Picture This!


Knowledge to be theme for photography competition

The Adeje department of culture, under councillor Nayra Medina Bethencourt, has released details of the Adeje Summer University’s photography competition. The central theme is knowledge, with entrants asked to present their personal interpretation of learning and the search for it. The winning photograph will mean €600 for the photographer and also be used as the main poster for the XXII Summer University this year.

The date for entries begins this Saturday, March 29th and the competition is open until Wednesday April 9th. Entries should be either delivered to department of culture, or posted but stamped at the post office with the date it is presented to ensure that it qualifies for consideration.

According to the councillor, “the Adeje Summer University has always been a forum for debate and participation and for that reason we want to encourage even more participation in the creative process from the public. Photography encompasses so much – art, science, memory and the human experience and we hope the idea will appeal to a lot of people.”

Those who wish to enter must abide by certain rules and respect the basic theme of knowledge in their final work, as well as displaying their theme development, composition, light, and originality.

The best 20 photographs will form part of an exhibition under the Adeje Summer University title from July 21 – 25th.

Entries must be original and new and not previously published. You may enter just one photograph or a series consisting of three or five images. The width should be between 24 – 30 cm, length 30 – 40 cm. The photograph must also be accompanied by the relevant entry form, which can be downloaded from the Culture section of the council webpage, www.adeje.es.

There will be a prize of €600 for first place and €300 for the runner up.

Oxford University group visit El Puertito!

oxford group1

The Adeje Council hosted a group from Oxford University last week and one of the key visits was to El Puertio where the group met members of the Organización Océano Sostenible who outlined the different investigations and underwater recovery programmes they are involved in along this part of the Adeje coast.

Together the Adeje education councillor Andrés Pérez Ramos and David Novillo from the Organización Océanos Sostenible, welcomed the delegation who were interested in finding out more about the Marine Classroom SEALAB project in place in El Puertito de Adeje.

The councillor said “we welcomed a group of people expert in the environmental field who had already learnt of the Marine Classroom project in a recent congress in Salamanca, and as a result of that specifically asked to visit El Puertito and find out, first hand, the manner in which the seabed in El Puertito is evolving and being treated.”•

The Oxford representatives were interested in learning as much as they could about the recovery of the seabed in Adeje, which is also the natural habitat for the local turtle population, the green sea turtle.

During their stay in Adeje the group took part in a number of different environmental workshops and studied the diverse Canarian flora and fauna and were delighted to see living examples during their time in El Puertito.

The councillor also noted that “this was not the first time that an international group have been interested in the work along this part of the coastline, and during the XII International Congress of Educating Cities the SEALAB project was chosen as one of the most innovative both at an environmental as well as educative level.

oxford group2

Live La Pasión 2014

Interested in taking part in the hugely popular annual street theatre in Adeje on Good Friday, La Pasión? Registration is now open.

The councillor for culture, Nayra Medina Bethencourt, has announced that registration is now open for anyone who would like to take part in La Pasión 2014, the theatrical representation which celebrates the final days and death of Jesus of Nazareth, celebrated every Good Friday in Adeje.
The councillor explained that “each year we are delighted to see a huge level of participation from people who live in Adeje and other nearby towns and villages and we are opening the registration now so that people will have time to sign up and attend rehearsals in the days leading up to the event”.
Nayra added, “La Pasión has become a hugely important part of the cultural calendar for Adeje’s people who, year after year, put so much time and effort into making this ‘Way of the Cross’ a special event. And we here in the Council understand the value that people place on this important part of Easter celebrations”.
Interested persons who wish to take part in La Pasión, which has achieved international recognition in recent years, and is broadcast live in the Canary Islands on Television Español and on TV2 at national level, should go along to the Cultural Centre in the town between 8am and 9pm to sign up, or call 922756246.
If younger members of your family wish to take part, and remember you don’t have to speak a huge amount of Spanish to participate, anyone under 12 must be accompanied by an adult.
Don’t wait for others to tell you about it afterwards! Come and live it for yourselves.

Turn It Off!

Adeje Environment Councillor, Esther Rivero Vargas

Adeje Environment Councillor, Esther Rivero Vargas

Adeje’s councillor for the environment, Esther Rivero Vargas, has said that yet again Adeje will be taking part in the world-wide Earth Hour initiative, organised by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), with the aim of encouraging moves to reduce CO2 emissions around the plant.

The councillor explained, “the Earth Hour project works to help the world’s population fight against climate change, and here the public bodies have taken the project on board, and in Adeje we will be turning off the lights in many public buildings.”

