In Tenerife

Welcome To Janet Anscombe in Tenerife

In real life, I am an ancient historian, and was a university lecturer in Classics & Ancient History specializing in rhetoric, law and politics before moving to Tenerife. I’ve been here now for an astonishing ten years that has gone in a flash, after finding Higher Education had become little more than a processing factory for successful graduates who would be in debt for decades, or unsuccessful ones who were set up by the system to feel like abject failures after being encouraged to aspire to a level of education that was simply beyond them. Tenerife was our holiday home from home before 2004, and the obvious place to choose to retire. It is a sub-tropical haven with a pretty much year-round Spring climate and a language and culture both exotic and familiar. For anyone who wants to stay in Europe but in a place with a buzz, and who has rheumatoid arthritis, like me, and so needs steady humidity and kind temperatures, it is just about perfect.

I live with my husband in a tiny 200-year-old Canarian cottage on the edge of a mountain village a kilometer above the west coast. Our garden is full of flowers and trees, and lizards who now clearly consider us protection and food source combined. We have to resist constant demands for more egg mayonnaise, and shuffle them out of the way as they run at us for more banana now please! One thing I love about living at altitude is that we have seasons, something I think expatriates’ bodies simply need, and in Spring the air is heady with blossom scent from fruit and almond trees, and in autumn it’s a glorious relief to see autumnal colour and falling leaves while watching the mist rolling up the barranco like a steam train! Here’s a view from up here that I never tire of, looking out over the sea to the light show over La Gomera that is different every day. The “blessed isles”. Yes, indeed!

Over the last decade, I have spent quite a bit of my time indulging my interest in houses and homes, particularly interior design but also architecture – ancient architecture was always one of my favourite sidelines in work. My main fields, however, of rhetoric, law and politics have been the launchpad for considerable research into modern Spanish law and politics. If I see this website as having any function beyond that of personal enjoyment, it is as a source of advocacy for anyone thinking of moving here, or actually living here and struggling with bureaucracy and legalities. Ideally in such a place, people would be stress free and fulfilling their ideal of “living the dream”, but all too often it turns into a nightmare. I hope this site is helpful to anyone looking for accurate up-to-date information about what is happening here as well as a straightforward guide to the legalities and bureaucracy involved for resident and visiting foreigners, and their rights and responsibilities.

Please investigate the tabs across the top of the page. They lead to information and advice on being legal, owning property or living here – there are also a few private sales for those looking to buy property – as well as questions and answers on a wide range of related topcis. There are links to pages on everything from the rights of consumers generally to those of patients in the health service in particular, and from keeping dogs to donating a body to science! Under “Useful Stuff”, you’ll find some Spanish vocabulary, links to jobs available for English speakers, books written about Tenerife, essential places to visit, readers’ photos, how to stay safe in heat and water, and a full calendar of “what’s on” with links to detailed information about events.

Below on this page are the latest of regularly-updated posts about news and events; for earlier items, just look to the right and click on the main news link or on a particular date in the calendar  (just hover over a date and it will show you the posts made on that day). The right hand column also has buttons to “follow me” on Facebook, Twitter or by RSS feed; a search box to help locate news items or information of interest; links to recent comments made by readers (please do express opinions or ask questions – just click on individual headlines to find the comments box); and the latest news from the BBC and in English from El Pais. The final tab at the top of the page is to Links and Laws, a whole range of legal, official, practical and inspirational resources for anyone with an interest in this wonderful island I call home.

COPYRIGHT: Apart from press releases or where expressly stated otherwise, I have written every single word of text on this website myself. The entire content therefore belongs to me or the source I quote and the copyright is protected and reserved. Readers are welcome to take text without permission as long as they expressly name and provide a link to this site. If anyone wants to use anything without crediting me in this way, please ask first.


 

Latest news and events in Tenerife

Click HERE for the What’s On Diary

Illegal letting cases consolidation report

Update 2 September: I had a meeting with José Escobedo yesterday and we discussed the issues surrounding the two questions he posed at the end of his article which I posted below. We also discussed the situation with respect to cases still in court.

