Numbers up at the Adeje Summer University

RUEDA DE PRENSA_1 (54)Students from all over Europe took part
The XXII Adeje Summer University finished for anther year with an overall increase in the number of students taking course options. According to the vice-rector of the University of La Laguna, Nélida Rancel Torres and the Adeje cultural councillor Nayra Medina Bethencourt. This and other data acquired from the students during the week of courses also showed that unlike previous years most of the students were not there to increase their credit total but there to take up new educational options and improve their education.

“We have achieved our objective, to bring the Summer University to the people”, they commented, adding that the figures proved that the courses on offer were of real interest to the population. Altogether 345 people studied one of the courses during the week, with a breakdown showing 50/50 men and women, with half of the students between the ages of 16 and 25 years of age. 23% were 26-35, 21% 36-50 and 5% over 50 years of age.

Figures also showed that while most of the students came from Tenerife, from boroughs all over the island, there were also students present from other islands, from the Spanish peninsula, and from Germany, Italy, France, Ireland, Romania, Russia, Brazil, Venezuela, Colombia, and the Czech Republic. “A very international Summer University”.
Following the official press conference to end the week long event the Adeje council made a special presentation to Nélida Rancel Torres for her dedicated work with the Summer University over the years, as this was her final year as vice-rector.

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Adeje Together – 10 out of 10

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José Miguel Rodríguez Fraga: “We want to make sure that a potential problem becomes an opportunity”.
This week the mayor of Adeje, José Miguel Rodríguez Fraga, and councillor for economic development Ermitas Moreira García launched a new council campaign, ‘Adeje Convivencia Diez/Adeje Together, 10 out of 10’.

The aim of the campaign is in the title really, to encourage and continue the kind of harmonious co-existence that exists in Adeje between neighbours of all creeds and colours, and so that together Adeje earns a ten out of ten for tolerance, cohesion, and commitment to a real multicultural community. The campaign is taking shape in a number of different ways, but is very open to new ideas.

At the launch almost 100 people from communities reflective of the multi-cultural dimension that is Adeje were present, from Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist and Christian religious communities and English, Irish, French, Polish, German, Italian and Canarian associations. Health associations too were present as the mayor pointed out the campaign was about positive integration of everyone, across generational and health divisions too. And to that end the campaign will use different council activities in the fields of the arts, culture, sport, health and education, for example, to spread the word.

Already underway are a number of inclusive projects, as well as a move to promote the many open public spaces – such as parks and plazas – in the borough as meeting points and places for the exchange of ideas and stories from our past, present and future. Spaces, “for the people, by the people”. The council are also planning, for instance, a series of rural walks where people can get together but also learn more about the natural beauty of the borough and the many products from the area, such as wines, cheeses, and honey.

There were many interesting comments made by those attending this inaugural meeting – people spoke of the need to recognise the things that we share as human beings as well as those that make us different. The idea that we mentally and culturally arrive at a place in time where the difference is noted but not remarked upon in either a negative or a pitying way was also seen as a goal to be achieved. However what was also repeated by many of those there was how far Adeje has come already, and when it was pointed out that in fact people from over 120 different countries live in Adeje and incidents of racism or cultural conflict are practically non –existent, it is a very positive reflection of progress made. English translation was provided for those who requested it.

After the inauguration the mayor said the high turnout showed that people were interested in the project, “in moving forward, in promoting integration that was cultural, territorial and generic. We are responding to a an actual need in the community, a real wish to put people at the centre of our campaign, not the economy or consumerism, but the person”. He added “we do live well together but we want to do more, we want to make sure that a potential problem becomes an opportunity”.

Jose Miguel Rodríguez Fraga also pointed out the advantage of such integration in a tourist destination, promoting the image and reality of “a 21st century borough within the global village, a tourist destination were people live in peace, where values of respect, tolerance, and personal development are paramount”.

One of the British participants in the inaugural event, Susan Dehmel, Adeje resident and co-founder of K9, said “it was a heart warming pleasure to be amongst so many Adeje citizens from all walks of life, showing so much enthusiasm. I am proud to be one of them. I love Adeje.”

There’s a fuller list of programmed activities in the Adeje web page, www.adeje.es and more information will be available online in English soon.