She continued, “anyone who would like to join in the scheme can do so voluntarily – all you have to do is turn off your lights on March 29th”.

Earth Hours is a world-wide event, and takes place next Saturday, March 29th. From 8.30pm to 9.30pm the lights on many public council buildings including the Town Hall, the outside of the Casa Fuerte, the tax and tourism office, sports centres and the exterior lighting on the CDTCA will be turned off. In other buildings such as the Local Police central office and in public parks lights will be turned down during the same hour.

“This initiative now has the support of over 100 countries and more than 7,000 cities and towns”, said Esther Rivero Vargas, “and in the Canaries six towns, including Adeje”.

The council is also asking the public to take part by turning off those lights that they can during the hour in question as a symbolic gesture which could have global benefits.

Virtual Adeje!

Oficina de Atención ciudadana (1)

The Adeje councillor for finance Epifanio Díaz Hernández has released details of Adeje’s move to the ORVE, the ‘Oficina de Registro Virtual’, or Virtual Registry Office, part of the services offered by the national Ministry for Finance and Public Administration. The objective behind the move is to allow members of the public officially register, send and receive official documents electronically.

“This tool allows a communication between the different administrations which means that the citizen doesn’t have to re-present any documentation that is already registered in the system”, explained the councillor.

“We have joined the service because it offers speed and quality of service to the citizens”, he continued. “The biggest benefit of this virtual office is that all of the administrations – local, insular, regional – can interact telematically to process matters without the need for documentation to physically travel between two points with corresponding savings in cost and time”. The service can be accessed by members of the Adeje public at the Citizens Advice Office (Oficina de Atención a la Ciudadanía ,SAC), in the main Town Hall building.

Epifanio Díaz Hernández added, “the introduction of ORVE in the Canarias has been made possible thanks to the work of the Public Administrations department in realising that any move to improve the processing of matters of interest to members of the public is fundamental.

Adeje’s current online service has a very high usage rate; in 2013 nearly 2,000 people processed some form of official business online. 33 % of people looking for their travel certificate did so online and many others used the service to register their residency here too. The overall figure was a 238% increase in online use over the previous year, when only 837 online petitions were made, and already this year, particularly in the areas of sport and culture, the number of online operations has risen by over 50%.

One of the noteworthy things about the Adeje online service is that users can also use the service to present bills if they are service providers and officially present requests for a place in the Adeje Farmer’s Market – this service alone accounted for 17 per cent of the online traffic last year. And as the councillor pointed out, “none of these people had to actually come into the Town Hall to make their petition, saving them time and money…..so the online service means a saving for the citizen”.

Another move by the council’s technical development team has been to make sure the page now adapts to the format you are using – computer, laptop, tablet or phone – and the availability of personal assessment assistance which offers the user remote support via their computer using the Team View technology which, once authorised by the user, allows the council’s IT department access your terminal and suggest ways of improving the system operations. This service is operated with built in confidentiality and security guarantees. Once the connections is terminated the IT cannot re-access the user’s computer, further guaranteeing the security of each user.

Oficina de Atención ciudadana (3)

St Patrick, A Role Model For Today’s Immigrant?

"If you're Irish, come into the parlour....."

“If you’re Irish, come into the parlour…..”

