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COVID-19 CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

Festivals in Tenerife and other large gatherings are still not able to be held with social distancing and other restrictions still in force. Events listed here, therefore, are subject to cancellation or change without notice. Such circumstances are beyond our control.

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Thursday, January 27, 2022

San Antonio Abad Buenavista del Norte 2022

As with other locations on the island, the town of Buenavista del Norte is once again this year without the annual livestock fair and romería in honour of San Antonio Abad (Anthony the Abbot). This year the seriously slimmed down Program of events San Antonio Abad 2022 includes:

Saturday January 29th at 8:00 p.m. Festival with the Folkloric Group "Menceyes de Daute" and the dance corps "Tajaraste" in the Plaza de Los Remedios. However, places [inevitably limited] had to be reserved via WhatsApp with, it appears, preference given to local inhabitants.

And on Sunday, January 30th at 11:30 a.m. Holy Mass in honor of San Antonio Abad sung by the Baracán Folklore Group, at Nuestra Señora de Los Remedios (Our Lady of Los Remedios Parish Church).

Controversy over Carnival Poster for 2022

Everything related to Santa Cruz Carnival 2022 is currently being complicated. The latest of the inconveniences, other than the risk of a total suspension if a venue cannot be found, has arisen with the advertising poster. On Sunday, the popular vote for the ten finalist works ended, in which apparently the poster entitled Carnival 2222 (right) was the most voted. However, the announcement has not been made because other authors have contested the vote.

The main reason for the challenge is that the winner was advertised on social networks and in the media, eliminating the factor of anonymity, and taking into account that it is by popular vote, that the author is recognized for his professional activity in another field, may have contributed to his followers voting en masse for his work. Until the appeals presented are resolved, the winner of the Carnival Poster will not be officially announced.

More details, however, have been released in several locations online, even announcing that the design by rapper Borja Jimenez Mérida (Tenerife, 1994), better known in entertainment circles as Bejo – a partner in artistic adventures with Don Patricio, is the creator of the most voted poster for the Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife at the end of the period established by the organization, at midnight last Sunday. However, Fiestas will still have to resolve the appeal filed by other participants who question the selection process followed; in particular, that the creator's proposal, entitled Carnaval 2222, has been publicized on social networks, revealing his identity. The design achieved almost 40 percent of the votes, compared to sixty percent that is distributed the other nine. Bejo has 250,000 fans on Instagram.

The organization has decided to wait until Monday, January 31 to present the official poster for the next edition and not make the result of the vote public, while waiting to resolve the appeal filed by other participants about the process.

Having consulted the contest rules for the advertising poster, writes Humberto Gonar, the organization does not expressly state that authors are prohibited from requesting votes on social networks. Only the clause referring to the way in which the works must be presented, establishes that personal data must be presented in a sealed envelope. 

Other artists also publicized their works, such as Hugo Cebrián, author of «Near Future», or Filomena de Martino, who created «Carnaval Andrómeda 2022», which was also promoted by the previous winner of the poster contest of the Carnival 2021, Sandro Burcio.

The Parliament of the Canary Islands will place a plaque in Mauthausen in memory of the 45 prisoners from the Canary Islands

Mauthausen as it today, sanitised and restored. Dnalor 01, CC BY-SA 3.0 AT

The Parliament of the Canary Islands will place a plaque in the Mauthausen concentration camp (Austria) in memory of the 45 Canarians who suffered captivity and the horror in that camp. Of them, a total of 27 were murdered by the Nazis.

The president of the Chamber, Gustavo Matos, affirms that this January 27, the International Holocaust Remembrance Day and the Prevention of Crimes against Humanity, should serve to remember the six million Jewish men, women and children who were assassinated during the Second World War and, also, to renew the commitment of the Canarian institutions with the defence of human rights. Matos explains that the Parliament of the Canary Islands is in contact with those responsible for the Mauthausen Memorial to proceed with the placement of this plaque in the second quarter of this year. The established figure of 45 Canary Islanders is verified, as confirmed by the official archive of the Mauthausen Memorial and is thus collected in the work '186 steps, in memory of the Canarians of Mauthausen, 1945-2021’, by La Palma writer and journalist Eduardo Cabrera. All the victims were men.

“The only crime of these 45 Canarians, from five of the eight islands of the archipelago, was their defence of freedom, democratic values ​​and justice. It is necessary to keep the memory of these people alive, whose history is still quite unknown in the Canary Islands, as paying homage to them is an act of dignity and justice”, he expresses.

