Guacimara González - Festivities, Culture and Heritage Councillor at the Ayuntamiento of La Oliva
"I am proud to show that politics can be healthy"
As we are deep into the Carnival season, we took this opportunity to get information on the novelties that will be presented for Corralejo's Carnival from 14th until 24th March. Therefore, Guacimara González met us despite her busy schedule.
You told us that you like the carnival and enjoy organising those events, tell us more...
Like last year, we have all the groups involved, organising their carnival, my mission is to listen and say “STOP” when they go past our abilities. We try to cover as many of their demands as possible.
AIs it in the same location as usual?
Yes, as usual, next to the congress centre.
Are there many novelties?
Yes, there are many surprises, it will be very hectic. We will have the daytime carnival, the children's queen, I think there will also be the adult queen (which is always more difficult and expensive to organise) and also a day for the elders. There will be activities every day, bands' marathons, street bands and dancers that will fill the town with music every day.
You must be in a whirlwind right now...
Indeed, before this, it was La Oliva and then we will start preparing the celebrations of April.
What are the April celebrations?
First, there is San Vicente Ferrer in Villaverde and the Semana Santa (Easter) in El Cotillo. In truth, it never stops, we have celebrations constantly from one village to another. I have been very busy and since the beginning of this term in 2017, I have only been able to take 15 days of holidays.
What can you tell us about the culture and historical heritage departments?
All the cultural centres are open in the afternoons from Monday to Friday and they have also been organising activities successfully. We have organised first aid courses for children and now we are being asked for one for parents and there are also basic cooking courses for children. We aim to keep on organising activities and plan them monthly so that they rotate from one centre to another. The centres of Tindaya, El Roque and some other little village are not open every day because the population is fewer. In any case, there is always an animator who organises workshops, manual work, etc., and they also participate in the tests for the festivities, carnivals, the Day of the Canaries, etc. In addition to the week of the book, the library, etc., we are always open on the cultural front and we ask the population to make proposals and we are always delighted to organise them. It is better for them to make their requests rather than us imposing ideas, otherwise, people get bored. Regarding heritage, we are working in collaboration with the Cabildo; now we are looking at the information about the cave of Villaverde that was discovered not long ago and that was stopped for a while. As access is difficult, people will be able to see it online as a virtual visit. We have small projects as well that evolve slowly.
What do you feel most satisfied with after a year and a half in place?
I am happy to see how we managed to motivate groups of young people in each village to participate and organise their own events. I feel we are getting back some of the enthusiasm to participate like when I was young and commissions from each village would be in touch in order to organise events. Each commission knows what people like in their village and when the ayuntamiento used to organise the festivities, there was less participation.
What are you most proud of?
I feel proud to be able to show how politics can be healthy, which is what we have been doing. It might not show in the streets all the time, but internally, we have done a big clean-up in this ayuntamiento. We have also increased the budget from 19 to 31 million. I am proud of my colleagues, considering it is tripartite, there was a possibility that people wouldn't get on but it was the contrary. We have all helped each other and we have shown the public opinion, that called us incompetent, that we were stronger than critics and have cleaned-up the ayuntamiento, increased the budget, created an employment service in order to cover the ayuntamiento's demands, we have complied with the demands for the fire service and paid the old debts, etc. We also started from the basis by covering the essential legal positions, the secretary, the treasurer, the auditor, etc. We have done all this without fearing that those decisions could be harmful.