Thursday, March 31, 2022

31-M: The day it rained a whole year's worth in two and a half hours and claimed 8 lives

Twenty years ago on 31 March 2002 - the catastrophe referred to as 31-M - the highest rainfall recorded in Santa Cruz for at least 70 years caused the Riada de Tenerife de 2002 (Tenerife flood of 2002). 

The Riada de Santa Cruz de Tenerife was a severe convective storm, anchored in AnagaTeide and the Cordillera Dorsal (Dorsal mountain range) acted as an obstacle to the winds from the south west and the Macizo de Anaga (Anaga massif) channelled them to the La Laguna-Santa Cruz area. This would be the triggering factor for the convergences that formed in the area. March 31, 2002 fell on a Sunday, but it was not just any Sunday, but the last of the Easter weekend, paradoxically Resurrection Sunday. Perhaps that was the reason why the tragedy only (!?) claimed 8 fatalities. 

In the early afternoon of Sunday, March 31, 2002, it began to rain over Santa Cruz de Tenerife. What at first was apparently normal rain turned, in a few minutes, into a spectacular downpour over the capital of Tenerife. Up to 224 litres per square meter fell in two and a half hours, according to the measurement of the National Institute of Meteorology. The streets were transformed into rivers that dragged cars, stones and, unfortunately, people. The flood, caused by the action of a storm of the cumulonimbus type, claimed eight lives. 

The last victim was located a week later on the El Médano coast, ten miles from the shore, after having disappeared in San Andrés (65 kilometers to the north). The storm disfigured the city from top to bottom. The damage was extensive, especially in the neighborhoods of La AlegríaVallesecoMaría Jiménez (also known as El Bufadero), Cueva BermejaSan AndrésIgueste de San Andrés and Ifara. More than 500 people were evacuated from their homes and had to spend the night at the Fairs and Congress Centre. There were 30 injured, 700 houses destroyed, 500 premises affected and a thousand vehicles damaged. 60,000 schoolchildren were left without classes for several days. 

A first evaluation determined that the damage exceeded 90 million euros; 80% of the city was left without electricity and almost half without water. The storm caused the collapse of the emergency services, to the point that 112 was cut off for a couple of hours. One hundred thousand telephone lines were cut. Radio, through emergency generators, was the only means of communication. Yet, at the time of the catastrophe, the sun was shining in the north and south of the island.

The Canarian Government decreed three days of official mourning and the Santa Cruz City Council, chaired by Miguel Zerolo, suspended the May Festivities as a sign of mourning. 

The State Government urgently approved a Royal Decree on aid for the victims. Six days after the tragedy, the Cabildo handed over 2,000 euros to each affected family. Later, more aid would arrive from the Santa Cruz City Council and from the island corporation itself. 

One month after the event, King Juan Carlos visited the most affected areas, meeting the relatives of those that died in the floods.

(Source: Stories of the Canary Islands, Juan Carlos Mateu / María Doménech)

Bust in Santa Cruz that remembers the victims of the flood. The sculpture "Person looking to the horizon" was created by the architect Felipe Hodgson Ravina, born in 1951 in Santa Cruz. It is located at the confluence of Rambla de Santa Cruz and Avenida Francisco La Roche in Santa Cruz de Tenerife. Image: Felipe Hodgson, CC BY 3.0

Friday, March 25, 2022

II Rallyesprint Tejina-Tegueste

From the 1st Rallyesprint Tejina-Tegueste in 2021

Sport Events Tenerife are the organisers of the II Rallyesprint Tejina-Tegueste (the 1st edition was held in May 2021) that this year will be held on Saturday, March 26, over a total of five passes and about 40 kilometres against the clock. 

It will be the first event of the 2022 Season of the Tenerife provincial and inter-island Rally Sprints (What is a Rally Sprint?), both in Speed ​​and in Reguarity Sport.

The program of activities begin on Friday 25, with the delivery of documentation and the scheduled checks between the Teatro Príncipe Felipe de Tegueste and the Plaza del Ayuntamiento de Tegueste. The next day, the action will start at 08:30 am and will conclude at 07:30 pm with the award ceremony. In that space of time, five special tests will be held, 'Tejina – Tegueste' (7.50 km at 08:41, 10:41 and 12:41) and 'Tegueste – Tejina' (7.40 km at 3:09 p.m. and 5:25 p.m.). In total, the participants have 37.3 timed kilometres ahead of them.

