El Puente Research: Spanish Immigrants in Edinburgh; Situation and Needs

It is calculated that there are around 30.000 Spanish people living in Edinburgh, however there is no more information about How many there are? What their situation is? or Why are they coming here?

Regarding this new condition, the Adult Learning Project started to worry about the integration of this community already living in Edinburgh, what they need and how to supply them with the necessary tools to integrate them and make richer this coexistence.
At the same time, more than a year ago, three Spanish social researchers met here in Edinburgh and got interested by the cultural differences and similarities which exist.  They started to wonder how this Spanish Community can contribute to Edinburgh and what they can learn from this new culture.

spanish in scotland

From these common interests was born “El Puente”, a social researcher group founded by the ALP association and funded by Awards for All, which is working to discover how to make the most of this new coexistence.  Currently El Puente is taking part in the first stage of this project; a qualitative research project to find out about the situations of the Spanish community in Edinburgh, their integration and how are they sensed by the Edinburgh citizens. El Puente is looking for funding and support to complete this study by doing the quantitative stage to describe the profile of this community.

El Puente means ‘The Bridge’ in Spanish. We are a group of three inspired Spanish people who have combined our interests and expertise to try and develop a ‘bridge’ between the Scottish community and the Spanish diaspora:


Elena Fernández García

I am a Social Anthropologist from Universidad Complutense de Madrid, and a Social Worker from Universidad Pontificia de Comillas. I have experience as a Careers Adviser and Equality Promoter (Salesiana Professional Institution). I am interested in migration, intercultural relations and integration processes.
I’ve always been interested in learning about other cultures and helping to build a more just society where the differences are not a threat, but an opportunity to enrich the culture. I came to Edinburgh because I had heard many times that is a beautiful and multicultural city, full of charming and friendly people.
With the support of Adult Learning Project, we became aware of the lack of information about the Spanish community living in Edinburgh and the need to understand their social situation.

Irene Casado

I am a Social Psychologist from Universidad Complutense de Madrid. I have experience in Evaluation of social integration programs (Villabona Penitentiary Centre) and Environmental psychology research (Universidad Complutense de Madrid). I am interested in exclusion and social minorities subjects.
As a social psychologist, immigration has always been a really interesting topic for me, but I never thought it would affect me also before I was going to migrate from Spain and became an immigrant. I decided to come to Edinburgh for a few months to learn the language, enjoy the festival and the beauty of the town. Kept by the affability of the Scottish people and the charm of the city I decided to stay.  Then I started to think about the immigrant’s condition that I was living as well.
Then my colleagues Lisboa, Elena and me joined the ALP association and formed “El Puente”. With this project I have the opportunity to develop myself as a professional and contribute to a better coexistence and learning of cultures in Edinburgh.

Lisboa Osanz

I am a sociologist from Universidad Complutense de Madrid with education in quantitative and qualitative Social Research Techniques (Sociology Association). I have experience in Gender Research (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona) and am interested in researching methodology and Employment Sociology.
Journalism, pedagogy and psychology have always been very interesting fields for me. At the age of 15, when I realised that the topics in which I was interested in had a discipline in common, I decided to become a sociologist.
My story is the same as many others, I chose Edinburgh for it’s good reputation: the multiculturalism, the festival, the beauty of his architecture… Now I am trying to understand the situation of my compatriots and how they can live in better harmony with Edinburgh and its people.