La Caleta swim this weekend

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The La Caleta cross-bay swim has become one of the most popular events of the summer calendar, and is part of the two week long La Caleta fiestas that have started this week.
This year the swim takes place on Saturday July 30th, and will see up to 150 participants swim 1,300 metres from the La Enramada beach to the Varadero beach. There are also a series of shorter swims for younger participants. The swims will begin after midday, with the organisation based along the pier near the Varadera beach.

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While registration has officially closed, if there are still places left you might be able to register (contact acanima2@gmail.com) and certainly last year the younger swimmers were able to participate by registering on the day.

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It’s all part of the festivities in La Caleta in Costa Adeje, with a host of activities taking part from now until August 8th. (Full programme in Spanish, http://www.adeje.es/cultura/agenda/3121-fiestas-de-la-caleta-2016#Evento-3124)

Making cities disaster resilient

 

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With the projected increase in floods, hurricanes, heat waves and tornadoes worldwide, risk management is essential
As part of the Adeje Summer University, Abhilash Panda, from the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction – UNISDR, gave a fascinating two hour lecture on managing and controlling risks – natural and human – risk reduction, increasing resilience, and also made specific references to the position of and part heritage plays in this equation, in particular in the case of tourism-dependent zones.

As he explained, the mandate of the United Nations and UN bodies is to concentrate their resources in areas that are developing, so plans and strategies are not geared towards major developed cities, where financial and human resources already exist, but on those in need of some external guidance and assistance, and often in conjunction or by encouraging the assistance of private institutions – insurance bodies, etc.

The campaign to develop resilience programmes in cities began in 2010, sponsored by the Rockefeller foundation (100RC) but has already grown to include 3,200 cities today, potentially affecting 1 billion people. The body has now adopted a strategy, the Sendai Framework, “which is a 15-year, voluntary, non-binding agreement which recognises that the ‘State’ has the primary role to reduce disaster risk but that responsibility should be shared with other stakeholders including local government, the private sector and other stakeholders.” It works to achieve, “the substantial reduction of disaster risk and losses in lives, livelihoods and health and in the economic, physical, social, cultural and environmental assets of persons, businesses, communities and countries.”

The speaker outlined four priorities for action, understanding risk, strengthening disaster risk governance, investing in disaster risk reduction for resilience (being resilient alone isn’t enough, you have to reduce the risk), and, ‘build back better’ – in other worlds learn from the past, and invest in recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction.

He also made special reference to the relevance and role of heritage in tourist destinations and of including sites and monuments in risk management plans, given their importance to the cultural and economic life of the zone.

The use of credible reliable information regarding risks and how to deal with them is also hugely important and must be shared responsibly. He gave the example of Thailand after the 2004 tsunami. Today visitors to hotels are given a details sheet reminding them that there is a risk, but also telling them what to do in the event of an emergency, where to go, how to get there, etc. Everyone needs to be encouraged to be part of the risk reduction and resilience strategy, not just those in local government or the emergency services.

The Canary Islands – the Hawaii of Europe

Credit: freeimages.com christopher bruno

Credit: freeimages.com christopher bruno

 

 

 

 

“Surfing has a lot to do with sustainable development in a tourism destination”
Adrián García Perdigón, professor of Sociology and Anthropology at the University of La Laguna, told students yesterday that surfing is very much a part of the economic motor of the Canary Islands, and the islands were considered the Hawaii of Europe given their excellent waves throughout the year.

García Perdigón spoke as part of the Adeje Summer University on the theme of surfing and tourism, emphasising the importance of the sport as a tourism generator, and the waves “as a resource that generate a sustainable economy as well as a culture related to a global phenomenon – surfing”.

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Las Américas, La Caleta in Adeje, Taganana, Anaga, Valle Guerra, Punta de Hidalgo, El Médano, Pozo Izquierdo or Jandía, just some of the locations cited by the expert as surfing top spots, as well as important centres for tourism in the islands. And given the year-round climatic conditions, the Canarias is an excellent choice for surfers whatever the season. He also referred to the parallel economic advantages to promoting surfing here – fashion, music, image, materials, etc.