With the exception of one particular batch of cases, the government has now largely accepted that its initial fines – based on internet inspection alone – are being thrown out of court based on the defences José has prepared. Away from the courts, the system here allows an application to be made direct to the government to cancel the fines, and these applications are now being accepted because the government knows it is pointless proceeding. So those who found out about their fines too late and now have a charge lodged against their property and/or bank account, or those who have a court case underway (some are still to be heard in January and February 2015), can apply now for cancellation. This would mean that the fine never existed: those in court would stop their process, and those imposed with the owners never knowing or appealing, would be lifted.

José has spent the last several weeks working on future possible defences for fines imposed on the basis of the more rigorous inspections now being carried out, involving physical on-site inspections, interviews with administrators and presidents of complexes, etc. I am now in a difficult position because to give significant detail about these potential defences would forearm the inspectorate, and that would undermine the legal work José has been doing: suffice to say that the defences are based on legal points tangentially related to the Ascav campaign for “vacational letting”.

I’ll say no more about the defences, and I hope that’ll be understood, and move on now to our discussions about that Ascav campaign. José used the analogy of “firefighting”, and of course we have the same metaphor in English, where an authority introduces a rule and then just stamps out problems arising from it when they erupt, rather than introducing cohesive rules in the first place. This is, in part, what has happened with tourism legislation in the Canaries, including the new law which came in last year and which is currently under review. Part of this review now, it is clear, involves plans to “regulate” this so-called vacational letting in accordance with agreements given to Ascav.

As I’ve said before, Ascav is primarily concerned with Canarian owners throughout the islands. These Canarian owners, however, are voters, which is one very good reason why their campaign has hit home in a way that Alotca’s never could. The government has to show its own electorate that it is at least listening, and it is now clear that it will do that by introducing regulation of some sort. The firefighting method of legislating, however, runs into a problem here because the government also has to appease Ashotel, which is fiercely opposed to any regulation: Ashotel, indeed, says that there is no need for regulation at all because commercial holiday letting is illegal under the terms of Canarian law.

Canarian law, though, is not the only law applicable in the Canaries. We are part of Spain, and as I reported HERE last year, there is new national legislation to flexibilise the rental market. This law is self-evidently not part of tourism legislation, either national or regional, but it concerns rentals. And article five has significance because it can be deconstructed to read that regional parliaments are actually required to pass “vacational letting regulation”, or at least must do so if they wish to have any control over regional tourism measures or their enforcement.

I am not going to go any further into this because José is now drafting something and we will then be working on it together - I’ll post it at that point, hopefully this will be in the near future. What I’ve just said, however, should at least explain why the government is keen to come to agreement with Ascav: not only do they have to appease voters, it seems they should have specific regulation in their legislation in any case.  Needless to say, José and I both think that due to the conflicting requirement to placate Ashotel, this regulation, when it comes – and they say it will come at the end of this year – will not be liberating. It will, though, be enough for the government to say it has listened to its voters and issued the regulation that was demanded.

Obviously until we see the proposed regulation we are guessing, but I think our guess is an educated and informed one. Meanwhile, the defences José has been working on will be valid for any fines issued on the basis of the more rigorous inspections but before the vacational letting regulation is in force. I’ll update again when José has finished his draft report and we’ve worked it up for publication.

Original post 21 August: I have an update – more a consolidation report, really – from José Escobedo of the situation now that the 2013-2014 judicial year is over and the courts are now closed for August. I will be meeting with him in a couple of weeks to discuss the questions he poses at the end, which evidently relate to how the law is interpreted in respect of advertising, and to what the result will be of the current legislative review and, I imagine, what internal changes to the law might arise with regard to “regulating vacational property”, the Ascav campaign. I will post again, obviously, after that meeting.

I am pleased to report that I have now had trials in all 4 courts in Santa Cruz. The last trial took place in July in court 3; initially this was the only judge reluctant to accept that fines issued from internet inspections were illegal. In fact  the Government presented a precedent in this court in which this judge rejected the claim of an owner who had been inspected on the internet.

I can now confirm that I have court decisions from all courts (1,2,3, and 4) confirming that these massive inspections made on internet are null and void and consequently ilegal.

