Embarking on a Journey: Alberto Explores “Spirit of Youyu”

Youyu County is situated in the northwest of Shanxi Province, on the edge of the Mu Us Desert. Located on the border between Shanxi and Inner Mongolia, it is a very windy area, which was once known as the “barren land”. When the PRC was founded, the county’s forest coverage rate was only 0.3 percent.

“I have a Chinese friend in Youyu who told me the story of his family’s tree planting deeds. His grandfather was one of the old generations who insisted on planting trees in Youyu. He is one of the heroes with his name engraved on the “Youyu Monument”. When he arrived in Youyu, Alberto told the story of his international friendship with the local youth there that transcends time and space.

Alberto from Spain [Photo by Li Zixuan]

Through the efforts of persistent afforestation by several generations, the forest coverage rate of Youyu County has increased to 57 percent, creating a new “Saiwai Jiangnan” and forging a monument of the “spirit of Youyu” at the same time.

“My visit to Youyu made me feel the harmony between residents and the environment, as well as the ecological green development. I also discovered what the “spirit of Youyu” means,” Alberto said.

At present, Youyu County, within its area of jurisdiction, takes Cangtou River, Lihong River and Shahukou Pass as the axis, and major road routes such as expressways and national highways as the framework, forming a diversified ecological system in different altitudes with respective functions. At the same time, an ecological network has been built, which combines roadside green belts, ecological gardens, landscape plants, demonstration zones and nurseries of seeds and plants.