Monday, January 31, 2022

Carnival 2222 poster for Carnival 2022

Carnival 2222

Santa Cruz de Tenerife Council have confirmed today the new official poster for Carnival 2022, titled 'Carnaval 2222', which is the creation of Tenerife rapper, Borja Jiménez Mérida, known by his stage name Bejo, chosen as the winner in the popular voting process. The winning poster received the support of 28.1% of the 10,077 votes cast.

After publicly congratulating the winner, the mayor of the city, José Manuel Bermúdez, highlighted "the enthusiasm and joy that this year's poster conveys and that invites us to have a future full of achievements" and, regarding the holding of the carnival in the streets pointed out that "with sanitary restrictions, it is not possible." "... hopefully in a few months the situation will change and that would be when we would think about the street."

The other nine works pre-selected by the jury for the final phase and the votes they received were the following: 'A near future' (538 votes); 'Love' (1600 votes); 'Let yourself be carried away by the dimension of Carnival' (317 votes); 'C-Arte-L del C-arnava-l: The art of the Carnival is in the street' (1,009 votes); 'Andromeda Carnival' (542 votes); 'Hello, Chicharrícolas' (603 votes); 'Carnival Invasion' (899 votes); 'Casquimia' (1,022 votes) and 'Abducted'22' (714 votes).

The province of Tenerife closed 2021 with 60% fewer overnight stays than 2019

Hotel in Tenerife

The influence of the omicron variant on the tourism industry at the end of 2021 has weighed on the recovery trend of the hotel sector, which closed last year in the province of Tenerife with 15.2 million overnight stays in hotel and non-hotel establishments, 60.4% less than those registered in 2019, the last pre-pandemic year.

By islands, the greatest drop occurred in La Palma, with -66.4%, an island that added the volcanic eruption to the health crisis in the last quarter of the year; it is followed by Tenerife, with -60.4%, La Gomera (-53.7%) and El Hierro (-43.5%).

These data correspond to the Tourist Accommodation Survey of the Canary Islands Institute of Statistics (Istac), which is periodically analysed by the Ashotel Sustainability Observatory.

Compared to 2020, the total number of overnight stays in the province of Tenerife grew by 31.2%, going from the total of 11.5 million to the 15.2 million mentioned above.

Regarding travellers staying in establishments in the province of Tenerife, in 2021, they represent 53% less than in 2019, although 38.8% more than 2020. By islands, the smallest drop occurred in El Hierro (-38.75 %), followed by La Gomera (-48.9%), La Palma (-49.5%) and Tenerife (-53.7).

In relation to the nationality of the travellers staying, the main market in terms of volume was Spain (1.03 million), which registered a drop of 27.37% compared to 2019, but 73.11% more compared to 2020. The second largest market was the British, with 450,092 tourists staying, 75.76% less compared to the pre-pandemic year, although also -8.82% compared to 2020. The third largest market was German, with 250,647 travellers, -60.3% compared to 2019, although 31.75% more than in 2020.

The total income of the accommodation sector in the province of Tenerife in 2021 exceeded 685 million euros, 648 million less than in 2019 (-55.32%) and 29.7% more than in 2020. By islands, the only one that experienced better data than 2019 was El Hierro, with 2.64 million admissions, an increase of 3.69%. The rest of the islands suffered a considerable drop. In Tenerife, revenues plummeted 55.4%, in La Palma 62.1% and in La Gomera 46.7%.

Regarding the average occupancy rates by bed places, all the islands recorded percentages lower than 2019. Tenerife registered an average occupancy rate of 46.2%; La Palma 39.5%, La Gomera 40.2% and El Hierro just 24.6%. The average stays are also lower in all cases. Tenerife fell from 7 days in 2019 to 5.91; La Palma from 6.6 days to 4.3; La Gomera from 5.3 to 4.8 days and El Hierro from 3.9 to 3.6 days.

2021 BALANCE SHEET AND 2022 OUTLOOK

The closing data for 2021 reveals two clear obstacles to the recovery that the sector had undertaken last year. Added to the negative effect of the omicron in recent months has been Spain's decision to request a complete vaccination schedule for British citizens between 12 and 17 years of age, for whom their country did not prescribe a second dose until mid-December, which which caused numerous cancellations of family reservations for the Christmas period. This decision of the Spanish Government attends, from the point of view of Ashotel, to questions of a political nature, rather than to the health criteria themselves, since it makes no sense that an Austrian minor between the ages of 12 and 17 can enter the country with a negative diagnostic test and cannot be done by a British minor without a complete vaccination schedule.