As a result of this legal work and subsequent court rulings, the Government is canceling the fines to those owners who have been fined based on inspections made on the internet. Recently we have received  a substantial number of resolutions from “Presidencia” of the Canarian Government confirming that the fines are illegal and outlining the Court decisions that have already been issued in our cases ref. this matter.

May I point out, that this fine cancellation is not automatic, but has to be applied for by the owner who has been inspected on the internet, fined and probably had an embargo placed on his bank acc. or property. There are a number of people who advertised on the internet and been fined who do not even know about this, specially those who were advertising property in homeaway.com parent web pages.

It is also important to note that we have had cases where owners or estate agents have been wrongly advised and when they received the first letter, have written to the authorities admitting that they have been letting properties or have been advertising properties on web pages. In these cases there is little we can do but we have managed to reduce the fines.

Those owners who have been fined for internet advertising and have lost the opportunity to challenge the fines through the ordinary appeals, have now got a last chance to get the fine cancelled and remove the embargoes on their property and accounts …. provided that they have not already admitted responsibility.

The legal battle is now over and there still a small door open for those who have been illegally fined if they use the right and last legal resource.

Finally, the main question now is where do we go from here:

1) Can owners rent their property?
2) Is the law going to change soon?

Unemployment figures 2014

Update 2 September: Despite the first national rise for six months, unemployment fell in the Canaries with 1,754 fewer people out of work, a drop of 0.65% on last month, and of 6.79% on August 2013 . Within the Canaries, the eastern province did slightly better with a fall of 1,090 (-0.77%) compared with Santa Cruz de Tenerife’s drop of 664 (-0.53%). There are now 266,668 unemployed in the islands, say the monthly statistics issued today by the Ministerio de Empleo y Seguridad Social.

Update 4 August: Unemployment fell in the Canaries by 1,637 in July, a fall of 0.61% from June and leaving 268,422 out of work in these islands, the latest figures from the Ministerio de Empleo y Seguridad Social show. Interannually, last month’s figures are down 21,953 from July 2013, a drop of 7.56% in the Canaries.

Of the 268,422 out of work here, 142,085 are in the eastern province of Las Palmas, where unemployment dropped 1.319 (-0.92%) in July, and 318 (-0,25%) in the province of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, leaving 126,337 out of work in Tenerife, La Gomera, La Palma and El Hierro.

Nationally, numbers registered as unemployed fell by 29,841, a drop of 0.67% on June, leaving 4,419,860 out of work in Spain. These falls are normal in summer – unemployment hasn’t risen in July since 2008 – though three regional communities did register rises, namely Aragón (317), Murcia (1,689) and Madrid (550).

Update 2 July:  Canarian unemployment fell in the Canaries by 1.59% in June, meaning that there are 4,353 fewer unemployed than in May. There are now 270,059 people out of work throughout the islands, according to figures released today by the Ministerio de Empleo y Seguridad Social. Year on year, unemployment has fallen by 22,995 compared to June 2013, a fall of 7.85%. Nationally, Spain’s unemployment fell in June by 122,684, leaving 4.4m out of work throughout the country.

Update 3 June: May’s unemployment figures have been released by the Ministerio de Empleo y Seguridad Social, and show that in the Canaries jobless numbers fell by 2,374 from April, a drop of 0.86%. There are now 274,412 people out of work in the islands. Compared with May 2013, last month’s figures show a drop of 7.41%, which in absolute terms takes 21,950 off the lists of the unemployed over the last year. Nationally, unemployment fell in May by 111,916, leaving 4,572,385 people out of work.

Update 6 May: The Canaries’ unemployment figures for April fell by 712, a drop of 0.26% on March, and an interannual reduction of 19,038, a drop of 6.44% compared with April 2013. There are now 276,786 out of work in the islands. In the two provices, Tenerife is faring slightly better than Las Palmas, with 129,603 unemployed and a monthly drop of 0.45% compared with 147,183 unemployed and a fall of 0.09% in the eastern province.

