The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has confirmed that Helen Diaz de Arcaya Keating, the British Vice Consul in Tenerife, has been presented with her medal for the MBE she was awarded by the Queen last year. The MBE is an honorary recognition of more than 35 years helping British citizens in Tenerife.
The presentation was made today in the Real Casino de Tenerife by the UK’s Ambassador to Spain Simon Manley, who said he was delighted “to present this award to Helen as recognition of her many years of hard work, often out of hours and in the most distressing of circumstances, that have brought help to many hundreds of Britons. Throughout these 35 years, she has shown an exemplary leadership and has maintained a fantastic level of energy, enthusiasm and compassion.”
Helen Keating, a Spanish national, started her career at the Tenerife Consulate as an administrative officer in the early 1980s, and worked her way up to become not only Vice Consul but also Deputy Head of the post. “I am incredibly proud to receive this honour”, she said. “This is a fabulous day for me, and indeed, I have the honour of working with wonderful people,” she added, pointing to the great relationships with partner associations, volunteers and local authorities.
The Consulate in Tenerife is located in the capital of the island in Santa Cruz de Tenerife covering the consular district of Tenerife, La Palma, La Gomera and El Hierro. Over 2.2 million visitors from the UK travelled to Tenerife in 2016, and around 15,000 British citizens are registered as living on the island.