Healthcare, connectivity, mobility – “not just our problems, everyone’s problems”


In a recent interview with Diario de Avisos newspaper, José Miguel Rodríguez Fraga, Adeje’s mayor, spoke of the changes he has seen in his many years in public service and how tourism has led to unprecedented growth in South Tenerife. “The southern boroughs are beginning to get some recognition – late though that is. However no-one could have foreseen the changes that tourism would bring to the south. And this part of the island has been neglected in three particular areas which now cause huge problems: connectivity, with the problems with Tenerife South airport; mobility, affecting roads and motorways; and health with the on-going demand for a fully functional public hospital in the south to meet the needs of the local population.
“We have other issues, such as water and water treatment and matters that we, as councils, are resolving bit by bit. But in the other regard we are not simply talking about problems that affect South Tenerife. These are Tenerife’s problems, the Canarias’ problems because we are part of a bigger whole. So solving these problems is solving them for everyone. Connectivity, mobility, health care”.
The mayor stated that all three of these mentioned problems indicate a serious lack of planning and that the development of the affected boroughs and areas hasn’t received the kind of attention it merited and merits. “We are operating with a distinct kind of situation whereby we have to be able to provide services to numbers of residents much greater that those who figure on the census. In the case of Adeje, for example, at times we have four times the registered number of inhabitants (due to tourism) and those numbers need to be reflected when it comes to allocating budgets and financial aid nationally, as we are working to meet the needs of up to 200,000 persons who also generate waste materials, need services and have specific and concrete demands”.
On the issue of the airport, and following the 8-hour closure earlier in the year due to a burst airplane wheel, he pointed out, “I am confident that together with the Tenerife Cabildo, the regional government and the other affected council, we can go hand in hand to the national government to state our case. It’s not about nice words nor is it enough to solely consider this worthy of attention when there is a problem. Those of us who rely upon the tourism sector know the urgent need for some solution to this problem, and have been aware of this for many years. A new runway and terminal have to be priorities. At the moment there is no ‘Plan B’ if something happens to close the runway. The airport would have to close causing incalculable damage to the destination. Those thousands who do come here already have to leave their hotels up to five hours before their flight to ensure they arrive on time, given the traffic jams on the motorway. Then they are asked to wait for their flights in a terminal that is not built to deal with to cater for the numbers of passengers who use it daily.”


The mayor was asked to consider the unprecedented transformation of Adeje given the growth of tourism in the region. And given recent protests in certain tourist destinations in Spain it was of interest that he pointed out the council had and continues to hold in equal part the importance of the quality of life of the resident of Adeje as well as that of the tourist. “Many people are involved here, from the companies who chose Adeje as a destination, to the residents of the borough who have worked to adapt and accept the phenomenon of tourism. And from the council we have worked to adjust to ensure that things work in harmony, from meeting the needs of tour operators to the daily needs of our residents, who are so important as we are generating a wealth that is directed towards our people. I do think we have been successful in this regard and we will continue along these lines”.
The mayor also made specific reference to the work done to increase the advantages tourism brings to a local populace, while at the same time protecting the natural environment and the things that mark Adeje out as different. “From the start our principal has been that the resources that have generated such high levels of tourism have to been maintained, looked after. We are also creating employment, generating wealth in emerging subsectors and seeing new job creation opportunities created. We have a low unemployment level (7%) and are a source of employment for many from all over the island and beyond. However we will continue to work to ensure that the distribution of the benefits of tourism is widespread”. The council has worked with the University of La Laguna, for instance, to develop the third level Tourism Degree (two graduating classes to date). “In the coming years we want to encourage more training and specialisation and create more and better opportunities for everyone”, the mayor continued. “Given this economic resource we can create new social opportunities, improve our cultural offer, move ahead in projects that promote social harmony and integration as well as encourage sustainable development on all fronts”.

 

Adeje Tourism degree, class of 2017

Cultural exchange in Callao Salvaje

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How a roundabout in Armeñime would improve harmonious co-existence was just one of the topics touched upon during the recent visit of the Adeje mayor, José Miguel Rodríguez Fraga to the Callao Salvaje Community Church.

