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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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Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Santa Cruz de Tenerife Carnival 1991

Carnival Queen in 1991, Isabel Luis Hernández

In 1991, Carnival Queen in Santa Cruz de Tenerife was Isabel Luis Hernández, with a costume entitled, ‘Al ritmo de la noche’ (To the rhythm of the night), designed by Leo Martínez and sponsored by J&B Whisky.

The theme for carnival that year was 'Space': The tower of the Plaza de España was integrated into the scenery, transforming it into a giant telecommunications antenna dominated by metal, neon and laser lights.

It has to be said that 1991's carnival poster, designed by Mel Ramos, is the most saucy we've seen to date.

In 1991, the court was made up as follows:

  1. 1st Maid of Honour: Concha Hernández Padrón, with a costume entitled "A La Guaira en correíllo cargada de loros stop. Besos, Concha" (To La Guaira ...), representing Almacenes El Kilo and designed by Justo Gutiérrez.
  2. 2nd Maid of Honour: Míriam Rodríguez Afonso, costume "Viajar en mascarón", representing Almacenes Número 1 and designed by Miguel Ángel Castilla Abreu.
  3. 3rd Maid of Honour: Gema Medina Cambero, "Escarlata O'Hara" (Scarlet O'Hara), representing Galerías Preciados and designed by Leo Martínez.
  4. 4th Maid of Honour: Beatriz Curbelo González, with a costume entitled "Como una tormenta de Carnaval" (Like a carnival storm), representing Centro Comercial Maya and designed by José Julio Rodríguez.

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Guided Tour of the Auditorio de Tenerife

Auditorio de Tenerife "Adán Martín"

Plaza de los Alisios / Trade Winds Plaza








Lunch at the GastroMag Auditorio de Tenerife

Mag Café Bistro Auditorio de Tenerife

Auditorio de Tenerife with the Castillo Negro

Las torres gemelas de Santa Cruz de Tenerife / The twin towers of Santa Cruz de Tenerife

The Castillo Negro from the Auditorio.

Castle of St John the Baptist or Castillo Negro

View from the balcony on the Auditorio. In the foreground (right) is the Castillo Negro, in the middle ground is the Parque Marítimo César Manrique and the hillock behind is the Palmetum: a botanical garden which has transformed a rubbish tipA Paradise Built On Top Of A Landfill

Last time I was in Santa Cruz, I accepted an invitation for a Guided Tour of the Auditorio de Tenerife, emblematic building, designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava. It seems that these tours are still available as their page states, "The guided tours offered by Auditorio de Tenerife include the same prevention measures against Coronavirus as for the rest of the building." As I had my non-Spanish speaking husband with me, the lady who took us round - yes, just the two of us - explained everything in English. You do need to reserve in advance through: call 922 568 625 or via email to visitas@auditoriodetenerife.com 

Monday, March 29, 2021

Town Hall of Arona

Town Hall of Arona

Plaza Cristo de la Salud, 1, 38640 Arona, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain. +34 922 76 16 00.

Website | Facebook (Tourism) | Twitter | Instagram | Flickr | Youtube

Traditional Fiestas in Arona

Friday, March 26, 2021

Holy Week in La Laguna 2021

Procession of the Transfer of the Holy Christ from the Church of Santo Domingo
Koppchen, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Bishop of the Tenerife Diocese, Bernardo Álvarez, has suspended acts of worship and processions outside the churches this year, due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Bishop specifies that Holy Week is not cancelled, but all liturgical celebrations and other acts of piety will take place inside the temples, always respecting the sanitary regulations in force at all times, and avoiding any activity that exceeds capacity or causes crowds to gather. 

On Palm Sunday, 28 March, in parishes and other places of worship, simple form will be used and there will be no distribution of palms or blessing of them. 

On Holy Thursday, 1 April, if circumstances require it, more than one Mass may be celebrated at the Lord's Supper in the afternoon. The transfer of the Blessed Sacrament to the monument may be carried out, but not the washing of the feet. 

On Good Friday, 2 April, services will begin from twelve o'clock and the means of the veneration of the Cross will vary as the faithful have to remain in their respective seats.

The most important celebration of the Christian Year, the Easter Vigil on Saturday 3 April, will also be affected by the current situation. Each priest may only celebrate one Vigil and it may not start before 8:00 p.m. and end in time for the faithful to return home. There will be no distribution of candles and the liturgy of the Word may be held in the short form.

Each parish priest will schedule Resurrection Sunday, 4 April in the most solemn way possible so that each community can adequately celebrate such a special day, for which it is recommended to increase the celebrations in the morning or in the afternoon.


Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Santa Cruz de Tenerife Carnival 1990

Carnival Queen in 1990, Carmen Gloria Trujillo García

Carnival Queen in Santa Cruz de Tenerife in 1990 was Carmen Gloria Trujillo García with a costume entitled, ‘La Fenicce’ (The Phoenix), designed by Justo Gutiérrez and sponsored by Almacenes El Kilo (established in the 1960s, El Kilo has become well known as the textile supplier of reference in the Canary Islands.)