Update 2 April: Spain as a whole is predicting very slow and fragile growth, but is claiming support for this by a further drop in the numbers of people out of work for what is now the eigth consecutive month to 4.8m unemployed nationally. Here in the Canaries, however, unemployment rose by 1,947 in March, a further rise of 0.75% on February, leaving 277,498 out of work in these islands: a possibly even more tragic figure is that almost half, 47.1%, are now without any welfare support of any form, a figure confirmed by the Ministerio de Empleo y Seguridad Social.

For those who might need to know what to ask for if they need help themselves, the 52.9% of Canarian unemployed who are getting some welfare help are receiving either “prestación contributiva” (54,343), subsidio (69,235), or “renta activa de inserción” (22,085). Given the numbers it is easy to work out that this means 129,888 people in the Canaries are without any income whatsoever. The only possibly positive news in this whole sorry affair is that unemployment fell this March compared with March 2013, a drop of 14,174, or 4.86%.

Update 4 March: Unemployment fell slightly last month, dropping 483 people, leaving 275,551 out of work here, a monthly fall of 0.17%. The tiny drop is perhaps significant because this is the first February since 2007 in which a fall has been recorded: normally there is a rise with temporary winter contracts coming to an end: in February 2009, for example, it rose 154,000! If unemployment has fallen here despite this seasonal factor, it could offer some support to the authorities’ claims that things are on the up here, at last. It might be grasping at straws, but at least there is a straw to grasp at!

Update 4 February: After a few good months with unemployment figures falling, January’s statistics show a rise of 0.72%, with some 1,981 more people out of work than in December. The increase is being put down to the ending of temporary contracts granted either for the latter half of 2013, or the Christmas period. The figures were released today by the Ministerio de Empleo, and they confirm a total of 276,034 out of work in the Canaries. In the western province of Santa Cruz de Tenerife it rose by 777, a total of 129,256 unemployed in Tenerife, La Gomera, La Palma and El Hierro.

Unemployment rose throughout Spain in January, but the Canaries had the lowest rise; only the Balearics had a drop in numbers out of work. And yet, nationally, January unemployment figures overall rose by the smallest amount for seven years. It was the Balearics, too, that had the best interannual drop, 5%. The Canaries was again in second place, close behind, however, with a fall of 4.66%, 13,483 unemployed compared with January 2013. In Tenerife’s province, the yearly drop was 4.68%, 6,348.

Only the other day Canarian president Paulino Rivero claimed that this is “the beginning of the good times”. His critics said that the figures are misleading because the recent drops did not represent real jobs. January’s figures bring an always unwelcome rise, but there seem reasons for some optimism all the same. Let’s hope they’re not illusory, and that those hoping for recovery are seeing genuine glimmers of hope rather than clutching at straws.

Update 3 January 2014: Last year ended with unemployment figures continuing to fall, with a drop of 9,300 throughout the Canaries, making a fall of 10,862 throughout the year. That leaves 274,000 people out of work here. We have to hope that this improvement continues, and the president of the Canaries, Paulino Rivero, has nailed his colours to the mast by claiming that this is “the beginning of the good times”. I’m sure he hopes he’s right, for more than one reason, not least to counter his critics, who claim that the figures are misleading because the drop does not represent real jobs.

They claim, indeed, that the situation is actually worse than previously because numbers of long term unemployed who are now beyond all state assistance have risen, and now represent a frightening 47.9%, nearly half, of those out of work – and this figure is confirmed by the Ministerio de Empleo y Seguridad Social. If President Rivero is right, things are on the up, but I don’t think anyone is beguiled into thinking that recovery will be quick, or easy.

I’ve pruned this post to make it more manageable on the home page. Previous posts now titled “Unemployment figures 2013″ are HERE.

Forest fires 2014

Update 1 September: The La Gomera cabildo has said this morning that the fire is under control as of 8am and work continues to extinguish it fully. These works are expected to last the whole day in the Lomo del Balo and the head of the Barranco del Mono areas, with four squads with fire engines, three extinction technicians, two environment agents, and one national park official. Those residents who were evacuated have now been allowed to return to their homes.

La Gomera president asimiro Curbelo Curbelo said that yesterday’s work was hard, and he thanked the efforts made by all the teams – official, fire fighting, national park, and local social and radio volunteers. This morning will be spent, he said, evaluating the situation to determine how best to proceed throughout the forthcoming hours. The Canarian government helicopter which helped firefighting efforts last evening will remain in the island’s airport in case it should be needed again today. The authorities hope that they will be able to pronounce the fire extinguished by tonight or tomorrow morning.

