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.