Recycling in La Caleta

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The initiative was part of a project to increase recycling and use of the yellow containers in bars and restaurants in the borough

Two restaurants in La Caleta, La Masía del Mar and Paquita Bello were winners of awards as part of the Aqui se recicla (We recycle here) platform, a joint Adeje council and Ecoembes initiative developed by the Canarian Sustainability and Green Environment Association. The aim of the programme is to increase recycling and use of the yellow containers in bars and restaurants in the borough.

The Adeje environment councillor Esther Rivero Vargas said, “with this pioneering programme in the Canaries Adeje is continuing to underline the importance of recycling. Since the introduction of this initiative we have seen a 30% increase in the use of the yellow containers in La Caleta, and it is the restaurants and businesses themselves that have actively participated by placing the containers in their premises.”

She added, “Adeje residents are very conscious of the need to recycle and in general levels of recycling in the borough are very positive, although the intention is to increase the practise even more”.

The winning establishments, La Masía del Mar, and a worker from Paquita Bello, demonstrated excellent levels of raising awareness of the need to separate rubbish and use the different containers properly. Overall 14 establishments participated in the programme.

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The Aqui se recicla initiative is a pioneering programme in the islands and for now is only being run in Adeje and San Bartolomé de Tirajana in Gran Canaria, the objective being to get restaurants directly involved in material separation and recycling into the yellow containers, with owners and workers in the participating restaurants directly involved.

There is a primary phase where restaurant staff are trained by the project leaders and are given mini yellow containers, special bags, and information materials. Then, over a six week period, there are a series of visits to help clarify any doubts or questions, help in the recycling and bring new containers or bags when needed.

According to Camren Martínez Dorta, president of the Canarian Sustainability and Green Environment Association, “the owners and employees of the restaurants in La Caleta have been very open to the idea and the level of participation has been remarkably high”.

The project is part of a regional plan to increase rubbish separation and recycling in the islands as a whole. Tinixara Mesa Moreno, a specialist from Ecoembes in the Canaries, said “each Canarian needs to be proud of their environment and want to care about how they deposit rubbish, making sure it’s properly separated and placed in the right containers. If we place the wrong items in the incorrect containers we undermine the good efforts of the rest, as every time that happens the process of recycling is halted”.

Ecoembes is a non-profit body which oversees the management of plastics, cans, and cartons (yellow containers) and cardboard and paper (blue containers) throughout Spain. During 2014 1.2 million tons of plastics, cartons, paper and cardboard were recycled in Spain, meaning a direct reduction in CO2 gas emissions , equivalent to the emissions of a quarter of cars registered in Madrid. This also led to a reduction in energy consumption of 3 million Mwh, equal to the annual energy consumption of 31% of smart phones in the country.

Adeje’s libraries giving eBooks a run for their money!

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The number of people using Adeje’s public libraries is on the increase, with requests for materials from students rising by 30%, use of study rooms by 74% and requests for local Wi-Fi connections up by 375% over 2014.

According to the councillor with responsibility for he libraries, Juan Desiderio Afonso Ruiz, “since the opening of the Adeje-based Southern University Campus we have noticed the change in the numbers using the libraries. Take into account that we now have students in each of the four years of the tourism course that we offer in Adeje, that’s 150 third level students in classes here in the borough, not to mention the many other courses on offer from the council and of course the students from the primary and secondary schools in Adeje.

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“Our intention is to continue to grow to meet the increasing demand of the users and continue to be the first-choice reference library network, meeting the needs of our new users as more university courses are opened in Adeje in the near future”.

The Adeje public libraries received 36,470 visits in 2015, with 82% of those to the main library in the town’s cultural centre, and the break-down shows a 50/50 split between male and female users, with 77% adults using the service. The councillor also noted that “while there has been a drop in the number of books out on loan given the proliferation of eBooks and new technologies, our statistics do show that a healthy number of people are borrowing, with 6,600 books lent last year”.

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The Adeje library network has over 69,000 documents – books, audio-visual material, magazines, etc. – on offer to the public, with a growing foreign language section. Joining in relatively easy and it is an excellent free resource for all.

Tackling bullies

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Unfortunately bullying is still very much a reality in schools today, and the Adeje council run a series of programmes to address, tackle and prevent this scourge of the classroom.