Update 31 August: It’s two years since the last major fire on La Gomera (link), and hopefully this will be nothing like as bad, but the island is burning again tonight. A fire started around 6.30 in the Alojera area of Vallehermoso, and although through this evening it was thought to be under control, the island and fire-fighting authorities say that the situation has become “more difficult” as air support has been withdrawn as darkness fell and the wind direction has changed down towards inhabited areas. The areas of El Lomo, El Lomo del Balo and El Mono, are being evacuated for security reasons. Hopefully there’ll be better news in the morning, but for tonight, here are the images of this evening’s air firefighting effort and the fire after dark:

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Original post 6 August: Last year’s forest fires post (link) was a very short one, thank god! Hopefully this 2014 one will be too, though the official fire risk level has leapt this week with talk of a heatwave over the next week or so. Nothing firm is forecast, but next week temperatures could rise significantly if meteorologists’ early indications turn out as anticipated.

There have been a few minor “conatos” (outbreaks) so far this year, all being got under control and extinguished in very short order. We have a fire plane now too, as promised, stationed in La Gomera until the end of October, and the government has issued its “protection measures for forest fires” advice – see HERE.

What fires there have been so far have the stamp of carelessness or arson about them, and this morning is no exception. For the second time in a month, there is a fire in the same area of the Güímar valley, and bomberos are currently working near the Los Monjes recreational area to get it under control. 

Tenerife’s summer fiestas season is back with the return of the Virgen del Carmen

Update 1 September: Just a reminder that Los Cristianos’ Virgen del Carmen fiesta begins today and will last until 8 September. The most public event will be the fireworks, which will be let off from three points on the beach after the procession of the virgin’s statue and a religious mass from 8pm on Sunday 7th. The event will start in Church Square, and make its way to the harbour via Avda Los Playeros, the cultural centre, Calle Amalia Alayón, Avda. Los Playeros again, then the Paseo Marítimo (Av. Juan Afonso Bautista), to the old harbour.

Update 30 July: Virgen del Carmen fiestas are held throughout Tenerife all through the summer. Guía de Isora has just released the programme for the one in Playa san Juan, which starts today. Please click on the image above to see it full size. Los Cristianos’ will be 1-8 September.

Copyright: Chuck Urmson

Copyright: Chuck Urmson

Original post 18 June: It’s midsummer, and Tenerife is pretty much on holiday now from now and through July and August, and over these next two months or so throughout the island there is a series of fiestas honouring the Virgen del Carmen – the Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel who is the patron saint of fishermen. Perhaps the biggest celebration is in Puerto de la Cruz where tens of thousands will congregate on 15 July, whereas Los Cristianos’ celebration is particularly popular in the south – this year’s is 1-8 September. The same will take place, however, in most coastal towns and villages, albeit on a smaller scale. The fiesta almost always involves a religious service followed by a ritual march with the Virgin’s statue being carried to the sea accompanied by musical bands and locals often in traditional dress. It is then loaded into a boat which sails around a harbour or stretch of coastline to bless local fishermen and their catches for the coming year. The event ends with the inevitable fireworks, and music, dancing and food – which last throughout the following three or so days, usually over a long weekend, though some, like Santiago del Teide’s, last a fortnight!. Inland, the Virgen del Carmen is honoured for protecting and preserving the fertilility of Tenerife’s volcanic soil and its agricultural productivity. Our own village fiesta is in July, and I’ve posted descriptions of the utter chaos before, including how we are given our own bomberos truck which parks at the top of our little mountain road, and about the time they set our neighbour’s house on fire … see HERE, it’s called “Helmets and hosepipes time” for very good reason! Last year, one of the Catherine Wheels came loose and rolled down the hill, very much alight, chased by several fireworks “technicians” in something of a panic. There is a photo of one of the Catherine Wheels above, and more images from last year’s display HERE. I’ll post dates for the more popular ones as and when I come across them. For the moment, Santiago del Teide has announced theirs as 3-17 July: click on the following thumbnails to see the programme fullsize. Wherever you watch or participate in this year’s Virgen del Carmen fiestas, have a great time!