“The average cost of a surfer staying in the Canarias and practising her or his sport is €30 a day, so annually this sport generates an income of about six billion dollars globally and over half of those who are surfers on holiday also spend time and money on other, nature-related, sports such as mountain walking or climbing. In other words, these are tourists with a vested interested in the environment and while on holiday will care for their surroundings with the intention of leaving a place as they found it”, said García Perdigón.

It follows, he continued, that there needs to be a symbiosis between the local environment and the local population who also need to be made aware of the relevance and importance of caring for the location. “We’re not just talking about promoting surfing as a tourism activity, but also creating complementary activities which are also sustainable, such as surfing schools, though currently these are operating without proper legislation”.
There are currently over 1,000 surfers registered here, “although we do realise that many more practise the sport”. Statistics show that most of those who surf are under 30 years of age, and the sport is very popular among young women, which isn’t surprising with role models such as Alexandra Rinder, Marina Taylor and Iballa Ruano, top class surf and body board stars. And while surfing as a business might be relatively new in the Canarias it is a proved economic motor in other parts of the world with over 10 million surfers globally.

Re-examining the letting law – Adeje Summer University

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“It’s important to pamper tourism, but through regulation”

During the first day of the Adeje Summer University the Civil Rights professor from the University of La Laguna, María Elena Sánchez Jordán, spoke of the importance of caring for the tourism industry, the islands’ major economic motor, through proper regulations to the benefit of both the clients and the service providers.

Sánchez Jordán outlined that during 2013 the law on urban leasing was changed to regulate rentals that were offered through tourism promotions online. This law change, which is still in force, outlines in article 5, that when this kind of rental accommodation is promoted online and meets a series of requirements, it is referred to a sectorial law. “The problem is”, she explained, “that under the Spanish constitution, there are two kinds of autonomous regions, those such as Catalonia, the Baleares, Valencia, Aragón, Galicia and Navarra, who can make internal rules regarding holidays etc, and the others, who only have the right to regulate within the tourism remit….it is one thing to be able to control tourism rental activity, quite another to have the ability to issue contracts between the owner and the consumer”.

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What is certain, she argued, is that you can regulate the legal relationship between different parties, under state laws, “because the Canaries doesn’t have legal jurisdiction there, but we do in the area of tourism activity, and that’s where we need to act”. She continued, “but to avoid the potential quagmire, the best thing is to regulate the rights and duties of both sides (offer and demand), through state norms, the Civil Code or the Urban Leasing laws, in such a way as to ensure that the autonomous region normalises the relationship between owner of the holiday home and the local regional authorities with the appropriate permissions and requirements.

In other words, it is specifically “to modify and improve the decree, passed by the Canarian government in 2015, under which houses or holiday apartments in designated tourist zones were excluded, limiting the ownership rights of those individuals who have purchased in tourist zones.
national markets commission, and other associations before the superior courts, limits the economic life of the tourism market, and really needs to be replaced with a viable, flexible alternatives which benefits the sector”, María Elena Sánchez Jordán concluded.

“There are no easy solutions to complex problems”

 

Susana Díaz delivers strong message in favour of a united Europe at inauguration

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The president of the Andalusia government Susana Díaz delivered a strongly worded address to Adeje authorities and guests this morning inaugurating the Adeje Summer University. With her theme concentrating on challenges to Europe, like all those speaking she first expressed her sympathy with the families of the victims of the Nice carnage and her rejection of terrorism in all its forms. “Nice is at the heart of Europe, what happened last night chilled all our hearts”, she said.

Turning to her main theme, she first looked to her own country, Spain, and the changing face of politics here “which is letting down more than a few”. The fact that the country has been run by a caretaker government only dealing with matters of urgency given the lack of compromise after two general elections needs to be addressed. “The choices that have been made by the people haven’t been transformed into a government”, adding that Spain was entering a difficult and complicated phase, saying it would appear that the time for absolute majorities was over and the time for pacts had arrived. She said that recent events’t helped the “need to give people confidence in the body politic. When politicians are working to solve people’s problems is when they will begin to trust us again”.