Run by the department of equality, the programme is designed for students in the first year of secondary school, their parents, their teachers and the public in general. Certainly when children move from primary into the somewhat more relaxed atmosphere of secondary school it is a time where new behaviours can emerge or existing ones can flourish, so tackling the issue in first year of this new era of the student’s education makes sense.

The course this year will be held in the second week of February with a series of activities designed to increase awareness and improve co-existence in the school setting, promoting non-violent values, dialogue, empathy, solidarity and respect. Respect is paramount in this setting particularly given our multi-cultural community in Adeje, and the course promotes respect for different cultures, body shapes, character, colour, sexuality and creed.

The department has classified bullying as personalised violence that is intentional, repeated and oriented to generate a relationship based on abuse and inequality between the abuser or bullier and the victim. The bully will use intimidation, isolation, threats and insults within the school setting. This resulting situation can cause huge harm to those who suffer.

It is, say the council, up to administrations implicated in the education system to guarantee that students in schools receive all the information needed to combat bullying. This will include how to recognise indicators, risk situations in schools, identifying the different roles children can be pushed into in the classroom, such as passive observer, victims, etc. Confronting the bully, interventions and the knock-on effects for the victim and other pupils will also be examined as well as the legal ramifications.
(Photo credit: FreeImages.com/katherine evans)

Viva San Sebastián

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Explaining to a ten year old just what a martyr is and how a town can adopt one (“but how many years ago did he die, why did they kill him and how can you adopt someone who is dead”) was my start to this year’s celebration’s of San Sebastián, one of Adeje’s patron saints, and an event that brings residents and tourists out in their thousands to the beach in La Enramada in La Caleta to watch the horses being brought down to the sea for a swim.

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The ‘horses on the beach’ section of the day is only a part of a larger celebration, with small folk groups singing, mass, fireworks the night before and the launch of a fantastic book about San Sebastián in Adeje through the eyes of some of the borough’s older residents, but for many it’s the most important bit. And it’s probably one of the occasions when the international resident’s feel very much ‘Adejeros’ as they bring their families to this event year after year, and spend time explaining it to invited guests from abroad or perhaps tourists who stand beside them on the beach waiting for the horses to arrive. The waiting is hours-long for ten or fifteen minutes of equine presence, but that doesn’t really matter. It’s a sunny day, we’re on the beach, with friends and family, it’s a local fiesta, what’s not to like.

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And no-one left the scene unhappy. The thousands who arrived (once an elusive parking place had been found) were happy with the spectacle, the kids loved the ponies and donkeys who were also part of the four-legged beach parade, San Sebastián was carried, respectfully, to the water’s edge, homage paid and returned to his church, and people wandered happily home or went back to the plaza to watch the other animals being blessed, enjoy a tapas or two with a beer or glass of wine, music playing, sun shining.
Viva San Sebastiàn, Viva.

Occupational therapy unit for South needed

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The people most affected by ailments attended to by the unit are in Adeje, Arona and Granadilla

Adeje mayor, José Miguel Rodríguez Fraga, along with the councillor for health promotion, Amada Trujillo Bencomo, met last week with the preisident of the Canarian Occupational Therapy Association, Diego Moguel, to add the council’s voice to the call to the Canarian Health Service to open a therapy unit here in the South.

At the present time the only unit is in the Hospital de La Candelaria, and to add to the difficulties there has been a reduction in staff serving this essential unit that treats a particular range of individuals – premature babies, and those with illnesses categorised as ‘rare’ as well as older individuals suffering a variety of disorders.

“This is a particular vulnerable sector of the population who, at the moment, have to travel hundreds of kilometres for treatment each week, but if there was a unit in the south it would dramatically improve their quality of life”, said Diego Moguel. “It is essential that a unit is opened here in the South to bring this service closer to those who need it. In particular we are talking about children who, in many cases, suffer a lot during the long journey to and from the unit, given the kind of illness they might be suffering from, as well as make huge demands on their families”.

According to the statistics Arona, followed by Adeje and Granadilla, are the boroughs with the highest ratio of patients attending the unit in the Candelaria hospital. The Adeje mayor, once made aware of the current circumstances, added his and the council’s voice to the call and said he would bring the issue to the next council meeting. “Anything that affects the health of our residents is, for us, a priority, and we will do anything we can in this regard, particularly as we are talking about a very vulnerable section of the population. We will support the motion calling for this service to be available here and that it should be open to the public as soon as possible, and we will look for support from the other boroughs and the Cabildo”, he said. Rodríguez Fraga expressed his hope that “all the southern councils will join us in the campaign particularly as we are the boroughs with the highest populations in need of this unit”.