The II Rallysprint Tejina-Tegueste has the support of the Villa de Tegueste City Council, the La Laguna City Council through its Autonomous Sports Organism, the Cabildo de Tenerife, Worten, Volkswagen Canarias and Naviera Armas.


Saturday, March 05, 2022

The origins of the Carnival Piñata

Piñata

In Tenerife, the last weekend of carnival - which would have been this weekend if carnival had been able to be celebrated at its normal time - and first weekend of Lent, is known as Piñata Weekend when the supposedly pre-Lenten carnival festivities continue on. 

Piñatas are a central element of birthdays and other festive celebration events. Children try to break them to enjoy the loot of candies and other gifts that are hidden inside. However, its origin is in no way related to children's entertainment. The piñata is associated with Latin culture, although historians point to Asia (particularly China) as its actual point of origin. The famous traveller Marco Polo, on his visit to that nation, is supposed to have seen how the Chinese created colourful figures of animals covered with paper, which were hung and used in New Year celebrations. Polo brought the idea of ​​those first piñatas to Europe.

Europeans linked the piñata with the celebrations of Lent. The first Sunday of that liturgical period became "Piñata Sunday", derived from the Italian term pignatta, whose meaning in Spanish is "fragile pot". The custom spread to nearby regions such as Spain, where Lent acquired the celebration of "El Baile de la Piñata" (Piñata Ball), in which a clay vessel known as "la olla" was used to serve as a piñata. Rumours of such a tradition crossed the ocean and reached America. The Spanish missionaries took their piñatas with them, covering them with coloured paper, which gave them a terrifying appearance, with the aim of attracting parishioners to their religious ceremonies. Eventually, the piñata acquired religious significance, since, when decorating it, it was intended to represent Satan, who was credited with wearing attractive masks to induce people to become sinners.

The piñata then took on a satellite shape: a sphere with seven protruding cones, each with a banner at its end. These cones represented the seven deadly sins: greed, gluttony, sloth, pride, envy, anger, and lust. In addition, the fruits and candies inside were symbols of the temptations that wealth and earthly pleasures implied. 

The custom of breaking the piñata arose in Mexico. Blindfolded participants were ordered to hit the piñata in an effort to combat demonic forces. The club used to smash the piñata, meanwhile, symbolized virtue. Once the piñata was broken, its content was the representation of the prize to the participants for being faithful to their faith.

Slowly, the piñata lost its religious association, and today it is considered a symbol of fun and entertainment, although it retains its religious significance in various regions. It can be used during the holiday season or at birthday parties, and is no longer reserved for the Latino culture, as people of all nationalities and backgrounds take turns hitting the piñata.


The Baile de la Piñata (Piñata Ball) continues to be celebrated in various parts of the island and as a central event to the carnival festivities in the remote hamlet of Teno Alto.

Friday, March 04, 2022

Tenerife Carnival Dates for 2023


Santa Cruz Carnival in 2019 was the last that was celebrated with complete normality; Carnival in 2020, if it narrowly missed being curtailed by the start of the pandemic, was disrupted by calima and high windsSanta Cruz Carnival in 2021 was virtual only and Santa Cruz Carnival 2022 is yet to be held in June. So, IF - BIG IF - carnival goes ahead as normal in 2023, these are the dates when it should take place, based on the previous timetables from many previous years. Obviously, still subject to confirmation or change.

Santa Cruz de Tenerife Carnival

The dates for Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife 2023 are now confirmed.

Santa Cruz de Tenerife Carnival 2023
 would normally take to the streets between Friday, 17 February 2023 and Sunday, 26 February 2023. The main events would thus be:

  • Wednesday 15 February 2023 - Election of the Carnival Queen
  • Friday 17 February 2023 - Carnival Opening Parade
  • Tuesday 21 February 2023 - Carnival Main Parade
  • Wednesday 22 February 2023 - Burial of the Sardine
  • Saturday 25 February 2023 - Daytime Carnival 
  • Sunday 26 February 2023 - Parade of Vintage Cars

In 2023 the first election of a Junior King of Carnival in Santa Cruz (it was hoped to have been started in earlier years), is due to take place. It was also announced that both men and women will be able to compete in the galas of the Carnival of Santa Cruz 2023.