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Activities To Suit Everyone

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Carreño Clemente: “the aim of sports tourism is to maintain the quality of the service”

Juan Antonio Carreño Clemente, expert in physical activities and sport and a professor at the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, directed one of the Tourism and Sport courses during the Adeje Summer University, looking at the relationship between the two activities in the Canary Islands.

Carreño Clemente asked students to answer the question, “what is more natural – to go to a shopping centre or spend six hours in front of the television or go for a walk in the mountains or to a beach. Everything is relatively near in the Canary Islands, and one of the advantages we have is that to practise sport here we don’t have to travel 40 kilometres to do so. And given all the resources we have to hand right here, he told students “there are activities to suit everyone”.

Tenerife has, he pointed out, an important sporting culture and “the excellent weather conditions which attract people in the world of cycling, swimming and other sports. The short distances people have to travel between centres also means that someone can go from the sea to the mountain in just a few hours”, something practically impossible in other parts of Europe.

At the same time Carreño Clemente explained that these kind of advantageous conditions allow a diversification of the tourist offer on the island.” He said the people who visit Tenerife tend to be “sun seekers, athletes, the elite and those in search of spiritual renewal, thus one can design both a sporting tourism product and one that is designed to offer escapism on holiday”.

However he added that “tourists are very sensitive to price and there needs to be a competitive offer”, while maintaining quality services”.

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Emergency plan needed

Antonio Alarcó Hernández and Pedro Yuste García

Antonio Alarcó Hernández and Pedro Yuste García

Nationally there has been an increase in recent years in the number of injuries from weaponry such as knives and guns

Antonio Alarcó Hernández, Professor in the Department of Surgery, Ophthalmology and Ortorrinolaringology in the University of La Laguna, has defended his call for an emergency protocol and an emergency plan for the Canary Islands, something which he says will “cost nothing” but could save lives, and is essential.

Professor Alarcó, who is directing a course in multiple trauma victims, sub-aquatic medicine and the use of a hyperbaric installations during the Adeje Summer University this week, says it is absolutely essential that a system of organisation of emergency personnel, both in the public and the semi-private sector, is in place in the region. He pointed out that for every 100 people who attend emergency outpatients in the Canaries only 12 are actually admitted to hospital, in other words he estimates that about 80 % have not been treated correctly in their local centres. If that level of organisation isn’t in operation it leads to a collapse in the system, which does happen now and then.

Examining the subject of multiple-trauma victims visiting doctor Pedro Yuste García, a consultant at Hospital 12 de Octubre, Madrid, spoke of the importance of improving the kind of primary attention these victims receive, considering it was the primary cause of death in Spain among people under-37.

Both stressed the need to improve the kind of training of personnel dealing with trauma situations. They also said it was vital that some kind of training was given not just to health personnel but to the population in general, as in general it was a member of the public who would be the first person on the scene following an accident, and it was so important that they would know the basics regarding what to do and, almost more importantly, “what not to do”. The first few moments following an accident are what will determine the evolution of the victims, known in medical terms as “the golden hour”, explained Alarcó.

Both men made reference to the Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS) system, a protocol designed in the United States for actions following a multiple trauma incident and which has been shown to be very efficient as it establishes the steps to be taken to prioritise the most urgent cases at each stage. It is gradually being introduced in Spain.

Another issue being addressed is the creation of a register of multiple trauma incidents that happen annually – age, type of accident, patient details, severity of injury, etc. While it might be seen as arduous, it is the kind of additional data that allows the medical experts know which cases are the most frequent and thus establish an designed approach and interventions most suited.

Yuste pointed out that the majority of multiple-trauma incidents were caused by traffic accidents. He also said there had been an increase in recent years in the number of injuries from weaponry such as knives and guns, which now accounted for between 12 – 15% of cases presenting at hospitals, although this had not reached the kind of levels seen commonly in the United States.

Regarding Hyperbaric medicine, which is the other aspect of this course, Alarcó said the Canarias was actually one of the most regarded diving locations in Spain, with one of the most important free-diving schools internationally, and a centre of this kind couldn’t exist without hyperbaric medicine. It is also legally important to have this kind of medical installation if a location wishes to operate top-level airports, industrial ports and refineries.

