Madrid area myself and agree about what you say about Madrid and Barcelona. Barcelona's more cosmopolitan than Madrid. I know Bilbao well too as OH's family are there and it's also very different to Madrid. People say it's similar to Britain, because of the climate and the English influences that were/ are present in the city. Well, the climate is usually a lot better than the UK and the English influences in dress for example are more in line with the UK in the 1950's, but Bilbao has changed radically in the last 20 years. It has gone from a dirty, heavily industrialised city to a modern, clean, twenty first century "urban space"
 

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Hi!
Nice first post full of info and good ideas!!
I'm in the Madrid area myself and agree about what you say about Madrid and Barcelona. Barcelona's more cosmopolitan than Madrid. I know Bilbao well too as OH's family are there and it's also very different to Madrid. People say it's similar to Britain, because of the climate and the English influences that were/ are present in the city. Well, the climate is usually a lot better than the UK and the English influences in dress for example are more in line with the UK in the 1950's, but Bilbao has changed radically in the last 20 years. It has gone from a dirty, heavily industrialised city to a modern, clean, twenty first century "urban space"
Hey there. Thanks and nice to meet you! :) I've actually never been to Bilbao, but I have lived for many years in both Barcelona and Madrid (Vaig fer un curs de la Generalitat i a les hores puc parlar una mica de català) and love both cities. I also lived in the south and truth be told I'd probably be a lot better off financially if I found work there and stayed there as the work I do has the same wages all over Spain... but I just can't tear myself away from the motley milieu of Madrid. I've been considering visiting Bilbao next time I'm on holiday... speaking of which, those who say Catalan is hard to learn ought to try learning Basque! :D

Un saludo!
 
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