Aurelia Vera Rodríguez – Culture and Sports' Councillor at the Ayuntamiento of Puerto del Rosario
“I would like to create a festival of reference in Puerto del Rosario”
Aurelia Vera Rodríguez is the Culture and Sports' Councillor at the Ayuntamiento of Puerto del Rosario. She was born on the island and is a secondary education teacher. She admits that she has been very happy about this vocation that she practised for 20 years.
How did you get on with your beginnings in this public position?
He has been challenging: I had this opportunity and I thought about it over one weekend and because my children have grown up I thought it was a good time to give it a try. I think that in politics, in addition to vocation and desire, we must bring a lot of education for everyone.
What are the challenges and hopes you have got planned for this term?
Arriving in my council was a bit of a forced landing as I faced a world that is managed much differently to the one I came from. People want quick solutions, right here and now or they are disappointed and I was very affected by not having the resources to solve issues quickly. Sometimes it isn't a case of political intentions, bureaucracy is enormous and time schedules have to be respected, which people cannot understand and ask for everything right now!
Do you like the sectors you were allocated?
When I arrived at the Ayuntamiento and I found out that my services were Culture and Sports, I thought that because of my professional training, culture would be a pleasant sector for me and I wasn't wrong. But I had a chock when I faced the world of sports, which was very tough. Let's not forget that sports are still a man's world, practised by men, managed by men, etc. I have to point out the great work carried out by my technicians Oscar and Daniel, if it wasn't for them I would have probably resigned. I like sports and it is very important for me but as an amateur. I didn't know how to manage it from within and all the bureaucracy that it involves.
What worries you the most regarding the Sports' sector?
We are short in sports' infrastructures and the existing ones hardly comply with the norms, we are trying to get to the legal minimum. There is no accessibility, no evacuation plans, some infrastructures are almost dangerous, we keep our fingers crossed that we will have time to solve those problems without incidents. We need all the administration from the ayuntamiento up to be committed to sports. Puerto del Rosario has grown a lot, however, its sports' infrastructures haven't. I believe this municipality has the largest population but invests the least in its infrastructures. The electrics get switched off on the wrestling ground when we don't expect it, or when it rains, many facilities cannot be used and the repairs are done quickly and badly, such as in El Matorral where the wrestling ground turns into a pool when it rains because the slope was done wrong. Talking of swimming pools, we don't have a training pool and we can only use the Municipal Pool for a few days, on two lanes, although our professional swimming team brings in many medals. Also, elderly people should be able to practise sports but there are no spaces prepared for them, although we know that sport is synonym of health. And to reply to your first question, for the Culture area, I would like to organise a festival for Puerto del Rosario that would become a reference like in other towns like Gran Tarajal or El Cotillo for example.
Would this be a musical festival?
Music and a bit of everything. It will last 21 days and we are thinking of organising it with the Sculpture Symposium. Puerto del Rosario has international wealth with the Sculpture park and we should put emphasis on it. It is important for artists to be known and for people to know what their creations represent. It is important also for tourists to know that they are taking the sun while sitting next to an internationally famous creation as our symposium is already international. It will be a festival where all the councils will participate, there will be children's contests, the Tourism Council and the Commerce Chamber are trying to get it connected with Casa Africa as this first festival will be dedicated to Casa Africa and some women sculptors will participate in the symposium. There are few women sculptors, especially for large pieces, but we hope to have a few of them participate. We want it to take place at the same time as the harvest season to link it with the Berber Goddess of agriculture, Tanit, as this population has been closely related to the culture of the island's population and for the festival to finish with the great bonfire organised in June for the celebration of San Juan.
Thankfully the mayor is very interested in culture.
Indeed, he is of great help to me. He gets involved a lot in cultural projects. We want to promote classical music and organise promotional tours with our amazing municipal Orchestra as well. Jazz will also have its space, opera must get promoted and become more popular, there will be an important book fair, etc. There are many projects that we hope to have time to turn into reality.