British man missing in sea off La Caleta

GES helicopter & lifeboat: picture supplied by Bomberos Tenerife via 112 Canaries

GES helicopter & lifeboat: picture supplied by Bomberos Tenerife via 112 Canaries

Update 31 August: Sadly, but perhaps inevitably now, Salvamento Marítimo has announced that the body of the missing British man, identified as Ars Salam of Derby, was found around 9am this morning half a mile from La Caleta up the Guía de Isora coast. The body has been taken to Los Cristianos harbour where the judicial authorities took over the case.

Update 30 August: The search for the 34-year-old British man swept out to sea at playa de Los Morteros in La Caleta on Thursday has entered a third day. The emergency services coordination centre (Cecoes) says that the search is being conducted by land, sea and air, and involves a GES helicopter and ground unit, one lifeboat from Salvamento Marítimo and another from the Guardia Civil, and teams of bomberos and Policía Local.

Update 29 August: This man remains missing. His identity has not been confirmed yet, but he is said to be 34 years old, and fell into the sea from some rocks around the little bay. Some fellow bathers attempted to rescue him but failed, indeed they almost got into difficulties themselves. Involved in the search are GES helicopter and lifeboat, a Guardia Civil patrol launch with specialist divers, as well as Adeje Policía Local and land search teams.

Original post 28 August: Emergency services including lifeboats and a helicopter have been searching this afternoon for a British man who has gone missing in the sea at La Caleta, Adeje.

 

Man in critical condition after fall at Garachico rock pools

An elderly man is in critical condition after falling in the natural rock pools at Garachico. The man, said to be in his 70s or 80s, slipped shortly after midday, receiving life-threatening head injuries in the fall. Emergency services received various calls from the public who witnessed the accident, and paramedics and a doctor from Hospital del Norte evaluated and assisted him at the scene, and then transferred him initially to that local hospital. Once stabilized, he was then transferred to HUC, where he remains in critical condition.

New cultural centre for La Caleta

Photo: Adeje Ayuntamiento

Photo: Adeje Ayuntamiento

La Caleta in Adeje is to have a 120 square metre cultural centre with a central salon, changing rooms and toilets, fully accessible to all, and with an office and storage zones. Work has already started on the new installation and should be completed, according to councillor for works and services Gonzalo Delgado Diaz by February 2015. The project has been requested by the local population of this coastal village and fits into the council’s borough-wide plan to empower urban zones and create communal spaces where people can meet and develop social connections and activities throughout the year.

“For us this is a priority and will enhance our network of cultural centres designed to improve public infrastructures throughout the borough and give people living in all corners of Adeje a local meeting and activity zone” the councillor said. The new centre is just beside the international diving centre, a part of the area already used as a local focal point for activities and fiestas. “This is why we waited until the end of the local fiestas this year, so they wouldn’t be affected by building work and now of course the work will be completed before next year’s events”, Delgado Diaz commented.

 

Cabildo carrying out forest fire drill today in hills above Barranco Hondo

The Tenerife Cabildo has announced that it is carrying out a forest fire drill today in the hills above Barranco Hondo. The exercise is to continue and refine training and protocols of the Cabildo’s Forestry Brigades (Brifor). Anyone seeing smoke in the hills should always report it, but at least today the public can be reassured about anything unusual in that area, which is between Candelaria and Santa Cruz. Apart from Brifor, a Cabildo helicopter will be taking part in the exercise.

Iceland Bardarbunga status …

Update 29 August: Icelandic meteorologists have issued a red aviation warning near Bardarbunga after a surface fissure eruption began in the middle of the night. Iceland’s ATC has closed airspace above the eruption up to 1,500m: no volcanic ash has been seen so far but the situation will continue to be monitored, since vulcanologists say this eruption has clear similarities with Eyjafjallajökull in its early stages.

Update 24 August: European flight control is reporting that the Icelandic authorities have informed them that the Bárðarbunga alert status is being changed to orange and the danger area is being cancelled.

