Vence street, in the area called La Crucita, is a sign of the change it has undergone Las Cuevecitas and all the medianías of Candelaria in this century. Live there Nieves Rodriguez Alvarez, whom everyone knows as the palm tree or the seamstress. 60 years ago she moved from her native Breña Alta to Candelaria, together with her husband, now deceased, Celso Modesto Pérez, with whom she had five children who have given her nine grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
In that year, 1961, they bought a land of seven thousand square meters and began to till the land to plant bananas, tomatoes, onions, potatoes, avocados, mangoes and even olive trees, next to the farm of Gonzalo el Moco, from Arafo, ” vineyards that everyone looked at with envy ”, comments this eighty-year-old woman who maintains enormous vitality despite having suffered some physical vicissitudes while leaving the cooking machine and starting to till her gardens, which she still conserves, although she already has sold two plots. She has had a partner for a few years, “a widower from this same street, who also has orchards and with whom I travel a lot; It is always good to have a company so that you are not alone ”, she says.
He shows us his house, in a watchtower in the middle of Vence street from where you can see the entire Güímar Valley. “It is no wonder that everyone wants to live here, we have a magnificent climate and spectacular views”, not surprising that “in sixty years we have gone from seven houses to about one hundred and it is still being built,” he remarks, continuing to send a message to the City Council: “This street has to be paved if you don’t want the cars to sink.”
The famous seamstress from Las Cuevecitas, who also became a baker for four years, misses being able to attend the different musical activities in which she has always been a regular. “I loved going to dances and folk groups, but the group has already caught up,” he laments.
At home she has several diplomas with guitar awards and even athletics races, evidence of a vitality that makes her age doubtful, always restless and interested in continuing to learn and above all, now, traveling, “now that the children are already they fly alone ”.
Nieves remembers that when I live to live in Vence, the houses could be counted on the fingers of one hand and the street was a dirt road, “which was improved thanks to my husband, who also brought the light in 1972”, until recently later the “Cabildo highway or Los Peneras road” was built. Today, however, Vence Street has almost a hundred chalets on plots that until then were vineyards, a foreign grape that was sold at a very good price. The urban growth brought with it the abandonment of the field, something that our protagonist understands as normal because “agriculture costs a lot and, if they do not let you kill a lizard, it is cheaper to buy a bunch of grapes than to grow a vine”, she points out, while she clarifies that two of her five children, Carlos and Gladys, “do maintain their affection for the countryside”, although “now they have their occupations”, lamenting that “now no one wants to dedicate themselves to the countryside, I am even looking for someone to clean the garden and I can’t find it ”.
The dynamism of Nieves Rodríguez is such that he has also participated in the neighborhood association, “although I like to be a collaborator, not be on the board”, and for a long time he has been claiming a square for the area because “the residents of this street do not they have a place to plead; the square above is very far away “, noting that” it is not a question of putting up a chapel, because almost no one goes to mass anymore, but an area with benches where the neighbors can meet, there are already many of us, “he says while showing us the three old sewing machines that she still uses, always ready “to make a patch or put a zipper on whoever needs it”, while making it clear that “I feel very good for my age, thank God, when others are gone or they are sick ”.
Crying for La Palma
Nieves Rodríguez, a palm tree by birth, gets wet when he is told about the volcano that has his countrymen in suspense. “A few days ago I traveled with my partner to La Palma and I did not want to go see him, I had enough with seeing that smoke over Breña Alta”. “I have a brother,” he tells us, “in Las Breñas and another in Tazacorte, but the lava has not reached his area, as it has done with hundreds of houses and farms. I put myself in his place and I don’t stop crying, as in a few minutes everything you have made in life is lost ”says who every May 3 maintains in Vence the tradition of his hometown of placing a cross with a white band adorned with jewels