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Pictures | Tue Jul 5, 2022 | 6:43am EDT

Ancient Spanish village loses school, fears for its future as population dwindles

Alberto Toro, his current students and two former students of his who came to say good-bye, blend into a hug  on the last day of school in the small Spanish village of Pitarque, Teruel, one of the least populated regions of the European Union, June 21, 2022.  Two former students of his attended the last day of school together with the last four students to bid him farewell. "Closing the school is going to be negative for the village. Schools are the engine of change and development. When you close them down, you become stagnant," Toro says. REUTERS/Susana Vera

Alberto Toro, his current students and two former students of his who came to say good-bye, blend into a hug on the last day of school in the small Spanish village of Pitarque, Teruel, one of the least populated regions of the European Union, June...more

Alberto Toro, his current students and two former students of his who came to say good-bye, blend into a hug on the last day of school in the small Spanish village of Pitarque, Teruel, one of the least populated regions of the European Union, June 21, 2022. Two former students of his attended the last day of school together with the last four students to bid him farewell. "Closing the school is going to be negative for the village. Schools are the engine of change and development. When you close them down, you become stagnant," Toro says. REUTERS/Susana Vera
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Alberto Toro, helps Youssef el Hadri, 9, start making a book during class at the small Spanish village of Pitarque in Teruel, one of the least populated regions of the European Union, June 13, 2022. Only four children kept the school open in the remote village, but with two of them leaving at the end of the school year, the school will have to be closed. He's excited he will get to spend time with more children his age, but he says he will miss his teacher, Alberto Toro. Toro has spent the past 14 years teaching thinking-based learning and emotional intelligence to the last children being raised in Pitarque. REUTERS/Susana Vera

Alberto Toro, helps Youssef el Hadri, 9, start making a book during class at the small Spanish village of Pitarque in Teruel, one of the least populated regions of the European Union, June 13, 2022. Only four children kept the school open in the...more

Alberto Toro, helps Youssef el Hadri, 9, start making a book during class at the small Spanish village of Pitarque in Teruel, one of the least populated regions of the European Union, June 13, 2022. Only four children kept the school open in the remote village, but with two of them leaving at the end of the school year, the school will have to be closed. He's excited he will get to spend time with more children his age, but he says he will miss his teacher, Alberto Toro. Toro has spent the past 14 years teaching thinking-based learning and emotional intelligence to the last children being raised in Pitarque. REUTERS/Susana Vera
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Eloy Moliner, 12, Achraf Labriyaj, 9, Youssef el Hadri, 9, Ismael Labriyaj, 12,  have class with their teacher Alberto Toro outdoors in Pitarque, Teruel, one of the least populated regions of the European Union, June 13, 2022. Only four children kept the school open in the remote village, but with two of them moving away, the school is being closed down. "When you have students of different ages together and you lack certain resources, you have to innovate, and that’s a wonderful thing.  We are in a safe, beautiful environment where we have been able to take the class outdoors, and learn directly from nature." Toro says. Toro has spent the past 14 years teaching thinking-based learning and emotional intelligence to the last children being raised in Pitarque. REUTERS/Susana Vera

Eloy Moliner, 12, Achraf Labriyaj, 9, Youssef el Hadri, 9, Ismael Labriyaj, 12, have class with their teacher Alberto Toro outdoors in Pitarque, Teruel, one of the least populated regions of the European Union, June 13, 2022. Only four children kept...more

Eloy Moliner, 12, Achraf Labriyaj, 9, Youssef el Hadri, 9, Ismael Labriyaj, 12, have class with their teacher Alberto Toro outdoors in Pitarque, Teruel, one of the least populated regions of the European Union, June 13, 2022. Only four children kept the school open in the remote village, but with two of them moving away, the school is being closed down. "When you have students of different ages together and you lack certain resources, you have to innovate, and that’s a wonderful thing. We are in a safe, beautiful environment where we have been able to take the class outdoors, and learn directly from nature." Toro says. Toro has spent the past 14 years teaching thinking-based learning and emotional intelligence to the last children being raised in Pitarque. REUTERS/Susana Vera
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Achraf Labriyaj, 9, Youssef el Hadri, 9, Ismael Labriyaj, 12, and Eloy Moliner, 12,  (not pictured) practice yoga at the start of their school day in Pitarque, Teruel, one of the least populated regions of the European Union, June 13, 2022. "Having a small group of students has given me the chance to cater to their individual needs and help them better, as well as working more closely with their families" says Alberto Toro, the school's teacher. Toro has spent the past 14 years teaching thinking-based learning and emotional intelligence to the last children being raised in Pitarque. REUTERS/Susana Vera

Achraf Labriyaj, 9, Youssef el Hadri, 9, Ismael Labriyaj, 12, and Eloy Moliner, 12, (not pictured) practice yoga at the start of their school day in Pitarque, Teruel, one of the least populated regions of the European Union, June 13, 2022. "Having a...more

Achraf Labriyaj, 9, Youssef el Hadri, 9, Ismael Labriyaj, 12, and Eloy Moliner, 12, (not pictured) practice yoga at the start of their school day in Pitarque, Teruel, one of the least populated regions of the European Union, June 13, 2022. "Having a small group of students has given me the chance to cater to their individual needs and help them better, as well as working more closely with their families" says Alberto Toro, the school's teacher. Toro has spent the past 14 years teaching thinking-based learning and emotional intelligence to the last children being raised in Pitarque. REUTERS/Susana Vera
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A QR code is displayed as part of a project carried out by Alberto Toro and his students for people to find out about the history of Pitarque through the voices of their remaining residents in Teruel, one of the least populated regions of the European Union, June 14, 2022. REUTERS/Susana Vera

A QR code is displayed as part of a project carried out by Alberto Toro and his students for people to find out about the history of Pitarque through the voices of their remaining residents in Teruel, one of the least populated regions of the...more

A QR code is displayed as part of a project carried out by Alberto Toro and his students for people to find out about the history of Pitarque through the voices of their remaining residents in Teruel, one of the least populated regions of the European Union, June 14, 2022. REUTERS/Susana Vera
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