The mayor was the invited guest at one of the regular language exchange evenings hosted by Ken and Caroline Cumming in their church centre in Sueño Azul, and there was a lovely mix of people from Callao Salvaje and Costa Adeje in attendance, with a cross-section of Adeje’s multi-cultural population, people from Germany, Belgium, Ireland, England, Wales and Scotland, Italy and of course Spain, in attendance. The local councillor for the area, Amada Trujillo Bencomo was also in the audience.

After the guests had enjoyed some snacks, and a cup of tea or coffee, they sat and were interested to hear the mayor talk about what Adeje can do for them, asking them to continue to be involved in the borough and welcoming suggestions from the floor on how they could become more involved in the future evolution of this international corner of South Tenerife. “I want to make Adeje a reference point for co-existence, for cultural diversity”, he told the gathering, while at the same time stressing the importance of tourism and the need to maintain the area as a top tourist destination too. “We are blessed with the advantages given to us such as the incredible weather, the nature that surrounds us, but most of all, our biggest resource is the people of Adeje” he said, including those present.

The need to constantly improve the destination was also touched upon, as well as the diverse cultural, gastronomic, folklore and incredible sporting offer that Adeje is and has. “And I don’t mean of or for the elite”; the mayor stressed, “I mean the culture of the people, the music of the people, giving people the ability and the tools to discover something about themselves too”. He referred to the Adeje Convivencia and the Adeje Smart City campaigns which were designed and working towards the improvement of the borough for residents and tourists alike.

Responding to questions from the floor Rodríguez Fraga acknowledged that there was still work to be done in controlling unwanted practises in tourist areas such as PR touts and leafleting, and he also spoke of a newish craze that was harming tourism – that of hiring out what were once scooters for the use exclusively of those with mobility disabilities, to anyone who wished, which is now becoming a nuisance on many streets in Costa Adeje and beyond.

To a question from a local IT provider regarding poor internet coverage in Callao Salvaje the mayor said he would look into it as soon as possible, “as it is often up to the council to persuade private companies that they need to serve areas that they might not consider hugely profitable, although Callao Salvaje is a profitable area”, he said. And when asked about how they might tackle the daily traffic blocks and tail backs by Armeñime the mayor confirmed that the plan to introduce a roundabout there was now approved, “land has been ceded and work should begin in a few months…no doubt helping develop more harmony in the community”, he joked.

As the meeting drew to a close one of the audience suggested the establishment of a focus group among ex-pats to work on and inform the council about issues of concern – the mayor welcomed the idea and we hope to see this group up and running soon – so let us know if you would be interested in taking part.

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The mayor, in closing, thanked Ken and Caroline for hosting the event, and also for their recent involvement in the fund and food raising Gospel concert in the Adeje Cultural Centre, with all proceeds going directly to the Adeje food bank. He also invited those present to get involved in local borough events – “I know language may be a barrier, but not one that we can’t overcome”, he said.

Failte romhat – Adeje welcomes Irish Ambassador

Embajador irlandes en Adeje (4)

The Irish Ambassador to Spain, Mr David Cooney, paid a courtesy visit to Adeje this week where was officially welcomed by the mayor, José Miguel Rodríguez Fraga as well as invited members of the council, local business representatives and members of the resident Irish community.

The mayor spoke of the important links that tourism can develop, not just economic, but in terms of cohesion and personal development. He said the Irish community had grown in recent years and of the benefits of on-going exchanges.

Ambassador Cooney, who was accompanied by Madrid Consul Caoimhe Ní Chonchúir and the Tenerife based honorary consul, Ward Woods, said he was delighted to meet members of the Irish community here who were contributing to the local community, “who want to make a contribution to their adopted home, not just for the Irish but for all the people of the borough.” He also referred to the fact that Adeje is home to people from up to 120 different countries, “a mini united nations”, with the people of the town at the heart of it, “who make this place somewhere that people want to come and visit and stay.”