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Renewable Energies and Employment

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Fernando Lahoz: “renewable energies could create a huge number of jobs in the archipelago”
One of the courses taking place during the Adeje Summer University is looking at renewable and efficient energy in the Canary Islands. Directed by Fernando Lahoz Zamarro, University of La Laguna professor and Sergio Fabián León Luis, the course aim is to give students a general vision of current renewable energy strategies and realities at a regional and global level, and look at possible future developments.

During the opening session the course director, Fernando Lahoz, made special mention of the search for clean energy to take the place of petrol, whose time is almost at an end, he said. The students were given scientific date to analyse existing alternatives.

Lahoz stressed the benefits of using renewable energies for the Canary Islands, not just in terms of the environment, but also for the economy, “Renewable energies as well as being sustainable and clean generate jobs…and can offer excellent employment opportunities for people with science and technology qualifications”, he said.

The Hydro-Wind centre in El Hierro is also being studied by those taking the course. As Lahoz told the class, “we have become a talking point for the whole world. El Hierro has become an excellent example at international level and is the first Canary Island capable of self-sufficiency in energetic terms”.

There was a huge interest from students in this particular course, and in fact the Summer University organisers had to increase the numbers of places on offer from 40 to 50.

La Caleta Bay Swim

TRAVESIA A NADO LA CALETA 7035The swim takes place on Saturday August 2nd

The III La Caleta Bay Swim takes place on Saturday August 2nd and is jointly organised by the Adeje council and the Anima2 Association. The event, says Adeje sports councillor, Adolfo Alonso Ferrera, promotes healthy leisure activities and at the same time brings business and people to this coastal part of the borough.

The swim will start at 4.30pm and is over 1,300 metros. It is part of the La Caleta fiestas programme and has become a firm fixture in the borough’s sporting calendar. Alonso Ferrera said, “we have been delighted at the high levels of participation in previous years and the way the swim has been supported by residents of La Caleta, and how it has benefited the local economy.”

The meeting place will be at the Plaza de La Caleta (C/ El Muelle and C/ del Varadero) at 2pm, where those registered to swim will get their chip and swimming cap (presentation of DNI/DNE is essential). The race begins at 4.30 with participants swimming from La Enramada beach to Varadero beach, sea permitting..Swimmers between the ages of 6 and 12 years of age, will swim 100 metres, those between 12 and 14 years of age, 150 metros.

If you would like to take part you have until July 28th to sign up, or until the 150 places have been filled. Interested swimmers can find the forms and information on the Adeje webpage, www.adeje.es or on the comptetition site, http://travesiacaletaadeje.blogspot.com.es/.

Rosa María Calaf opens the XXII Adeje Summer University

ADEJE_IMG_4425 “Journalism has to make the invisible visible

The inaugural address at this year’s Adeje Summer University was given by Rosa María Calaf, one of Spain’s best known and respected television journalists. During her 30+ years working as a reporter she has been stationed in more than 160 countries and covered some of the world’s most important stories.

Before her intervention, the mayor of Adeje, Jose Miguel Rodríguez Fraga said spoke of the importance of the Summer University for Adeje and for its young people and the need in a changing world for innovation and qualification. “We began with summer courses, we went onto to have a summer university and now we have a campus…the backing of the university has been very important for the borough”, he said.

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The Rector of the University of La Laguna, Eduardo Doménech, stressed “education is an investment, and the Adeje Summer University provides an excellent example to be followed”. He said that he “couldn’t be happier that during this, his last year as Rector, Adeje had been awarded the gold medal” for their work in the field of education, “a public recognition of all the hard work done in this regard”.

During her opening address to invited dignitaries and guests at the Convento de San Francisco, Rosa María Calaf dealt with the challenges to journalism in the 21st century. One of the problems in today’s world, she said, was that “people don’t ask questions of they things they assume are unquestionable.” She said that “journalism has to make the invisible visible, to go where there is silence, to ask the bigger question such as who benefits”. We all assume to know the differences between a dictatorship, where citizens and journalists may be killed for what they say and write, and a democracy where that doesn’t happen, but the issue of control, of who is controlling the media, who is behind the message, isn’t being asked often enough. “A better democracy needs more inquisitive and more critical citizens”, she added, reminding journalists that they needed to ask “who decides the information agenda, and whose interests are served”.

