Thursday, April 30, 2020

Comparsa Tropicana Infantil 2020

Comparsa Tropicana Infantil 2020

The comparsa groups epitomise the spirit of carnival with all they impart in their 'colour, joy and rhythm [...] with exuberant costumes and sonorous drums.' Comparsa Tropicana Infantil, despite the name, took part at the adult Comparsas Contest in 2020.

There will be no Carnival in Santa Cruz de Tenerife in 2021, although the City Council is working with the Carnival groups in the design of some activities that can maintain the spirit of the festivities during the weeks in which it should have been celebrated

Tropicana Infantil | Comparsas Adultas | S/C Tenerife 2020

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

An invitation to a "Virtual Country Dance"

Baile de Magos in Santa Cruz de Tenerife in the before times

Whilst we list the Romerías in Tenerife as those usually take place in the streets, are free to attend and everyone is welcome (you'll probably be offered food and wine too), we don't bother to include any of the Baile de Magos (Peasants' or Country Dances) in our listings, because they're generally invitation or ticket only and have a very strict Canarian traditional dress code - those, generally bespoke, costumes cost an awful lot of money too.

However, in a potential positive to come out of the COVID-19 situation, I can see no reason why we cannot all join in with the "Virtual Country Dance" taking place from people's homes on Saturday 2 May to celebrate the Fiestas de Mayo in Santa Cruz de Tenerife.

We'll just have to trust you on the traditional costume, the video below will provide the music, make yourself some typical Canarian food, accompanied by a good wine, and you'll be ready to join this traditional Canarian knees-up from your house too.

Baile de Magos in Santa Cruz de Tenerife 2019

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Santa Cruz de Tenerife to celebrate the Fiestas de Mayo from the balconies

Balcony decorating contest for the Fiestas de Mayo

Not to be detered by the COVID-19 crisis, the people of Santa Cruz de Tenerife will still celebrate their traditional Fiestas de Mayo (May Fiestas), from their homes

[UPDATE: See the winners of the best decorated balcony and recycled crosses]

Best decorated balcony, recycled crosses and children's drawings are the three contests that the Santa Cruz City Council are promoting to celebrate atypical May Holidays. And, although the state of alarm has canceled any type of celebration, the City Council, through the Concejalía de Fiestas (Department of Parties) [We love this machine translation and think that everywhere should have just such a department!], doesn't want to miss out on the celebrations entirely, even if they are only from  balconies and windows, explained mayor, Patricia Hernández. The contests will take place between April 30 and May 3.

Whilst the contests are for residents of Santa Cruz, you could participate, decorating your home or making crosses, wherever you are. Finally a use for that embroidered tablecloth and Canarian balcony decoration you brought back from your last visit, or something you can make from the inners of all those toilet rolls you bought in a panic! :)

Santa Cruz celebrará las Fiestas de Mayo desde los balcones

Contest of May Crosses made from recycleable materials

Monday, April 27, 2020

Fiestas: collateral damage of the virus

Bajada de la Virgen de El Soccoro in 2018 RelinoticiasTenerife2019 / CC BY-SA

Arona, Granadilla, Guía de Isora, Santiago del Teide and Vilaflor have now cancelled all their festive events throughout the summer; other municipalities are waiting to see what the government dictates

The Covid-19 coronavirus health crisis is leaving and will still leave a dramatic trail of deaths in the world, in Spain and in the Canary Islands. Knowing that there is no date or limit to defeat the bug, its collateral damage will be devastating for our society, for our way of life and for the economy in which we sustain ourselves. We know there will be damage in all economic sectors, with tourism as their epicenter, but there is also a huge damage in the leisure and culture sector, with the suspension of countless events scheduled from now and throughout the summer, of the different festivities in towns and neighborhoods.

In the South, Arona and Granadilla have been the first to suspend all scheduled festivities until the end of August or September. Others are waiting for the evolution of the pandemic and the directives of the state government to make a decision.

Arona Council, along with the party commissions of all the nuclei, announced on Wednesday the suspension of all recreational and leisure activities, at least until the end of September, whatever the evolution of the state of alarm decreed by the State Government. This measure is adopted, both due to the organizational difficulties that such a situation entails, as well as the need to guarantee the health of all citizens as much as possible.

Among the festivities cancelled in Arona are the following: Festivities in honor of Our Lady of Fatima in Valle San Lorenzo and La Sabinita, Divina Pastora in La Camella, Baile de Magos for Día de Canarias (Canary Islands Day in May), Corpus Christi (June), Night of San Juan (23 June), Santa Isabel de Portugal in El Fraile, Nuestra Señora de la Paz in Buzanada (July), Fiestas del Carmen in Las Galletas and Guargacho (July), San Lorenzo Mártir in Valle San Lorenzo, San Casiano in Las Galletas, Santa Teresa de Jornet in Túnez (August), Virgen del Carmen in Los Cristianos, San Francisco de Asís in Palm Mar, Santa Teresita del Niño Jesús in Parque La Reina and the patron saint festivities in honor of Cristo de la Salud in Arona (September).

