Step by step…

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‘Ponle Freno’ –  contributing to construction of a rehabilitation centre for traffic accident victims

Ponle Freno is a social action initiative powered by Atresmedia, and held its first event in the Canary Islands last Saturday with a race in Adeje, starting and finishing at Saim Mall. Over two thousand people took part with Jonay González and Tere Linares winning the 5K race and Miguel Ángel Vaquero and Chus Valiño Novo victors in the 10K.
Ponle Freno (rough translation, ‘put on the brakes’), is working to raise public awareness of the need for road safety and how to avoid traffic accidents. Races under the Ponle Freno banner have already been held in Madrid and Vitoria with monies raised going towards helping the victims of traffic accidents by donating to the Step by Step Foundation. Here the plan is to open a rehab centre in Tenerife.

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´Step by Step´ is a non-profit making organisation set up in 2007 to help provide rehabilitation for traffic accident victims in particular those who have suffered spinal injuries and are ready to undergo physiotherapy. To coincide with the race the Adeje council also initiated their pedestrian crossing campaign with safety messages for users in Spanish and English in key parts of the borough.

Full house for Adeje Christmas Concert

 

 

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Funds raised went to the Asociación de San Juan who work with special needs individuals

Last Saturday, for the first time, South Tenerife enjoyed a Christmas concert with the full army band playing in the Magma Arte & Congresos centre with the Adeje and Guía bands also taking part – and already the public are calling for this to become a regular fixture in the Adeje Christmas calendar. The concert saw a full hall with up to 1,800 coming together to enjoy some excellent military music as well as Christmas choral carols.

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A choir of over 150 local school children, under the direction of Rosa Maria Pérez Meiriño, a professor at the Adeje school of music, accompanied the band with a number of carols. And all the monies collected – tickets were €1 each – went to the Asociación San Juan, for special needs individuals.

Pedro Galán García, Commander in chief of the Canarian forces, told the public they had been looking forward to participating in this seasonal event. “We bring feelings of solidarity, of love and families and coming together; it has been a long time since we have been able to play in the South, and please do remember that even if you don’t always see us here, whatever the hour, the day, the time of year or the place we are working to maintain stability and peace and guarantee the wellbeing of everyone.”

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The Commander made special mention of the “more than 500 men and women of the Canarian brigade who have completed missions abroad, many of them in dangerous locations such as Afghanistan and I am delighted to say that they have all returned and are here to celebrate this special time with their families.”

Pedro Galán Garcia paid tribute to the Adeje mayor José Miguel Rodríguez Fraga who worked to ensure this concert took place; “Thanks to the invitation of the mayor of Adeje we have been able to demonstrate the positive energy this kind of harmonious synergy between the public and our soldiers.”

For his part the Adeje mayor said that they were already looking at future projects with the army, “because we are delighted to see the army here, these soldiers who are on peace missions, who defend our integrity and freedom and to whom we wish to express our gratitude and recognition of a job well done and to remember that this body plays a very special role in our society”.

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Joining the army band on stage were the patronal bands of Adeje and Guía de Isora, directed by Antonio Lorenzo Fariña Díaz and Francisco José Flores Casañas. The first half of the concert featured composers/songs Josef Hastreitter (Dancing Show), Leroy Anderson (Christmas Festival), Steven Reineke (Merry Christmas Everyone) and Mariah Carey (All I want for Christmas). After the interval a stirring entrance with drums and bagpipes started the second half with El Tamborilero, Arre borriquero , a special Christmas mix and the Canarian piece, Una sobre el mismo mar. Soloists from the Adeje school of music performed in a variety of languages.

The 3 ‘R’s – reduce, recycle, reuse!

 

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There are 45 new shoe and clothes recycling containers in the borough

Adeje’s environmental councillor, Esther Rivero Vargas, was busy last week overseeing the installation of some of the 45 new containers in the borough for the recycling of clothes and shoes. The containers and their management are courtesy of the Martínez Cano Canarias S.A., group, a Canarian comapny that has been involved in the management of waste for over 40 years. .