After the celebration of the last edition of Fitur International Tourism Fair last week in Madrid, it has become clear that the market is alive and eager to travel. “There is a large contained demand, pending the contagion curve definitively stagnating and travel restrictions gradually being eliminated,” says the president of Ashotel Hoteliers' Association, Jorge Marichal.

For this 2022 that has started with difficulty in terms of reservations, Ashotel trusts that the drop in infections will definitely allow this pandemic to become a common disease, like the flu, and the travel sector will recover the 2019 figures to come back this winter and be in a better situation with the arrival of summer.

Sunday, January 30, 2022

San Antonio Abad Buenavista del Norte 2007

The Plaza de los Remedios in Buenavista del Norte decorated for the Fiestas of San Antonio Abad in 2007

The Livestock Fair and romería that took place on 28 January 2007 in Buenavista del Norte.












Panecillos de San Antón (Saint Anthony Buns)

San Antón rolls with the characteristic shape

Panecillos de San Antón (Saint Anthony Buns), also called panecillos del santo (Saint's Buns) are a type of sweet bread that is offered in Madrid pastry shops on dates close to the celebration of San Antonio Abad (Anthony the Great), held on January 17. As a general rule, they are frequently found in pastry shops near the Iglesia de San Antón (Church of San Antón, annexed to the Pious Schools). Already in the 19th century, these buns were very common in the pilgrimages of the Saint, called Las Vueltas de San Antón the turns or Tours of San Antón. They are one of the most typical cakes in the windows of Madrid pastry shops after Christmas, but look very reminiscent of Easter's Hot Cross Buns. 

Ingredients (for 20 buns):

– 2 eggs
– 150 gr. of sugar
– the zest of a lemon
– 125 ml. olive oil
– 250 ml. milk
– 500 gr. flour
– Half an envelope of yeast
Anise (you have to follow the dosage of the brand you use)

Method

Mix a whole egg and an egg white (reserve the remaining yolk) with the sugar, the lemon zest and the oil. Then add the milk and the anise.

In a separate bowl, mix the flour with the yeast and then add the dry ingredients to the wet.

Knead well to obtain a homogeneous mass that does not stick too much to the hands.

If it is still sticking, you can add a little flour until the dough is in one piece.

To form the buns, take pinches of the dough and make medium-sized balls that are then flattened with the palm of my hand. Place on an oven tray lined with parchment paper, leaving space between them.

With the tip of a knife or similar utensil, make a cross in the top of each bun. To facilitate this task, first dip the tip of the knife into oil.

Before baking, brush the buns with beaten egg yolk (that was previously reserved).

When baking them, it is recommended to first put them at 50 ºC until they have doubled their volume (with a glass of water in the corner of the oven).

When we see that they have doubled in size, we will remove the glass and raise the temperature to about 200 ºC and bake until they are golden brown.

History

The denomination is due to the breads that the holy hermit ate during his fast and the efforts he made to avoid temptations. On January 15, 1810, the Diario de Madrid announced that in the sweet shop on Calle Real de la Almudena «bread rolls called San Antón, very delicate and newly invented, are sold». The San Antón buns were advertised in the Diario de Avisos de Madrid, from the editions of January 16, 1830. 

The low humidity of the dough means that they can be kept for months. The life of San Antonio Abad has been represented by artists in two ways, one is in the form of the temptations of the desert and the other is the interview with San Pablo Hermitaño (Paul of Thebes) in which a crow provides sustenance by bringing bread with its beak. From the church of San Antón it used to be offered to the participants of the pilgrimage symbolizing the sustenance that both hermits mentioned during their interview. It is a tradition that these rolls, made in the bakery, are sent to the civil and ecclesiastical authorities. It is customary for the secret recipe to be taken out of the Church and taken to a bakery and for a few weeks to make the rolls, after the festival of January 17, the recipe returned to the Church.

