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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