The councillor said “with the installation of these containers we are continuing to devlop the local awareness of the importance of recycling. Adeje is a borough with a high level of acceptance of the need to reduce, reuse and recycle”, she added.

The containers are made of galvanised iron are fireproof and have a capacity of 3 square metres. There are now 45 of them around the borough.

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Tjhe director of the Martínez Cano Canarias S.A. compnay, Alberto Medina, explained that they were also carrying out a number of recycling workshops in Adeje for local school children. These are free and will be happening in all the public schools in the borough. “We are working to train and teach future generations the importance of recycling and reuse and the benefits of both”, he commented.

To recycle clothes and shoes

Each time you use these new containers you are contributing to the reduction of energy consumption used in the making of fabrics and therefore lowering the impact to the environment. Collection will take place three times a week, or more depending on the volume of use. Both shoes and clothes should be clean and in closed bags.

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Stop, look, listen, cross

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Adeje has just unveiled its new pedestrian crossings bearing a series of messages, in Spanish and English, designed to help pedestrians take more care crossing the road. The initiative is part of the ‘Ponle Frenlo’ (put on the brakes) campaign to reduce the number of traffic accidents in Spain.

Different messages have been painted on to the first line of pedestrian crossings all over the borough asking pedestrians to check before they cross, to stop looking at their mobile if they are crossing the road, to reduce the volume if they are listening to music, as well as other safety messages.

The aim of the campaign is to reduce the number of mortalities and injuries caused by traffic accidents. According to official statistics in Spain 11,000 people are knocked down every year, nearly all of them in urban areas.

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Adeje is the first borough to introduce this form of prevention. According to the mayor, José Miguel Rodríguez Fraga, “Adeje and our tourist destination Costa Adeje welcomes over two million visitors annually – so it’s the perfect place to launch these safety messages”. The messages are in Spanish and in English.

Josep Alfonso, director general of the Ponle Freno centre said “while we’re not all drivers we’re all pedestrians, and susceptible to being knocked down if we don’t pay attention when we’re crossing the road.

“Stop and look before you cross, cross at the proper designated places, make your intentions clear to drivers and avoid using mobiles or headphones when you are crossing – just a few words of advice that can save a pedestrian’s life”, he said.

Because you’re happy!

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Ambassador urges British residents to follow the example of those who are most content

Some of the secrets to happy living in Spain are revealed in a new survey by the British Embassy on how expatriates adjust to a life in the sun.

Integration into the Spanish way of life is the key, the survey reveals. More than half of the British residents who responded say they speak Spanish regularly with friends and neighbours, enjoy Spanish food, use the Spanish healthcare system and employ Spanish tradespeople. The adjective ‘happy’ is the word that they most commonly use to describe their lives in Spain, followed by ‘relaxed’ and ‘content’.

But some Brits admit to getting by without learning Spanish or registering on the padrón, and fail to make Spanish friends or keep up with Spanish news and politics, all things that appear to help others get more out of living in Spain.

Almost 1600 people responded to the British Embassy’s ‘Integrometer’ online survey into levels of resident integration. Two-thirds live in Andalucia or the Comunidad de Valencia, where there are some high concentrations of British residents and integration is often low. Further significant numbers live in the Canaries, Murcia, the Balearics, Catalunya and the Madrid region.*

Commenting on the survey, British ambassador Simon Manley said,“It’s great to see so many Brits saying they are happy and content in Spain as a result of their efforts to integrate into local life. I would definitely urge others to follow their example. If you are settling here, the first and most important thing to do is to register on the padrón. That way you can access the health and social services you may need now or in future.

“If you fail to register, then you can’t expect support from the Spanish system later. Some of the most tragic cases that we see in our Consulates are the consequences of people having moved to Spain – often years earlier – but not signing up on the padrón or integrating into their local Spanish communities.”