During the meeting the mayor was able to meet with a family directly affected by the lack of a unit here, a family from Arona whose son suffers from Epidermolysis bullosa (EB) or ‘butterfly skin’ as it is commonly known, as the skin so delicate that it tears and bruises at the slightest touch. The condition is incurable, and the child receives treatment at the Candelaria unit, even though the long drive actually makes his condition worse at times, says his mother.

The work of the unit is based on intervention to meet each patient’s needs, help them achieve their maximum capacity according to their condition, be it physical, mental, cognitive, etc, through workshops, treatments, etc.

Costa Adeje: Meeting the demands of 21st Century Tourism

 

Ermitas Moreira, tourism councillor and mayor José Miguel Rodríguez outlining details of the Fitur promotion today

Ermitas Moreira, tourism councillor and mayor José Miguel Rodríguez outlining details of the Fitur promotion today

Costa Adeje is the Nº1 tourist destination in the Canaries and fourth in Spain in terms of economic returns for its five-star hotels

A continued commitment to the strategy that has seen the Costa Adeje destination become a showcase at regional and national levels for tourism is how 2016 has begun, with new challenges ahead to consolidate the work done to meet the demands of 21st Century Tourism. This will be done by combining the existing offer in the borough alongside an exciting range of newly opened tourism niches with a stated expansion until 2020.

In Costa Adeje, when we mention 21st Century Tourism we are not just referring to traditional tools associated with the market, and those which are using new technologies, complementary offers and tourism feedback. Already Adeje can look at its position as one of the leaders in the tourism trade in attracting investors and promoting the concept of ‘total tourism’ with an offer that emphasised, among other things, care for details, quality of services and looking after clients’ needs to the ultimate level.

Now, when we refer to 21st Century Tourism we are using the term to cover the continuation of a quality and luxury service but combined with sustainability, respect for the environment, and controlled growth and a global offer which will attract tourists of all types, from solo travellers to couples to those in search of the perfect family get-away. In that regard a strategic plan is now in place with 2020 as the end date, with many of the new projects already becoming reality.

The Adeje department of tourism is looking at the overall offer in terms of different ‘worlds’ to be visited, and bearing in mind the business side of the tourism sector too, recognising that tourism is and continues to be an essential economic motor creating wealth and jobs locally contributing to local well-being and quality of life. In this regard Adeje is recognised as one of the administrations working to keeps the bureaucratic wheels moving, with licences for small businesses granted, on average, within 7 days, and for large projects within 30 days. Costa Adeje has also maintained its position with Exeltur as one of the most profitable tourist destinations in Spain, leading the sector in the Canaries with a 15.4% RevPar (index of profit per room per day). The borough has also registered a rise in those working in tourism of 3.2% this year, with almost 13,000 employed in the sector.

The world of the family is one of the important ‘worlds’ within the offer, with Siam Park now acknowledged as one of the best theme parks globally and Aqualand with awards at national level. The challenge to upgrade and improve the family offer continues and up-and-coming hotel projects will see exciting new offers on the horizon with an increased number of 5-star establishments.

Sport and nature form another ‘world’ of tourism here in Adeje. Already institutions such as the T3 training centre are internationally acknowledged as among the best. New projects in the natural world, on land and at sea, with the opening of Marine classrooms, reclaiming the seabed, and the developing of ‘green-belt’ connections in the midlands and upper reaches of the borough will see interesting new tourism offers, allowing our visitors enjoy a destination that offers a natural sustainable line from the sea to the mountains, passing through some cultural and heritage sites worth stopping for.

The world of luxury is already established too, and with controlled growth will continue to expand, with projects such as the Puertito de Adeje which will see a fusion of luxury, family, natural, sustainable and sporting tourism in one incredible location. In parallel we enjoy a healthy businesses and commercial sector which grew further in 2015 with the opening of Siam Mall, already a hugely successfully innovate shopping experience. All this and more guarantees that Costa Adeje has a bright future ahead.

The Adeje councillor for tourism Ermitas Moreira has previously held the post of economic development in the borough and is well placed to see the need for a healthy work:tourism ratio. “We depend upon who visits us and the investments made by small, medium and large businesses to ensure that tourism is a source of shared wealth for the borough and this has worked so far in terms of job creation locally”. However for Moreira the current figures “are good but not good enough. We have to keep working along the same lines to ensure that our economic motor continues to generate more jobs each day and that is one of our chief objectives over the coming years”.