In one way St Patrick could be the role-model for many immigrants who, for reasons perhaps beyond their control, find themselves in a new country, facing unplanned challenges and seeking a new meaning in life.
The stories that surround the initial arrival to Ireland of the young lad who would become the country’s patron saint are many, but what would seem to be closest to the truth is that he was born into a well-off British family towards the end of the 4th Century. He was kidnapped and brought to Ireland in slavery, and worked as a shepherd, where it is thought, on the mountainside with his flock, he received ‘the call’ and started his religious life. He escaped back to England where he studied and became a cleric, returning to Ireland to serve as bishop and subsequently as Primate of all Ireland, the highest religious office in the country. He is credited with bringing Christianity to Ireland – it has also been claimed that he drove the snakes out of the country, but today that is understood to be a metaphor for driving out paganism.
The celebration of the feast day of St Patrick, once a religious festival only, has become an international celebration of what it means to be Irish. And in recent years there is also a growing movement to pass beyond the stereotypical images of Ireland so beloved of Hollywood in the past and focus on what being Irish today is really all about. That being said it is doubtful whether the country’s recent economic crisis will feature in international parades. But Irish officials do use the date to sell Ireland and Irish businesses abroad, and quite successfully.
It is probably true to say that until recently few national festivals were celebrated with such a huge international participation as St Patrick’s day. From a country that has a population of just over four million it is interesting to note that over 100 million people world-wide claim to belong to the Diaspora, the greater Irish family. And the celebrations and parades outside Ireland, were until just recently, much more colourful and professional that those in the country itself. National monuments such as the Empire State Building in New York, the Cibeles fountain in Madrid, the leaning tower of Pisa, the Sydney Opera House, turn green on March 17th. Without fail the Irish prime minister or a high government official will be in the White House in Washington to present a sprig of shamrock to the US President of the day.
The Irish and Spanish have always enjoyed a special understanding – perhaps born out of a similar religious background and cultural similarities. And there’s a parallel relationship with emigration in the past that is also mirrored in the histories of Ireland and the Canary Islands. Centuries ago too many Irish families found their way to Tenerife and intermarried, families such as the Whites, who changed their name to Blanco, the Cologans, and many more. The statue of José Murphy in Santa Cruz is further proof of our shared histories.
Here in Adeje the Irish wave of settlers is perhaps more recent, but as in many other countries, the Irish settle, integrate and like to form part of the society in which they have chosen to live.
While we don’t expect the Plaza de España to go green this year, there will be many celebrations taking place near you all over Adeje and beyond. Enjoy the day, as over 100 million and more will do so world-wide, and as they say in the old country, “La Fhéile Pádraig Shona Daoibh”,

St Patrick Day Greetings from Adeje’s Mayor

Irish dancers

Irish dancers

“As mayor of Adeje, one of Spain’s most multi-cultural boroughs, home to many Irish people who have chosen to live here or to holiday here in their thousands every year, I would like to extend special wishes to the Irish community on St Patrick’s day, March 17th.
“Originally solely a religious festival celebrating the man who converted Ireland to Christianity, St Patrick’s day is now an international celebration of Irish people, culture, traditions, food, drink and music.
“Spain, and the Canary Islands, have enjoyed a centuries-long relationship with the Irish who travelled here and settled, marrying into Canarian families, integrating into Canarian society. The fact that over 100 million people claim some Irish heritage around the world is proof of the Irish desire to integrate into their chosen societies, while retaining their own proud identity.
“In Adeje we value our harmonious co-existence, and are delighted to wish our Irish Adejeros all the best on their special day.”

Gandhi in Adeje


Adeje mayor José Miguel Rodríguez Fraga and Indian Ambassador Sunil Lal

Adeje mayor José Miguel Rodríguez Fraga and Indian Ambassador Sunil Lal

Adeje mayor, José Miguel Rodríguez Fraga, met recently with the Indian Ambassador to, Sunil Lal, with both happy to agree to strengthen the ties between the two communities, with the mayor adding that the local Indian community was a “very rooted, participative and integrated part of Adeje”
During the meeting the two also spoke of a proposal “that would very interesting for Adeje, a project with is closely linked to the search for peace and understanding between peoples…our idea is to dedicate, in the El Madroñal zone in Fañabe, a square and a monument to Gandhi, a symbol of the social struggle”, said the mayor.
It is hoped that the monument will be unveiled on October 2nd, International Day of Non-Violence which also coincides with the anniversary of the birth of Mahatma Gandhi, leader of the independence movement in India and a global pioneer in the philosophy and strategy behind non-violent movements and peaceful protests.
Solidarity Paella
As a symbol of the unity and fraternity that exists between Adeje and India, this Sunday, March 16th, from 1pm the Tenerife Sur Hindu Association, with the Lions International Club will celebrate their traditional Holi Mela or festival of colours, a cultural and social event with is celebrated to coincide with the full moon which marks the start of Spring.
During the celebrations, in the plaza above the Fañabe sports centre, there will be a giant paella prepared, and sold for €5 a plate with a soft drink, and the money will be divided between the Los Olilvos Centro de Discapacidad and the Asociación San Juan.
The mayor said that these kind of fund raising events were an excellent display of social solidarity, something Adeje people were always happy to participate in, and would also be a great bonus for the students of the named centres, as they could purchase essential materials with the funds raised.


