Adeje’s relationship with migration and more recently immigration, is an integral part of what makes this borough so colourful, and perhaps is one of the reasons why it attracts so many of us here to live.
It comes as a surprise to many of us who have only recently arrived to live here that in the past the Canary Islands was forced to say goodbye to many sons and daughters, in the days when cheap flights to and from the islands were not even a consideration, and when economic necessity forced many a young Adejera and Adejera to leave these shores for far-flung lands in search of a living. For them too, as for many of those who left Northern Europe in the early 19th Century for the United States of America, that land-mass was their final destination, though South America often the point of arrival, Cuba, or Venezuela perhaps.
And some returned, wealthier, happy to show off their new found fortune, inspiring awe and admiration among those who stayed, with fancier clothes and manners, and of course more money.
For a number of years now the Adeje council have worked with the people of Taucho to present a fascinating series of ‘Ethnographic days’, featuring different aspects of the borough’s past. The councillor for heritage, referring to the events, says “by remembering where we came from can we better choose where we are going to” and the borough’s mayor, Jose Miguel Rodríguez Fraga said “these ethnographic events—are a testament to our past, and a way of transmitting that past to the recent arrivals and the new generations”.
Last weekend, yet again, the people of Taucho staged a truly fascinating day, a kind of street theatre on the move, with people dressed in the costumes of the past, displaying traditional ways of life, taking the crowds through the village to the old laundry stones and wells, down the path to the kiln where bread was being baked. Sheep were sheared, wool was teased, letters from the past were delivered and read, and emigrants, in finery of the time, returned to the delight of the villagers.
Congratulations to all those who took part and the fiesta organisers – events like this are both fun and functional, and certainly for those of us who have emigrated to join the new Adeje, it is an excellent way to assimilate the past of our new home.
Times may have changed a lot, but the joint themes of migration and emigration will continue to play an important part of our political and social history. We are a community of many, and the more we can learn from each other the better.