Puerto de la Cruz Carnival

  • Thursday 16 February 2023 - Election of the Carnival Queen
  • Saturday 18 February 2023 - Proclamatory Parade
  • Wednesday 22 February 2023 - Burial of the Sardine
  • Friday 24 February 2023 - Mascarita Ponte Tacón
  • Saturday 25 February 2023 - Main Parade

Los Gigantes Carnival

The start of carnival in Los Gigantes is usually on the Friday ten days after Shrove Tuesday. Therefore, using the any year schedule for Los Gigantes carnival, we calculate that their carnival should start on Friday 3 March 2023, with their main parade being held on Sunday 5 March 2023, but will update if we get any further information.

Los Cristianos Carnival

As ever, we won't even guess when Los Cristianos carnival will be held in 2023. We will update if or when any information becomes available from the authorities in Arona. 
  
If you wish to be informed when information about Los Cristianos Carnival 2023 becomes available, may I suggest that you subscribe to our news feedfollow our Facebook page, or Twitter, as whatever I post here will also be posted to all of those social media.

The Canary Islands increase capacity to 100% in the general, sports and cultural fields

Estadio Rodríguez López. Tenerife Edub, CC BY-SA 2.0

The Government of the Canary Islands agreed at the meeting held this Thursday to continue with the de-escalation of the restrictions applied to contain the pandemic caused by COVID-19, after the last measures approved 15 days ago.

The agreement affects the general capacity, both in outdoor and indoor spaces, and those of cultural and sports activity, which is established in both cases at 100% in all the islands, since it is adopted for health alert levels 1, 2 and 3.

The Executive takes this new agreement with the commitment to continue, as it has been doing until now, to be vigilant and prudent in the process of modulating the measures, as has already been happening in all the autonomous communities.

The new measures, which will be published in the Official Gazette of the Canary Islands, will be in force between 00:00 on March 7 and 24:00 on April 30, with the possibility of approving an extension if deemed necessary, according to the evolution of epidemiological and healthcare data.

The Governing Council agrees to this modulation after the report from the General Directorate of Public Health that shows the downward trend in care indicators, which are the ones that in this new phase of the pandemic mark the evolution of the pandemic in the state strategy of detection and monitoring of COVID-19.

The behaviour of the sixth wave, marked by the Ómicron variant, has caused changes in the transmission, evolution and impact of COVID-19 and therefore in the indicators that must be analysed for monitoring.

NEW MEASURES

The main new temporary measures that will be in force on the islands that are at alert levels 1, 2 and 3, starting next Monday, are:

General capacity: 100%, both in outdoor and indoor spaces.

Cultural activity: the maximum capacity, regardless of whether or not it is considered a massive event, will be 100% in both open and closed spaces.

Public shows: cultural, recreational, leisure and entertainment activities, including sports, that take place sporadically and in places other than the establishments intended for the regular exercise of said activity, will have a maximum capacity of 100% both outdoors and in closed spaces, and regardless of whether the public remains standing or sitting, as well as the consumption of food.

Federated and non-federated, professional and non-professional sports practice: it is allowed outdoors or in closed spaces, maintaining the interpersonal distance of 2 meters whenever possible. The number of participants will be limited by the specific regulations of each sport.

Training, competitions and sporting events: the capacity of the public will be 100% both in open spaces and in closed spaces and the measures provided for in the Agreement of the Interterritorial Council of the National Health System of February 16, 2022 on the measures for mass sporting events, including those of the Professional Football League and the ACB League.

Children's and youth camps: The capacity will be 100% for both outdoor activities and indoor activities.

Camping, refuges, non-social shelters and overnight camps: Camping is not allowed, except in the spaces enabled for this activity and the camping area will be delimited respecting the safety distance. The overnight stay will be carried out guaranteeing the distance of 2 meters between beds, bunks or people, and maintaining cross ventilation with outside air. 

Thursday, March 03, 2022

The city council announces the dates of the street carnival in Santa Cruz de Tenerife

Carnival in Santa Cruz de Tenerife

The city council of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, through the Autonomous Organism for Festivities and Recreational Activities (OAFAR), has announced the dates on which the capital's Carnival street events will return, among them, the usual popular daytime dances and at night, the Opening Parade and the Rhythm and Harmony Contest.