The Ambassador also said that he was struck by “the extraordinary links between Ireland and Tenerife and the contribution that they and their descendants had made to the history of this island”, and thanked the mayor and guests for the welcome they show to Irish tourists and potential residents and that they had shown to him.

Following an exchange of gifts the Ambassador signed the visitor’s book and was delighted to take time out with the mayor to visit the Convento de San Francisco, the Plaza de España and the Santa Ursula church. As a recent Ambassador to the Vatican he told Adeje parish priest Fr Honorio of his interest in churches and statues and was particularly struck by the detail in the church in Adeje and congratulated the mayor on the effort in saving the building many years ago.

This is the first visit of Ambassador Cooney to the Canary Islands. He arrived in Spain in September of last year to take up his post of Ambassador of Ireland. He was previously Ambassador to the United Kingdom and, before that, Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York. He also served as non-resident Ambassador to the Holy See between 2012 and 2014.

Embajador irlandes en Adeje (6) Embajador irlandes en Adeje (5) Embajador irlandes en Adeje (3) Embajador irlandes en Adeje (2) Embajador irlandes en Adeje (1)

A Destination With Know-How!

The FIT Canarias, the Canarian Tourism Innovation Factory,  hostedADEJE-SMART ISLAND-FIT CANARIAS-CDTCA (8) the Smart Island II forum on Thursday in the HQ in Adeje’s Centre for Tourism Development.
The Cabildo president Carlos Alonso, Adeje mayor José Miguel Rdoríguez Fraga and the public negotiations, health and transport director for Atos, Mercedes Payá, opened the event which focussed on ‘intelligent tourism’ innovations. The mayor said it was important to remember that “an intelligent destination had to be an emotional destination and the local population have to be aware that tourism is a benefit”. The Atos repesentative told the conference that her company is “the number one in Spain and second in Europe in the promotion of technological projects and view tourism as a strategic sector of huge importance.
For his part, Carlos Alonso spoke of a quality destination with the ability to meet the real and modern demands of today’s tourists and with this in mind underlined the need for good connections such as a working Wifi system in tourism zones via the WiMAX ( (Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access) platform. Alonso said “a productive debate on the tourism model that we want in the Canary Islands must be centred around a product that is linked to the quality and spending in a destination and not to the number of stars above the hotel doors.”
The Cabildo president said the forum had, as its aim, the advancement of Tenerife as an “intelligent tourist destination”, that is to say an innovative destination with an advanced technological infrastructure, and one which can guarantee territorial sustainable development, accessible to all. Furthermore an intelligent destination works to constantly increase the quality of the offer.
These three key strategic lines, technology, sustainability and accessibility formed the focus for the Smart Island II forum with many business people attending to discover how they too can benefit from the emerging intelligent destination.
Manuel Muñoz, director of transport and tourism with Atos headed up the first intervention titled “Development of an intelligent destination London 2012/Sochi 2014”. Atos was the company responsible for the technological input in both Olympic cities. Following this Juan Arturo Carreter, director general of IER España, spoke on an Atos car-sharing project in Paris. That was followed by a talk from Víctor Alvarado, channel manager with Motorola, who presented various prototypes for use in the hotel sector. Íñigo García, marketing director with Amadeus, an company the provides technological solutions to the travel industry also presented his experiences of building intelligent destinations, and the day ended with a round table on the main topic chaired by the director of the department of tourism in the University of La Laguna, Eduardo Parra.
FIT Canarias operates under the auspicies of the Adeje Council, the Tenerife Cabildo via Turismo de Tenerife and the Parque Científico y Tecnológico de Tenerife, the Chamber of Commerce and Ashotel.

