SANTA CRUZ DE TENERIFE, June 11. (EUROPE PRESS) –
The Cabildo de Tenerife has participated this Saturday in the insular meeting of neighborhood associations of the Island, where almost a hundred groups have gathered. During the meeting, held at the Museum of Nature and Anthropology, representatives of the groups shared participatory experiences at the neighborhood and community level.
The CEO of Citizen Participation and Diversity, Nauzet Gugliotta, recalled that the neighborhood movement and participation is a living phenomenon. “As much as there are laws and regulations, participation is beyond the regulatory capacity of any administration because it emanates from the community,” he explained. “From the Cabildo we work respecting that space because we have verified that we have a dynamic social fabric, which has exploded above all under the commitment to other people, with solidarity,” he added.
“You cannot work on citizen participation just by opening the administrations in a democratic way. You have to work with the entities and strengthen the social fabric so that the community moves, always working transversally with them,” said Nauzet Gugliotta. In the same way, he recalled the importance of promoting values of solidarity, networking, the importance of collaborative work and being able to listen to citizens, to the entire third sector, and offer them support.
The spokesman for the Motor Group of Neighborhood Entities of the Canary Islands, Enrique Plasencia, explained that the group’s intention is “to be a bridge of communication between citizens and administrations.” The objective, he commented, “is that we are better communicated and informed and willing to achieve the social improvements that citizens require and demand.”
Enrique Plasencia announced during his speech that the intention of the Canary Islands Neighborhood Associations is to hold this meeting on all the islands and thus “be able to consolidate the neighborhood movement on the islands, that we get to know each other and that we learn to work together.” “Independence is fine, but also to have a feeling of unity with which to create common goals that are stronger and that benefit the citizenry,” he said.
The mayor of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, José Manuel Bermúdez, valued the neighborhood movement as the best way for the administration to work with citizens. “You have to make them participants, protagonists, and be by their side.” “This neighborhood movement suits the administrations that must adapt to their needs”, he recalled. In addition, he valued the importance of renewal within neighborhood groups.
Canary Islands Neighborhood Associations was founded in 2019. They are defined as a group of associations that began their journey spontaneously to create a relaxed space where they can share experiences, pool resources and community claims. That same year, in 2019, the first Congress of Neighborhood Entities of the Canary Islands was organized in Tenerife at the El Tranvía Citizen Center, in La Laguna, with the assistance of 120 entities.
During the pandemic, they continued their work virtually, with weekly meetings and consolidating a core group with the aim of coordinating actions in different parts of the Archipelago. In 2021, the second Congress of Neighborhood Entities of the Canary Islands was held in Gran Canaria, with the assistance of 150 entities. For the Insular Meeting of Neighborhood Associations Tenerife 2022 they have the collaboration of the Citizen Participation and Diversity area of the Cabildo de Tenerife.
Participatory experiences were shared at the neighborhood and community level during the meeting. In addition, the associations have worked in groups for much of the day, valuing the role of women and also of young people in the community. How to improve relations with public administrations, the difficulties faced by the neighborhood movement as well as the motivations and the feeling of belonging were other axes on which the entities worked.