Ester Martinez Vila
My name is Ester and my roots are Catalan and Andalusian.
The tasks that I take care about at the park are diverse, as activities coordinator, visitors attention, cleaning, maintenance of some of the animals…
I also am in charge of the animals’ coats activity, known as Toca-toca, that we make together with Stania or Anna, where they introduce the birds of prey and I present some common animals that I have trained so they like meeting people and being caressed, as a mallard, a chicken (the species from Empordà), a rabbit…
The possibility to know these common animals in a different way than the one I have studied has helped me to understand and sympathize much more with them. I have understood their social behaviour and this is good for their future: in many current livestock farms the facilities have already been improved so they can offer the animals a much superior life quality and wellbeing, and this way society takes advantage out of it, respecting the needs of animals for human consumption.
I will explain you which steps and paths I have followed before arriving at the Zoo of the Pyrenees:
First of all, I want to talk about my family: my grandpa was my teacher in almost all the important aspects of my life. He showed me the respect for the animals. As he said, “Treat them with respect, but without fear”. My grandpa was a farmer and quite an expert of birds, he knew the songs of the different birds and even which was its purpose… (if it was to mate, because they felt danger…). He taught me his calm and his peace to treat with animals, and later this convinced me to study about them. I studied as a technician of livestock farms, where I learned about all the themes related with the farm, the soil and the livestock production. I also learned about domestic animals and, in particular, about horses as, since I was little I always had them in my mind and they were my principal motivation. Years later this motivation was still there and I made a hippology master of horses, where I learned how these animals can help people to feel better and equilibrate themselves.
My life has always been related to nature and discover the territory that surrounds us. (Since I was little I formed part of the aggrupation Escola Pare Claret de Solsona.) My first camp was at Riu Lacó, a magnificent place near to the park, and it is curious that after all these years the memory remains intact.
From nature and animals, I have learned many important things that are impossible to learn in any book. Every species has its own values which we can compare with the human ones, and it is true that through observing them, humanity has developed different gadgets or systems which help us to have a more comfortable life. If you are curious about this, you can see some examples following this ink:
After many years surrounded by the green of nature, I felt the need to meet the sea. I left to live in Menorca (the island is declared a biosphere reserve, with dairy farms that elaborate designation of origin cheese in Maó, and its spectacular Menorquín horses). The blue of the sea and the light that emanates from that island helped me to give an important step and start a new path alone by myself, I exited a relationship with my partner since many years and also left behind my untiring company, Sira, a German shepherd female. To cure the wounds, I went to Lanzarote, where my sister lives since many years, and once they healed (thanks to the energy of that island with more than 200 volcanos), I returned to Menorca once more.
It was after 5 years surrounded by water that I returned to Solsona, the city that had seen me grow and that had given me so much, among it, maybe the most important, my mother, the family.
Since I was little I compaginated my passion for animals with what makes me feel really alive, which is singing. At the age of eight, I started to sing at the Cluster of Solsona with Josep Mª Tripiana as director, and once I reached the age to stop, I continued singing at weddings ceremonies, where I met Joan Badia, keyboard player and musician with whom I had been linked professionally for almost 10 years, singing at the festes majors (annual festival of every village and city), weddings, celebrations, ballroom dancing…
In that time, I had the opportunity to discover a great part of Catalonia. Villages with the magic of the Catalan Pyrenees where going to sing was an incredible adventure. For example, in Taús, a small village near to Noves de Segre, where listening to the deer’s roars during summer was a fascinating experience and worth to remember.
I’ve always liked to say these proverbs: “He who sings frightens away his ills or Music has charms to sooth a savage beast…”
And now slowly I am putting down roots, roots that have returned me to the place I started, roots that will allow me to carry the fruit of what I am in these lands, which I observe embedded every day until a smile covers my face!