Nine out of 10 people say they are registered on the padrón, which implies that one in 10 survey respondents have yet to do so. More than half say they have a Spanish will, and over 50% have a Spanish driving licence.

Two thirds are registered for Spanish healthcare, with another 13% having private medical insurance. But an alarming 16% admit they have failed to provide for their healthcare in Spain, leaving them at serious risk of difficulties in the event of an accident or illness.

Spanish food proves popular. Nearly a quarter say they eat a Spanish meal every day, and eight out of ten do so at least once a week. Only 6% say they eat a Spanish meal less than once a month.

Arvelo and Miraverde Association’s Toy Story!

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The social welfare councillor Isabel Fernández and her team are working to ensure every child in Adeje is visited by The Three Kings over the festive season

During the week the Miraverde Association dropped into the office of the Social Welfare department to hand over a cheque for over €2,200 collected during a series of fund raising events. The money is going to the Arvelo toy stores who will supply the department with toys for children in need in the borough, from families registered with the Social Services department.

According the councillor Isabel Fernández González “we are delighted because thanks to the solidarity and help of the residents of Miraverde over €2,200 has been raised which is going to the Arvelo toy company who will make sure we have the toys we need for the children from families who may be struggling financially this year. We are working to make sure no child is without a gift this year”.

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Carlos Arvelo, director general of the company, said “we will be able to hand over a lot of toys this year as we will take them from our warehouse and charge wholesale prices only, so we can purchase a lot more toys with the monies raised”.

Marco Flor, spokesperson for the residents in Miraverde commented, “this year we raised €2,200 and we hope next year it will be more. As well as raising money we have also taken the opportunity to explain to everyone what a good cause it is. The majority of our residents are German, about 400 persons, and we have been delighted to be able to hold solidarity fund raising events over many years”. He also thanked Frutería Gorrin and Clinca Dental Kutnjak for their donations.

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Equal education opportunities

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Class sizes and new schools buildings under consideration

During a recent visit of Ana Dorta, the regional director general for education centres and infrastructures, the issue of both class sizes and three new centres were discussed.

Dorta visited a number of schools in the borough accompanied by the Adeje mayor José Miguel Rodríguez Fraga, the councillor for creative development and education Adolfo Alonso, the regional coordinator Jonathan Fumero and departmental heads. The visitors were here to learn first-hand the needs and plans of the borough for a number of essential projects that are underway, and in some cases awaiting final approval from the regional government.

During visits to a number of the borough’s primary and secondary schools the issue of class sizes was raised, as was the need to agree on an acceptable ratio of teachers to pupils. The mayor commented that the growth in class sizes was not new in Adeje and centres needed to be remodelled to meet the increasing demand. As well as other factors, the growth was, he said, “the result of migratory flows and the attractiveness of the borough as a residential area for new families given, among other things, the high employment rate”. Security accessibility and youth activities were other factors discussed by the visitors with the council representatives.

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Adolfo Alonso also included a visit to the plots of land that have already been given to the regional government for the construction of a new primary school in Tijoco (the current school is far too small for the number of pupils in the catchment area) and the proposed teacher training college, behind Gran Sur. He added to the agenda the urgent need to accelerate the approval and construction of a third secondary school in the borough, in Las Torres. This latter project is currently in the hands of the regional government offices awaiting a final decision.

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“It’s essential that these three projects, which we have asked for for many years, are now dealt with urgently by the regional government”, said the Adeje councillor. “The council have given the land to the Canarian government and we said we are happy to cooperate in whatever we can to progress these building projects. These are not whims of the council, they are plans to meet the real and current needs of our residents. In some cases we need to replace buildings that are obsolete and which simply don’t meet the pupils’ needs. In other cases are are dealing with infrastructures that are fundamental, not just for Adeje but for the whole of the south of Tenerife.

“We are talking about offering training opportunities to our young population with which they can meet the challenges of the labour market head-on, prepared and able to compete at all levels. We are talking about equality of opportunities, innovation and employment, about our young people and their future”, outlined Adolfo Alonso.