Santa Cruz Carnival in 1990 took place between 16 February and 4 March and had as its theme, 'Story World': The scenery in the Plaza de España was in two parts. One was "happy" (with a smiley-faced house) and the other "dark", with a tree whose branches were shaped like hands in a tribute to the film Poltergeist.

In 1990, the court was made up as follows:

  1. 1st Maid of Honour: Natalia Ramos Hernández, with a costume entitled "Pulpa de tamarindo" (Tamarind pulp), representing Whisky J&B and designed by Leo Martínez.
  2. 2nd Maid of Honour: María Concepción Hernández Padrón, with a costume entitled "Reflejos de mi tierra" (Reflections of my land), representing National Nederlander and designed by Leo Martínez.
  3. 3rd Maid of Honour: Virginia Jesús Toledo Palenzuela, with a costume entitled "Castor blanco" (White beaver), representing Casino Taoro and designed by Justo Gutiérrez.
  4. 4th Maid of Honour: Fátima Rodríguez Rodríguez, with a costume entitled "Luz y color de Tenerife" (Light and color of Tenerife), representing Centro Comercial Maya and designed by José Luis Rodríguez y Juan Fajardo.

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Our Lady of Africa Market Santa Cruz

Mercado de Nuestra Señora de África













The Market of Our Lady of Africa is a building in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, popularly known as La Recova, of neocolonial architectural style inaugurated in early 1944. The municipal market of that city is located in this building. 

This is one of my favourite places to visit in the capital and is [usually] open from Monday to Saturday from 6am to 2pm and on every Sunday of the year from 7am to 2pm. 


Monday, March 22, 2021

Town Hall of Arico

Town Hall of Arico

Calle Meleque, 1, 38580 Villa de Arico, Santa Cruz de Tenerife. Phone: +34 922 76 82 42. 

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Traditional Fiestas in Arico

Friday, March 19, 2021

COVID-19 Measures for Easter Week 2021

COVID-19 Measures for Easter 2021 in Tenerife

Tenerife, Gran Canaria and Fuerteventura go to Alert level 3 from 00:00 Monday, March 22

The Government of the Canary Islands agreed on Thursday, after analysing the epidemiological situation in the archipelago, to raise the islands of Tenerife, Gran Canaria and Fuerteventura to Alert level 3, while Lanzarote, if it continues as before, will go to level 1. The islands of La Palma, La Gomera and El Hierro remain unchanged, at level 1.

Throughout the last two weeks all the indicators have been increasing in a "constant and continuous" way in Tenerife. The cumulative incidence at 7 days, the incidence for groups 65 years old and over and the occupation of beds in ICUs take it to level 3.

COVID-19 Measures for Easter Week 2021

The measures for Easter will be in force from 00.00 hours on March 26 to 24.00 hours on April 9. One of these measures has to do with the entry into the Autonomous Community of people from the rest of the country, which will be limited to the cases defined in Royal Decree (RD) 996 of 2020. The entry and exit of people between islands, will be restricted - regardless of alert level - to these same cases defined in RD 996. Otherwise, a negative active infection diagnostic test will be required to be able to move between islands. Controls in ports and airports of the Autonomous Community will be strengthened.

Regarding the limitation of the maximum number of people not living together in family and social gatherings in spaces of public and private use, closed or outdoors, the modifications that are introduced in relation to the current regulation is that in closed public spaces or outdoors, the maximum number of 4 people may not be exceeded, except in the case of cohabitants. Thus, levels 1 and 2 will be regulated the same as level 3. If the group is made up of cohabitants and non-cohabitants, the rules applicable to non-cohabitants prevail. People in spaces for private use will be limited to cohabitants at all alert levels.

Curfew is set between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. at alert level 1 and alert level 2 is equal to level 3, so that the curfew is between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., except for essential activities.

Regarding specific measures for the activity of hotels, restaurants, terraces, bars and cafeterias, it is forbidden to consume other than at the table or the space assigned to each client at the bar and the service of alcoholic beverages to clients who do not occupy a table previously assigned is prohibited. Likewise, activities that promote crowds, not maintaining interpersonal safety distance, improper use of masks, such as parties, dances, karaoke, contests, concerts or background music that invite people to dance and sing are prohibited.

In alert levels 1 and 2, in addition, the maximum occupancy per table is set at 4 people, both indoors and outdoors and establishments will have to close before 11:00 p.m. in level 1 and before 22:00 in alert levels 2 and 3, with the exception of food delivery.

Finally, surveillance will be strengthened on public transport at peak times. Parties, festivals and other popular events will not be allowed. This includes the prohibition of acts, processions, celebrations or any other type of event that may incite the uncontrolled meeting of people or that involve situations that make it difficult to comply with the rules. 