Rosa Maria Calaf also looked at the way the avalanche of information arriving onto our television and computer screens often means that the important news is being lost, that we are becoming too used to be entertained rather than informed. And again, we are forgetting which questions need to be asked. She gave the examples of the Indonesia and the Japanese tsunamis, and the extreme difference in death tolls – did we ask why? Did we examine how once country is much more prepared to cope with natural disasters than another, or simply watch the pictures of human tragedy unfold on our screens and look for the next story.

She also referred to coverage of the current economic crisis, which seemed to have happened overnight. But there was no one event that caused this crisis, so journalists were not seeing or were ignoring the signs, not fact-checking, allowing themselves to be told what was news and what wasn’t.

The experienced television journalist also warned about loose ethics in reporting – perhaps wearing bullet proof jackets or a helmet while broadcasting from a zone where it wasn’t actually necessary, so changing the dynamic and falsifying the story by doing so. “It’s not just what is said, it is how it is said”, she warned. Another pitfall was allocating more importance to the tool of communication being used than the story being told.

Rosa Maria Calaf studied both law in the University of Barcelona and journalism in the Autonomous University of Barcelona. She has two honorary doctorates as well, from Tarragona and Elche. She was the foreign correspondent for TV España in New York (1984-1987), Moscow (1987-1989), Buenos Aires (1989-1993), Rome (1993-1995), Vienna (1996), Honk Kong 1998-2007), Peking (2007-2007) where she also covered the Peking Olympic Games.

She has won numerous national and international awards over the years, among them the Premio Onda, the Silver Microphone from the RTVE Association of Professional Journalists, Catalonia Journalist of the Year, and a special award from the Casa Asia for her coverage of the 2005 Indonesia tsunami. She has also been recognised for her work in the fights for equal rights for women and was the recipient of the award for best foreign correspondent from the International Press Club in 2006 and the José Couso V Freedom of the Press award in 2009.

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‘Adeje Clean and Healthy’ campaign concludes

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The mayor of Adeje, José Miguel Rodriguez Fraga, with the councillor for the environment and with responsibility for the campaign ‘Adeje, clean and healthy’ Esther Rivero Vargas, met with the different groups who have worked on various aspects of the campaign over the last six months.

During the meetings the mayor said, “the campaign has been well received and has served to mobilise and encourage a lot of people to think about how they treat their animals and their environment, thanks to the collaboration of volunteers and professionals. The commitment of those people and those who work in this area has allowed us move forward. The result of this initiative has been very positive, and we will continue to work to raise awareness and educate our citizens in this regard”.

Esther Rivero Vargas said that the activities on responsible ownership of pets had also shown “positive results in just six months. People have become much more aware, educated and informed about what having a pet entails. Thanks to this initiative more people in Adeje are registering their dogs on the census”, she added.

Jose Miguel Rodríguez Fraga explained that the new system of adoptions was also working very well. “We live in a changing world. Dogs help us too during times of catastrophe, they saves lives in many ways. Dogs are not toys. They can be the most amazing companion you will have and help resolve problems. Its important that we respect these animals, and society in general has to learn to be more aware of the needs of animals”.

To show their appreciation, the mayor and councillor gave those who had worked on the campaign a box and dog model created by those who attend the Los Olivos Centre for Special Needs Persons. Collectives thanked included the Guardia Civil airport dog unit, the Protección Civil La Laguna, Terapia Canina/TCAN and Star Agility club as well as the Adeje hunters association. The teams also received a special photograph of their participation in the campaign.

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During the campaign, which saw public meetings held all over the borough of Adeje, workshops were also held for children teaching fundamental concepts and practises of recycling. The campaign organisers worked tirelessly to promote and raise awareness in this field too. Vets from different clinics in Adeje and beyond also assisted at the meetings giving information and answering questions from the members of the public.

During the same time and in parallel Adeje held the first canine behaviour course in the Youth Centre the aim being to “educate the younger members of Adeje and give them the tools necessary to train their dogs to behave in a manner proper to a civic society”, said Esther Rivero Vargas.

Another arm of the campaign was the employment of four young women who had been actively seeking work to train them to go door to door with the campaign information, which they distributed around the borough in Spanish, English, German and French.

