Work for migrants on the menu in Barcelona
When Dominican migrant Angel Mendez moved to Barcelona two years ago and couldn't find a job, his future looked bleak.
The 19-year-old ended up living in a flat on the outskirts of the city and "doing nothing" for a year, he said. But his fortunes have changed dramatically.
Now he works full-time in the kitchen of El Repartidor, an attractive new restaurant that opened in April.
Despite its designer appearance and prominent position on one of the district's main squares, El Repartidor is run almost entirely by disadvantaged young people who are outside the Spanish school system.
The non-profit restaurant is helping unemployed teenagers who don't have work - either because they just arrived in Spain or quit school - to learn vocational hospitality skills.
Teenagers like Mendez normally move to Spain with another family member who migrated for economic reasons, or to be reunited with them after several years apart, said Borja Castellet, a project manager at the restaurant school.
It is one of several initiatives migrants and refugees can turn to for support in the Catalan capital which is vocal about its desire to help newcomers.
In February, tens of thousands of people took to the streets of Barcelona, calling for the Spanish government to take in more refugees.
The city's leftist mayor Ada Colau has criticised the government of Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy for failing to meet its pledge to house more refugees.
In 2015 she published a register of families in Catalonia, Spain's wealthiest region, willing to open their homes to refugees, or simply to help in some way.
Barcelona is "a progressive city which is open and warm towards people coming from outside", Ignasi Calbo, coordinator of the "Refugee City" program at Barcelona City Hall, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
The social inclusion program helps migrants settle in Barcelona, he explained.
Its initiatives include Mescladis, a quirky bar and restaurant in the historic centre run entirely by migrants.
The scheme also helps refugees find work at the many cultural events that take place across the city each year, including Sonar, a popular electronic music festival.
Among those seeking asylum in the Catalan capital, the largest numbers are from Venezuela, Ukraine, Honduras and El Salvador.
Other Spanish cities, including Valencia, Malaga, Pamplona, Zaragoza and La Coruna, have also said they are keen to welcome more refugees.
Calbo branded the Spanish government's system for integrating refugees "a disgrace".
"It... just tries to create a checklist on a screen," he said.
The government can take up to seven years to process an asylum application, he added.
The hardest part is deciding what to do with those who have had their application turned down after being in Spain for several years, he said.
"They can just become illegal from one day to the next, and then they are rejected from all the services on our program," he added.
In September 2015, Spain's conservative-led government pledged to bring in more than 17,000 refugees from camps in Italy, Greece, Turkey and Libya within two years.
Since then, the country has taken in just over 1,300 refugees, its interior ministry said.
Spain has provided "all the means at its disposal" to accommodate asylum seekers, said ministry sources, who did not want to be named.
Spain has the second highest unemployment rate in the EU after Greece. One in five Spaniards aged under 34 is not in work, education or training, according to official statistics.
Unemployment has fallen since a peak in 2013, but experts say temporary contracts are making the job market less secure.
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