The most popular town in Tenerife

Garachico is the most popular town in the province of Santa Cruz de Tenerife

The debate about the most beautiful town in Spain continues. Beget (Girona), Molinaseca (León), Baños de la Encina (Jaén), Genalguacil (Málaga), Nuevo Baztán (Madrid), Valverde de la Vera (Cáceres), Agulo (La Gomera), Roncal (Navarra), Garachico (Tenerife), Bulnes and Cudillero, in Asturias, became new members of the Association of the most beautiful towns in Spain, that from January 1, 2021, the network had 104 locations.

Musement, a digital platform for booking tourist activities, has analysed Google data to find out which is the most popular in each province. All localities with less than 20,000 inhabitants in the country were examined and related to the most explored in said search engine.

In the province of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, the most popular municipality is Garachico

Located in the northwest of the island of Tenerife, the town is one of the most sought after by tourists and combines its deep-rooted culture and history with its imposing nature.

As well as the town itself, the popular Tenerife location has part of the protected natural areas of the Teide National Park, the Corona Forestal Natural Park, the Chinyero Special Nature Reserve, the Protected Landscape of the La Culata Cliffs and the Site of Scientific Interest of Interián and the entire Natural Monument of Roque de Garachico.


Origins of Día de San José - Father's Day

Today, 19 March, we celebrate Día de San José (Saint Joseph's Day) - in addition to it being Viernes de Lázaro (Lazarus Friday)[1] - a date marked on the calendar because Día del Padre (Father's Day), in European Catholic tradition, is named after Jesus' adoptive father. In many Spanish communities, this day is also a holiday: Valencia, Extremadura, Navarra, Galicia, Madrid, Murcia and the Basque Country. This is not the case, however, in the Canary Islands. 

The birth of Father's Day

It all began when an American woman, Sonora Smart Dodd, set out to honor her father Henry Jackson Smart, a Civil War veteran who had lost his wife in the delivery of her sixth child. This event forced Henry to have to take care of the upbringing of all of them, which is why his daughter wanted to create this commemoration in his honor. Thus, in the United States at that time, the date of Henry's birth, June 19, was proposed as the ideal day to celebrate Father's Day.

This celebration was quickly welcomed by many countries: such as Germany, Argentina or Spain, although Father's Day is not celebrated on the same date in all countries. In those where there is an important Catholic tradition (as in Spain), this festival takes place on the day of José de Nazaret (Saint Joseph), father of Jesus of Nazareth (March 19).

Father's Day has existed as such in Spain since 1948, when its appearance was instigated by a teacher from Madrid (Manuela Vicenta Ferrero), who wanted to establish it after receiving a request from a group of fathers who asked that in schools (as was done with mothers), fathers also received a gift from their children. This teacher decided to write an article, in which she encouraged schools to adopt a day in commemoration of the work and love of fathers, proposing March 19 for its link to Catholicism.

The well-known department store, “Galerías Preciados”, were delighted with the idea and wanted to hire Ferrero herself to encourage the purchase of products designed as gifts for fathers. She rejected the proposal, although she ended up suggesting to the stores that they hire young men from her school for this purpose instead.

[1] Viernes de Lázaro (Lazarus Friday) is the Friday before Viernes de Dolores (Friday of Sorrows) - that's the Friday before Domingo de Ramos (Palm Sunday) - which, in turn is the Friday, one week before Viernes Santo (Good Friday). Traditionally, Lazarus is a saint to whom those affected by various diseases go, and it was also invoked in the past before the epidemics suffered by some populations (perhaps we should have a word?), which is why hermitages dedicated to this saint are usually located at the entrance of those towns.

Thursday, March 18, 2021

Bienmesabe, Punta Hidalgo style

Bienmesabe

Various culinary preparations are known with the name "bienmesabe" (it tastes good to me), throughout the Spanish-speaking world, not always desserts, with the most varied ingredients. In the Canary Islands it is a traditional dessert, made with almonds, sponge cakes, egg, sugar and lemon. Its origin is probably Arab, but in the islands it has taken on its own nature. From the hand of the Municipal Market of La Laguna, today we bring a recipe for this dessert provided, a few years ago, by Carmen Melián, aunt of Chago Melián, and this is how the «bienmesabe» of Punta del Hidalgo in Tenerife is made.

Ingredients:

½ Kg of sugar
2 glasses of water
¼ Kg of almonds, peeled and ground
8 yolks, beaten

Method:

Prepare a syrup, putting the water and sugar on the heat. It is ready when the syrup reaches the thread stage. Separate a little of this syrup and reserve. To the rest of the syrup, add the peeled and ground almonds. Stirring over low heat, let it cook little by little; when the almonds "jump" it is a sign that the preparation is at its point. Away from the fire and stirring continuously, add the beaten yolks, a little at a time. Cook in a bain-marie until the yolks take color. Pour everything into the dish in which it is to be served, placing some thin biscuits dipped in the syrup for a few minutes at the bottom. Serve cold. 


(In the video version below, lemon and cinnamon are added.)

