🇪🇸 Moguer is a municipality and small city located in the province of Huelva, Andalusia, Spain. The present site of Moguer had been home to many human settlements since antiquity. Nonetheless, the founding of the present municipality is generally dated from the establishment of the Señorío de Moguer ("Seigneury of Moguer") in 1333. The Santa Clara Monastery and a Franciscan convent that later became the Corpus Christi Hospital were founded four years later. From the 1330s, the population grew rapidly, turning Moguer into an important town with a strong, economy based in agriculture, fishing, and trade through the town's river port. Moguer played an important role in the first voyage of Christopher Columbus, with Columbus receiving important support from the abbess of the Santa Clara Monastery, Inés Enríquez, the cleric Martín Sánchez and the landowner Juan Rodríguez Cabezudo. The Niño brothers played an important role in the voyage, including providing the caravel Niña. Upon the returning from the Americas, the first of Columbus's vows was fulfilled by spending a night in the church of the Santa Clara Monastery. Today, Moguer and nearby Palos de la Frontera are home to the lugares colombinos, a tourist route of places associated with undertaking that voyage.
Moguer's river port continued to be an important site for seafaring and trade, exporting the local wines and other merchandise to the Americas, Russia and other European countries. Viticulture remained the economic engine into the early 20th century, when the chemical plant at Huelva and, above all, the development of the cultivation of the garden strawberry drove a new period of economic development and demographic growth. As of 2008, 2,278 hectares (5,630 acres) in the municipality are devoted to growing strawberries, 27.5 percent of the national total of 8,296 hectares (20,500 acres), making Moguer Spain's leading municipality in this crop.
The municipality of Moguer is formed by the urban centres of Moguer and Mazagón, the agricultural zones with both irrigated and rain-fed crops, and forest areas composed of the Monte Público of the municipality of Moguer and of protected natural areas.
Economy In ancient times, the economy of Moguer and its region was based in fishing and seafaring. Moguer has been connected since ancient times to the principal ports of the Mediterranean and North African coasts. Later Moguer experienced economic growth through agricultural development (including the raising of livestock). Moguer thrived thanks to the cultivation of wheat, wine grapes, esparto, hemp, and other crops, this was supplemented by several industries relying on ovens: soap, bread, and bricks. This period also saw the growth of agricultural warehouses and mercantile enterprises for agricultural industries. Moguer also prospered through its role in discovery and trade with the Americas.
Moguer now belongs to Denominación de Origen (DO) Condado de Huelva.
The cultivation of strawberries in recent decades, which has driven a new period of economic development and demographic growth. At the end of the 1970s the "Las Madres" estate of started growing Fragaria x ananassa—the garden strawberry—which spread rapidly through the municipality and the rest of the province. As noted above, Moguer is by far Spain's leading producer of strawberries. More recently, this has been supplemented by the cultivation of Rubus leucodermis (raspberries), and by a growth in construction, the service sector, and tourism.
The construction sector has benefited from the growth in agriculture, which has impelled a sharp increase in the number of construction companies and real estate firms in the town, which now constitute 15 and 19 percent of non-agricultural economic activity, respectively. The commercial sector has also greatly benefited from the agricultural growth, now constituting 43 percent of non-farm economic activity.
At the same time, recent development of the urban centre of Mazagón for tourism has increased the number of hotels and other short-term accommodations to constitute 12 percent of the municipal economy.
Agriculture The local economy has long been based in seafaring and fishing, but above all in agriculture: cereals and olives, then later wine grapes, strawberries, and raspberries have long been the basis of the economy. The strong current growth is based on crop irrigation, and primarily on strawberries and, secondarily, raspberries. These have been the economic engine underlying other activities. Other rain-fed farming continues in the traditional growing area near the town of Moguer, but is less profitable.
The irrigation has been made possible by community three groupings of growers: C.R. de Valdemar, C.R. de Palos and C.R. del Fresno.
The businessman Antonio Medina Lama began the first local experiments with growing strawberries on his "La Madre" farm in the late 1970s. Over the years, cultivation techniques were improved to the point of becoming the basis of the local economy. Berries are grown by intensive hydroponic methods in transparent plastic tunnels, on top of a black plastic base, using drip irrigation to supply water and nutrients.