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Díaz said the country had become polarised, but while in their daily lives people were used to making compromises “we – politicians- need to change” to reflect that willingness to reach agreements. It was, she added, “impossible to propose easy solutions to complex problems”, and those who tried risked dangerous consequences, pointing to Brexit as one such example. The Andalusia president said a divided population, such as is the UK today, is never a solution. “You cannot move ahead if you have one half of the population of the country feeling they have won, are victorious over the other half”. British society today, she said, was divided, as the result of a Prime Minister who, to resolve an internal political problem, has caused enormous problems for his own country and for Europe. “We must always put the general interest above all others, whether we are in government or opposition”, she remarked.

The matter of poverty, not just in Spain or Europe, but globally, was also mentioned, as was the need for investment from the Central European Bank, the need to tackle inequality in Europe, poor working conditions in many countries, and the need, reflecting comments made earlier by the Adeje mayor, for investment in education to guarantee a better future. “We are seeing in other countries, in Asia, in Poland, new educational pacts, investment in innovation….pacts with the business sector leading to increased employment and the elaboration of a productive network”.

There is also, Díaz stressed, the need for a better social model and a fiscal pact at European level. “When there is a violent economic crisis the people of Europe need to feel protected”. And if we were all working from the same sheet we could avoid “fiscal dumping and destroy fiscal tax havens”.

On the roles of the Canary Island and Andalusia in Europe, she stated that “we need to have a stronger voice in Europe and Europe needs to hear our voice”.

The Adeje mayor, welcoming the President of Andalusia to the inauguration of the 24th Adeje Summer University, and said this educational model had evolved to meeting changing needs over the 24 years of its existence. From a few courses, Adeje was now home to the University’s South Campus with the first full time four year course Tourism students about to graduate.

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The rector of the University of La Laguna, Antonio Martinón, congratulated Adeje on the 24 years of partnership in this venture and joined with the mayor in looking to a more international Campus in the future as part of the overall internationalisation of third level education.

The regional education minister Soledad Monzón congratulated the rich variety of courses on offer and in particular mentioned the course on prevention of gender violence in schools and the workshop on the creation of materials for special needs education.

Carolina Darias, the president of the Canarian Parliament said the Adeje Summer University was also an excellent support for tourism in the island, a forum for debate which added quality to this holiday destination. She congratulated the mayor on his constancy in ensuring funding for the academic endeavours well as the University of La Laguna, applauding the encouragement of education, saying “we have the ideas, we have the desire, we have the talent”.

 

The regional government vice-president Patricía Hernandez said we were living in a complicated world with many challenges, educational, environmental, social, etc and therefore the kind of courses on offer in the Summer University we were well designed to deal with such complexities.

First Tenerife Outlet centre to open in Adeje

 

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25 shops, a Hiperdino, 465 parking places in the new Galeón Outlet Commercial Centre
This morning (July 14th) the new CC Galeón Outlet was opened to press ahead of the public opening on Saturday July 16th. Located in the heart of El Galeón, in Adeje, the new centre will have 25 shops, and a large Hiperdino and 465 parking places for shoppers. Present were Adeje mayor José Miguel Rodríguez Fraga, Grupo Nº1 and Archigestión president Amid Achí Fadul as well as Olivia Llorca, Marketing and Communications director for the Hiperdino group.

Amid Achí Fadul said that “here in Adeje we find it easy to pursue investment and growth opportunities, which become jobs. In this commercial centre we have created 300 direct jobs, which, added to the 600 in Siam Mall, is 900 new jobs in one year, and we hope to continue to grow”.

He added that, “as the local business community knows”, the local government in Adeje were always well disposed to facilitate new business opportunities in the borough and worked legally and efficiently to make investments possible, “always looking for solutions to benefit society in general”.

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The mayor told press he was delighted that this new kind of Outlet centre was to be opened in Adeje, the first of its kind in Tenerife. “With this new commercial venture we continue our commitment to employment creation. We acknowledge that the business sector needs to take risks with investments but Adeje is a pioneering borough and has one of the lowest unemployment levels in Spain. Our work as borough representatives is to continue to develop initiatives that can guarantee people a quality of life with stability, personal growth, employment and peaceful conviviality.

