Who I am
My name is Daniel Freixa. I was born in Évora in 1984. I grew up in the village of Santana do Campo, Arraiolos. I am a descendant of rural workers. From an early age I began to explore the surrounding countryside on long walks with my grandfather Manuel Rocha, to whom I owe part of my ecological education and love for the countryside.
Growing up, the moments spent in the company of my grandparents were the moments that arouse in me the curiosity for the history of Alentejo that is with me to this day. The stories told by the fire on long winter nights, star gazing on summer evenings, my grandmother Mariana dos Santos reciting poems have made me fall in love with my region and its history to this day.
Later on, when I discovered rock music and some very good books my horizons broadened. After all, the world was much larger than the village of Santana do Campo and the city of Évora. So, educated myself going to music festivals and reading poetry. When I read Jack Kerouac my life changed, especially with the book The Dharma Bums, where an anthropologist, Gary Snyder, the author's friend, is the main character. It was through this book that Anthropology came in to my life and what led me to ISCTE, in Lisbon.
I studied Anthropology (2006-2009) and did a master's degree in Anthropology: Tourism and Heritage (2009-2011), at ISCTE - University Institute of Lisbon. Over the years I have been producing academic work in my area of interest, ethnography of the Alentejo. In my thesis I linked both interests I had, ecology and anthropology, which resulted in an investigation into the subject of water, entitled: "The Water Path: customs, knowledge and hydraulics in rural Alentejo".
In this research I also developed a project for a thematic tour linked to water within the concept of eco-tourism. This project was presented to municipality and to be activated it would entail the creation of a “musealization of places”. The aim, besides being pedagogical, would also be to contribute to the conservation of the memory of the public hydraulic heritage and also for a diversification of the local touristic offer.
In 2015, with the desire to meet new people and new customs, I moved to Amsterdam, where I worked in restaurants and took the opportunity to improve my English. About a year later, I decided to return to Portugal and started working as a tour guide for various agencies. It was then that I gradually started to implement the project I currently have, Alentejo Heritage, for qualified guided tours and sale of regional handicrafts. I couldn't be happier with my choice!