In Granadilla de Abona, the decision was made to suspend all festive and cultural activities until the end of August, leaving the liturgical celebrations in the hands of the Bishopric. In addition to all the festivals of the different neighborhoods, the XV Ruta Hermano Pedro, scheduled for this month, as well as the Sansofé 2020 summer cultural and leisure festival are cancelled, leaving the Plaza de El Médano in silence all summer.

The same silence will fall in Alcalá and Playa de San Juan this summer, where there will be no fireworks this year, no embarcation nor open air dances. Guía de Isora has also cancelled all festive and cultural events scheduled between now and October, as well as all concerts and mass events. Mayor of Santiago del Teide, Emilio Navarro, has already made the official announcement that the festivities in the municipality are currently suspended until the end of August. The festivities of San Juan and El Carmen, in Puerto Santiago will not go ahead; nor Santiago Apóstol and San Pedro, in the town of Santiago del Teide; Santa Ana, in Tamaimo nor the Fiestas de Candelaria, in Arguayo. In Vilaflor, the highest town in the Canary Islands, the decision has been taken is to suspend all the festivities scheduled for the remainder of the year, almost all of them in summer.

Arico is spending all of it's fiestas budget on on social causes and at present is distributing boxes of basic foodstuffs to around 300 families in the district. They expect this to increase as the crisis advances.


Other southern municipalities have not rushed to cancel events, at least so far, although they are aware that they will have to, in anticipation of government decrees.

Airam Puerta, mayor of Güímar, has already said it is doubtful that there will be festivals of San Pedro this year (June-July) and also fears for the of the popular Bajada de El Socorro (September 7, insular holiday this year).

No suspension measures have been taken in Candelaria yet, with the Fiestas del Carmen and Santa Ana (July) and those of the Patron Saint of the Canary Islands pending, where on the two days, August 14 and 15, almost 200,000 pilgrims usually congregate. Candelaria's mayor, Mari Brito, president of the Federación Canaria de Municipios (FECAM) (Federation of Canary Islands' Municipalities), already knows that the Government of the Canary Islands has advised municipalities to invest the money destined for the fiestas in the social emergency instead.

And in Arafo, the government's decision to announce the suspensions is awaited, while Adeje has cancelled three-quarters of them.

Fiestas: otros daños colaterales del virus

Friday, April 24, 2020

Celebrate the Romería en los balcones (Pilgrimage on the balconies) this Sunday

Romería on the balconies in Tegueste this Sunday

The Town Council in Tegueste is encouraging residents to dress up in traditional costume, decorate their balconies, terraces, roofs or windows and raise a glass to San Marcos Evangelista (St. Mark the Evangelist) this Sunday

Tegueste had planned to celebrate, this Sunday, April 26, the LII (52nd) edition of its traditional and emblematic Romería de San Marcos Evangelista. However, in March, the council decided to suspend the events planned for these festivities, in view of the fact that the confinement measures for the coronavirus would continue.

With a new date yet to be defined, the council has proposed a different celebration that they have called 'Pilgrimage on the balconies'. Thus, as reported through their Twitter account, the council encourages "all residents to decorate their balcony and dress up in traditional costume this Sunday, at 12.00, to celebrate this important event together."

We don't see why this needs to be restricted just to Tegueste, or Tenerife for that matter, so wherever you are, prepare your glass of wine and your favourite tapa, "and toast with everyone on your street" for the festivities of San Marcos Evangelista!

(You may wish to omit the floats and ox carts if space is limited!)

Tegueste se va este domingo de romería por los balcones

People enjoying the Romería de Tegueste in other times MOISÉS PÉREZ / CC BY-SA

Online Mass April 25

Likewise, the Consistory also reported that on Saturday, April 25, the traditional mass for San Marcos Evangelista will be broadcast live, starting at 12 noon, through the social networks of the Town Council, as well as on Canal Cuatro TV.

Romeria San Marcos Evangelista Tegueste Tenerife 2019

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Candidate for Junior Carnival Queen 2020

Candidate for Junior Carnival Queen Larissay Beatriz Catarine Aguiar

The focus usually is on the winners, but we want to show you all the candidates for the carnival queens in Santa Cruz in 2020, who all deserve recognition for taking part.

There will be no Carnival in Santa Cruz de Tenerife in 2021, although the City Council is working with the Carnival groups in the design of some activities that can maintain the spirit of the festivities during the weeks in which it should have been celebrated

Larissay Beatriz Catarine Aguiar | Gala Reina Infantil | S/C Tenerife 2020

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Huevos a la inglesa (English-style Eggs)

Huevos a la inglesa (English-style Eggs)

We've had Arroz a la Cubana (Cuban Rice) the famous Canarian dish that no Cuban seems to have heard of and now, we present Huevos a la inglesa (English-style Eggs). Well, "eggs as cooked by an English girl", would be a more full and accurate translation. If you're an English girl, have you ever heard of this? No, me neither. Curious, isn't it?