Tenerife Auditorium hosts Primavera Musical 2021 of the island's federation of bands

Enrique Arriaga highlights that this edition, which starts on Sunday, is made up of thirteen concerts

The Auditorio de Tenerife welcomes this Sunday 21 March, starting at 11:30 am, the first of the concerts of the seventeenth edition of the Primavera Musical 2021, starring the music bands that are registered in the Federación Tinerfeña de bandas de Música (Tenerife Federation of Music Bands), an entity that organizes this activity with the collaboration of the Island Council. The Minister of Culture, Enrique Arriaga, indicates that there are thirteen concerts scheduled until June 13.

Arriaga highlights that "this edition will be special for some of the musical formations that participate because it will be the first time they perform in the Symphonic Hall of the Tenerife Auditorium" and adds that "the Chamber Hall will continue to be the main venue for the concerts, but we have moved the bands with the greatest number of components to the larger room to be able to comply with the safety regulations”. The counsellor recalls that "the State of Alarm decreed a year ago affected the development of the Primavera Musical (Musical Spring) and only two concerts could be held", so he trusts that "this time we can enjoy these groups that are so important in the popular culture of the Canary Islands”.

The concerts of the bands of the islands will last until June in the two main rooms of the Auditorium and with tickets at zero cost. Those for the opening session can now be acquired, which will feature the participation of the Puerto de la Cruz Musical Association, directed by Jairo Cabrera Estévez; the Aida San Andrés Musical Union, under the baton of Juan Alexis González Rodríguez, and the Ernesto Beteta Music-Cultural Association (Santa Úrsula), under the direction of Miguel Ángel Expósito Marrero.

The rest of the concerts will take place on March 27 (Symphonic Hall) and 28, April 4 and 25, May 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30, and on May 12 (Symphonic Hall) and will conclude on June 13 . On the last day there will be a morning concert in the Chamber Hall and in the afternoon in the Symphony Hall. The performances in the Chamber Hall will take place at 11:30 a.m. and those that take place in the Symphonic Hall will begin at 6:00 p.m.

Primavera Musical is an initiative of the Tenerife Federation of Music Bands, which has the collaboration of the Island Council and which was launched in 2005. Last year only two concerts could be held, due to the lockdown. The activity will resume this Sunday complying with a strict protocol of safety and hygiene measures that guarantee the safety of the event for both the public and the musicians.

Tickets at zero cost will be available on the Monday before each concert and can be acquired up to two hours before the start on the website www.auditoriodetenerife.com and by phone at 902 317 327 and at the box office from Monday to Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. The public is kindly requested to arrive at the venue well in advance to make a staggered entrance to the room.

The acquisition of the tickets implies the acceptance of the measures implemented by the Cabildo cultural center to deal with COVID-19, such as the correct use of the mask or assistance only with cohabitants. The complete measures, as well as the contingency plan certified by AENOR, can be consulted on the Auditorium's website. 


Full list of the concerts of the Primavera Musical 2021

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Masca ravine to reopen from 27 March

Masca Ravine

The Masca ravine can be visited, with reservation and helmet, from Saturday 27 March. The Cabildo announces the start of a new stage of regulation that limits the number of visitors to 25 every half hour and only during weekends and holidays

The Masca Gorge, in Buenavista del Norte, will once again receive visitors starting next Saturday, March 27, three years and one month after its closure was ordered for security reasons. The long-awaited reopening comes with the beach jetty still closed, so visitors will have to walk the ravine and retrace their steps. The new normal has nothing to do with the free use of this track, which each year attracted hundreds of thousands of people. The regulation that is launched experimentally and, for now, free is limited to weekends and holidays and requires reserving an access at an authorized time, wearing a helmet and respecting the capacity limitations of only 25 people every half hour for a maximum of 125 visitors a day.

The Cabildo de Tenerife has invested 997,149 euros in improving safety and another 231,314 euros in the visitor centre, located in Masca. Faced with the impossibility of obtaining a provisional authorization from Costas for the use of the jetty, the island administration and the city council agreed to initiate a period of temporary opening without an exit by sea. Therefore, initially, walkers will have to  retrace their steps to return to the starting point. It is estimated that the descent to the beach lasts around two and a half hours, but the ascent requires between three and three and a half hours. The total walk has an estimated duration of between 5 and 6 hours, according to the insular councillor for Natural Environment and Security Management, Isabel García (PSOE). Therefore it is only recommended for people in good physical shape and children over 8 years old.

The president of the Cabildo, Pedro Martín, considers the execution of the jetty work essential, for which there is already a project, and also announces that work is being done on the creation of a second docking point, in Punta de Teno, so that hikers they can decide in the future whether to leave the ravine to the south or to the north. Once the new pier on Masca beach has been built, its management will remain in the hands of the Buenavista Council. In Martín's opinion, this new maritime connection with the Isla Baja will be “a respectful project with that space, which will avoid occupying areas that are not strictly necessary and whose main objective will be to generate an alternative of economic and leisure activity for this area of ​​the northwest of Tenerife”.

