Mountain guides

According to information from people in the area, during the years 1936-1939, practically all houses in Pallerols had fugitives hiding in their houses or in the surrounding forests. This is how the houses of Guardiola, Vilaró, Cal Mingo, l’Arçosa, Ca l’Empordanès, Canes, etc. did it.

Josep Cirera, Josep Boix de Juncàs and Eugeni Coll from Fenollet were guides of mountain and honorary members of the association of Pallerols-Andorra friends.

Of all of them, the most organized house was Ca l’Empordanès. These are the ones who moved the most people, since Lluís Campabadal and Esteve were also guides in a radius of about 20 km, where they connected with other guides who led them to Andorra.

The people of Vilaró had less structure and less possibilities to feed the people. The owner of Vilaró in 1937 was Pere Sala i Jou.

Both those from Ca l’Empordanès and those from Vilaró were connected to the people of Peramola.

Hidden in the woods near the houses in Ca l’Empordanès and Vilaró there were usually more than 50 refugees, who were spread out in different shacks or lived in shelters in the woods.

We have information of three expeditions that passed through Pallerols, on the way to Andorra, in 1937. In all cases, Pallerols was the meeting point and the start of the expedition. Of these 3 expeditions, two depended on Ca l’Empordanès and the other on Vilaró.

  1. During three weeks of the month of July 1937, he was dependent on Ca l’Empordanès Josep Maria Torrabadella, from Barcelona. This group was more than 100 people.
  2. On the other hand, on October 18, 1937 they arrived in Ca l’Empordanès, Isidre Gabriel and Riba, from Cal Barber, and in Pere Benet and Ponsich, from Cal Pere Xullador, both from Isona, with 15 other people.
  3. The expedition we know that depended on Vilaró was that of Sant Josemaria Escrivà de Balaguer, which is very well documented. They arrived in Vilaró on November 20, 1937 and were hidden in a shack above the Camí de l’Arçosa until November 27. Pere Sala appears many times in these documents, who protected and fed them while they were in his territory. There is also the house in Ca l’Empordanès where they sometimes went to look for food.

Pallerols was therefore an important center of concentration of fugitives.

The houses of Pallerols were related to those of Peramola:

Cal Mateu, Cal Tonillo, la Mora, Torrent, Juncàs.

In the case of the November 1937 expedition, the first contact was established in Barcelona with Mateu Molleví Roca, from Cal Mateu de Peramola. When they arrived in Peramola they connected with those from Cal Tonillo and finally the most important contact were those from Juncàs, Josep Boix Betriu and Maria Oste Argerich. The Juncàs usually operated with Josep Ramonet Espar, from Ca l’Armenter d’Organyà, who was married to Concepció Oste Argerich, sister of Juncàs’ mistress. They knew Josep Cirera who acted as a guide on several expeditions.

Further north, other families that helped pass people were the Fenollet family, who were relatives of Josep Cirera. Those from the village of Ares and those from Baridà were also guides. Later we find a large number of guides in the town of Parròquia d’Hortò and the houses that are closest to the Andorran border.

In this section we will inform about the guides of this 1937 expedition and other similar expeditions.