The rolls of San Antón were also offered to the Saint so that he would bless the animals and protect them from the plague and other diseases. Being blessed, it is usually a popular belief that the rolls attract fortune and therefore are kept next to the purse for a period of one year. In the same way, if you are single, it is believed that these rolls will help you find a partner. The coarseness of the bread and its ability to preserve for months, reminded us of long stays in the desert. In 1830 you could find marzipan rolls, yolk, mostachón (almond paste), lemon, strawberry, sweet orange, sweet potato powder, anise, etc., in pastry shops.

The famous writer Ramón Gómez de la Serna on the day of San Antón in 1922 made a review of the sweet, thus commenting on various characteristics of the traditional sweet shop.

Characteristics

They are dough with a dry appearance that are presented in trays, they are usually round and of a size that does not exceed ten centimetres in diameter (or weigh no more than ten grams). A kind of cross is stamped with a mould that gives the rolls a characteristic shape. The iconography reflects this, frequently representing Antonio with the black habit of the Hospitallers and the tau or the Egyptian cross that came to be the emblem as it was known and that was generally represented on the tunic. It is also common to find representations in the buns of a cenote bell or a pig with a bell around its neck. It is common for the rolls to be blessed, which is done in some pastry shops. It is common to find that the rolls do not have any icing, but versions with different flavours have become popular. In some cases they were made bitter to play jokes on friends.

Saturday, January 29, 2022

Gran puchero in La Florida

Serving the Gran puchero in the district of La Florida in La Orotava

The festivities in La Florida (La Orotava) are also famous in Tenerife, where the tradition of the giant puchero (stew) and the romería (pilgrimage) stand out. This pilgrimage in honor of San Antonio Abad and the Virgen de La Esperanza began to be celebrated in 1981.

This year however, the romería cannot take place and the stew will be cooked by the people of the district, but to be eaten at home, for the second year in a row, while the pandemic prevents the neighbourhood from celebrating one of its most popular events, which usually brings together thousands of people to savour the traditional Canarian dish.

The traditional stew is prepared by residents with vegetables planted and harvested by themselves and cooked over low heat with fires fuelled by dried broom from the Teide National Park. The event, declared a Festival of Tourist Interest of the Canary Islands in 2019, is organized by the San Antonio Abad Fiesta of Traditions Association, which this year has once again opted for this typical dish of Canarian cuisine to be cooked on Saturday, January 29. To do this, boxes with the ingredients were being distributed.

The last 'great' stew was held face-to-face in January 2020 and more than 5,000 portions were served to residents and visitors. On that occasion, about 70 large, stainless steel cauldrons weighing more than 125 kilos were needed to prepare the dish. The ingredients exceeded 4,000 kilos: 650 cabbages, 75 kilos of pineapples, 125 chickens, 700 potatoes and 60 kilos of sweet potatoes, more than 1,300 kilos of pumpkin, more than 1,000 kilos of chayotas (Chayote), 90 kilos of chickpeas, 70 kilos of beans and another of carrots, almost 1,000 kilos of bacon and ribs, 60 kilos of leeks, 25 kilos of garlic, 100 kilos of onion, 45 kilos of parsley, 75 kilos of bubangos (a species of courgette) and 250 kilos of gofio.

Once again it will be a festival without a cattle fair, without the dance and without a pilgrimage, but the neighbourhood will smell of stew on the last Saturday of the month.

El puchero de La Florida, en La Orotava, vuelve a cocinarse y comerse en casa

History of San Antonio Abad in Tenerife

Parranda of folklore singers at the romería (pilgrimage) in Buenavista del Norte

The fiestas of San Antonio Abad (Saint Anthony the Abbot) usually provide a welcome respite from the [OK relative in Tenerife] cold of January and some fun to enliven the days between Christmas and Easter. Of course, this year, as last, such festivals and events cannot be held and we can merely keep the memory of these events alive.

Several towns: La Matanza de Acentejo, Buenavista del Norte, the neighbourhood of San Juan in Tacoronte and the neighbourhood of La Florida in La Orotava, as well as in Los Silos, and Arona and Güímar, under normal circumstances, hold events every year in honor of the patron saint and protector of animals, San Antonio "el del cochino" ('him of the pig', as the image of the saint is often accompanied by a porcine figure).

The festive day begins in all these towns with cattle fairs and the traditional blessing of the cattle. In the Matanza it takes place in the very old Octava Ganadera de Acentejo.