Isabel García explained that the works have focused on improving the safety of the path, where sections of stairs, stone walls and protective railings have been installed, "structures that blend in with the environment and built in an artisanal way." Exotic vegetation has also been removed, sections of traditional rustic cobblestones have been executed, and informational signs have been installed. Three control points were set up in which there will be personnel, who will communicate through a system of stations, in charge of ensuring the safety of visitors. These controls will be at the beginning and end of the track and right in the middle of the journey.

Reservation website

One of the key elements of this new access control system is the website and its reservation platform (www.caminobarrancodemasca.com) (English Version), which allows you to reserve a place at a specific time to make the visit. For now, the trail will only be open on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. In summer it will close at 18:00. Outside of these hours, in which the access control system will not be working nor will there be personnel in the area, it will remain closed "for security reasons."

This new regulation will create eight direct jobs and will help to improve the turnover of active tourism companies, which will have reserved 50% of the available daily places. For now, visiting the Masca ravine will be free, but Isabel García and Pedro Martín announced that they are already working on a rate to sustain the costs of this new regulation, "not to generate profits." A price of 8 euros for residents and 16 euros for non-residents is being considered.

The mayor of Buenavista del Norte, Antonio González Fortes (SSP), yesterday showed his joy for the reopening and for the Cabildo's commitment to execute the new piers in Masca and Punta de Teno. He stressed the importance for his municipality of opening such an emblematic path with a model that is "a first step to see a different way of managing and enjoying nature". In addition, he appreciated the involvement of the government group of the Tenerife Island Council and its technical staff, "who have understood that it was very important to bring this project to fruition because Masca is the jewel in the crown of this municipality." Currently, the Cabildo and the Council are negotiating the signing of the agreements on the future piers of Masca and Punta de Teno beaches.

The Natural Environment Management Area urges visitors to access the Masca hamlet by public transport, due to the scarcity of parking in the area. They are asked to come by taxi or on one of Titsa's two bus routes from Buenavista del Norte or Santiago del Teide. Antonio González announces that they will observe the operation of the new system in these first weeks before deciding, together with residents, if they implement the Parking Regulatory Ordinance (ORA). In addition, he considers it essential that routes 365 and 355 be strengthened in order to absorb future demand.

Few frequencies of Titsa

The 355, which connects Buenavista, Masca and Santiago del Teide, only has four departures from Isla Baja: at 9:45 a.m., 12:00 p.m., 3:45 p.m. and 5:55 p.m. Of these schedules, only two would be compatible with an excursion to the ravine. From Santiago del Teide it leaves for Masca at 11:00, 13:10, 17:05 and 19:10. Currently, the 365 connects Buenavista and Masca only twice a day: at 6:20 and at 2:20 p.m., with returns at 6:50 and 2:50 p.m.

The residents of the Masca village live with expectation the reopening of the ravine, with the possible traffic chaos as the main source of concern. 

Santa Cruz de Tenerife Carnival 1989

Carnival Queen in 1989, María Remedios Ramos Díaz

1989 Carnival Poster
Carnival Queen in 1989 was María Remedios Ramos Díaz, with a costume entitled, ‘Chicharro carnavalero’ (approximately, a carnival going sardine - although if we were being pedants, a chicharro is an atlantic horse mackerel (Trachurus trachurus)), designed by José Julio Rodríguez and sponsored by CC Maya (a former shopping centre in the Tenerife capital).

The theme in 1989 was "Millennial Egypt" and this was the first year the staging for the contests and galas was erected in the Plaza de España. It was decorated with two large sphinxes and an Egyptian-style palace gate.

Summary of Carnival in 1989 in Santa Cruz de Tenerife

In 1989, the court was made up as follows:

  1. 1st Maid of Honour: Ana Reverón Hernández, with a costume entitled "Éxtasis" (Ecstasy), representing Casino Taoro and designed by Marcos Marrero.
  2. 2nd Maid of Honour: Ana María Fajardo González, with a costume entitled "Recuerdos de una santiguadora canaria" (Memories of a Canarian saint), representing Rondallas del Carnaval and designed by Justo Gutiérrez.
  3. 3rd Maid of Honour: Candelaria Rodríguez Siverio, with "Bahía de Santa Cruz" (Santa Cruz Bay), representing Almacenes El Kilo and designed by Leo Martínez.
  4. 4th Maid of Honour: María Dolores Fernández Rodríguez, with "Andrógena" (Androgen), representing Galerías Preciados and designed by Leo Martínez.

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

The ruins of Gordejuela in Tenerife, rated among the most beautiful on the planet

Elevador de la Gordejuela

Social media has made this corner of Los Realejos, where the island's first steam engine was installed, into an international phenomenon

At first glance it looks like an abandoned castle, an enchanted mansion, or the secret lair of a pirate ... The centuries-old ruins of the Gordejuela water lift, on the Los Realejos coast, have unintentionally become a new tourist attraction in the town, since photos and videos of this evocative corner have been shared around the world through social networks.