Some of the Canarians in Mauthausen were recruited to fight on the Peninsula during the Civil War. Others, who were imprisoned in the Canary Islands, were exchanged for other prisoners from the Peninsula and, at the end of the Civil War, were forced to flee to France, where some continued to be imprisoned and others joined the resistance. Captured by the Nazis after the invasion of France, they were sent to the concentration and extermination camp.

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Tenerife Island Corporation improves the facilities of Buenavista de Norte bus station

Buenavista de Norte bus station before

The works appear to be part of a bigger push towards accessibility and sustainability

The Cabildo de Tenerife put Buenavista del Norte bus station back into operation on Monday, January 24, after refurbishment works carried out to improve its accessibility. The station renovation project has had a budget of 450,000 euros and an execution period of six months. Vice President and Minister of Mobility, Enrique Arriaga, explains the remodelling, has made the station building more accessible, functional and sustainable.

At the reopening on Monday morning were the First Vice President and Minister of Mobility, Enrique Arriaga, together with the Mayor Buenavista, Antonio González, the Island Director of Mobility, José Alberto León, and managing director of TITSA, Raquel Martínez.

Arriaga points out that “the Corporation is working to improve mobility on the island, in this case modernizing the infrastructure at the bus stations. The remodelling of Buenavista makes it a more functional, accessible and sustainable facility”. To which he adds that "the concrete used in the platform contributes to eliminate the nitrogen oxides that are generated in the combustion of the buses, reducing their carbon footprint."

The mayor of Buenavista explained that "within the Teno Rural Park, the bus has to be a preferential option for transport and having modern facilities will contribute towards this."

This intervention aims to improve the service provided to users of public transport in the region and are part of the actions carried out by the Mobility area to improve all the facilities on the island. The works have made it possible to renew the exterior of the building with larger and more accessible platforms, anti-vandalism benches and ergonomic seats.

In addition, a new 150-square-meter wooden canopy has been installed to provide cover for waiting passengers, equipped with low-light pollution lighting. Also, the pavement has been replaced with a new asphalt and the information posts have been renewed.

The interior of the building, which is accessed by a newly created accessible ramp, has been improved with the placement of an adapted information and card sales point, benches, high-contrast signage, an induction system for the deaf, as well as the installation of air conditioning and air renewal in the toilets.

Likewise, the works have made it possible to renovate the bathrooms, creating one that is especially accessible and stoma friendly, as already exists in other stations on the island.

108,000 travellers in 2021

In 2021, a total of 108,000 passengers used the Buenavista de Norte bus station, with an average of 300 per day. [ED: an impressive investment given that number.] A total of five routes provide services at this station: 355 to Masca and Santiago del Teide, which makes eight daily departures; 363, destination Icod – Los Realejos – Puerto de la Cruz, with 34 exits; 365, destination Masca, which offers five departures; 366, destination Las Portelas, with five exits; and the 369, destination Punta de Teno, making nine departures a day.

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Tenerife approaches one car per inhabitant

Deserted roads are becoming harder to find

On the Island there are 819 vehicles for every 1,000 inhabitants, a little more than the average for the Canary Islands (802) and there are also more than driving licenses

In Tenerife there are almost as many motor vehicles (cars, buses, trucks, vans and motorcycles) as there are registered inhabitants. As of January 1, 2021, there are 818.9 vehicles per 1,000 inhabitants on the island, only one point less than the pre-pandemic year. In the Canary Islands, the average is 802 per 1,000 inhabitants, with the islands of La Palma (907), El Hierro (857) and Lanzarote (836) surpassing Tenerife in that percentage. Vilaflor, for example, has an average that far exceeds its number of inhabitants (1,477 per 1,000).

From these statistics we have to extract that of the 818.9 vehicles per 1,000 inhabitants, in Tenerife, 560 are passenger cars. These data, as of today, are even more conclusive, because if we remove minors (14% of the population) and elderly people who do not have a driving license, the evidence is clear: there are more cars on the island that people who can drive them, even adding to the tourists who can be on the island every day, for which they have a fleet of around 30,000 cars.

With more than 840,000 registered vehicles and 1,550 kilometres of road, Tenerife is not prepared to withstand such a density of vehicles. If all of them, let's say only 800,000 (they would add up to 3,200 kilometres long, with an average of 4 meters with a vehicle) hit the road on the same day, they would not fit. With all those vehicles, placed in single file, they would reach the round trip distance to Seville or they would reach Paris as a single line.