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The Happiness Inside

Thamthog Rinpoche and Adeje mayor José Miguel Rodríguez Fraga

Thamthog Rinpoche and Adeje mayor José Miguel Rodríguez Fraga

Yesterday the Adeje mayor José Miguel Rodríguez Fraga joined the president of the Canarian Buddhist centre Ghel Pel Ling Gloría Cabello in announcing details of this week’s events under the title “Real internal happiness”. The open days are being directed by Thamthog Rinpoche, one of the most eminent Tibetan Buddhists today, and one of the Dalai Lama’s closest advisors. Also involved in the event is Khenrab Rinpoche, the spiritual advisor at the Ghel Pel Ling centre, which is based in Costa Adeje.
During the press conference to announce details of the event mayor Rodríguez Fraga said that “Adeje continues to work positively towards the integration and harmonious coexistence of all cultures and creeds, as Adeje is a plural, open and tolerant society”. He welcomed Thamthog Rinpoche to Adeje and reaffirmed his commitment to ensuring that Adeje continued to be a place where religious tolerance was paramount, a place where bridge-building could flourish.
Thamthog Rinpoche spoke of the role Buddhism can play in today’s world, adding that it was not a religion that only sought converts, as one of the basic tenets of Buddhism is respect for all religions and cultures. “People must respect tolerance if they wish to find peace”. He said there was so much suffering in the world today, “countless problems, difficulties, which block the path to inner peace”, but it was up to people to leave ignorance behind. Thamthog Rinpoche, added that change was “100 per cent possible”, but people have to want to change, to find the right path to peace, via hope and tolerance.
The first conference is today, Wednesday 23rd, in the Adeje school of Music and Dance, and is free to attend. It starts at 6.30pm. There are follow up events on Thursday and Friday, at the same time, in the school.
Thamthog Rinpoche
Thamthog Rinpoche was born in eastern Tibet in 1951. When he was six years old he was recognized by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the tutor of His Holiness Kyabje Trijyan Rinpoche as the reincarnation of XII Thamthog, founder of the three largest monastic universities of Lithang. He studied at Sera Je Monastery in Tibet, and after 1959 continued his studies at Sera Je Monastic University in South India. In 1982 he was awarded the highest title of Buddhist studies “Geshe Lharampa.” Later he entered the monastery of Tantric Ghiumè to deepen the study of the Tantra. Rinpoche received the complete transmission of the common and secret teachings of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. In 1987, at the invitation of his teacher, he moved to Italy as a resident Lama and spiritual leader of Ghe Pel Ling, until August 2009, when he was appointed abbot of Namgyal Monastery by His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

Southern Belles…

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As part of the Adeje local fiestas the Miss Sur contest will take place in the Plaza de España, just beside the church at the top of the Calle Grande, on Friday October 18th. Yesterday the contestants posed for photographs for local press at Siam Park in the company of Adeje mayor José Miguel Rodríguez Fraga, cultural councillor Adolfo Alonso, Siam Park owner Christoph Kiessling and the event organiser Sandro Pérgola.
This is the second year the event will be held in Adeje. The mayor said that last year’s event had been a huge success and very popular with the public, “and we are delighted to welcome back the event as part of our local celebrations that are taking place at the moment”. He added that the competition was perfectly designed to fit in to the theme of the fiestas this year, Tradition and Modernity, as well as continuing to promote Adeje as a top quality tourist destination.
“These are not just beautiful young women, they are students, workers, professionals striving to succeed. This competition will also open doors for them in the competitive world of fashion and teach them about working in a team”.
Sandro Pérgola, the Miss Sur organiser, thanked the local administrations of Adeje, Arona, San Miguel de Abona, Santiago del Teide, Fasnia and Güímar for their co-operation as well as Siam Park, Shark, Bualá, Fraya, Dolores Cortes, Helidream Canarias, Grupo Gomasper, Centro Comercial Gran Sur, Mirador de El Galeón, Dreamplace Hotels, Spa Vitanoba, Océanos Combustibles, Bar El Cine, Gourmetland, Esquivel Bus, Flipper Uno, Damiroal, G & G Agencia Publicitaria, la Cueva Gráfica, Me lo quedo, Soy Digital, Radio Sur Adeje, Joa Rubio fotografía, Vivo y Rene, Óscar Cabrera, Peluquería Arsal, HD Producciones, and Sonoplus Canarias and Grupo Camia, the travel agency which has donated a Mediterranean cruise as the top prize for the winner.
Unlike many other beauty competitions Miss Sur also acts as a promotional platform for the different boroughs in South Tenerife. In the case of Adeje the candidates have participated in a report on the delights of Costa Adeje which will be shown during the competition and subsequently on local television throughout the islands.
Miss Sur 2013 takes place on Friday October 18th, in the Plaza de España, starting at 9pm, and is open to the public at no charge. The 19 candidates, representing the southern boroughs and private companies are Yosleidi Luis, Coraima Afonso, Fiorella Trevisani, Luciana Hurtado, Lorena de Souza, Celia Torres, Jessica Hernández, Nidia Delgado, Yasmina Toali, Nieves Lugo, Sophie Abreu, Vaittiare Álvarez, Paula Arzola, Erika Montañez, Dahiana Romero, Jodie Ariu, Karina Baracka, Ylenia Padilla and Gabriela Oliveros.
More information about the competition and the 19 candidates at www.misssur.com y www.facebook.com/misssur.