Civitatis, the leading company in the sale of guided tours, excursions and free tours, has prepared a list that includes some of the most beautiful abandoned places on the planet. And in first place on that ranking appear the ruins of Gordejuela. The rickety walls of this great complex built at the beginning of the 20th century, where the first steam engine on the island of Tenerife was installed, resist imposingly against the swell of the Atlantic Ocean, forming a postcard picture that is impressive from the first glance. On that international list, Gordejuela rivals other extraordinary ruins in beauty, such as Bannerman Castle (USA), Rubjerg Knude Fyr lighthouse (Denmark), Kolmanskop (Namibia), Belchite (Zaragoza), Salar de Uyuni ( Bolivia) and the ghost town of Bannack (Montana. USA).

For decades, the ruins of the water lift remained forgotten and practically unknown to outsiders to Los Realejos. They began to become popular as a result of the conditioning of the tourist trail, up to the nearby Rambla de Castro, by the council and the Cabildo. The path connects this natural setting with Playa Los Roques and the Punta Brava neighbourhood, in Puerto de la Cruz. Halfway there are the ruins of Gordejuela, at the bottom of a steep ravine, attached to the cliff, on the almost wild beach of La Fajana.

The conditioning of the path along this coastal strip, of great natural and scenic beauty, immediately attracted both tourists and the people of the island, to the point that the Rambla de Castro is currently one of the most visited corners of Tenerife. As a consequence of the growing popularity of the trail, the expansive effect of social networks and the internet arrived very soon, where the spectacular landscapes of Castro and Gordejuela are the usual setting for reports and videos of all kinds. One of them, in particular, went viral years ago when a young man appeared who was walking on the edge of the abyss on one of the walls of the ruins of the water lift, while he was recorded from a drone. Images like this definitely turned Gordejuela into a point of attraction for the curious and lovers of adventure.

At present, the ruins of Gordejuela lack any specific protection. The building still stands without the roof, which fell in decades ago, as did the wooden floors on the different levels. Nor does it retain the arches, doors or windows, and the lower gaps have been bricked up by the council for security reasons. The Asociación Hispania Nostra, a non-profit organization dedicated to the defence, safeguarding and enhancement of Spain's cultural and natural heritage, has included it on the Red List of Heritage due to the risk of collapse.

The mayor of Los Realejos, Manuel Domínguez, welcomes the idea of this place being used as an interpretation centre on the use of water in Tenerife, but given the scale of the project to rehabilitate the property, it would only be feasible if the Cabildo and the Government of the Canary Islands collaborated on it. Therefore, at the moment that idea is more a dream.

The truth is that the ruins of the Gordejuela elevator are a historical and cultural treasure in Los Realejos, an important vestige of the industrial history of the Canary Islands. For this reason, and in order to avoid its definitive disappearance, promote its enhancement and, in addition, guarantee the safety of the many visitors who come to the vicinity, it has been proposed to the Los Realejos council that they initiate procedures for its declaration as an Asset of Cultural Interest (BIC).

AN HISTORICAL MILESTONE

The Hamilton family, still of great importance in Tenerife, arrived on the island at the beginning of the 18th century. They were producers and exporters of bananas, tomatoes and potatoes, had a shipping company and operated coal ships. They were co-founders of CD Tenerife, the Hotel Taoro and the Real Club Náutico. In addition, they were responsible for the construction of the Semáforo de Igueste former semaphore station and, also, of the Elevador de Aguas de Gordejuela.

In 1898, the company Hamilton & Co. established the Sociedad de Aguas de la Gordejuela, whose objective was to exploit the existing springs on the coast of Los Realejos, in the area that owes its name to its first owner and founder of the convents of Los Realejos, the gentleman Juan de Gordejuela y Mesa. The work of the elevator, located in an old gofio mill, marked a milestone in its time because the first steam engine on the island of Tenerife was installed inside it. In 1902, the prospect of rising prices led the company to buy all the shares in the company. From that date on, a station with steam pumps was built to lift some 10,000 pipes a day - 8,000 cubic meters - to a reservoir located 270 meters high, through an iron pipe two kilometres long. For the subsequent distribution through the La Orotava Valley, a twelve-kilometre aqueduct was built.

The industry consisted of two units: the first, apart from a warehouse and the party house, had another house, with a 50 meter high chimney, in which the steam engine was located. The other building, the most representative of the complex, was at the time one of the largest in Tenerife, with five levels. The work, which was projected and supervised by the military engineer José Galván Balaguer, was described in its time as "the work of the Romans." La Laguna journalist Leoncio Rodríguez published an article in the newspaper El Progreso, under the pseudonym of Luis Roger, in 1908, after visiting the place, which he described as follows: "on a cliff cut across the sea, at the mouth of a huge and deep ravine, it will not be able to express the magnitude of the undertaking, nor will it give an exact idea of ​​the material efforts or the display of intelligence that its execution reveals".

