The British Consul for South Spain and the Canary Islands, Charmaine Arbouin was in Tenerife for a few days meeting with officials and various volunteer groups, but also took time, with the Vice Consul Helen Keating, to pay a courtesy call to the mayor of Adeje, Jose Miguel Rodriguez Fraga.
The visit served a number of important purposes, and was also an opportunity for the Consul to congratulate the mayor on his recent local election success. Both Charmaine and Helen were also anxious to find out more about the ongoing projects in Adeje to improve integration, and look at how the two bodies can work together to advance ex-pat participation in Adeje and in parallel help the British residents here get the most out of their chosen home. It was pointed out that too often ex-pats only look for help when they have a problem – health, social welfare, etc. Therefore one strand of the work of the council that would greatly help the British consular office is getting people into the system before the problems begin.
Mayor Fraga spoke about the Adeje Convivencia/Harmonious Co-existence programme that is an borough-wide programme to strengthen links between the various communities in Adeje – its a cross-cultural, international cross-generational campaign that has been working to reflect many many different peoples who live here. He also confirmed that the council were preparing a campaign to help more people register on the ‘padrón’ and working in many different ways to break down the walls of fear that many non-Spanish residents, including, agreed the Consul, British people, have about approaching their local town halls and registering.
The mayor also detailed the many different services available to the town’s senior citizens – useful information given the fact that many ex-pats are older residents. There is, for instance, a geriatric care centre, and an Alzheimers centre in Adeje which is for all residents. There are also a host of leisure based activities organised all year around for retired individuals – from folk dancing to model making, trips to other islands, theatre, and so much more.
The visit ended with a promise of future co-operation which can only be good news for ex-pats in Adeje.