The Hiperdino Marketing and Communications director made particular reference to the group’s adaption to client and customer needs and demands and pointed to the growth in their eco-range of food products, and those that were gluten and lactose free.

The CC Galeón Outlet opens on Saturday to the public, from 10am, and the organisers have promised a fun family day filled with surprises. Shops in the centre include Guess, Sport Zone, Forecast, Via Franca, Encuentro Stock, Punto Roma, Desigual-Geox, Party Fiesta, The Mint Company, Queens, Shana, Yeyo Boutique, Walk it, Calzados Marypaz, Fund Grube-Let’s Outlet, JYSK, Mondi Disini, Peluquería Mónica y Jorge, Multiópticas Orotava, Koala and Fifty Factory, the first Cortefiel outlet store in the Canaries. Ventura Restaurants and L’ESPRESSO are also present.

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Public meeting with Cardinal Jaime Ortega Alamino

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Jaime Ortega Alamino will host a public meeting on Saturday in the CDTCA and celebrate mass in Los Olivos later that evening

The Archbishop Emeritus of Havana, Cardinal Jaime Ortega Alamino, will visit Adeje this Saturday where he will hold a public audience and concelebrate a mass in Los Olivos, invited by the parish and the Los Olivos fiesta commission.

The Cardinal, who retired from active religious duty earlier this year, will be remembered as a man who worked tirelessly to help open up the Cuban regime with representations to the Castro brothers on behalf of jailed political activists and on other issues. He is considered a person of enormous relevance in the Catholic Church and has been close to the current and past two popes, and intervened to help make possible the visits of Pope John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis to Cuba.

Politically too he has played an important part. During negotiations to renew diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba, Cardinal Ortego, without public announcement, visited the White House and hand-delivered a letter from Pope Francis to President Obama. He also took part in peace talks between the Colombian government and the Farc rebels.

During a meeting with US Vice President John Kerry

During a meeting with US Vice President John Kerry

Born 81 years ago in Matanzas, he is an electrical engineer by trade. He was ordained in 1985 and 11 years afterwards was made a bishop, and continued to rise through the ecclesiastical ranks. During the time of Pope Benedict, as is practise, at the age of 75 he offered his retirement as Archbishop, but neither Benedict nor Pope Francis were inclined to accept his resignation and he undertook a number of special missions on their behalf, in El Salvador and in Quebec. His resignation was finally accepted in April of this year.

He has been invited to address audiences all over the world and has been awarded doctorates by many prestigious universities.
During his visit to Adeje he will host an open meeting with the public in the Costa Adeje Centre for Tourism Development (the CDTCA), at 12.30pm. That afternoon he will take part in mass in the Los Olivos parish church at 7pm and then in the Virgen del Carmen procession.

Today you, tomorrow me

The personnel from the Hotel Isabel Family, in Costa Adeje, have presented monies raised from a benefit dinner to the Walk for Life organisation and the Spanish Cancer Association

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This week money raised by the personnel from the Hotel Isabel Family, in Costa Adeje, during a hugely successful benefit dinner on July 1st in the Adeje CDTCA, was handed over to the Walk for Life organisation and AECC, the Spanish Cancer Association. The total raised was €4,700, to be divided equally among both organisations.

Present at the handing over of the money were Brigitte Gypen, the Walk for Life founder, María Mercedes de Chávez and Inocencio Fernández del Castillo, from AECC as well as the Adeje health councillor, Amada Trujillo Bencomo.

The organisers of the meal expressed their delight at the success of the event, which saw over 300 people attending the dinner, under the banner The Colours of Life. The title of the meal was to reflect the different kinds of cancer that affect people today but also the importance of living in the face of such adversity. They added that while the idea had come from the hotel personnel, it very quickly grew in popularity as a way of helping others… “We need to go back to the old ways of helping each other, neighbours, friends, the ‘today you, tomorrow me’ idea”, they said. The evening was a great success, with raffle tickets running out before the evening was half way through, so many people were eager to donate and participate.