The total cost of the installation exceeded one million pesetas at the time, which placed the promoter company in a delicate financial situation. In addition, economic expectations varied due to the international situation, which affected the fruit trade. In order to guarantee a remuneration for the investment, they opted to lease it in 1910 to Elder & Fyffes, and then sell it to them in 1919. The technological advances of the following years made it necessary to change the lifting method, which made the complex as it had been, unnecessary and was gradually abandoned.

A century later, and despite the dilapidated state of that pioneering complex, these words written by Leoncio Rodríguez are still valid: “Here is the spectacle of Gordejuela; where science is twinned with poetry and where life seems to feel the breath of tragedy”. 

Eligen las ruinas de Gordejuela entre las más bellas del planeta

Museums of Tenerife extend opening hours

Casa Lercaro Koppchen, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The changes affect four centers of the institution and seek to promote the dissemination of culture as a leisure and entertainment alternative

Museums of Tenerife have extended their opening hours, from March 13, of four of its centres. The changes affect the Museo de la Naturaleza y Arqueología (Museum of Nature and Archeology) (MUNA), the Museo de Historia y Antropología de Tenerife (Museum of History and Anthropology) (MHA) - at its headquarters in the Casa Lercaro - the Centro de Documentación Canario-Americano (Documentation Center of the Canary Islands and America) (Cedocam) and the El Museo de las Ciencias y el Cosmos (Museum of Science and Cosmos). All museums open to the public comply with the health protocol drawn up by the Instituto para la Calidad Turística Española (Institute for Spanish Tourist Quality) (ICTE) and the recommendations of the Ministry of Culture.

New schedules

As of March 13, the Museum of Nature and Archeology (MUNA) and the Museum of History and Anthropology (MHA) at their headquarters in Casa Lercaro will open to the public from 09:00 to 19:00, Monday to Saturday , and from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., on Sundays and holidays. (The MHA headquarters of the Casa de Carta will be closed for improvement and maintenance of the facilities and collections.) 

The Canary Islands and America Documentation Centre (Cedocam) will be open from Monday to Friday from 08:00 to 15:00, except Tuesdays (open from 10:00 to 17:00). 

The Museum of Science and the Cosmos (MCC) is open Monday to Friday, from 12:00 to 19:00; and Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Small group visits (with a maximum of six people), guided by a scientific monitor, are maintained. 

The Interpretation Centre of the Castillo de San Cristóbal will maintain the current schedule: Monday to Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Security guarantee

Visits to museums will be carried out individually or in groups and provided that the interpersonal safety distance of two meters is maintained. Users must wear a mask, they will have dispensers of hydroalcoholic gels or disinfectants at their disposal and, if they need to use the toilets, they can do so as long as they are occupied by a maximum of one person. In addition, they will have indicator marks on the ground to delimit the exhibition spaces and posters with hygiene recommendations. The Canary Islands and America Documentation Center (Cedocam) keeps the use of computers and computer media restricted and the works must be requested from the staff who, after use, will deposit them in a secluded place and separated from each other for at least fourteen days.  


Monday, March 15, 2021

When health services was a neighbour

The town hall of Santa Úrsula has erected panels to pay tribute to these women

Santa Úrsula Town Council remembers five women who took care of the health of the town's inhabitants for decades

There was a time, not too long ago, when the closest thing to a public health service was a neighbour. Women like Anastasia, Maruca, Juana, Antonia or Catalina who, for a good part of their lives, dedicated themselves to taking care of the health of their neighbours with the modest knowledge and materials that they were able to acquire. For decades they were in charge of assisting deliveries or injecting treatments at a time when going to the doctor was a luxury. The Santa Úrsula Council has remembered them, along with other prominent women of the municipality, through panels in the streets.

The mayor of the town, Juan Acosta, a doctor by profession, acknowledges that these women carried out "fundamental and extraordinary work with very rudimentary means." He remembers that their work made up for the lack of doctors in a time when "there was generally one doctor for three or four towns." This is the story of three midwives and two practitioners from Santa Úrsula.

Anastasia

Anastasia Hernández Delgado was born in Santa Úrsula on December 25, 1905 and died on December 1, 1990, at the age of 85. She belonged to a humble family of farmers who resided in El Farrobillo. She was the mother of six children (Efigenia, Manuel, Avelino, Nazario, Carmen and Antonia) and a very hardworking woman, who always went to the fields to collect food, worked at home and also worked as a cook and midwife. Her family says that she "helped many women in this municipality and neighbouring municipalities to give birth to their children at home."

María Candelaria

María Candelaria Abreu Gutiérrez, known as Maruca, was born on November 15, 1926 and died on April 18, 2014. Her relatives remember that “she began to give injections in 1958, shortly after returning from Cuba, where she emigrated between 1952 and 1957. She started practicing unexpectedly, since the doctor Don Valerio prescribed some injections for her father and the person who had to give them was not there, so he taught her how to do it. She spent many years with this practice, both day and night. Her relatives came to look for her and accompanied her back, always walking. She never got paid. People gave her potatoes or vegetables as a thank you. In 1975 she changed her address and moved from El Farrobillo to Santa Úrsula, but people kept coming to her house to look for her. For 25 years she had a glass syringe and three needles of different lengths. The doctors in the area (Don Valerio, Don Alfonso, Don Ventura or Don Gil), drew her the amount that she had to extract from her bottle, so that she did not make a mistake. She always boiled water to disinfect syringes and needles. "She never had any infection from the thousands of injections she gave," her family recalls.