INSULAR MOBILITY PLAN

It is not surprising, therefore, that the Cabildo is working on the drafting of the Insular Plan for Sustainable Mobility of the Island of Tenerife (PIMSIT), through a process of citizen participation, with the aim that Tenerife has a instrument that serves to plan and manage how we will move around the island in a sustainable way for the next 20 years. At the starting point of the project, it is detailed that no less than 72.9% of transfers on the island are made by private car, while public transport, despite having 500 buses and 40% of them renewed, does not even reach 10% (bus, 4.7%; tram, 2.6% and taxi, 1.5%), the rest move on foot (18.3%). In this analysis it is said that urban sprawl constitutes a difficult and costly access for collective transport modes) and understands that mobility would be improved with the completion of the island ring road and the North and South trains, despite the fact that the president island, Pedro Martín, has recently said that now guided transport is not a priority on the island.

Any minor accident on the TF-1 leads to endless queues, there are almost no possible escapes

In that same analysis, the sections of the San Isidro-Adeje and La Orotava-Santa Cruz highways are included as the points of greatest automobile congestion. And it is that for a long time now, not only has there been talk of the endless queues of the TF-5 from Guamasa to the capital, with 17 links that supply vehicles to a motorway trunk that does not support such a density, greater than 4,400 cars/hour, something similar, but in a shorter time slot, than what is happening at the Guaza junction, on the TF-1, where almost 100,000 vehicles circulate a day, with great congestion between seven and nine in the morning, when workers from the outskirts of Arona, and others coming from the southeast and the metropolitan area are beginning to arrive at what is considered to be the tourist area and, therefore, economic motor of the island. The soon start-up of the Oroteanda-Las Chafiras link will relieve these traffic jams and the completion of the third lane should put an end to them.

A report, which the Civil Guard Traffic division delivered to the Cabildo in 2018 to decongest the highways of Tenerife, proposed that heavy vehicles do not travel on Friday afternoons, and establish two Bus Vao, one on the TF-1 and another on the TF-5. That same report also details that only Madrid and Barcelona exceed the island in the total number of buses. In total vehicles, Tenerife has a density that is 3.5 times higher than the national average, the second after Pontevedra.

Monday, January 24, 2022

The resurrection of Nazareth: the Güímar dragon tree sprouts in the Buen Retiro

The drago of the Colegio Nazaret in Güímar

Back in July last year, it was announced that Tenerife had lost one of its most emblematic dragon trees (Dracaena draco), located in the patio of the Colegio Nazaret (today Colegio Santo Domingo) in Güímar. Said to be the third oldest, at around 150 years old, it had already been reported that it was sick and the prognosis in August was that it could not be transplanted due to biological problems and the damage caused by its collapse. 

However, it's being kept alive together with a "brother" in the 18th century mansion; the botanist who saved the Hermano Pedro tree has taken on its conservation.

"We can't celebrate yet, because it still hasn't taken well, but green shoots can be seen," says Mario Díaz, owner of the spectacular Buen Retiro, a mansion in Chacaica, Güímar, which was the residence of the family of Delgado-Trinidad, marquises of La Florida in the 18th century, referring to the centenary dragon tree (more than 130 years old) that he transplanted in August on his land after having collapsed in the courtyard of the Nazaret school (today Santo Domingo) just a hundred meters away. Although he remarks that he is not a Catholic, he does not mind that there is talk of a resurrection: a botanical resurrection.

It must be remembered that technicians from the Cabildo de Tenerife considered it impossible to recover the drago on August 19, a month after the collapse it suffered in the schoolyard. They explained that it could no longer be saved due to biological problems and the damage caused by the fall in July, according to the island councillor for Natural Environment Management and Security, Isabel García. So it was hopeless. It destiny was to dry up, which is the death of vegetation. The report compiled by the Cabildo stated that "transplanting a dragon tree with its root ball in good physiological condition is not the same as replanting a fallen dragon tree with serious pathologies and in an unfortunate state of conservation." “Even the possible rooting of its arms is also very limited, given that the branches lack aerial roots, the experts added in that opinion.

However, a week later, at the end of August, Mario Díaz received the donation by the nuns and placed it, thanks to a huge crane, near the main garden of the former Buen Retiro hotel, now converted into a music museum. Precisely with violin music, Mario received the dragon tree from Nazareth, convinced that music would make it grow. 

And even if it hasn't grown, at least it hasn't died.