A surprise that will be revealed during the night of June 23, will be the starting signal for the carnival 2022. On Friday, June 24, the Carnival will once again take over the streets of Santa Cruz with an Opening Parade, which will give way to the night dances to various Canarian orchestras.

The mayor of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, José Manuel Bermúdez, has expressed the need to "recover as soon as possible the hope and joy in the streets of our city, values ​​that our Carnival represents like few other parties." The mayor has indicated that Santa Cruz "is preparing for the largest program of activities in its history, in which the Carnival will be present." "We intend", he added, "to recover the joy of our streets, interrupted more than two years ago, being aware that all this activity is, in addition, an opportunity to generate wealth and employment in the municipality that is already leading the economic recovery of Tenerife”.

According to the Councillor for Fiestas, Alfonso Cabello, "the organization are managing to start the carnival acts in the street during the night of San Juan"; stating that “as sanitary conditions evolve, the festive programming could also be extended to the following Piñata weekend.” Cabello adds, "we are currently working hard so that the party returns to the street, as has already happened in other Spanish carnivals, or in the parties that will be held in the coming weeks, such as the Fallas de Valencia or the April Fair of Seville"; in this sense "we are going to defend a celebration as normal as possible, and that helps to recover the economy of our municipality".

Alfonso Cabello recalls that "the Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife translates into an economic impact of more than 35 million euros", highlighting that "direct tourism spending in the 2019 edition was estimated at more than 11 million”, an aspect that he considers “key” and that, in addition, supposes “a positive impact also on the rest of the economic spheres linked to our most international festival”.

On Saturday, June 25, a Daytime Carnival will be held, which will give way to the second night of dancing in the street. On Sunday, June 26, in addition to another Daytime Carnival day, the Rhythm and Harmony contest will take place.

El ayuntamiento da a conocer las fechas del Carnaval de calle en Santa Cruz de Tenerife

REMINDER: We are living in uncertain times, so these plans are still subject to cancellation or change. Please factor that in, especially if planning to visit the island from afar.

The Palo Blanco Hillclimb raises the curtain on the 2022 rally season in Tenerife

From the Palo Blanco Hillclimb 2021

The Palo Blanco Hillclimb, scheduled for March 4 and 5 in the municipality of Los Realejos, kicks off the rally calendar in 2022 and this year celebrates its first decade.

The TF-326 road in Palo Blanco will once again be the scene of the event, with two official passes on a 5.52-kilometre route. Throughout the afternoon of March 4, technical verifications are expected in the El Llano car park. On Saturday, March 5 the road will be closed at 07:30 am, with the training round starting at 09:00 am, with the two official rounds scheduled at 11:00 am and 1:15 pm, respectively, concluding with the delivery of trophies at 4:00 pm in the Plaza Nuestra Señora de los Dolores, in Palo Blanco.

Important for the spectators, but even more so for the drivers, is the AEMET weather forecast that announces very low temperatures and a 90 percent chance of rain during the race schedule, so tire selection and management will be essential.

Celestino Díaz, president of the Escudería Daute Realejos, expressed his satisfaction at the celebration of the first ten years of the Palo Blanco Hillclimb, "a long road that we would not have been able to travel without the determined support of the Cabildo de Tenerife and Los Realejos City Council". Díaz thanks the support received in each edition from the drivers, sponsors, fans and the media, while encouraging them to continue "putting their shoulders to the wheel" to guarantee the survival of the race in the chicharrero motor calendar.

Subida a Palo Blanco 2022 arranque la temporada 2022 | La Subida a Palo Blanco levanta el telón de la temporada 2022

Wednesday, March 02, 2022

Why do we bury a sardine on Ash Wednesday to say goodbye to the carnival?

The sardine to be cremated in Santa Cruz de Tenerife in 2019

For several days, costumes, dancing and revelry [usually] flooded the streets of half of Spain. However, on Ash Wednesday everything returns to normal after the Burial of the Sardine. But why do we bury this fish to say goodbye to Carnival?

The burial of the sardine is a Spanish ceremony that consists of a carnival parade that parodies a funeral procession and ends with the burning of a sardine-shaped figure. It is usually celebrated on Ash Wednesday and serves to put an end to the madness of Carnival and usher in the seriousness of Lent. Popularized from the 18th century, as it is such an old tradition, there are various theories about its origin.

