Traditionally the village economy depends on small-scale farming: semi-self-sufficient farms with their own cows, sheep, pigs and chickens and grain (predominantly corn). Both sheep and cows are exploited for their meat and milk and the tangy local sheep’s cheese is a prided version of the acclaimed Dominacion de Origin Idiazabal sheep’s cheese. Most people have large vegetable patches where they grow chard, green beans, lettuces, onions, potatoes etc. and ... in pride of place ...of course, the tomatoes. Quince, cherry, apple, plum, peach and fig trees are often planted around the farmsteads.
Today, although many young people have had to search for jobs further afield, the village population is slowly expanding. The Basque people are often very proud of their roots and have a strong tie to the land. Low-scale eco-tourism offers an invaluable second income for the local population however, despite the picture-postcard beauty of the area, it is surprisingly little known to foreign tourists. In the past political issues (i.e. that this is a Basque community in the middle of Spanish Navarre) meant that local government was unforthcoming with funding to promote the area. This has been left in the hands of small, private ventures like our own and a small, struggling local tourist board and means that these valleys remain among the most traditional areas of the Basque Country.