"English-style eggs take us into history", we are told. And indeed, we do "all know that Francis Drake, Hawkins and Nelson, among others, could not conquer this archipelago of Malvasías wines - so praised by William Shakespeare. In reality, the English always wanted to dominate the Canary Islands, but they failed in their attempt." [Until tourism, perhaps.]

Then we're told that this is "a very typical dish in Santa Cruz de Tenerife." The Los Troncos restaurant apparently have a classic, flagship, recipe. Likewise, in Malela, where they make it with their own variations. This dish consists of hard-boiled eggs stuffed with mayonnaise (tuna optional), accompanied by some fries and topped with a good tomato sauce. Finally, sprinkle with the hard-boiled egg yolk." "Can you imagine Nelson and his mates strolling through the streets of Santa Cruz ordering eggs a la inglesa with beer in hand?"

No we can't really and there's nothing whatsoever in the history that connects these things, nor explains why the dish became so named. Because it's easy? Because it's basically chips and egg smothered in tomato ketchup? That would be stereotyping on steroids!

The recipe is very simple though.

First, for the stuffed eggs.

- 6 hard-boiled eggs (cooked).
- 150 gms. canned tuna.
- 1 small onion, finely chopped.
- mayonnaise

Cut the eggs in two halves and separate the yolks. Shred the tuna, mix with the onion and add half the egg yolks and mix everything with the mayonnaise to taste. Fill the twelve portions of eggs with the mixture.

Second, for the tomato sauce.

- 1 kilo of ripe tomatoes.
- 1 onion.
- 2 cloves of garlic.
- Salt.
- Sugar.

We start by frying the garlic, chop the onion and put it on to sauté slowly, until it begins to change its color; add the chopped tomatoes and cook very slowly. Add salt and sugar, both to taste. Simmer for about 30 minutes. Strain the sauce.

Serve the stuffed hard-boiled eggs, accompanied by some fries and covered with the tomato sauce. Finally, sprinkle with the remaining hard-boiled egg yolk.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Quarantine multiplies number of companies offering home delivery service in Arona

Companies with a home delivery service

Arona Council has made a directory of small and medium-sized companies in the municipality that have set up a home delivery service. You can download it from this page or direct here. The directory covers a range of services including supermarkets and food deliveries, office supplies, a hardware store and even a skateshop. Areas covered include Los Cristianos, Las Galletas, El Palmar, Playa de las Américas, La Camella, Valle San Lorenzo, Buzanada, Costa del Silencio and Arona Town. No guarantee of English being spoken, but hopefully the list will be a starting point for getting help if you need it and, of course, this initiative helps support these smaller, local companies at this time.

This page also has a questionaire [Spanish only] to fill in if your business is in the Arona district, you offer a home delivery service and wish to be included in the directory.

El confinamiento multiplica las empresas con servicio de reparto a domicilio en Arona

Monday, April 20, 2020

Mayor of Adeje hopes that tourism reaches cruising speed before the end of the year

Aerial view of hotels in Costa Adeje and the marina. Wouter Hagens / CC BY-SA

After 33 years as mayor, José Miguel Rodríguez Fraga faces the most delicate situation in his nine terms in the main tourist center of the Canary Islands

With "tourist zero" that has emptied the 58 hotels in his municipality overnight, destroyed 3,360 jobs in a month and has caused almost 13,000 employees to be affected by ERTE (furlough), the economic hurricane of the pandemic has hit with all its force on the "engine room" of the economy on the island of Tenerife. José Miguel Rodríguez Fraga cannot stop going over what will happen the day after the quarantine is lifted, aware that "if the tourism engine does not start, the island economy will go to hell." Despite everything though, he retains his optimism. “The Canaries have historically known how to respond to critical situations. It will cost us a lot, but we will get ahead,” he predicts.

-More than a month after the state of alarm was declared, we are experiencing a kind of feeling of unreality; How do you keep quarantine on a personal and family level?

"Like the rest of the families, with strangeness, trying take advantage of the time reading, organising papers, cabinets ... but, above all, thinking about how to start turning all this around the day after."

-The first Covid-19 outbreak in Tenerife occurred in a hotel in your municipality. A litmus test, which aroused the interest of half the world and isolated 900 people. How far have we come ...

“In just two months, what seemed like a catastrophe to us then has become an anecdote. Looking back, it was a wise move. It could have been terrible and we controlled the focus.”

-What goes through your head when you see images of closed hotels, beaches and empty promenades and the shutters lowered on the shops?

“A feeling of sadness, it is devastating. Accustomed to seeing these tourist areas full of life, movement and activity, it has a great impact ”.

-There is some hopeful news within the tragedy we are experiencing, tour operators such as TUI and Jet 2 have reservations for this summer, although everything will depend on the evolution of the pandemic.

“Yes, there are some tour operators with packages up and running. I am optimistic and I think we will succeed. It will cost us, we will have to review some actions, maintain absolute unity of action and work jointly with the administrations and the private sector. That is going to have to be the way.”

-You preside over the Association of Tourist Municipalities of the Canary Islands. How do you expect the revival of the sector to be?