"I don't want to get into controversy with the technicians of the Cabildo, I just tried to make an effort to save the drago and for now it has been worth the effort, although it is still early, because although it is seen that it has begun to sprout, it is still the same it is not well rooted," says Mario Díaz cautiously, who recounts that "at first I watered it, but I remembered that a botanist advised me not to." In addition, the co-owner of the Buen Retiro, together with his sister Elsa, -his family acquired it three decades ago from the nephews of the Marchioness of Florida- has taken care to receive advice from prominent botanists, such as Miguel Torres, who just two years ago saved the well-known tree (esquisúchil) that Brother Pedro planted in 1657 during his stay in Guatemala, in addition to contracting the company Biogarden for the maintenance of this Dracaena Draco whose seed is the same as specimens such as that Mario Díaz already had in his mansion: "They are contemporaries, it could be said that they were brothers," he highlights, recalling that his was planted by the Marchioness of La Florida before she died, without issue, in 1927.

Sunday, January 23, 2022

Festivity of San Antonio Abad in Los Silos

Image of San Antonio Abad in the Former Convent in Los Silos

The Fiestas of San Antonio Abad in Los Silos would normally include the Feria del Ganado y Artesanía (Livestock and Crafts Fair), but of course, once again, the pandemic is not allowing these busy, crowded events to go ahead. 

The only event mentioned by the town hall is a concert this evening by timple master, Domingo Rodríguez "El Colorao" in the former Bernadine convent of San Sebastián, however, it's advertised, necessarily, as being limited capacity.

So we can merely offer you some pictures from a now distant visit to this delightful festivities and a short video from the last ones to be held normally in 2020, to keep the memory alive and the hopes for a return to these wonderfully social events in future.

Saturday, January 22, 2022

There are three times as many dogs registered in Puerto de la Cruz than there are children


There is currently no general pet registry as the laws themselves indicate that it must exist in each of the municipalities, but in Puerto de la Cruz, it has been found that there are three times as many dogs registered in the municipality than there are children.

Puerto de la Cruz council signed an agreement with the veterinary college last week to improve the care of animals in the city, as reported by the council itself on social media. The Animal Welfare area, directed by Alberto Castilla, states that this agreement demonstrates the municipality's commitment to animal welfare and responsible pet ownership.

At the signing of the document that commits both parties, the Mayor Marco González and the Councillor for Community Well-being Flora Perera were also present, along with the President of the Canary Islands Veterinary Council and President of the Tenerife Veterinary College, María Luisa Fernández. The mayor wanted to value the effort of the area to continue taking essential steps to update the presence of animals in the municipality.

Sara Capelli, manager of the College of Veterinarians of Tenerife, considers “the involvement and encouragement on the part of the municipalities essential. Pets are, from now on, another part of the family, with their rights, which indicates that we must train the staff of the town halls, the police, the municipal technicians, etc., and instil in them that sensitivity is no longer a choice, but is reflected in the law. That changes everything." 

Friday, January 21, 2022

Cabildo awards contract for resurfacing Nelson Mandela Avenue, TF-211, in La Orotava


Maybe not the most enthralling news of the week - unless you're a civil engineer - but did you realise that La Orotava even has an Avenida Nelson Mandela (Nelson Mandela Avenue)? Wonder if there's a Casa Nelson Mandela, where El Chico Del lives?

The Governing Council of the Cabildo de Tenerife has awarded the contract for the resurfacing of Nelson Mandela Avenue, in the municipality of La Orotava. The deterioration that the busy TF-211 - which connects the TF-5 highway with the town - presents at this point with important cracks in the surface, potholes and peeling, requires immediate action.

Minister of Highways, Enrique Arriaga, points out that “the works have a budget of 381,120 euros and an execution period of three months. With them, he adds, "not only will the surface layer of the road be replaced, but the accessibility and safety of pedestrians will be improved with the conditioning of pedestrian crossings and the relocation of a bus stop."

Island Director of Highways, Tomás Félix García, explains that "the works include the improvement of the existing drainage". The zebra crossings will significantly improve road safety on this avenue through which an average of 21,000 vehicles circulate daily.

Thursday, January 20, 2022

Largest known snowfall on January 20, 1979

The largest known snowfall occurred on January 20, 1979

The second fortnight of January 1979 was a carousel of fronts and squalls from the west and southwest with intense rainfall in the archipelago. In the centre of Gran Canaria, in the Barranco del Gofio, Tejeda, a man was dragged by the floodwaters, causing his death. The Port of Los Cristianos in the south of Tenerife was totally destroyed by the storm. The town of Santa Cruz de Tenerife was flooded when the Santos ravine overflowed. 

The largest known snowfall occurred on January 20, 1979, on the summits of Tenerife, Gran Canaria, and La Palma. In Tenerife, above 1,000 m, reaching in some points up to 5 meters thick. In Izaña 957 l / m² accumulated, almost all in the form of snow. That month up to 15 days of snowfall were registered. 

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