According to popular legend, the fault lies with a shipment of sardines in poor condition that arrived at the Madrid markets during the reign of Carlos III (Charles III of Spain). Such was the stench that the king, fearing for the health of his population, had no choice but to order the burial of all the rotten sardines on the banks of the Manzanares River. Convinced by this theory, today the Brotherhood of the Burial of the Sardine in Madrid ends its procession at La Fuente de los Pajaritos in the Casa del Campo, since it is said that it was there that the sardines were buried.

Other historians, on the other hand, relate the party to Jerónimo Grimaldi, one of the last ministers of Carlos III who was curiously nicknamed "the sardine" because of his extreme thinness. It is said that Grimaldi left the city of Madrid around Lent and the people of Madrid decided to bid him farewell with a great masquerade.

Be that as it may, it seems clear that the tradition had its origin in the capital of Spain and from there it spread to other cities in the country and even Latin America. Currently, one of the most massive and famous Burials of the Sardine is the one held in the city of Murcia. However, it has some peculiarities since, for example, it is not used to say goodbye to Carnival but as part of the Spring Festival after Holy Week. 

XVI La Sardina de la Inclusión in La Laguna, a day to make disability visible

This year, in the XVI Edition of La Sardina de la Inclusión (The Sardine of Inclusion), we have complicated circumstances and we have had to reinvent ourselves in order not to stop holding this event that moves so many people. In 2020, shortly before the start of the pandemic, the march through La Laguna gathered some 8,000 people.

Last year the event had to be held virtually and this year's will be similar. Among other things (competitions, conferences, exhibitions...), they are going to make a virtual wall where they want to post the good practices that are carried out in each centre or institution in relation to inclusion.

But … what do we understand by inclusion? An interesting definition can be this:

Inclusion is an approach that responds positively to the diversity of people and individual differences, understanding that diversity is not a problem, but rather an opportunity for the enrichment of society through active participation in family life, in education, at work and in general in all social, cultural and community processes (UNESCO, 2005). 

More information on the Sardina de la Inclusión Facebook page.

The hidden face of Anaga

Macizo de Anaga

Depopulation is a problem that affects a large part of the territories of Spain, in general, and the Canary Islands, in particular. Municipalities such as Garafía, in La Palma, or Anaga, in Tenerife, suffer limitations on the way of life of their inhabitants, in terms of basic services.

The Anaga Rural Park is an asset of high cultural and natural value. It was declared a Biosphere Reserve on June 9, 2015 and is a site of great tourist attraction. 

However, the problems of the Massif are unique, a situation that persists, locals opine, due to the ineffectiveness of the Santa Cruz City Council, the entity in charge of managing the territory. The sum of these factors has as a consequence the migration towards the cities and the increasing depopulation of the hamlets.

Currently, 12,033 people live in the region and the reasons that lead them to leave their homes are multifactorial, such as: poor management of telecommunications, education, health and transportation. 

ANAGA, OUT OF COVERAGE

One of the problems that the inhabited centres of Anaga have is the inefficient telecommunications network. The complicated orography, the weather conditions, as well as the low population density index have caused the Rural Park to be one of the areas with the worst signal coverage in Tenerife. In addition, the condition of Protected Natural Area and Biosphere Reserve obliges the authorities to carry out any work in communication matters, avoiding environmental impact.

The telecommunications infrastructure management plan, prepared by the Cabildo de Tenerife and the Government of the Canary Islands, in 2018, establishes that the coverage of Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) covers 82% of the Island and reaches 98% of the habitants. Despite the fact that the problem affects 2% of Tenerife residents, it is the duty of the institutions to guarantee access to information. However, and although it is an obligation of the public authorities, articulating this right in the area is very complex.

One of the great milestones experienced by the towns of Anaga was the analog blackout of 2010. From then on, all analog signals were suppressed in favor of DTT, a technology with higher audiovisual quality. However, the problem with the new standard is that it does not understand average terms, either it is seen or it is not seen, while the analog one, with interference, allowed different signals to be tuned. When the blackout was executed, the first problems began. One of the characteristics of Anaga is the dispersion of the houses and, although the signal reached the main villages in the area, the most distant homes lost access to television.

