Juan Jiménez – Mayor of the Ayuntamiento of Puerto del Rosario
“Puerto del Rosario will keep on being the capital that we love and makes us proud”
The end of the year is getting closer and we wanted the mayor of Puerto del Rosario to give us a review of the year, the achievements and also the projects that are underway.
Tell us, please...
Housing is the greatest problem in Fuerteventura, for various reasons, such as holiday accommodation. Over the past few years, we have helped 900 people with their rental accommodation, out of those who were most affected. Year after year, we have been increasing the threshold of people we could help. Every year, we have also led campaigns to help self-employed people and businesses, considering the hard times they have gone through.
The town looks a lot cleaner too!
Cleanliness is an issue that we all need to be involved with, and we call onpeople's civility. Recently, I published a public announcement to remind people of the municipal decree on cleanliness, which is an obligation for each person and the administration. The objective is to raise awareness. On the other hand, we have hired a cleaning company for some specific locations that needed more attention. We meet with them weekly for more efficient control and management.
A children's fair recently took place, which was very successful, wasn't it?
Indeed, in November, we organised “Puerto Diviértete” (Puerto enjoy yourself) which stems from a public announcement I made during the most difficult months of the pandemic when I announced that the responsibility and good behaviour of children during the lockdown, would be rewarded. This was a way of rewarding them for what they had to go through, which was such a success that I am hoping to do the same again in a few months.
And what can you tell us about the culture sector, which is a subject you are very familiar with?
The culture agenda has been managed very successfully and with much enthusiasm by Juan Manual Verdugo. We had proposed for the cultural policy to be one of this government's most important objectives. Almost every week there are cultural events financed by Puerto del Rosario's Ayuntamiento. Recently we had the International Sculpture Contest, which took place at the Lime Ovens for the first time, and the sculptures will remain there. I believe that Puerto del Rosario has one of the largest sculpture parks in Spain, considering the size of the population. We also invited poets, both local and from other locations, to read their poetry in the House of Culture. Furthermore, there have been presentations of books in the library, lectures, concerts, exhibitions, etc. In November, the Tanit festival invited Columbia as their guest, as each year we invite a country which we have strong bonds with.
And do you have projects for the near future?
We have signed an agreement with the Ministry for Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenge to carry out the project of the seafront path in Puerto Lajas and access to the beach, for a subsidy of one million Euros. The project represents a total investment of 1.250.000 Euros, and the difference will be paid with funds from the Ayuntamiento, in collaboration with the Cabildo or the Canarian Government. The seafront path will be 800 metreslong and 6 metreswide, and there will also be a wall to shelter the nearby houses and wooden gangways to access the beach. We are currently dealing with the call for tenders. During the meeting on October 28th, we approved the cession of a plot in El Matorral for a Health Centre to be built, which is a necessity for the local population of almost 3.000 people. This is a challenge that we had set ourselves. We also have a project to asphalt and improve the streets in El Matorral, and create a charging station for electric vehicles in the industrial estate. We are going to launch a big investment in the three industrial estates to improve their roads and drainage. Soon, the municipal kennel will also be extended.
Are you satisfied with everything that has been achieved during this term?
I am particularly satisfied with the aesthetic transformation, and the work done in the capital. We have a very ambitious asphalt programme, which includes more than 40 streets in the town itself, and more in the surrounding villages. We must remember that over the past few years no asphalting was done and, obviously, the streets wear away and give a bad image of the town. Accessibility and pavements have also been improved and we have created some roundabouts to improve traffic.
Puerto del Rosario has also improved its touristic aspect...
We have to remember that it used to be a functional town mostly. We are also improving the front of key buildings and we have started with the History Museum in Tetir, the renovation of the Molina (Windmill) of La Charca and there are only 800 metres left for us to complete the seafront path until Playa Blanca, including the cables and urban furniture on the whole length.
And, what is your Christmas message for the population?
After those difficult years caused by the pandemic, and the end of so many restrictions, I would like to transmit a message of optimism and confidence. Puerto del Rosario will keep on being the capital that we love and makes us proud and we are currently experiencing economic growth. We came intending to change things, and that’s what we are doing despite the difficulties.