The Octava Ganadera de San Antonio, in the district of San Antonio, La Matanza De Acentejo, is one of the oldest traditions on the island. The image of the saint that gives its name to this Matanzas neighbourhood is considered as the first to arrive on the island shortly after the end of the conquest of Tenerife.

In the last years of the celebration, Buenavista del Norte also organized a livestock fair with nearly 600 heads of cattle in the Las Marinas area and, later, a pilgrimage.

In Buenavista they point to the origin of their livestock tradition being in the year 1528, the date on which the beginning of religious events around the image of the saint is marked, according to studies collected in the publication 'San Antonio Abad y su festividad' (Saint Anthony Abbot and his Festivity), by the historian Álvaro Hernández Yanes, who, in turn, dates the beginning of the modern romería (pilgrimage) in that town to 1979.

In Tacoronte, in the neighbourhood of San Juan, an image of San Antonio Abad - also, surprise, surprise 'believed to have been the first to reach the island after the conquest' - is venerated on the main altarpiece of its chapel of the same name, a sculpture that although at first glance appears to be of modern production, some researchers, based on the repainting and its characteristics, date to the 17th Century, while the glass eyes were added, probably in the 18th Century. The figure wears a curious silver diadem. One of the Island's most traditional pilgrimages devoted to San Antonio Abad, starts at this chapel. 


The festivals of La Florida are also famous in Tenerife, in La Orotava here the tradition of the Gran Puchero and the pilgrimage stand out. This pilgrimage in honor of San Antonio Abad and the Virgen de La Esperanza began to be celebrated in 1981.

San Antonio Abad es celebrado en cuatro localidades del norte de Tenerife

Meanwhile, here are more photos from a long ago livestock fair and romería in Buenavista del Norte. Can't tell you which year, but it's pre-digital and almost certainly before 2004.

Nobody told him that 'drunk in charge' applies to all road users.










Friday, January 28, 2022

Tenerife Carnival 2022 Provisional Program

Rondalla at carnival in 2019

Santa Cruz de Tenerife Carnival 2022, provisionally running from 1 to 26 June 2022, with the rondallas to open the June Carnival and the Queen's Gala on the 10th.

The first meeting of the council's festival department with the various carnival groups, that took place yesterday, Thursday, served to divulge the provisional calendar for the events of the Santa Cruz de Tenerife Carnival 2022 in June. Councillor for Fiestas, Alfonso Cabello, explained that, in the absence of confirmation of the venue of the celebration of the events (read: this is still likely to suffer alteration), which he hopes will be the Tenerife International Centre for Trade Fairs and Congresses (Recinto Ferial), they already have a calendar, in which the first contest to be held will be that of the rondallas.

Thus, on June 1, the Opening Gala of the Carnival will take place, and on the 4th, the Rondallas Contest, will be held at the Guimerá Theater. The next day, and in the same space, the Comedy Song Contest will take place. On Friday, June 10, the Gala for the Election of the Adult Queen will take place at the Recinto Ferial, with the celebration of the contest of the musical groups on the following day, in the same place. 

On Sunday the 12th it will be the turn of the choreographic groups contest.

On June 16, the first phase of the Junior Murgas Contest will take place, the second phase will be held the next day. Update: The children's murgas asked to delay their contest until the last week of June (assuming June 23 and 24), so that it does not coincide with the end of the academic year. 

On Saturday, June 18, it will be the turn for the Comparsas Contest. On Sunday, June 19, the Senior Queen's Election Gala will be held.

The Adult Murgas Contest once again has three phases, on June 20, 21 and 22, to celebrate the grand finale on Friday the 24th has been moved to the week beginning 13 June, so presumably June 13, 14 and 15 with the finale on Friday 17 June.

The Junior Queen Election Gala will be held on Saturday, June 25, and on Sunday, June 26, the Rhythm and Harmony Contest will be the finale of the carnival. Among the dates that remain to be specified is the Burial of the Sardine, which is still to be advised.

“This first meeting has gone very well. The groups have been receptive and willing to collaborate”, explained the Councillor for Fiestas at the end of the meeting that was held at the Recinto Ferial. "The rondallas have welcomed the change of location, to the Guimerá Theater, and as we had announced, the competitions that affect the youngsters have been left to the second half of June so that the final exams are not affected," he added.