 

Adeje is Financially Stable

Adeje's Mayor, Jose Miguel Rodriguez Fraga and the Finance Councillor, Epifanio Díaz Hernández

Adeje’s Mayor, Jose Miguel Rodriguez Fraga and the Finance Councillor, Epifanio Díaz Hernández

The Adeje council have just announced that the borough has officially entered a period of financial stability, and tomorrow will vote to repay almost half of a credit loan. The council will pay back €3 million of a €6 million loan, cancelling out a large part of the borough’s debt.
According to the mayor Jose Miguel Rodriguez Fraga the cutbacks made throughout all the departments have seen the council bring the borough back to stability a year ahead of plan, and he says that they can now start to look at improving a number of local services. “Measures taken were effective, from better control of spending in all areas, the suspension, for instance, of Sunday rubbish collection, use of more efficient energy methods, reducing in leasing arrangements, the elimination of health insurance for administrative workers etc. The cuts were worth the effort and have allowed us achieve our economic objectives and guarantee fundamental services as well as now improving others.  These might not fall into the category of ‘essential’ but  we see them as very important because they are the backbone of our co-existence within the borough, services related to sport, culture or training” the mayor commented.
While the mayor mentioned his satisfaction at the good economic showing of all the council’s departments he said he was particularly pleased with the behaviour of Adeje’s residents, with a very high local tax payment rate.
According to the borough’s finance councillor, Epifanio Díaz Hernández, the early payment of half of the loan will save the council over €807,000 in interest payments.

 

Helping Hands

adeje helping hands
Oasis restaurant, Hauche cafeteria and Optica Downes are three local Adeje companies who have actively worked with Social Services to help families in need in the borough.
The mayor, José Miguel Rodríguez Fraga and the councillor for welfare, Amada Trujillo Bencomo, recently met with representatives from the three businesses in the council offices.
Optica Downes have been ready and willing to help people with discounts for those who need glasses but maybe cannot afford full price. Another plus here is that the optician speaks fluent English, so no need to worry about having to do an eye test in Spanish, or explain your particular problem.
Both the Hauche cafeteria and the Oasis Restaurant have been busy donating meals to families in need once a week.
According to councillor Amada Trujillo Bencomo, these companies are actively helping to improve our society and work for a common good, helping those close at hand as well as institutions and organisations in the borough. This is one way of getting help directly to those who need it most.
For the mayor, this level of local assistance, “by which local businessmen and women in Adeje are working to help families most in need enriches our society; people helping people. Gestures of these kind make Adeje great”, he said, with people understanding the difficult times in which we live and the need for help at local level.
“I offer my sincere gratitude for this help and invite other companies to participate in this project, because helping others has its own rewards”, the mayor added.
Representatives of the three companies in question were unanimous in stating that they were delight to help, and to work towards a better society for all.