Regions like Anaga, with communication difficulties, are called shadow zones. A term that, according to the Ministry of Economy and Business, is an area where "once the deployment and extensions of land coverage have been completed, they do not have a signal or it is very poor". Over the months, the situation was resolved thanks to the use of satellite television, by installing a satellite dish in each affected home. However, the inconveniences did not stop accumulating, such as, for example, the poor maintenance of the repeaters, responsible for carrying the signal.

Another of Anaga's great communication problems is the internet. Today, the Rural Park works with an ADSL connection and the city council has not expressed any plans to install the fiber optic network in the Massif. The most recent news dates from 2017, the year in which the Cabildo de Tenerife undertook to deploy a WiMax connection. The standard promoted by the insular institution assumes that the population of the Rural Park can access an internet connection via satellite and better than ADSL. However, its quality is far from that offered by fiber optics.

THEY ARE GOING TO CLOSE OUR SCHOOLS!

The education factor is another of the determining factors for the people who live in Anaga. The area barely has centres that allow the academic development of infants, which makes it difficult to access this basic right. In the Massif there are four institutions in operation, which is insufficient for the 26 settlements that exist there, given the great dispersion between them and the little training that is offered.

The lack of educational institutions is due to the fact that there are few students in the region, which, in turn, is a consequence of the scarcity of basic services. In recent years, institutions in Afur, Casas de la Cumbre, Taborno, Almáciga and Chamorga have been closed.

Since the end of the last century, the schools decided to unite and create the 'Collective of Rural Schools of Anaga’ (CER Anaga), to support each other through cooperation between teachers and institutions. The association has been working against the closure of centres and the lack of commitment of the government bodies in charge.

Chamorga, Macizo de Anaga, Tenerife Michal Klajban, CC BY-SA 4.0

The CER Anaga, the Governing Board and the Neighbourhood Associations of the Rural Park, released the sixth volume of 'Anaga Cuenta' (Anaga Counts), in April 2000, headed by the headline "THE SCHOOLS ARE GOING TO CLOSE!" The publication highlighted the importance of having educational centres enabled for the youngest, and thus avoid "couples having to emigrate, in order to give their children the educational opportunities that they did not have."

Luján González, president of the Taganana Neighbourhood Association, notes that “with depopulation, the number of students has been decreasing. There are currently twelve in Taganana. In the years 1970-80's there could be between 30 and 40 children per classroom”.

El Macizo adopted an initiative called 'Biosphere Schools' in the 2018-19 academic year, a project that seeks to create collaboration networks between educational centres. Participating in this are CEIP Punta del Hidalgo, CEIP Melchor Núñez Tejera, in Tegueste, CEIP Julián Rojas de Vera, in Taganana, and CEIP Sor Florentina and Agustín Cabrera Díaz, in Roque Negro. In the 2019-20 academic year, Anaga institutions only had 39 students enrolled. A situation that is getting worse after each year and that limits the opportunities for learning and social development of the youngest.

THE INEFFICIENCY CURVES

Currently, Anaga is experiencing a problem with its network of buses. In the words of the insular director of Highways, Tomás García, “it is very important to reach consensus in order to carry out the work on the entire highway that reaches Almáciga. Having solved the inconveniences in this route, the others will be very easy to tackle”.

The central casuistry, on which the rest of the problems revolve, are the infrastructures. To this is added what the insular director of Mobility, José Alberto León, says, stating that the solution lies in establishing and promoting mobility in public transport.

In the words of Luján González, the public transport system in Anaga is “precarious”. In addition, he comments that it is important to have your own vehicle, because if you travel by bus you may have limitations, both in leaving and to return to town.

Most of the roads are in poor condition. Faced with this, Tomás García confirmed, last April, that they are working to form a new crew of personnel aimed at maintenance. This began to work last summer on the Anaga roads. 

The traffic that accumulates on the roads of the main neighbourhoods of Anaga makes life difficult for its inhabitants. The high volume of drivers who come each week is significant. These, on occasion, leave their vehicles in the middle of a road that is predominantly narrow, with almost no possibility of finding a place to park. This creates problems for bus drivers, who see their route is hampered and impossible to follow.

The case is exacerbated by situations such as the San Andrés Bridge, which joins Taganana, Almáciga and Taborno, and which was under construction until December. This is the main connection point to get to Santa Cruz.