Adeje Introduces Free HIV Testing Service

Regional director general for public health José Díaz - Flores Estévez and the mayor of Adeje, José Miguel Rodríguez Fraga

Regional director general for public health José Díaz – Flores Estévez and the mayor of Adeje, José Miguel Rodríguez Fraga

This week the regional director general for public health José Díaz – Flores Estévez and the mayor of Adeje, José Miguel Rodríguez Fraga, presented a pilot project including a sexual information service and early rapid HIV detection testing. The service will be available in the Adeje health promotion department in the Centre for Tourism Development Costa Adeje (CDTCA) and testing will be carried out on Mondays and Thursdays, with an appointment, that can be made by phoning 922-756-257 or 922-756-244.

The object of the service is to offer information that should improve the general population’s awareness of sexually transmitted infections, reduce the incidence of HIV as well as unwanted pregnancies. The free testing service will be carried out in the presence of trained personnel and offers a guarantee of total confidentiality and should help those who, says the mayor, may not wish to go to their local health centre or talk to the own GP about testing. There will be personnel who will be able to assist people who have limited or no Spanish.
The mayor said they were already working with a sex education programme through local schools and secondary which was designed to give young people the knowledge they needed to develop their own sexuality independently and without risks. “We worry about the health of our citizens”, he said, “and we have felt it necessary to promote an educational campaign which will promote a healthier safer life for all. That’s why we are creating this Sex Information Point which will help people with their sexual orientation as well as the creation of a HIV testing centre that is discreet, with personalised attention and quick results”.

The regional director general for public health said that this was a pilot project, and if the results were good it would be repeated in other parts of the islands. “Illnesses caused by sexually transmission are a cause of worry for the administrations, particularly heath bodies. The most worrying is HIV. In the Canary Islands we are seeing 250 new cases annually, and the problem nationally and internationally is that 30 % of those who are infected don’t know, and therefore we have to reinforce the need for early detection which will prevent the development of other parallel infections and greatly improve the quality of life of the person who is HIV positive”.
Flores Estévez said that the profile of those diagnosed with HIV has changed, and today the largest group are those who are infected through unprotected sex – 93.7 of which 71% are men who have sexual relations with other men. Only 3.4% of new cases are as a result of intravenous drug use

The project includes a number of other initiatives such as an awareness raising drive among the public with social and professional agencies working together in education, with associations and families offering a series of talks and workshops on sexual behaviour and better health. There will also be prevention projects aimed at the borough’s young people and talks for parents and educators in co-ordination with local health centres, social services and youth groups.

Fast testing service
The staff who will be carrying out the HIV testing service are health professionals who will adhere to a rigid and approved protocol based on confidentiality and the rights of those using the service. The regional department of public health is assisting in the carrying out of the tests which can be done either via oral fluid or digital blood testing (OraQuick Advance and INSTI HIV-1/2 respectively). The test results are known within 20 minutes. Prior to administering the test the person seeking the test will be told about what it entails and a quick interview will be held solely to determine if it is really necessary. Throughout the entire procedure the intimacy of the person seeking the test is respected.

Adeje Presented With ULL Gold Medal



Last night (Tuesday March 11th) the mayor of Adeje, José Miguel Rodríguez Fraga, received the University of La Laguna (ULL) Gold Medal during the celebrations of the 222 anniversary of the foundation of institution.

In the 222 years of the history of the ULL this medal has only been awarded 12 times. The presentation was made, in the university, by rector Eduardo Doménech, who said, “the presence of the ULL in Adeje is much more than a gift, it is an ongoing reality which lets us look to the future with increased hope”.
The regional president, Paulino Rivero, and minister for education José Miguel Pérez were also present at the official act, as well as members of the Adeje council and representatives of different organisations and collectives of the borough. During his acceptance speech the mayor made specific reference to these individuals and groups stating that without their efforts this would not have been possible.
As mentioned by the rector, who also singled out the dedication of the mayor himself to this project, the relation between the ULL and Adeje which began just over 20 years ago, was initially similar to that with many other borough corporations. However in the case of Adeje what was once a summer university has consolidated into a full time campus in South Tenerife, in place since the 2012/2013 academic year with students taking Tourism degree courses.
“Today we are preparing our young people for high levels positions in the tourism sector – up until now they were only applying for jobs lower down the scale”, said the mayor. He also spoke of the important role councils have to play in the education of their citizens, saying that this medal was “was a recognition of the work of councils. Boroughs, along with universities, play an important role in the liberty, progression and advancement of citizens…today there is a university campus in Adeje because a council pushed for it and there was a university open to the idea”, he added.
The mayor said the medal awarded to Adeje should be seen as an example to others that councils need to be on the front line on behalf of their residents. He said today’s society was focussed on the search for economic profit but the need for social profit and balance was also important and had economic value.