Original post 23 August: I really do not want to talk this up, but it is as well to be aware. The Icelandic authorities have confirmed that the anticipated eruption of Bardarbunga is now underway. At present it is “sub-glacial”, but a red alert has been issued because “significant ash emissions” are said to be likely. European flight control is saying that there is nothing visible on the surface yet, and they are not expecting this eruption to cause anything like as much disruption as Eyjafjallajökull did in 2010 – that, they say, was the biggest European air shutdown since WW2. How this latest eruption will develop is impossible to predict, but at least it is not likely to be as bad as that.

Walk for Life 2014

 

cartel (499 x 722)

Walk for Life/Carrera por la Vida founder Brigitte Gypen, Adeje mayor José Miguel Rodríguez Fraga and deputy Arona mayor Antonio Sosa have hosted a press conference in the Adeje CDTCA to announce details of this year’s series of events celebrating 10 years of the Walk for Life. The annual walk, which takes place this year on 14 December  is a rallying call for cancer sufferers and survivors, and is a unifying event in many ways.

It brings together Spanish cancer charities and support organisations, people living with cancer, their friends and families, those who have sadly lost someone to cancer, and on a wider scale the general public of Adeje and Arona, a multi-cultural mix in itself, as the walk always crosses from one borough to another, alternatively starting in Adeje and ending in Arona, or vice-versa. This year the walk will start in the CC City Centre and finish at Fañabe beach.

Adeje’s mayor congratulated Brigitte and the organisers on the multi-cultural nature of the event, as well as all the good work achieved in early detection and help for those families who are suffering as a result of a breast cancer diagnosis. “This is about overcoming obstacles, about making the invisible visible, about creating awareness among friends, family and society in general”, he said as well as praising the solidarity network among those who have suffered cancer which helped improve the quality of life of those still struggling. “It is also about reducing fear, about helping people live with cancer”. He added that the funds raised during the annual event were also very important for the cancer associations. The mayor alluded to austerity measures by the national government in many areas, including health, which, he underlined, “could put lives in danger”.

To celebrate the 10th celebration of life and a reminder of the life-saving possibilities of early detection in breast cancer, the organisers with the support of the councils and businesses have organised 10 events, starting in October, which will also raise awareness, funds and support for breast cancer. “We have played a little with the Walk for Life title”, Brigitte Gypen said, announcing the events (listed below), which will bring together a whole host of people in the world of dance, sport, music, the media, gastronomy, and much more. Most of the events will take place in either Adeje or Arona, and Brigitte added “we hope to exceed the €18,000 raised last year”, adding that one of the group’s aspirations is to be able to create “a zone, a space a permanent home for people who want to talk about cancer, maybe to watch a film, listen to music…a ‘feel good’ room perhaps, a space where people can look forward to their tomorrows”.

Included among the events planned is a conference for life, with the participation of Dr Isabel Rubio Rodríguez, who will fly in from Barcelona for the event. She is a leading practitioner in breast cancer care and treatment, and will host two conferences, one in English and one in Spanish, to reach the widest audience possible, and answer questions from the floor. In parallel there will be medical experts on hand in screened areas to advise and demonstrate self-examination for women. Brigitte herself told the conference that it was very important that women of all ages be aware of the need for body awareness and examination, as in recent years more and more younger women were presenting, and early detection was and is vital. .

The events are:

20 September: Swim for life, Tenerife Top Training, Adeje

26 September: Conference for life, CDTCA, Adeje

4 October: Conference for life, CDTCA, Adeje

12 October: Golf for life, Los Palos Golf, Arona

16 October: Dance for life, Plaza Pescador, Los Cristianos, Arona

14 November: Soul for life, El Médano, Granadilla

21 November: Radiomarathon for life, Adeje

28 November: Chestnuts and wine for life, Valle San Lorenzo, Arona

7 December: Cycling for life, La Caleta, Adeje

14 December: Walk for life

A new webpage has also been designed by the Karonte company which is HERE: it has information on the association, galleries from past years and importantly registration forms for all of this year’s events. Early registration is important for the organisers, so if you are planning to take part in one or some of the events do register in advance where possible.

Janet Anscombe
Tenerife News
September 2014
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