Indian heritage of Sant Anotoni de Calonge

When we hear the phrase "making the Americas," we get an evocative image of a time of exploration and opportunity, brave and determined individuals crossing the Atlantic pursuing dreams and fortunes.

Although this expression may seem familiar, what do we really know about its deep meaning, its repercussions and how it impacted our country?

This phenomenon affected many regions of Spain, including Catalonia, where the so-called Catalan "Indians" played a significant role. Among these lands, Calonge emerges as a particularly interesting example, witness to a story of adventure and success.

The Indians and their history

he history of the Indians is a story of a massive migration that took place from the mid-19th century to the mid-20th century, destined for the other side of the Atlantic. This daring adventure had varied results: many did not return and settled permanently in America, some returned as people as when they left, and a few achieved the long-awaited dream of becoming rich and influential. This last group is the one commonly known as those who "made the Americas."

In Catalonia and other Spanish regions, many individuals embraced this opportunity, leaving their origins behind to seek a better life in American lands such as; Cuba, Philippines and Puerto Rico. However, despite the distance, many of them did not forget their roots and returned with success and capital to transform their hometowns. The architecture, infrastructure and cultural influences they contributed are still noticeable today.

The Path of the Catalan Indians: The Case of Calonge and Sant Antoni

A case that illustrates this narrative is that of Calonge and Sant Antoni. At the end of the 18th century, several young Calongines responded to the call of overseas adventure. Enchanted by the possibilities of economic prosperity, they began the journey towards the American lands, some settling permanently, while others returned with wealth and influence.

One of these Calongine "Indians" stands out with special relevance: Artur Mundent, a man with roots in a wealthy family from Sant Antoni. His philanthropic actions in Calonge and Barcelona make him the most generous of the "Americans" of Calonge. His influence is evident not only in his attendance at various charities, but also in his contribution to local culture, such as the creation of a theater and other civic centers.

The Heritage of the Indians

n our charming municipality, the footprint of the "indianos" remains alive and vibrant. These brave and intrepid men who left their homes behind with hopes of success overseas have left an indelible mark on this corner of Catalonia. As we walk through the streets and places of this city, we can identify several elements that remind us of the legacy of the Indians. Here is a list of some of these notable items, along with a brief description of each of them.

Bell Tower of the Parish Church of Sant Martí - A renovation financed by the "indianos" residents of Havana contributed to the restoration of this Romanesque tower in the 19th century, giving it a touch of American exoticism. It is located at Calle de la Creu, 8.

Casa Vilar - Luis Vilar Puig, a Calongé who made his fortune in Cuba, built this residence in the Plaza Mayor. Its history is linked to charity and community improvement. We find it in Plaza Mayor, 1.

Casa Pagès - Josep Pagès Valmaña, a barber and minor surgeon in Marianao, Cuba, contributed to the education and improvement of local resources through the Carmelite Charity Foundation and the Brothers of the Christian Doctrine, on Calle de la Barceloneta, 2.

Cal Monjo - The Pallimonjo brothers made their fortune in Lagunillas and contributed to the development of Cárdenas, Cuba. The return of Joan Pallimonjo marked an example of the Indian dream. Pompeu Fabra Street, 3.

Casa Molla del Padró - Brothers Juan and Francisco Molla founded a commercial company in Havana, demonstrating a strong sense of Catalan identity and contributing to cultural and economic enrichment. Calle de la Cruz, 20.

Town Hall (Old School) - Dominga Juera promoted the creation of schools and supported local development. Today this historic building remains a center of the community.

Cemetery - With symbolic Cuban elements, this cemetery remembers the nineteenth-century era of Cuba and the influence of the "Indians" Calongins.

Bust of Artur Mundet - Artur Mundet played a crucial role in the construction of this theater, which remains an active cultural center for the community.

Chapel of the Virgin of Carmen - Founded by Dominga Johera Patxot, this chapel and convent played a vital role in education and social improvement in Calonge.

With this exciting tour of the architectural and cultural riches of Calonge and Sant Antoni, we can fully appreciate the influence and contribution of the "Indians" in this charming Catalan town. His dreams and achievements continue to be a source of inspiration and admiration in his homeland.