“The hope we have is that before the end of the year we will start to reach cruising speed. In any case, it is necessary to be very prudent, the uncertainty on the public health subject is very great, because we still do not know how the virus is going to evolve ”.

-The possibility has been discussed that the Canary Islands may advance unconfinement in some islands. What do you think of that possibility?

"I do not want to be a laboratory with health, because if it turns out, great, as it happened with the hotel, but I preferred to make a mistake by closing it rather than leaving it open. We have to be very careful.”

-Last week began a round of contacts with economic and social agents. What is their message?

“We have met with Ashotel, CEST, the board of directors of the Association of Tourist Municipalities of the Canary Islands and with the spokespersons of the opposition. This week we will sit down with the representatives of small and medium-sized companies and with the unions to continue looking for solutions and we are going to ask for a meeting with the President of the Government of the Canary Islands and the Minister of Tourism. We have also requested an interview with the minister. We are all concerned, but with a positive attitude. Of course, the social emergency must be attended to and to help the families that are having the worst of it, but it is very important to create jobs and move economic activity so that the machine can get going again. ”

-And how is this to be achieved: to restart the Canary Islands economy?

"Tourism we have to recover as soon as possible. The problem is that it does not depend only on us, also on the markets of the countries of origin, which are in a similar situation to ours. We have to work hard on promotion, highlighting that we are a safe destination; that we know how to act and react. That will reposition us in the new scenario. It is also necessary to promote internal initiatives and work with national as well as international institutions. At the local level we are preparing employment plans and training needs to be reinforced. ”

-Can the Canary Islands Government, Ashotel, unions and municipalities work together?

"There is no other way. I detect that there is a will for coordinated and joint work. We are all aware that if tourism is not fixed, the economy is not fixed. ”

-What lesson do you think we will learn from this health and economic crisis?

“Many things, starting with the hierarchy of values. Two or three months ago, what was a mask? Something unimportant. Now it's a great international protagonist. I mean that on a human level we begin to give importance to small things, and that we are weaker and more vulnerable than we think. This crisis has opened our eyes to our interdependence. And economically we have to learn that situations like this are not going to be so anecdotal in the future. I trust that we will come out of this process more humanized and with a greater capacity for prevention. We heard about the pandemics and we associated them with Africa, it seemed that it was not going to affect us. We have not really known the meaning of the word globalization until now. ”

-Your municipality, which has always been among those that generate the most jobs, suffers first-hand the consequences of the drying up of tourism: more than 3,200 became unemployed in March, 12,000 people affected by an ERTE (furlough), almost 3,500 companies closed and 58 empty hotels. The outlook cannot be more devastating ...

“We have led the job creation rankings and now it is logical that we are the most affected by the fall in employment after an absolutely unthinkable 'tourist zero'. The important thing is to recover economic activity to start reversing the crisis, but that will depend on the public health situation. I am also very concerned about small and medium-sized companies. Many entrepreneurs were starting their businesses and suddenly they have had the rug pulled from under their feet. ”

-The Council has announced an employment plan as one of the shock measures it will implement. What can you tell us?

"We want to link part of that job to training, that is, jobs that not only solve a specific problem, but also think about the future. We are also preparing for the plans to come, because it will have to be this way, both for the Canary Islands government and for the central government. Generating projects and initiatives to cushion the economic crisis is a priority.”

-How do you assess the management of this unprecedented crisis by the regional and state governments?

“They are responding as they can, because this is a situation with enormous difficulties. What started out as a flu, look where it has taken us. It took us all by surprise and that is also a learning experience. Both the Canary and Spanish governments are responding as best they can. The political panorama is not so encouraging.

-What do you mean?

"That we continue stuck in the same debate as six months ago, as if this misfortune had not occurred. I hear the people of the PP making senseless opposition. Of course, they have to control the government, because we are in a democracy, but the situation and citizenship require a higher level of vision and a greater sense of state. ”

-You, like many other mayors, insist that the municipalities can make use of the municipal surpluses accumulated in recent years. Do you really think it will be achieved?

“We have already met the initial objectives of getting out of debt. That money is in the bank and what we are asking for is to be able to spend it on employment-generating policies, on attention to vulnerable groups, on promoting public works ... in short, moving the economy. And on top of that we are paying the banks to save us the money! With a million euros we solve the employment problem for 100 families in the municipality ”.

-Does this situation remind you of the 2008 crisis?

“It is of a different nature. That was an economic crisis, this is a health crisis, although with tremendous economic consequences. Let's not forget that the tourism sector responded quite well then and in fact we lived the best years of tourism in the Canary Islands. Now we are in tourist zero. The impact will be much stronger and the exit will be more complicated, because among other things, our visitor source markets are in more or less the same situation. ”

-Is there to be a Marshall Plan with the Canary Islands by the state government?

“There must be some of that and, of course, Europe also has to respond. This cannot be resolved in financial and banking terms. It is time for solidarity, but for all, and to consolidate the European project ... or to sink it. Because if Europe is not capable of responding to the current situation, it seems to me that the common project will be very difficult ”.

