«I still have ten days to go before turning 86; so I am 85 years old », he begins by warning America Gonzalez Gonzalez that the afternoon-night of last Wednesday she was elected queen of the elders at the gala held at the Fairgrounds with the fantasy Añoranza, a creation by Alfonso Baute.
Wife of Agustín Pacheco since 1968 and mother of three children –Ana María, Catalina and Agustín–, she is quick to specify that she has six grandchildren, two for each child, to remember that the experience she lived last Wednesday night at the Carnival it was unforgettable. “At first I had anxiety, but then it passed.”
Her concern is that now she has to find someone to give her a hand so that she can take care of her husband. and to be able to combine their activity with the commitments of the queen of the elderly. Taking advantage precisely of the fact that she now has the spotlight on as the protagonist of Wednesday’s gala, the queen calls out to public managers to grant more aid and centers for the elderly. “In fact, I would need it to be able to take better care of my husband and to help me bathe.”
Mecca, as everyone knows América González in Villa de La Orotava, where he is from, he is an example of improvement and perseverance. As soon as it can be seen as a component of the rondalla of the largest Volcanoes in the Teide –where he plays the drum because the rehearsals prevent him from combining it with the dance, where he also participated previously–, as well as defending the traditions with cultural associations such as La Escalera, in which he joins in the recreation of the laundries or even roasting chestnuts, teaching to the new generations what life was like looking back. Her disinterested and always joyful delivery has been recognized by her at the Ramón y Cajal College, where at the end of last November she attended as a guest. She arrived equipped with her hat, apron… and all the outfits to demonstrate how chestnuts are roasted and to her surprise they asked her to go through the center for small children… it was a corridor that they had given her. formed so that she would meet the Rincón de Meca, which has immortalized her since then in the aforementioned center in memory of her collaboration and defense of traditions.
The mayor of La Orotava called me at Christmas to ask me to represent the Villa in Santa Cruz.
Mecca herself admits that she feels loved by everyone, and her granddaughter Paula, who has been in charge of serving as a liaison with the designer and how many people need to connect through mobile phone messaging, specifies that on the morning of this Thursday When she had to face the first commitments for being Queen of the Carnival elders, “many people came to congratulate her and we were in a hurry,” she says gratefully and with humor.
This woman from Orotava can be seen as soon as she can be seen at the Ramón y Cajal School teaching children to dance a top as she is in the streets of the Villa running the five kilometers of the Cross Maria Auxiliadora, which she has not only won in the 45 years she has been participating, but it has even opened the doors for him in other competitions. “Within my category, I have won the national championship.” And all thanks to the hobby that she started in 1977, with a group of neighbors who «we used to embroider magicians’ vests in the hallway of our houses. One of them had a son [el colegio] The Salesians, who began to organize a cross, and told us that if we cheered up… Well, we cheered up and went running; some of us arrived and others didn’t… But only I ran again », as he explained in a report published by Carlos García in THE DAY last May 26, after the celebration of the last edition of the cross orotavense.
Meca, as everyone knows her in La Orotava, is a defender of traditions and participates in Volcanes del Teide.
Regarding the presentation of Meca, who defines herself as a very active person, it should be remembered that in her youth she collected cisco, as she refers to in the anecdote of when in the mountains, on the border between the municipalities of La Orotava and Güímar, the trigger guards appeared and forced her to return what was collected. Many of these activities, such as collecting the cisco, she did not so much out of necessity as for the novelty of participating in the activities with other people. In addition to the field, which she has worked both on her private farm and to earn a little money that “always comes in handy” – she admits -, she also worked in a sewing workshop “when she had to dress the brides. We were going to Los Realejos, Puerto de la Cruz… to Santa Cruz».
Romera of the festivities of La Orotava in the year 2012, Meca looks back in a new reference to her husband. “We got married in 1968 and nine months later our first daughter was born.” “And we were going to do the wedding in December but we delayed it until January 11 because since we didn’t have anyone to make the donuts for the celebration, we preferred to wait,” she says with a smile.
Throughout her life she has sewn and worked in the fields, to praise her husband’s delivery during his working life. First she was a gardener and later she spent more than twenty years at La Gaseosa and almost three decades at El Valle Ice Cream Parlor, delivering food. “When we got married, I was already an adult, I was almost thirty,” says Meca González, who shows that she enjoys participating in so many activities and that winning marathons at 85 detracts from her merit. In fact, at the gala for the queen of the elderly on Wednesday, she was the oldest candidate and even so, she only says that the suit was heavy, but it was bearable, which was not a problem for her.
Since retirement, Meca has dedicated itself to taking care of the traditions where their collaboration is requested. «At Christmas the mayor of La Orotava, Don Francisco, called me to congratulate me on Easter and he told me that he had a surprise for me, because he wanted me to participate in the Queen’s Election Gala of the elders representing the Villa in Santa Cruz». “Initially I was not clear, I told him that this could not be the case because I had to consult with the family, but as the conversation progressed I gave him my agreement.”
And it is that Meca admits that it not only adds to all the activities of social revitalization but also loves Carnival. «In fact, I remember that once I dressed up with bags that I recycled from Café El Caracol; He even had a coffee maker on his head with some cups and everything… That reached the ears of the company and they came to bring us a gift that we even shared in the senior center with whom I go out in Volcanes del Teide ».
Alfonso Baute repeats
The designer of the Meca fantasy, Alfonso Baute, remembers that they were both the mayor of La Orotava as well as the Councilor for Social Welfare who put him in contact with her. Winner of three major queens in Santa Cruz (1995, 2022 and 2023), Baute praises the collaboration of his locksmith, Jacobo, fundamental in the heart-shaped iron structure and explains that the winning suit “is not an inspiration ; is a tribute to Tenerife before, to the evolution from nostalgia, to our elders». Hence, the title of the fantasy: Longing, a spirit that perfectly defends Mecca itself, which, beyond a Carnival costume, makes a daily apostolate of passion for the land, care for her husband and… “Have fun when you can.”