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.