-Finally, what message do you send to your neighbors?

“A message of hope. The Adeje, Tenerife and Canaries have historically managed to respond to critical situations and we will also be able to leave this pandemic behind us. It will cost us a lot, but we will be up to it. The amount of solidarity that has been displayed is impressive and I am very proud to be part of this people, their behavior, their attitude, their responsibility and their ability to take on an unprecedented situation. ”

Fraga: “Nuestra esperanza es que el turismo alcance la velocidad de crucero antes de final de año”

Friday, April 17, 2020

Tenerife Symphony Orchestra offers second online concert during COVID-19 quarantine

Tenerife Symphony Orchestra, in other times, outside the Auditorio de Tenerife

The Tenerife Symphony Orchestra, is to offer this Friday, April 17, its second online concert during the quarantine. It will consist of three prerecorded works: Benjamin Britten's “Fanfare for St. Edmundsbury,” performed by the trumpet section; The variations composed by Ludwig van Beethoven on “La ci darem la mano” by Don Giovanni de W.A. Mozart ”, by the oboe section; and, “Our Mission from Tenerife to the world” The Mission (Gabriel’s oboe) by Ennio Morricone, which will be performed by the strings and percussion sections, with the participation of Tamsin Cadman (oboe) and Casandra Van Rodríguez.

The concert will start at 7:30 p.m., and can be seen through the Facebook and Instagram pages of the Sinfónica de Tenerife.

The first concert by the Tenerife Symphony Orchestra on social networks occurred on April 3 and featured works by Tschaikovsy, Séverac and Beethoven, prerecorded by the musicians from their homes.

La Orquesta Sinfónica de Tenerife ofrecerá este viernes su segundo concierto online

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Candidate for Carnival Queen in 2020

Carolina Barroso Pérez

The focus usually is on the winners, but we want to show you all the candidates for the carnival queens in Santa Cruz in 2020, who all deserve recognition for taking part. This candidate is Carolina Barroso Pérez in a costume entitled, "La bruja de Portobello" (The Witch of Portobello), designed by Alfonso Baute, representing Grupo Fedola.

There will be no Carnival in Santa Cruz de Tenerife in 2021, although the City Council is working with the Carnival groups in the design of some activities that can maintain the spirit of the festivities during the weeks in which it should have been celebrated

Carolina Barroso Pérez | Gala Reina del Carnaval | S/C Tenerife 2020

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Carnivals of the World: Notting Hill Carnival

Colourful costumes at Notting Hill Carnival 2018

The theme of carnival in Santa Cruz de Tenerife for 2021 was announced as 'Carnivals of the World', so while we're waiting with baited breath to see if the world returns to any sort of normality by then for it to take place as planned, I thought we could see some pretty pictures and learn a little about some of those other carnivals of the world.

Notting Hill Carnival now claims to be the largest in Europe, although it will probably have to review that claim now that the UK isn't in Europe, with VisitLondon saying, "Expect to see some 50,000 performers in the parade and more than 30 sound systems, with more than one million people attending over the carnival weekend." These are probably a similar numbers to those of Santa Cruz Carnival over the ten days of carnival in the streets.

A Caribbean Carnival influenced predominently from the carnival in Trinidad, Notting Hill is not like all the others in that it takes place in August, rather than in the pre-lenten carnival period. This year's Notting Hill Carnival is yet to take place, scheduled for 30 and 31 August and organisers are 'hopeful' that situation will improve to enable it to go ahead.

UPDATE: Notting Hill Carnival cancelled due to Covid-19
The other striking difference, is in the policing at Notting Hill. Whilst the safety and emergency personnel who worked during the Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife in 2019comprised of almost 1,500 people (2020's numbers were equal), 13,020 police were deployed in Notting Hill in 2018, for only double the number of carnival-goers. We felt that the number of police in Santa Cruz was appropriate: enough to make you feel safe, not so many as to make you feel that they were there to stop you having a good time.

Image: David Sedlecký / CC BY-SA

Notting Hill Caribbean Carnival 2019 Grand Finale

There will be no Carnival in Santa Cruz de Tenerife in 2021, although the City Council is working with the Carnival groups in the design of some activities that can maintain the spirit of the festivities during the weeks in which it should have been celebrated

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Tenerife corporation reminds residents of the obligation to clean the perimeter of rural houses of vegetation and rubble

A rural house in Tenerife

The Minister of Natural Environment indicates that "it is mandatory that the 15 meters around the houses must be free of dry brush and vegetation to avoid fires"

As temperatures rise and forest fire risk season begins, the Cabildo de Tenerife (Tenerife Island Corporation), through the Area of ​​Management of the Natural Environment and Security directed by  Counselor Isabel García, calls upon citizens residing in rural and forest areas to take advantage of these days of confinement in their homes to carry out maintenance in landscaped areas and surrounding land to prevent fires.