The mayor and the councillor also paid tribute to the workshops organised at each meeting by the Cruz Roja, a fundamental part of the neighbourhood events, and “a door to dialogue via which we can share, listen to and discuss in a constructive way the concerns of our citizens”, said Jose Miguel Rodríguez Fraga.

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Overall both the mayor and the councillor praised those involved in the campaign for their ability to teach, listen and help the people of Adeje move forward. “We will keep on this positive and sensible path. We looked for the participation of the people, and we are winning that challenge. That’s why I want to thank you and it has been splendid to be able to count upon each and every one of the people involved in this campaign. Furthermore the help and tireless contribution made by Esther Rivero Vargas in informing and training has been exceptional”, the mayor concluded.

Water, Water Everywhere…

water plant works

Over 6.5 million Euros has been invested in the sea water desalination and purification plant in Las Américas meaning a significant increase in the amount of water processed daily.

The investment was part of a joint project by the Adeje and Arona councils and the Tenerife Cabildo as part of the regional Canarian State Covenant. At a press conference to announce details of the improvements Adeje’s Gonzalo Delgado Díaz and Antonio Sosa for Arona joined Tenerife Cabildo president Carlos Alonso and the minister for water Jesús Morales in the installation beside the national police station in Las Américas.

Gonzalo Delgado told press “81% of the water consumed in Adeje is desalinated, and of high quality. We are planning to reach 91 % of the population within a year with the improvement works that are being undertaken and an upgrade to the drinking water network financed by the Adeje council.
“At the moment the Adeje-Arona desalination plant supplies our borough with about 5 million cubic metres of water annually, which, added to the 3 million cubic metres produced by the plant in La Caleta, gives the 81% coverage I mentioned. We can say that, unquestionably, Adeje has the best quality water in the island.”

The Tenerife president and the minister for water commented on the scheduled works that would mean important energy savings and improvements in the quality and quantity of water processed in the Adeje-Arona plant.

water plant

In the last year, with the investment, the production of desalinated water increased to a daily average of 22,991m3, with a significant increase of the last 12 month period. The plant has been in operation since 1998 and has a current daily capacity of 30,000 m3, up from 10,000m3 when it was first opened. It serves Adeje and Arona, mainly in the tourist zones and along the coast.

The recent improvements to the plant included:
• Upgrades in the energy efficiency of the desalination process
• Remineralisation via filters
• Reform of the pump station in Parque de la Reina (linked to the Adeje-Arona unit)
• Introduction of a mixed rack conduction system dealing with desalination, regeneration and sanitation of sea water.

Regarding the operation of sanitation and purification energy saving pumps are being installed using variable-frequency drive (VFD).
Further investments are also planned in the pump station in Parque de la Reina which will facilitate water conduction up to Llano del Camello and Las Chafiras and the coastal areas of San Miguel de Abona.

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Siam Park, World’s Nº 1

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TripAdvisor has just named Siam Park the best water park in the world.

The award comes via the Travellers’ Choice Attractions section, created by the travel webpage TripAdvisor, and based on the opinions and recommendations of holiday makers and users.

At the ceremony to present the award were Adeje’s mayor, José Miguel Rodríguez Fraga, the president of Loro Parque Wolfgang Kiessling, the vice-president and director of Siam Park, Christoph Kiessling, Blanca Zayas from TripAdvisor as well as other tourism representatives.

The prizes and awards are given as a result of remarks and opinions posted by millions of holidaymakers world wide, and Siam Park has quickly risen in the ranks of the world’s top aquatic parks, now firmly in top spot.

The Adeje mayor congratulated Siam Park on “this prestigious prize given by the park’s users”. He added that “Adeje is now on the global map with the best most important park in the world, something that makes us very proud and is an incentive to continue to work to improve this first class destination”.

This award is just one of four important titles the park as earned this summer, alongside Biosphere Park, due to its environmental standing, granted by the Institute of Responsible Tourism, UNESCO, which gives the title to attractions that place high emphasis on sustainable development and tourism and respect for its surroundings. Other awards this summer were the ISO 9000, ISO 14000 and EMAS, marks of distinction and quality in the sector.

siam park award

Siam Park was opened in 2008 by Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, of Thailand, and is part of the Loro Parque company.