Intersindical Canaria, the majority union within Titsa, asks for the construction of a second bridge. The union believes that this latest reform of the bridge will mean that "when it is completed, vehicles of more than twelve tons will not be allowed to pass, limiting access of Titsa vehicles, tourist or school buses."

Throughout the process of improving the structure, the residents of the towns of Anaga have had great mobility difficulties. This despite the creation of a provisional bridge. The limitation of access for heavy vehicles, as well as the few connections (one route through Santa Cruz de Tenerife and the other through La Laguna, through Las Mercedes) have been the biggest problems.

Church of Nuestra Señora de Las Nieves, Taganana Jose Mesa, CC BY-SA 2.0

CONDITION OF THE PATIENT, IMPROVABLE

Regarding the health field, there are only two clinics, in San Andrés and Taganana, and a health centre in Valleseco. The other villages have to go to the nearest health institution. Specifically, the neighbourhoods affected by this medical shortage are 16: Afur, Almáciga, Bailadero, Catalanes, Casas de la Cumbre, Chamorga, Cueva Bermeja, El Draguillo, La Cumbrilla, Lomo de las Bodegas, Los Campitos, Mª Jimenez, Roque Bermejo , Roque Negro, Taborno and Valle Tahodio.

Due to the dispersion of the populations, the aforementioned hamlets are at a considerable distance from clinics. Infrastructures that, in addition, have few medical personnel who can attend to the health needs of the villages.

Taganana's office does not have an emergency service.

In clinics like the one in Taganana, the doctor comes to write a prescription, but this professional is not permanent, so the centre is not open on weekends. The absence of ambulances causes waiting times to be high. Luján González comments that “you can go to any consultation during the week, but if you want to go to the doctor, you have to go to Santa Cruz. If you have something serious, you stay by the wayside”.

Last September, the residents of San Andrés presented more than 600 signatures to the Ministry of Health demanding better primary care. 

Despite this situation, there are initiatives to help, with special interest, the elderly. This is the case of the Anaga Project, created by the Official Association of Pharmacists of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, in collaboration with the Insular Institute of Social and Socio-Sanitary Care (IASS).

The proposal is based on the delivery of personalized drug dosage systems (SPD) at the patient's home. Devices that facilitate the taking of drugs and their proper dosage, at breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Visits are made every two weeks and are complemented by weekly telephone follow-up. However, during the lockdown of 2020, calls were daily, since the homes were only visited once a month.

THE HONEY OF AUTONOMY

Anaga is a particular area, with different conditions from the rest of the island. However, its administration is divided between three municipalities; those of La Laguna, Tegueste and Santa Cruz de Tenerife. A condition that makes it difficult to carry out specific actions for this region.

In the case of Taganana, its City Council was formed in 1813, until its annexation to Santa Cruz, in the year 1850. However, the inhabitants requested its restitution in the year 1859, to be denied. In 1868 a revolutionary City Council was constituted, which was in force for nine years until its disappearance. Since then, the hamlet definitely became part of the municipality of the capital.

Luján González, president of the Neighbourhood Association, comments that "Taganana is a town, we do not feel like Santacruceros, for us it was a disgrace to lose our City Hall." In addition, the hamlets of the Macizo are in a state of “desolation” by public institutions, he affirms. This is why they seek help or support from Santa Cruz and indicates that “as part of the municipality, we have the right. A right that we were forced to have by eliminating the Taganana Council.”

PUBLIC RESPONSIBILITY

The laws of conservation of the environment, the orography and the scarce economic yield that Anaga supposes, have caused that the depopulation situation has worsened over the years. Excessive bureaucracy and lack of sensitivity and politics, causes the solutions that are proposed to take years to implement and, when they do, they are poorly executed.

Poor healthcare, school closures and poor transport systems in the Massif have brought socio-economic development to a complete standstill. Currently, the region depends economically on tourism, its hiking trails and landscapes. However, this activity does not affect all the villages equally, since Taganana mainly benefits from this activity.

Creating solutions to depopulation

The Government of the Canary Islands, together with the Canarian Federation of Municipalities, launched an agreement with the aim of reducing depopulation in rural areas of the islands in 2021. From there, a total of 14.5 million euros, which will be distributed among the 58 more depopulated municipalities. The criteria to carry out the distribution are: the creation of a solidarity fund, the number of inhabitants and the level of applicants for protected housing, in order to make an equitable distribution.