García reminds residents that “they have a legal obligation to keep the land free of all kinds of waste, scrub and dry vegetation. In the case of forest areas, the obligation translates into keeping a strip of 15 meters around the homes clean, and for this reason we ask the citizens to collaborate in order to reduce the possibilities arising from the existence of these materials ”, in addition, the counselor urges the different municipalities to ensure that this preventive care is carried out in their districts.

Isabel García clarifies that “it is not just a matter of cutting down all the trees but of avoiding the accumulation of dry or uncontrolled vegetation, and of any residues that favor the spread of fire, which can affect the homes themselves. This situation was already experienced just a few weeks ago, when the Canary Islands were subjected to extreme conditions of wind, dryness and haze. The result was what we all know: we suffered several simultaneous fires in inhabited areas close to rural areas, generating significant damage that will take a long time to repair. ”

The counselor also assured that "it is important to have fire insurance policies, but that in these cases the best insurance is to keep the surroundings of the houses free of debris and brush. You have to be very careful with the reed beds, which burn very easily, and also with the brambles that tend to abound around boundaries of plots. ”

Another aspect on which special care must be taken, said the counselor, "is contact of trees with power lines, which can end up generating sparks". Isabel García encourages citizens to monitor this and, if they detect any case, call the electricity distribution company to prune or cut the tree, as is their duty, or the City Council, if it is public lighting.

Lastly, the counselor took the opportunity to remind the population that it is a good opportunity to “collaborate and contribute to the health of our natural ecosystems, eliminating invasive exotic flora species from gardens and orchards, such as cattail or Pampas grass. "These species," she warns, "are in our gardens today, but tomorrow they may have spread to the natural environment, causing irreversible damage," she concluded.

El Cabildo de Tenerife recuerda la obligación de limpiar de rastrojos el perímetro de las viviendas rurales

Monday, April 13, 2020

Darwin's orchid flowers for the first time in the Canary Islands at Güímar in Tenerife

 The Darwin's Orchid from our Tropicarium has surprised us with a spectacular second flower.

Some positive news amongst the immense health and social drama that we are experiencing is the drastic reduction of pollution in our air and in our skies and, thanks to this atmospheric cleaning, the botanical miracle we have encountered today.

For the first time in the Canary Islands, a species considered endangered: Darwin's orchid (Angraecum sesquipedale) has flowered at the Botanical Garden of the Pirámides de Güímar complex, in Tenerife.

Florece por primera vez en Canarias la orquídea de Darwin

Florece por primera vez en Canarias, una Orquídea de Darwin

This orchid, native to Madagascar, is an example of co-evolution. It has a 30 cm spur, with an attractive nectar. When he was first introduced to the orchid, the prestigious scientist predicted that there should be a moth that would have a proboscis of equal size. As in Nature everything has its explanation, 42 years later the moth "Xanthopan morganii praedicta" was described, thus confirming Darwin's prediction.

Sunday, April 12, 2020

How one municipality in the north of Tenerife is dealing with the Coronavirus crisis

Iglesia de San Juan Bautista (Church of St John the Baptist) in San Juan de la Rambla

"This crisis has served to make an accurate social map of the municipality." The mayor of San Juan de la Rambla (population ~5,000) put the school kitchens to work to bring food to the neediest families 48 hours after the State of Alarm was decreed

The mayor of San Juan de la Rambla, Fidela Velázquez, is clear that this health crisis is serving to provide an accurate map of the social situation and needs in her municipality and just 48 hours after the State of Alarm was declared, the school kitchens were put into operation to help people, with various problems, who need support at this time.

This 'Meals on Wheels' project has an approximate cost of 10,000 euros per month, with which they are distributing around 60 meals a day, and is supported by councilors taking a reduction in salaries of 15%. It is also serving to give an outlet to the agricultural production of San Juan de la Rambla now that the farmers' market in La Guancha is closed.

"It is a project that has also allowed us to create a solidarity network and neighborhood bond that makes us happy. We know exactly where the vulnerability of our municipality is and we can better combat it," says the mayor. Fidela Velázquez warns that "times of change are coming and we should balance the island's economy, see how this precarious situation has affected us and learn that we cannot depend solely on tourism."

The mayor also referred to the 'Secret Mission' that the children of the municipality have been commissioned with, "who are being very brave and are experiencing having to live with 'NO'", where every afternoon they have to show off their t-shirts with a rainbow design, 'so that the superheroes gather strength to eliminate the coronavirus.'

Tablets have also been distributed to various children in the district, because there were about 40 families with primary school students who do not have a computer or Wi-Fi at home and therefore had not been able to connect to follow their classes: "Starting this Monday they will have this possibility. We are also going to put together a support group with the staff of the toy libraries that are now closed," concludes Velázquez.

Fidela Velázquez: "Esta crisis ha servido para hacer un mapa social exacto del municipio"

TENERIFE : San Juan de la Rambla

Image: Paweł 'pbm' Szubert / CC BY-SA

Friday, April 10, 2020

Easter in Tenerife: Pascua Florida in Guía de Isora, Passion of Christ in Adeje and Procesión Magna in La Laguna

Exhibit at the Pascua Florida in Guía de Isora

"In view of the current situation and the forecasts of the Spanish Government relating to COVID-19, the Bishop has established that the PROCESSIONS AND OTHER PUBLIC DEVOTIONAL ACTS of Holy Week are SUSPENDED."

