Mark Adkinson, as you can see, a very Galician name, he is the first Englishman I know who fell in love with our country, who saw in this corner of northwest Spain a delicious paradise.
It was 2004 when this man from Manchester who says "nós os galegos" decided to make a radical change in his professional life to give way to a new project, a dream with which he wanted to give back everything that our land had given him for more than 40 years. In reality, his dream began a little earlier, buying a house that had been abandoned for decades, in ruins, which had attracted his attention for years, close to the river, as was to be expected. And after the challenge, to create in it the place where he felt he wanted to spend the rest of his days while building the headquarters of a family business whose mission would be to help his fellow man to achieve a new way of living in one of the most beautiful corners of the planet. In the northwest of Spain, in green Spain, in GALICIA. .
I remember: I was pregnant with our youngest daughter, Mark saw a fantastic project where I only saw a house in ruins and cobwebs, he with his typical English humour and the love that overflows from every pore when he talks to anyone, when he looks, when he gets his hopes up, when he believes in something: humour and love, the key to success. Stunned, I listened to his visions of open spaces, warm light coming in all day long from the front of the house, warmth of fire, radiant floor heating, recovery of all those centenary beams, as many windows, cons and doors as possible, those magnificent iron balconies made of one single piece, works of art in pure state, all those stones that centuries ago have been carefully stacked with care, and covered with masses that the ancients forced to avoid plagues; everything was at the expense of the imagination of whoever could see it. This coupled with his words "Did I ever tell you I would do anything I wasn't capable of? NO, he had never fooled anyone with his words, so, zero margin for error. All that remained was to trust, roll up his sleeves and go for it. No plan B.
We both did it, in just 18 months, an exhaustive restoration where the work was beyond measure, hours and hours after our respective jobs, effort, focus, laughter and complicity. I'll never forget how, on my birthday, I asked for a concrete mixer to help me make all that dough with which my hands would later lay the enclosure of the house. Can you imagine? We did it! We always knew it would be the temple it is today.
Mark not only understands, but adores the land, its stones, its history, the idiosyncrasy of its people, who consider him to be "that giant from Manchester, Galicia", big, very big at all levels (he is almost 2 metres tall). President of Rios con vida, an ecologist association, national environmental award in 1998, a platform from which he has protected and protects nature, fishing without death, because his philosophy is none other than "The River of Life". That is where you will find him in essence. I remember him perfectly, sitting in one of the corners of what is now the living room of our headquarters, trying to understand what the internet was all about, what was putting us in contact with the world... if the world has changed so much in such a short period of time. All this was yesterday.
And that's where we launched ourselves, with a modest website called Grupo Country Homes www.galicianrustic.com which has turned us into a channel to the world. The experiences we live exceed any expectation. A PORTAL that has managed to connect people from all over the world with our land, our culture, our essence, our way of life. Combining several of the founder's passions, what is today a reference in the sector of rustic, exclusive and charming properties was created. A family business that from one of the smallest municipalities in Spain is able to connect with every corner of the planet, and from there every day hundreds of people contact us by all the means at our disposal.
My name is Rosy Costoya and for what concerns us, I am co-founder of this wonderful company and life partner of Mark, mother of two of his three daughters. I am the daughter of Galician emigrants, which is why I was born in France (Annecy), and from a very young age I felt the pain in my chest when our people abandoned their places, their children, their lands to look for a way of life, they could not be satisfied with just surviving.
Daughter, granddaughter and great-granddaughter of Galician traders, daughter of the land, of the roots, I know how painful it is to look back and wonder why such a fertile, productive and wonderful land should be left empty because there is no work, because you can't get a decent way of living. I remember it. It still palpitates in my heart.
That's why I became a veterinary surgeon, the gift I gave to my clan, that's how I felt at the time. The veterinarian was a very important person in our fields. I have been a student of the human being since I was born. I have developed several trainings throughout my life, and today I know that all of them have been directed to this moment.
I am where I have to be, developing the mission of life that I clearly recognise, and that is to be a witness and direct participant in giving life back to this emptied Spain, to become that channel that magically connects stories and people from any part of the planet who feel the call to realise themselves from their I AM.
The two founders Mark Adkinson and Rosy Costoya joined forces. We train, we study and the effort continues and is passed on to those who wish to join our team. This is a sine qua non condition. They are not mere economic transactions, they are LIFESTYLES, they are EMOTIONS, they are leading by example.
I know I have always prepared for this. And that is our personal brand, unique, truly, inexorably true.
We are a multidisciplinary team, in constant evolution, with the same objectives, the same perennial values, enthusiasm and illusion, this makes us unstoppable. That's how we are, that's how you will know us. We are behind each of your e-mails, your calls, your desires. With name and surname, each of us defending our position within the group, complementing each other to be more practical and help you in your new adventure.
We feel deep gratitude and pride in every property that is entrusted to us for sale, we defend it with honour, honesty, and we represent it with a team that safeguards and defends it. Our seller clients are always represented by a team that safeguards their assets beyond a contract. We care about your history, your legacy. And we take very seriously the search for that candidate who is worthy successor to such an important challenge. I must confess that reality often exceeds our search expectations and the buyer clients who approach us often surprise us with their human qualities, their originality and their projects, their desire to honour the legacies of our land and their wisdom, which only enriches the places they inhabit. It could be that the good human being is better than any possible projection.