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This news is translated from the Spanish Press unless otherwise indicated.

USER FRIENDLY KIDS

Knowing what it means to respect nature and the importance of Fuerteventura being classed as a biosphere reserve, two young men are travelling around the villages and beaches of the island to explain to children the meaning of the Biosphere Reserve and the importance of respecting the environment to preserve the flora and fauna of Fuerteventura. Under the name of Verano Verde (Green Summer), they are trying to instil in the children an awareness of conserving the natural values of Fuerteventura. Sergio Machín and Daida Ruiz have developed an itinerary of 17 playgroups throughout this month, and giving lectures and interactive play about the cultural activities in various places and on some of the beaches. Daida Ruiz, highlights the need to begin to teach the children the meaning of the Biosphere Reserve at an early age as they will have to protect and preserve it in the future. He said, "It is important that children become familiar with concepts such as recycling and the damage they can do to ecosystems by dropping cans or bags into the sea.

CLEAN UP!

Until the end of month, 15 young people, of 12 different nationalities, will be in charge of cleaning up beaches and places in Puerto de Rosario. At the moment they are cleaning Port Lajas and Playa Blanca. The cleaners are gathering approximately 50 bags of rubbish a day, and say the beaches are cleaner than other areas, but there is still a lot of rubbish left there.

 

FIRE ENGINES

The Cabildo of Fuerteventura have acquired two new fire engines for the Emergency Services at a cost of €349,965. This is to strengthen the surveillance teams coping with fires in the various municipalities. One is a large vehicle that will be allocated to the fire service in Puerto del Rosario who is responsible for emergencies in the centre of the island, ie the municipalities of Antigua and Betancuria as well as Rosario. The second vehicle is smaller and will become part of the Island Emergency Service. Guillermo Concepcion, chairman of the Security and Emergency Services, stressed that these two vehicles, "will improve the operational capacity of the fire department in Puerto del Rosario, and will also improve the fire service in the municipality of Tuineje."

MUSLIMS RETURNING HOME

On Fuerteventura, where about seven thousand Muslims live, more than a 1,000 have become unemployed and returned to their country to try and seek employment there. The vice president of the Muslim community in Fuerteventura and president of the Union of Islamic Communities in the Canaries, Eli Abdou Ould Ahmed, recalls how three months ago the Social Welfare Department of the Government offered help to those who wanted to go back to their home countries because of the lack of work on the island. The Council has chartered a boat for 1,500 persons wishing to return to their country. However, many have refused to go because they are afraid of repercussions by returning to their country. At present, of the seven thousand Muslims on the island, half of them are estimated to be unemployed. He believes that about a thousand families will return and try their luck again in their countries. Since the crisis began, the seven mosques on the island have been filled with parishioners. People are unemployed and therefore have nothing to do all day, so have been going to prayers five times a day.

ROAD SAFETY CAMPAIGN

The Ministry of Transport is preparing its programme for the next academic year 2009/2010 in respect of road safety education. As in previous years, the Ministry of Transport and Communications will develop a specific programme in schools and parent associations, promoting specific initiatives for each of the stages of education. The objective with primary school children is to review the important concepts such as crossing the road, road signs, and the correct behaviour of pedestrians and being a passenger, while for the secondary school children the target is to raise awareness among teenagers on driver education, and trying to get them to learn the consequences of irresponsible driving.

 

Canary Islands Fires viewed from space



For those that are interested here is a picture, from space, showing the smoke plume from the fires on La Palma.

(Many thanks to the ESA satellite team & ENVISAT).

 

Annual fish bake in El Cotillo

Once again El Cotillo will host the fish baking for the traditional jareas during the festival of Our Lady of Good Voyage. In the early morning of the 11th, residents of the town gathered in the vicinity of the beach to take part in the capture of fish. The expected group of women and men experienced in the preparation of the fish immediately began work, after cleaning the harvest, and then preserving them in brine the fish were transferred to town by truck. The jareado (preparation for jareas) is a process that has been passed from father to son for hundreds of years and today is one of the jewels in the cuisine Fuerteventura. 38 boxes have been set aside for baking in El Cotillo on August 20th, the rest were distributed in La Oliva, Caritas, Majanicho, Villaverde.

 

 

Free Trees

The Ministry of the Environment of the Cabildo of Fuerteventura is offering free plants to residents. Eleven different species, indigenous to the Canaries, are on offer to any interested party. You can pick up a maximum of six plants per person, at their greenhouses in Betancuria. Dragos, jorjaos, Canary palms, sweet tabaibas, wild cactus, verodes, carob, grenadiers, and asparagus guaydiles are among the plants on offer. The good results this year in the nurseries of Betancuria, with improved techniques for germination and propagation, has produced an excess of native plants.

 


Preserving the traditional crafts of the island

At Eloy Vera, a majestic mansion from the 19th century, in the historical centre of Antigua, 15 people are struggling to learn the techniques of traditional pottery and aboriginal Fuerteventura. Many of them are trying pottery for the first time and hope that this craft will help them in the future as they have job instability at this time. Ten women and five men have daily, since December 2008, been having an apprenticeship under the watchful eye of Juana Maria Montelongo, one of the most renowned potters on the island. Juana said "That after completing the workshop, the15 can join the job market or work for themselves. These people can not only find work as craftsmen, but also as teachers and avoid losing a tradition of the island. " With clay brought from a pond in La Matilla, students constructed a series of pieces, both replicas of aboriginal crafts and other elements of the traditional ceramics that were in used in homes on Fuerteventura during the first decades of last century. The councillor for Ancient Culture, Dolores González, said that "these people can pass on their expertise to the members of cultural centres of the municipality and children at summer camps." Juana explained that once the pieces are made, they are left for a period of time to dry and then put in a kiln and fired at a temperature of between 670 and 700 degrees.

Hunting season starts.

The  hunting season begins on August 16th. On this date and the 23rd and 30th August you can hunt rabbits with dogs and ferrets, while on the following dates, Sunday 6th, 13th, 20th and 27th September and 4th, 11th, 18th and 25th October, you will be able to hunt all species with dogs, ferrets and shotguns. Species allowed to be hunted are the Moruna partridge, rabbit, wild pigeon, common quail, and squirrels.
The Game Department of the Cabildo Insular under the Ministry of Sports has had 12 allegations of hunting two months prior to the opening of the season. Some of the reported cases were for very serious infractions such as hunting at night using lights (farear). Such violations carry fines that range between 3,000€ and 6,000€.

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