So the best I can offer you is a look back at the Easter events from last year and the hope that they will be able to go ahead again next. These are the three most famous.

Pascua Florida in Guía de Isora

Usually taking place over the four days from Holy Thursday to Easter Sunday, inclusive, the Pascua Florida, is the unique and increasingly famous (as well as beautiful) Easter floral festival, held in the oldest, central part of Guía de Isora town.

Pascua Florida - Guía de Isora 2019

Passion of Christ in Adeje

On Viernes Santo (Good Friday), the biggest event normally is the Representación de la Pasión (Representation of the Passion of Jesus) or Via Crucis (Stations of the Cross or the Way of the Cross) that usually takes place in Adeje, with a cast of hundreds.

This year, Adeje has cancelled the events of Holy week, including the Passion Play.

Representación de la Pasión Adeje 2019

Holy Week in La Laguna

The Procession Magna and the Procesión del Silencio (silent procession), normally take place on Good Friday as the climax of Holy Week in La Laguna

Procesión Magna de La Laguna 2019

Holy Week in Tenerife - Passion and Tradition

Thursday, April 09, 2020

Candidate for Senior Carnival Queen 2020

Candidate for Senior Carnival Queen 2020: María Cristina Santana González

The focus usually is on the winners, but we want to show you all the candidates for the carnival queens in Santa Cruz in 2020, who all deserve recognition for taking part.

There will be no Carnival in Santa Cruz de Tenerife in 2021, although the City Council is working with the Carnival groups in the design of some activities that can maintain the spirit of the festivities during the weeks in which it should have been celebrated

María Cristina Santana González | Gala de Elección de la Reina | S/C Tenerife 2020

Wednesday, April 08, 2020

The cholera epidemic of 1893 in Santa Cruz

The Lazareto in Santa Cruz de Tenerife that was used as a hospital

In the autumn of 1893, alarming news arrived of the existence of a cholera epidemic in the Spanish peninsula and europe, which would lead to the application of preventive measures in the port of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, forcing ships from infected ports into quarantine.

Thus, when the Italian steamship Remo, with infected patients on board, arrived on September 29 that year, it was diverted into quarantine in the Lazareto (a quarantine station for maritime travellers), in the Los Llanos neighborhood of Santa Cruz, where it was anchored, isolated and guarded. The ship had sailed from Rio Grande to Genoa and carried 60 passengers in first class and 900 in third. (It is reported that, in 1893, the ship suffered 96 deaths from cholera and diphtheria, and was rejected by Brazil.)

But the recklessness of some in violating the quarantine rules would cause that, on October 11, the first cases of cholera occurred in Santa Cruz de Tenerife and that days later the city would face an epidemic that would affect hundreds of homes.

Juan Bethencourt Alfonso (1847-1913)
Canarian doctor, historian, teacher,
journalist and anthropologist who
was born in San Miguel de Abona
Quickly, the rest of the islands and the towns of the interior were cut off from Santa Cruz. Pitchforks were placed on the security cordons to execute those who violated the ban. The panic was so great that the residents of Güímar erected a dry stone wall on the road to cut off the path, although it was of no use to them since the epidemic spread to Arona, Vilaflor, La Zarza, etc. In these towns, the work carried out by Dr. Juan Bethencourt Alfonso was immeasurable, as he was rendering his services alone. After the first moments of stupor were over, the people's reaction was immediate and, far from falling prey to discouragement, residents took to the streets to help the authorities as much as they could.

Health, subsistence and charity commissions were formed. In the Health Department, doctors Diego Costa, Juan Febles, Diego Guigou, Ángel María Izquierdo, Eduardo Domínguez and Agustín Pisaca, while publishing instructions and recommendations to the population, would install isolation hospitals in the hermitages of San Telmo, Regla and Sebastián, with the collaboration of the municipal guards, who delivered the lime to disinfect houses, citadels and latrines, selfless work that some paid for with their lives. Doctor Pisaca, as a hygienist doctor in the city, organized the entire health service and assisted more than 3,000 patients at his home, reducing mortality from 17% to 3%.

The subsistence sector opened public subscriptions for the most urgent cases, reaching 65,000 pesetas, with which it was able to distribute clothing and food and, the charity established kitchens in the hermitage of San Telmo and in Calle del Pilar to serve those most in need.

Due to the state of incommunicado, charcoal, essential to heat food, and ice, necessary for the relief of those affected, began to become scarce. These deficiencies were solved with the mineral coal ceded by the shipping agent, Hamilton, and the ice donated by ships in the port, and sent by La Orotava City Council, brought from the Teide ice fields.

The neighbourhood of El Cabo in Santa Cruz de Tenerife in 1869. Public domain. Photo taken from the Church of the Conception, on the right the iron bridge, opposite the old hospital building, on the left above the hermitage of San Telmo and the arches in the background the barracks of San Carlos.

