16 Mar, 2022 @ 09:15
1 min read

Five Spaniards drive from Spain’s Alicante to Poland to cook paella for refugees fleeing Ukraine

Refugees Arrive From Ukraine To Przemysl Train Staion
March 3, 2022, Przemysl, Poland: Refugees arrive by train from Ukraine to Przemysl station a week after the start of Russia's attacks on Ukraine, March 3 2022, in Przemysl, Poland. Przemysl station has become a safe haven for thousands of people fleeing the war that Russia launched against Ukraine on February 24. This city, located in southeastern Poland, borders Ukraine and is being used by refugees to escape the war in their country. (Credit Image: © Bryan Smith/ZUMA Press Wire)

FIVE friends from Spain were so moved by the situation affecting those fleeing the Ukraine that they decided to do what they did best: make a paella.

The group set off from Alicante with three vans full of ingredients to make the famous Valenciano dish; rice, chicken and vegetables as well as the giant pans to cook them in and headed for Poland. 

On Sunday, after a 5,000km drive, they arrived in Przemysl, a city near the border with Ukraine that has become flooded with refugees fleeing Russian forces.

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Five Spaniards drove from Alicante to Ukraine border. Image from Instagram @paellasxlapaz

Since then they have been cooking up a storm and serving plates of the hot rice dish to new arrivals.

David Juan Diaz, one of the organisers of ‘Paella por la paz’, said “What is happening on the border is devastating.”

In a post on Instagram the group said:

“Our long and tiring journey has brought us from Alicante to PRZEMYSL, the main city closest to Medyka, on the border with Ukraine. 

“Hundreds of people fleeing the war arrive here daily.

“For now we have established our base camp here, and once we finish setting up our tents and kitchens, we will start the paellas.

“From what we are finding out, perhaps in the next few days we will have to move to another area of the border, the situation and the flow of people change by the hour.

“We will go where we are most useful.”

The group which translates as ‘Paella for peace’ aims to cook 12,000 servings before driving back to Spain and bringing any refugees who want to return with them.


Jorge Hinojosa

Jorge Hinojosa Mena was born and bred in Madrid before moving to the UK to study. After an undergraduate degree in Manchester, he completed an MA in International Journalism at City. He has worked in radio and for Spain’s Efe news agency before joining the Olive Press in March 2022. Contact: Jorge@theolivepress.es

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