José Miguel Rodríguez Fraga
The mayor of Adeje will lead the borough’s delegation to Fitur, the Madrid based International Tourism Trade Fair 2016 taking place next week (January 20th 24th), an event he described as “an excellent tourism showcase” and where municipal delegations will come together under the Turismo de Tenerife banner. “For us Fitur is an opportunity to promote our brand of tourism, the thinking behind what we do as a destination, a destination that is dynamic, with a strong identity, as well as encourging more tourism for the island of Tenerife and the rest of the Canary Islands.” He added that one of the challenges next week would be to recapture the national market as well as maintaining the numbers from other countries, “and we will be presenting new promotional tools”, he said.

Regarding the Costa Adeje development plans, he says “we are not simply in a process of renovation of all the sector has to offer, we are adding new contents to the offer which will be launched globally, working to ensure Costa Adeje remains a world leader in the sector”. He says he is convinced that the “concept of 21st Century Tourism perfectly defines what we want – nothing more than to be able to offer a destination with all the characteristics that we have worked to consolidate in recent years in terms of quality, excellent service and a 5-star hotel and leisure offer in conjunction with the important elements of sustainability, controlled development and an offer where the human factor, culture and heritage, play key roles. He paid special attention to the pivotal role human values play too in tourism in Adeje, and how the needs of the visitor were at the centre of any development plans as well as the needs and futures of those working in the industry here.

“We have always worked responsibly and with respect and let no-one think we are sitting back on our laurels in a self-satisfied manner, assuming ‘job done’. On the contrary, while we value what we have achieved we now have to work hard to maintain and constantly improve the Costa Adeje tourism offer”.

During Fitur the mayor will attend a range of strategic meetings with sector representatives. He will also receive a prize from Preferente magazine for his dedication and commitment to tourism. He will take some personal satisfaction in the award, but in principal says it is “in recognition of work done, work we have all undertaken and carried out in Costa Adeje for Tenerife tourism, and for tourism in the Canary Islands and Spain.

“Our goals are renovation, but we have chosen a path ahead, a stake in the future, based on quality, the training of personnel in the sector as something mandatory and this is how we will be judged competitively, and we must also work to ensure that the wealth created by tourism continues to benefit all those who live and work in Adeje for the betterment of our society. We can all commit to quality – the workforce will have to make an extra effort in terms of training and adaptation, businesses will have to create jobs and top quality products and society in general will see the improved quality of life that tourism can bring. This is the stage upon which we build a tourism offer that is both exceptional and competitive”, assured mayor Rodríguez Fraga.

Over 300 new businesses opened in Adeje in 2015

Councillor José María Álvarez Acosta

Councillor José María Álvarez Acosta

In the same time period only 20 companies closed

According to the Adeje councillor for urban development, José María Álvarez Acosta, 335 new businesses began operations in the borough during 2015, as compared to 268 in 2014. Only 20 businesses closed in the same 12 month period. “The companies who opened in 2015 are in a vast range of sectors”, said the councillor, “small, medium and large enterprises are deciding that Adeje is the place to develop their commercial projects and this is due, in large part, to this administration’s working practises which offer efficient and immediate assistance”.

Álvarez Acosta explained that council operates in many cases under the 2011 the ‘Ley de Actividades Clasificadas y Espectáculos Públicos de 2011’ (Law re classified activities and public shows 2011), which guarantees, among other things, that official requests for opening licences for businesses that would be deemed “innocuous” would have a favourable answer when the licence presentation was officially made and that any business that is “inoffensive” could open to the public on the same day as the licence request was officially submitted, with inspections etc. taking place afterwards.

As well as granting operating licences for over 300 businesses the Adeje department has also approved a number of urban building projects with work licences granted between 7- 30 days of the petition being submitted. Altogether there were 215 applications for building works in 2015, showing, says the councillor, “a healthy relationship with the council reflecting confidence and stability”.

Among the licences granted were four for major projects; the renovation of the Hotel Jardines del Teide in Costa Adeje, reform and renovation of the Paraíso Floral and Oasis Paraiso hotels in Playa Paraiso, a new apart-hotel complex, Corales Barceló in La Caleta and the Victoria Suites in Playa del Duque.

Councillor José María Álvarez Acosta pointed to the professionalism of the Adeje technical staff and the stability of the local administration as contributing to the healthy state of businesses in the borough.