The promotion of cultural diversity in Spain is marked in Tenerife

Adeje mayor addresses meeting which is part of European council initiative

7 march 2023

This week Tenerife hosted the 25th meeting of a network of Spanish ‘inter-cultural’ cities, the RECI also celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Tenerife island government joining the organisation. There are 22 different geographical zones in Spain that belong to the RECI, and Tenerife, with 1 in 5 of every resident born outside the island, was an ideal location for this year’s event.

Organising the event was Juntas En La Misma Dirección (together in the same direction), and the Tenerife immigration observatory. The Tenerife Cabildo were also able to detail their strategy for the promotion of social and cultural harmony, working in conjunction with the University of La Laguna (ULL).

Addressing the final session of the meeting, Adeje mayor José Miguel Rodríguez Fraga said “Adeje is indeed a diverse borough with 120 different nationalities living here. We have experience of managing diversity and multiculturalism, and have done so through direct action, with our residents, and through sport, culture and participation. We work to avoid rejection of multiculturalism and do all we can to ensure that all cultures have space and respect not just to live here, but to live in peace here. That is the key, that we all have our own space and respect the space of others, for the benefit of all, and for society in general. In other words, living in social harmony."

The primary goal of the event this week is to deal with the creation of a political tool that will properly manage inter-cultural diversity in Spaina, work that RECI has been involved in since its creation in 2011, as part of the European Council Intercultural Cities Programme.

The Intercultural Cities Programme supports cities and regions in reviewing and adapting their policies through an intercultural lens, and developing comprehensive intercultural strategies to manage diversity as an advantage for the whole society. Intercultural Cities is also a platform to connect cities and leaders globally into a community where initiatives and practice from one city are analysed and shared to inspire the others.

The participants, from all over Spain, visited different parts of the island. On Tuesday they went to Adeje and Granadilla de Abone, two boroughs who are currently implementing a ‘Tenerife Vive Diversidad’ (Tenerife lives diversity) plan. The latter has been rolled out since 2019, the aim being to generate spaces for social integration, where everyone is welcomed, and where there is equality in terms of social, economic and cultural progress.