Juana

Juana González Delgado, known as Juana La Gaga, died at age 65 on October 3, 1961. She had nine children (Adriana, Carmela, Venancio, Marcos, Alejandro, Gloria, Felipa, Marina and Dominga) and spent most of her life in Cuesta de la Villa. One of her daughters relates that “husbands came to look for her; they travelled on foot around neighbourhood and, on occasions, by donkey". When a delivery got complicated, she sent for Don Emilio Ruiz, a doctor from La Orotava. Juana never asked for anything in exchange for her services, but people gave her something of their harvest as a thank you.

Antonia

Antonia León Gómez, known as Antonica, was born on February 5, 1938 in La Corujera. She was the third of nine brothers and sisters from a humble family. From a very young age, she had the need to learn to give injections. Don Valerio, the doctor from La Victoria, taught her to inject by pricking a doll, because she had a rather sickly younger sister. She had no choice but to learn, at just 16 years old, to avoid having to travel daily. She used a glass injector that she had to boil before using. She bought the injector, the needles and everything necessary to be able to inject whoever asked. She never said no and she didn't charge.

Catalina

Catalina García was born in Santa Úrsula in 1890. According to her granddaughter, “while she looked after her house, the grounds and raised her five daughters, she also worked as a midwife”. She began assisting the mothers of La Tosca de Ana María and she became one of the first local midwives of the 20th century. This month is 53 years since her death. 

Cuando la sanidad era una vecina

Town Hall of Arafo

Town Hall of Arafo

Ayuntamiento de Arafo, Calle Amilcar González Díaz 1, 38550 Arafo, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain. Phone: +34 922 51 17 11. 

Website | Facebook | Twitter (Press) | Other Social Media Channels

In the 1950s, a series of improvements in its urban facilities were carried out in Arafo, such as the constructions of the Obra Social del Movimiento building, the installation of the drinking water service, paving the streets, expansion and improvement of the Plaza José Antonio, the completion of the building for schools and the Town Hall and the construction of a group of limited-income housing in the Carmen neighbourhood. 

The seat of the town council had been itinerant, once the parish church or the home of the mayor on duty, later they would be houses generally rented to influential people. In 1935 a motion by Mayor Luis Marrero was approved for the construction of new buildings for the Town Hall, Court and Civil Guard barracks, however the Civil War paralyzed the project.

The current headquarters of the consistory, was begun during the decade of the 1930s, at first to be occupied by the primary schools. In 1943, the council moved to a room on the first floor. The second was concluded at the end of the fifties. The progressive increase in the town hall offices led to it being used entirely as Town Hall.

Arafo has separate social media accounts including a dedicated Twitter account for Prensa (Press) and numerous Facebook pages for different departments or subjects.

Friday, March 12, 2021

The secret crypt in Garachico is to be underpinned and the bones studied

Belfry when the balcony and bells were still in situ.

The secret crypt found at the beginning of last year in the old convent of San Francisco, in Garachico, will be propped up to guarantee the conservation of the building and the safety of the personnel in order to be able to remove the remains found. Director General of Cultural Heritage, Nona Perera, who last month visited the former convent with the mayor, José Heriberto González, has promised to finance the underpinning and the study of the material that has been found as a consequence of the restoration and reform works.

Thus, a team of archaeologists who have already attended the site will make an exhaustive report to be able to consolidate the area, guarantee the safety of the personnel "and also recover the arches that were in the old convent," added the mayor.

This will allow personnel, not only to work in good conditions, but to ensure the preservation of the bones. Perera indicated that if it could be restored "and look good", the ideal thing would be to leave the bones there because some must belong to the old friars. The convent was founded by the Genoese Cristóbal de Ponte in 1524 according to the documentation of the transfer of the land, with which, "the bones are linked to the property and the correct thing is to leave it there since they were buried," said the general director .

“Our responsibility, in addition to guaranteeing the conservation of the building, is to study the remains to find out who they belong to. If they are friars or some wealthy person who was buried there since, it was at the end of the 18th century, when burial was prohibited inside the temple, to be as close as possible to the sacred places”, explained Perera.

The last major restoration of the old convent took place in 1980. Since then, it has not been touched again, although improving accessibility was the pending challenge. One of the priorities was the old belfry, whose balcony was removed in 2015 due to the danger it posed. The structure had cracks underneath that were attempted to be corrected with modern technology.  Also other pieces, among them the two bronze bells, currently in storage. 

"I hope that within one or two months the investigation can begin", declared the mayor of Garachico, José Heriberto González, who does not rule out that the crypt could become another tourist attraction for those who visit the municipality "if in the end something interesting is discovered " 

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