In addition, the businesses of the village follow the same fiscal conditions as the capital. This ends up being a limitation for the development of trade in the area. González points out that "they cannot charge the same taxes to those who have a store in Taganana, as in Castillo Street", given that the isolation and accessibility problems of the village are clear handicaps compared to the cities.

To carry out this report we have contacted the different authorities involved in the management of the Anaga Natural Park. However, we have not received a response from those in charge, redirecting us to different bodies of the City Council and Cabildo. This situation exemplifies the impotence of the population of Anaga, who do not obtain useful and rapid responses from their institutions.

The poor state of all these public services are the main obstacle for the inhabitants of Anaga. The solution to these problems lies with the authorities, who must assume their obligation to the Park's public services. Although, for this, they must first abandon their search for economic profitability.

* 4th year journalism students at the University of La Laguna 

Tuesday, March 01, 2022

Tenerife in March 2022

From the Main Parade of Carnival in Santa Cruz de Tenerife 2019

There are no national public holidays in March, but 1 March 2022 is Shrove Tuesday, traditionally the day of the Carnival Main Parade in Santa Cruz to Tenerife, and which is a municipal holiday in the city, as well as in many other locations on the island. 

'Carnival Tuesday' this year has still been declared a municipal holiday in Arafo, Arico, Arona, Candelaria, El Rosario, El Sauzal, Fasnia, Granadilla de Abona, Icod de los Vinos, La Matanza de Acentejo, La Orotava, La Victoria de Acentejo, San Cristóbal de La Laguna, San Miguel de Abona, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Santa Úrsula and Tacoronte.

There will be no carnival parade today, however, with Santa Cruz Carnival 2022 to be held in June. We await to hear whether there will be any parades or other events in the streets then, which will very much depend on the evolution of the pandemic.

Santa Cruz gets 9.4 million euros from Next Generation funds to limit city centre traffic

Calle de la Rosa, Santa Cruz de Tenerife. Jose Mesa. Some rights reserved

Santa Cruz received confirmation last week of its access to Next Generation funds through the Zona de Bajas Emisiones (ZBE) (Low Emissions Zone, or Clean Air Zone (CAZ) project with which it intends to limit traffic access to the city centre. 

The Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda published the concession of 9.4 million euros for the implementation of this project, to which the Santa Cruz City Council contributes another 5.6 million, to complete the more than 15 million for the implementation of this ZBE, which also involves the purchase of 100% electric buses (2.2 million), the remodelling of the streets of Imeldo Serís (1.9) and La Rosa (1.7), a personal mobility network (1.2) and auxiliary installations for electric buses (696,000 euros).

This project, which on the map coincides with the Zona de Gran Afluencia Turística (Area of ​​Great Tourist Influx), involves the implementation of up to 39 points with license plate recognition cameras, the limitation of surface parking to favor its use by residents and the implementation of what is known as blue zone, to favor the rotation of existing car parks.

Mayor, José Manuel Bermúdez, praised this milestone, pointing out that “the granting of more than nine million for projects related to the future Low Emissions Zone of Santa Cruz de Tenerife is great news for the city. It supposes, in the first place, an endorsement of the projects presented by the capital and the officials of each of the services involved. These initiatives are well constructed and have an obvious justification for the benefit of improving the quality of life of citizens”.

The alderman added that, “on the other hand, they also imply the promotion of a city project, a planning that implies that citizens gain space from cars; that the city's services sector, which is the majority, can generate new business opportunities and continue building jobs, and, in addition, continue promoting the reduction of polluting gas emissions”. Bermúdez defended that the development of this project "will also allow us to recover, for the enjoyment of the residents, and to revalue, one of the main arteries of the city centre such as Calle de La Rosa, which residents have been looking for for a long time”.

For the new head of Public Services, Carlos Tarife, "the approval of this project represents a boost to a transformation of the city and its public services, to become less polluting, more efficient, and closer to the objectives of sustainable development" .

From the Mobility area, Evelyn Alonso, pointed out that “Santa Cruz is experiencing a key moment in terms of the transformation of mobility and its relationship with sustainable policies. This project is a starting point and supposes an impulse to continue implementing measures that favor a mobility closer to the needs of the citizenry”. 

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