Photo: Tenerife Cabildo.
Museums everywhere rely to a greater or lesser extent on volunteer helpers of various kinds, and Tenerife is no exception. Indeed the Tenerife Cabildo has today issued an “invitation” to anyone thinking of keeping active in their maturer years to become a volunteer in one of the island’s museums.
The Cabildo says that the offer is extended to anyone between 55 and 90 years old, who speak fluent Spanish (by necessity, obviously), and who are interested both in culture and motivated in keeping their minds active. There are currently 20 such volunteers and the Cabildo is looking to increase the number, offering theory and practical sessions for new helpers with detailed instruction about the museums’ laboratories, storerooms, and non-visible spaces to learn in depth the work that is carried on.
Volunteers not only assist in the main public areas, but can do less visible work behind the scenes too, and there are two ways to become a guide or helper. The first is through the Confederación Española de Aulas de la Tercera Edad. This Spanish Confederation of Third Age Classrooms (Ceate) is a not-for-profit organization which runs cultural programmes for volunteers in museums and cathedrals throughout Spain, and in Tenerife will specifically deal with the the Museo de la Naturaleza y el Hombre (Museum of Nature and Man) and el Museo de Historia y Antropología de Tenerife (Museum of History and Anthropology of Tenerife). Those interested in signing up should call either museum on 922 53 51 28 or 922 53 50 50 for the former and 922 82 59 43 or 922 82 59 47 for the latter.
An alternative route, also available to anyone over 18 years of age, is to join newer programmes geared towards participation only in the backrooms of museums. This route requires joining the Asociación de Amigos del Museo de la Naturaleza y el Hombre (Association of Friends of the Museum of Nature and Man), which is the only museum here where this type of volunteering can be done: again just call the museum on the numbers given above.