Pesesín and His Neighbours: A Tale of Community Spirit in Spain

Pesesín, the goldfish who united a community of neighbours through their collective efforts to look after him. Photograph taken from ‘La Crónica del Pajarito’ and published under the Creative Commons license.

One of the most talked about stories on Spanish social networks demonstrated what it takes to bring neighbours together. The story's thread has made Pesesín the most famous goldfish in Spain.

On July 2, 2017, the residents of a block of flats in Gijón (Asturias, Spain) stumbled upon a goldfish bowl, a tin of fish food and a note in the hallway of their building. The note said:

Me voy unos días de vacaciones y no me dejan llevar a PESESÍN. Necesito vuestra ayuda para que le deis de comer, solo se le debe echar una vez al día. Dejo la comida y un cuadro para saber cuándo comió.


I'm going on holiday for a few days and I can't take PESESÍN with me. I need you to help feed him, he only needs to be fed once a day. Here's the food and a chart to keep track of when he was fed.


On the note, there was a chart that the neighbours could use in order to record when he was fed, which started on Sunday July 2 and ended on Thursday July 13. Without any hesitation, the neighbours adopted the goldfish, feeding him and noting each feed time diligently. They even left notes and instructions for their fellow neighbours:

Nota que acompañaba a Pesesín

The note that was left with Pesesín that outlined the instructions for taking care of him. Image shared by Nuria on Twitter.

‘¡No echar tanta comida!’
‘Agua cambiada el viernes 07/07′
‘Se le cambió el agua a Pesesín el lunes 3 y mientras tanto estuvo nadando un poco en el lavabo (1°D), pasolo estupendo!’

‘Don't give him so much food!’
‘Water changed on Friday 07/07′
‘We changed Pesesín's water on Monday 3 and whilst doing so he was swimming for a while in the sink (apartment 1°D) He had a great time!’

It also seems that on Sunday there was a mini-crisis when Pesesín's food ran out. But this was quickly resolved by the neighbours in apartment 4°, who bought another tin.

One of the neighbours, Nuria, found the story amusing and decided to share it on Twitter:

Someone in my building has gone on holiday and left their FISH in the hallway so that the rest of the neighbours can look after him

He's a very attractive fish and is there swimming peacefully whilst the whole block is extremely curious as to who left him there.

What Nuria didn't expect was the response that her tweet received. It quickly went viral, with more than 60,000 retweets and 100,000 likes. Soon, Pesesín became a trending topic on the social network — and not only in Spain. The tweet also grabbed the attention of users from Argentina, Mexico and Colombia.

Many Twitter users reacted to the news by praising the community that looked after the fish:

Love this, what a nice community to live in, I'm moving there! I love Pesesín!

Stay with the person that looks after you and worries as much about you as the neighbours of @Nuria_GMz care for and worry about Pesesín.

I'm cracking up listening to the story of Pesesín! The whole community looking after their neighbour's fish. There's still hope in the world.

When the neighbour gets back, Pesesín will have a new fish tank with jets, plants and a plastic Spongebob Squarepants.

Other users rightly criticised the recklessness of the fish's anonymous owner, highlighting — in some cases — the double standards we apply to animals:

Very funny story about Pesesín, but you must have real nerve to leave a fish in the hallway for your neighbours to look after.

What wonderful solidarity among neighbours, but the owner is an irresponsible idiot and doesn't deserve to look after her fish or anything else for that matter.

The hypocrisy! If #Pesesin were a dog or a cat, would you condone leaving them alone in the stairwell with food???

This is just the beginning. Next year, you'll be left with the grandfather to look after together.

The national police also weighed in on the debate.

There's always an alternative to abandoning an animal! A caring neighbour… or the whole community?. Neighbours for #PESESIN ?

Pesesín himself, who has a Twitter account, gave his opinion on his unexpected rise to fame:

At the end of the week, we met Yurena, Pesesín's owner. Stunned by the fame that her pet had garnered, she explained her side of the story during an interview with the Spanish TV channel Cuatro TV, in which she said that a trip came up with her parents, but she couldn't take the fish with her. After asking friends and acquaintances [to take care of him] without any success, she decided to leave him in the hands of fate…and the solidarity of her neighbours.

After seeing Pesesín looking well, Yurena felt immense gratitude towards her neighbours and wanted to express her thanks by leaving another note in the same spot that goldfish bowl had been during her trip:

Nota de agradecimiento de Pesesín a los vecinos

A thank you note from Pesesín to the neighbours that had looked after him so well. Image shared by Yurena Sabio on Twitter.


On behalf of Pesesín and with special mention to those who changed the water and bought food. Although the food that was left was meant to last a few months and now I need to put him on a diet for a few days, he has loved getting to know you.

On Pesesín's story's thread, a Twitter user took advantage of the good nature that the police usually show on the microblogging site, making this suggestion:

Hello, @police! I would like you to call the next police investigation you have, “Pesesín”.#Pesesíncase

To which the popular account replied:

???…Done deal! We promise to call the operation ‘Pesesín’ when we catch a big fish [a big criminal]!

Start the conversation

Authors, please log in »


  • All comments are reviewed by a moderator. Do not submit your comment more than once or it may be identified as spam.
  • Please treat others with respect. Comments containing hate speech, obscenity, and personal attacks will not be approved.

Receive great stories from around the world directly in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the best of Global Voices!

Submitted addresses will be confirmed by email, and used only to keep you up to date about Global Voices and our mission. See our Privacy Policy for details.

Newsletter powered by Mailchimp (Privacy Policy and Terms).

* = required field
Email Frequency

No thanks, show me the site