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The money will be invested in cancer research and treatment. Today cancer is an illness that affects a growing number of people. Councillor Amada Trujillo; “According to the Spanish Medical Oncology Society (SEOM) cancer will affect one in every two persons born, but statistics are also showing us that the percentage of those surviving cancer has tripled in the last 40 years…thanks to, in principal, the new technologies and treatments which are less invasive and more efficient. That’s why it’s vital that we continue to invest, as medical discoveries, treatments and therapies translate directly into improvements in the quality of life for those affected.”

Studies also confirm the importance of early detection, which gives doctors a greater margin for treatment and to prolong the lives of the patients. In Spain the most common cancer affecting women is breast cancer and men is prostate cancer, and among both sexes colorectal cancer. Regarding survival rates, the SEOM says that the best results are being seen in breast cancer survivors as a result of research in recent years and in the increase in screening and early detection.

Shop safely, shop in Adeje

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Under the slogan #YoComproenAdeje (I shop in Adeje), the Council reminds people that they always have a consumers office at their disposable

The Adeje Council, via the department of economic development and employment policies and the municipal consumers information office, has launched a campaign to promote responsible commercial activities in the borough.

Under the slogan #YoComproenAdeje (I shop in Adeje) the council is reminding people of the existence of the OMIC, the municipal consumers information office, who can help with consumer issues right here in the borough. “What we are also doing, alongside the promotion of local shops and businesses in Adeje, is letting clients know the pluses of shopping locally but also that they have an office here in the case of a difficulty with a purchase or complaint regarding a service”, said councillor Manuel Luis Méndez Martín.

During the summer, which coincides with the second sale season of the year, prices of products on offer can fall by up to 60% of the original price, and the local businesses have agreed to apply reductions in many commercial sectors.

The OMIC would also take this opportunity to remind people that this is just the time to avoid impulse buys and to make a list of what you need as well as a budget estimate before you go shopping. They also remind shoppers that any item for sale must show the reduced price and the original price. You are also reminded to keep receipts for everything

Ex-pat councillor in Almeria awarded MBE

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While Maura Hillen might not have any links with Adeje, her story is worth reading as a fine example of intergration here in Spain.

The leader of an association representing owners of illegal homes in Andalucia has been appointed an honorary Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE), for services to the British community in Spain.

The award to Mrs Maura Hillen, an Irish national, reflects her work as President and spokesperson of Abusos Urbanisticos Almanzora No! (AUAN), which campaigns for the legalisation of homes in the Almanzora Valley, where thousands of properties – mostly British owned – have lacked a final habitation certificate since they were built some 10 to 15 years ago.

Under Maura Hillen’s leadership, AUAN – which in English translates to ‘No to Urban Planning Abuse in Almanzora’ – lobbies the Spanish authorities at local, regional and national level for the legalisation of homes, to get them properly connected to water and electricity, with mitigation of the costs of doing so, and information and support for affected home owners. AUAN has some 500 members, mostly British but also Belgian and Irish nationals.

The British Ambassador to Spain, Simon Manley, said:

“Since 2008, Maura Hillen MBE has made a tireless contribution towards resolving the property problems that affect thousands of British homeowners in Spain. I am very pleased that Her Majesty The Queen has approved this honour, which recognises her dedication and resilience.

“Under her leadership, AUAN is a professionally-run, well-respected organisation that has secured expert legal advice and in turn proposed realistic solutions to the Spanish regional and national authorities.

“In March last year, the Criminal Code was modified following proposals from AUAN that judges take into account that most owners purchased in good faith, and that compensation should be paid prior to any demolition. That was a significant step forward in reforming a legal system that AUAN argued had failed adequately to recognise the rights of homeowners or compensate for their losses.

“I know Maura intends to keep campaigning for more action to resolve outstanding cases and to increase the legal security for future buyers.”

Maura Hillen MBE, president of AUAN, said:

“I am very pleased and delighted to accept this award not only for myself but on behalf of every member of AUAN who has also played no small part in defending the rights of homeowners in Spain, most especially committee members, past and present, and those that came before me as president of AUAN.

“This award is a recognition and vindication of their efforts and perseverance as much as it is of mine.”

Mrs Hillen is also Councillor for Tourism & International Relations in Albox, Almeria, and a deputy mayor.