The designers expressed concern over the cost of maintaining rented spaces to store the costumes until June, for which the city council has proposed that they present a claim to the City Council arguing the increase in costs due to the change of dates. 

Today a second meeting will take place in which the senior groups, the choreographic groups, the children's murgas and the adult murgas will participate.

Tenerife Carnival 2022 Provisional Program

  • Wednesday 1 June: Carnival Opening Gala 2022
  • Saturday 4 June: Rondallas Contest – Guimerá Theater
  • Sunday 5 June: Comedy Song Contest – Guimerá Theater
  • Friday 10 June: Gala Election of the Carnival Queen 2022 – Recinto Ferial
  • Saturday 11 June: Musical Groups Contest – Recinto Ferial
  • Sunday 12 June: Choreographic Contest – Recinto Ferial
  • Monday 13 June: 1st Phase Adult Murgas Contest – Recinto Ferial
  • Tuesday 14 June: 2nd Phase Adult Murgas Contest – Recinto Ferial
  • Wednesday 15 June: 3rd Phase Adult Murgas Contest – Recinto Ferial
  • Friday 17 June: Adult Murgas Final – Recinto Ferial
  • Saturday 18 June: Comparsas Contest – Recinto Ferial
  • Sunday 19 June: Senior Carnival Queen Election Gala 2022 – Recinto Ferial
  • Thursday 23 June: 1st Phase Junior Murgas Contest – Recinto Ferial
  • Friday 24 June: 2nd Phase Junior Murgas Contest – Recinto Ferial
  • Saturday 25 June: Junior Carnival Queen Election Gala – Recinto Ferial
  • Sunday 26 June: Rhythm and Harmony – Recinto Ferial

Once again, this confirms that this year's carnival will not include parades and street parties. And as the galas and contests look to be moved back indoors, these may have no public audience or severe restrictions on numbers - depending on the situation of the pandemic then. The 'good news' from that will hopefully mean more of these events are broadcast on TV and social media that can then be enjoyed from wherever you are in the world.

UPDATE: With regard to the negotiations for the Recinto Ferial to host the galas and contests in June, the councillor of Fiestas advanced that, "we need Gastrocanarias to move forward two weeks so that the schedule we have planned is fulfilled".

“For now -he continued- we know that the fair can be brought forward a week, but it remains to be seen if it can be two. In case we don't get that time, we will have to move our dates, delaying the beginning a week, and finishing the Carnival the first weekend of July, and not the last of June, as we have planned," said Cabello. So it's still all to play for.

Santa Cruz pays tribute to José Murphy on the bicentennial of Canary Islands capital

Laying a wreath at the statue of José Murphy y Meade in the Plaza de San Francisco.

Yesterday, Thursday, 27 January 2022, Santa Cruz de Tenerife City Council paid tribute to José Murphy and Meade, on the day that the bicentenary of the designation and recognition of Santa Cruz de Tenerife as the capital of the Canary Islands was commemorated, a situation which the city held for 105 years, before the division by provinces in 1927.

This tribute was made by mayor of Santa Cruz, José Manuel Bermúdez, representing the City Council, accompanied by the first deputy mayor, Guillermo Díaz Guerra, in an act that was also attended by Councillor for Culture and Historical Heritage, Gladis de León, and the official chronicler of the city, José Manuel Ledesma. After the speeches, the municipal councillor made a floral offering before the monument erected to José Murphy, accompanied by the president of the Tertulia Amigos del 25 de Julio, Luis García Rebollo.

Yesterday also marked 19 years since, at the initiative of the Tertulia Amigos del 25 de Julio, it was agreed to pay homage every January 27 in the Plaza de San Francisco to José Murphy, where his sculpture was erected. Known as the "father of Santa Cruz de Tenerife", when it did not even possess the title of city, as it was still a town, deputy to the Cortes José Murphy y Meade (Santa Cruz de Tenerife 1774-Mexico 1841) took the necessary steps so that Santa Cruz de Tenerife obtained the status of capital of the region.

