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Exploring the Heart of Appalachia: Beauty, Resilience, and Home

Updated: Aug 29, 2023

Nestled within the rippling mountains and valleys, Appalachia stands as a testament to both nature's grandeur and human resilience. This region is more than just a geographical entity; it's a tapestry woven with history, stories, and an unbreakable spirit.

fog rolling over the Cumberland Mountains at the Cumberland Gap National Park in Central Appalachia

"Appalachia is a cool drink on a hot day. It's community support long before you have to ask, it's building together through hardship, and cheering each other on. Appalachia has a hard history with one central uniting force behind each and every person who calls it home - resilience." - Maggie T.

For many, Appalachia is synonymous with home. One quote captures this sentiment beautifully: "Appalachia is home, I've traveled to all the corners of this earth and met many wonderful people, but when a place is in your DNA you'll never want to be anywhere else for too long." -Theodocia M.

The connection to this land runs deep, an unbreakable bond that transcends time and distance.

Inez sitting on rock steps in Appalachia
Inez Shelby enjoying early Spring in Appalachia

"I have watched my home be knit together only to be unraveled again and again. When you're seen as the poor and uneducated part of the country - people don't have much compassion for people who've lived that way for generations. The hardest part is that my grandparents didn't know any better, neither did their parents, or theirs before them. With that curse, I've lived my 88 years standing up for my people, educating teenagers while guarding our culture. Economic diversity is key to long-lasting communities in Appalachia and I have faith my children and grandchildren will see it happen. Appalachia is a part of our country worth investing in and worth protecting." - Julia J.

Ben Rains and his Momma at the family home in Central Appalachia
Ben Rains and his Momma at the family home in Bell County Kentucky

The history of Appalachia is etched with struggles and triumphs. Generations have weathered challenges, fighting against stereotypes and misconceptions. Despite this, the people have risen above, weaving a vibrant tapestry of culture, art, and traditions that are uniquely their own. The commitment to preserve these roots is unwavering, passed down through the years.

Appalachia's allure lies not just in its landscapes, but in its people, each contributing their own thread to the rich fabric of the region. As we stand amidst the mountains and valleys, we're reminded that Appalachia is not just a place; it's a living, breathing testament to the human spirit's capacity to endure, to love, and to call a place "home."

In every story, in every crevice of the land, Appalachia whispers its truth – a place of beauty, resilience, and unyielding love for all who call it their own. By exploring the heart of Appalachia we can better understand the past, present, and future.

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