The disease especially affected the most depressed areas of the population, especially the towns of San Andrés and Igueste, and the neighborhoods of Los Llanos, El Cabo and El Toscal, being felt especially in the streets of Humo, San Carlos, San Sebastián, San Juan Bautista, Ferrer, San Antonio, San Martín and Oriente. As the death toll had been very high on this last street, the Municipal Plenary on January 4, 1894, at the request of the parish priest of San Francisco, Santiago Beyro, agreed to change the name of Oriente street to Señor de las Tribulaciones (Lord of the Tribulations) because, according to popular tradition, the spread of the disease stopped in this place shortly after the icon had passed through the streets of the neighborhood. On January 14, the icon would be taken again in a solemn procession, from the church of San Francisco to the Toscal neighborhood, a celebration that is repeated every Easter.

On January 4, 1894, after three distressing months, the Official Gazette published the news that the choleric epidemic had ended, and declared the province of Santa Cruz de Tenerife “clean”. Classes were resumed in schools.

As a sign of joy, the bells rang, there was music in the streets, rockets were fired, and hangings of flags were placed on public buildings; but while this was happening, a caravan of women, men, and children from the town of San Andrés crossed the city on a pilgrimage to the Christ of La Laguna, to fulfill the promise they had made to him.

At the solemn funeral for the souls of the deceased, officiated by the bishop in the church of La Concepción, attended by all the authorities, the Santa Cecilia Philharmonic Society orchestra performed a solemn Te Deum, the work of maestro Juan Padrón, sung by the artists of the lyrical company that performed in the Municipal Theater.

Out of a population of 19,722 inhabitants, 1,744 contracted cholera, of whom 382 died; of these, 40 were from San Andrés, where a new cemetery had to be made.

When the epidemic was declared extinguished, and the national press echoed the evidence of self-denial and heroism demonstrated by the inhabitants of Santa Cruz, a newspaper said “… that the behavior of the municipality, doctors and neighborhood had bordered on heroism, and if it were possible to reward so many virtues, there would not be enough crosses and commissions for each of those deserving them, so it was necessary to invent a formula that would perpetuate the brilliant behavior of a people with all their hearts ... " While a local newspaper published "that the municipal corporation had managed in a few days to turn the old Lazaretto into an epidemic hospital, of the best of its kind, despite the few resources it had."

The Plaza de La Candelaria in Santa Cruz de Tenerife in 1890

These circumstances would be officially recognized on April 23, 1894, when the Council of Ministers granted Santa Cruz the title of Very Beneficial, with the First Class Cross of the Civil Order of Charity, with an award and ribbon. At the festivities of May of that year 1894, also the 400th Anniversary of the Foundation of the City, it was commemorated, with a most solemn event held in the Plaza de La Candelaria, with the presence of the Municipal Corporation, when the civil governor read the Royal Decree by which Santa Cruz was granted the title of Very Beneficial, signed by Queen Regent María Cristina de Austria, mother of Alfonso XIII, while the bishop blessed the Cross First Class of the Civil Order of Charity, the civil governor placed it on the Banner.

After the epidemic ended, doctors in Santa Cruz organized a banquet-tribute to all the authorities, in recognition of the collaboration and support they had received, although from the testimonies that we have verified, the celebration could have been the other way around, since the dedication and behavior of doctors Diego Costa, Juan Febles, Diego Guigou, Ángel María Izquierdo, Eduardo Dominguez and Agustín Pisaca was exceptional, alleviating the suffering of the needy without the most basic means.

* Official chronicler of Santa Cruz de Tenerife

La epidemia de cólera de 1893 en Santa Cruz de Tenerife

Image]V[orlock Zernebock Some rights reserved

Thursday, April 02, 2020

Candidate for Junior Carnival Queen 2020

Candidate for Junior Carnival Queen Valentina Alejandra Pérez Osorio

The focus usually is on the winners, but we want to show you all the candidates for the carnival queens in Santa Cruz in 2020, who all deserve recognition for taking part.

There will be no Carnival in Santa Cruz de Tenerife in 2021, although the City Council is working with the Carnival groups in the design of some activities that can maintain the spirit of the festivities during the weeks in which it should have been celebrated

Valentina Alejandra Pérez Osorio | Gala Reina Infantil | S/C Tenerife 2020

Wednesday, April 01, 2020

Tenerife Fiestas in April 2020


Jueves Santo (Holy Thursday) 9 April 2020 and Viernes Santo (Good Friday) 10 April 2020 are public holidaysMunicipal holidays: 20 April is the Festivity of Santo Hermano Pedro in Vilaflor and 25 April is the Festivity of San Marcos Evangelista in Icod de los Vinos and Tegueste. We cannot list any events taking place at this time.

In particular, the authorities in Granadilla de Abona and Vilaflor have confirmed that the XV Ruta del Camino del Hermano Pedro, scheduled for April 18, 2020, has been cancelled. They add, "We hope to see you participating in this walk next year."