200 YEARS

On January 27, 1822, Fernando VII promulgated the royal decree establishing the division of Spanish territory into 52 provinces. It read: “Canarias (islands). Population: 215,108 souls.- Deputies: three.- Capital: Santa Cruz de Tenerife”. This is how the chronicler of Santa Cruz, José Manuel Ledesma, narrates how the deputy José Murphy managed to convince the Cortes that Santa Cruz be named the capital of the Canary Islands. Santa Cruz would remain the sole capital of the Canary Islands until September 23, 1927, when the Government of the dictatorship of General Miguel Primo de Rivera decreed the division of the Archipelago into two provinces: Santa Cruz de Tenerife and Las Palmas.

Carnival Inauguration Galas Revisited

Candidates for Carnival Queen at the Inauguration Gala in 2019

Not many years ago, the presentation of the candidates for the three categories of carnival queen (junior, adult and senior) in Santa Cruz de Tenerife was a simple event without much ceremony and wasn't open to the public, but gradually it became a televised gala event that heralded the beginning of the festivities, before the start of the contests. Most recently, this opening ceremony had taken place in the Plaza Alisios, next to the Auditorio de Tenerife Adán Martín. The inauguration for Santa Cruz de Tenerife Carnival 2022 should have been taking place today, Friday 28 January, but as we now know, the intention is to move this year's carnival to June, because of the current level of COVID infections.


Carnival in danger due to refusal of the Port Authority to give up land for the stage

Stage for Carnival alongside the port in Santa Cruz in 2019

After the meetings being held with the carnival groups last week on Thursday and Friday, we had hoped by now to have had some news of the plans for Santa Cruz Carnival 2022, but it appears that they are not yet finalised and everything is still very much up in the air. 

The first meeting of the year of the Port-City Commission ended with a disagreement between the two institutions that, if not resolved, could lead to the suspension of the Santa Cruz Carnival in June. The council say that the Port Authority's refusal to give up the land on which the Christmas Concert is held so that Fiestas can set up the Carnival stage means, in practice, leaving the capital without adequate space to host the contests and galas, and respect the security measures that the current health situation entails.

The Port Authority explained that "the Port of Santa Cruz will not be able to assume the celebration of the Carnival in the port esplanade proposed by the City Council, as it is a plot in which they carry out port operations and whose availability is a priority for this use”. "This proposal to occupy the port for 60 days for 12 continuous events completely departs from the agreement that had been reached with the City Council to hold specific musical acts in the port area in a number not exceeding three a year", concludes the Port Authority.

Then yesterday, news was that Santa Cruz [Council] had given the Port Authority 24 hours to come to an agreement or the Carnival is in danger. Ultimatums aren't usually a successful strategy and, anyway, didn't they already say no? But, it appears that the Port partially capitulated, proposing to make the pier esplanade available for around a month - up to a maximum of 45 days - as opposed to the two months (60 days) the council had requested, to host the celebration of the Carnival events that will be held in the month of June.

This was revealed Thursday by the president of the Cabildo, Pedro Martín, who acknowledges that work is being done to find "a way out" after several "date changes" in the winter festivals due to the restrictions of the health pandemic. "It is not about doing an event in one day, there are many days and it complicates the situation quite a bit," he admitted, stressing that the Cabildo is also trying to change the entire programming of the Tenerife International Centre for Trade Fairs and Congresses so that the month of June is released. Martín has also proposed the Tíncer insular athletics centre which is "quite large, outdoors and has stands installed", and could be available from May 15 to June 31.

So, in response, Santa Cruz City Council has now ruled out organizing the Carnival in the Port and mayor, José Manuel Bermúdez, has "given orders" to the technicians to look for a new location. And accused the Port Authority of a "lack of respect". 

If you've got this far and still have a will to live, you've done much better than me! Following this has been like watching toddlers have a spat. And it's still anyone's guess when and where any carnival events will take place this year, which anyway, will only be galas and contests and not public events: there will be no parades or street parties

Thursday, January 27, 2022

San Antonio Abad Buenavista del Norte 2022

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

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

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

Controversy over Carnival Poster for 2022

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

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

Buenavista de Norte bus station before

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

108,000 travellers in 2021

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

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Tenerife approaches one car per inhabitant

Deserted roads are becoming harder to find

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

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

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

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

INSULAR MOBILITY PLAN

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

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

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

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

Monday, January 24, 2022

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

The drago of the Colegio Nazaret in Güímar

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, January 23, 2022

Festivity of San Antonio Abad in Los Silos

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

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

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

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

Saturday, January 22, 2022

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


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

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

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

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

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