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It's the return of the island's post-season showcase: Formentera in October

foto formenOctubre 2Earlier today the Consell de Formentera Office of Tourism unveiled the latest edition of Descobreix Formentera a l'Octubre. President and tourism councillor Alejandra Ferrer described the “Discover Formentera in October” campaign of perks and special deals boosting off-season tourism as “a way to attract visitors before and after the traditional summer season; to give them a look at the island's more authentic, tranquil side”.

Campaigners insist October is prime visiting time, and point to deep savings on ferries, car hire and accommodations. Not to mention, in Ferrer's words, “a local agenda that's bursting at the seams with leisure, culture and sport”.

“We're chipping away at the typical idea of the traditional summer season”, says Ferrer, “so we promote and coordinate different activities, and Formentera businesses propose special offers, events and bonuses”. The president described it as “a winning formula of collaboration between the public and private sectors”.

How it works

Tourists who book lodging at participating businesses benefit from reductions on ferry trips, rental cars, active-tourism promotors, and can enjoy a beefed-up calendar of events to choose from. A list of the establishments involved in the campaign can be found at the Consell de Formentera tourism website:

Gastronomic Weekends

As part of Caps de setmana gastronòmics, the first and second weekends of October, various restaurants will offer sample menus of typical island cuisine for a lean 20 euros . Menu selections can be found here.

Sport and culture

October wouldn't be the same on Formentera without its procession of culture- and fitness-fuelled events. The first on the list is a triathlon—el Triatló “Illa de Formentera”—in es Pujols. Scheduled this year for Saturday 5, the function typically draws some 300 participants, not counting accompanying family and friends.

Two decades after Unesco decided to class the posidonia meadow as a World Heritage site, Formentera welcomes Fòrum Save Posidonia from Thursday 10 to Saturday 12. The biannual forum's premise is two-pronged. First, it brings together experts from Spain and farther afield behind the cause of shaping strategies for safeguarding an underwater species whose existence is essential to Formentera and the Mediterranean at large. Second, participants will gauge the success of efforts that have taken place over the two years since the last forum.

Friday 11 to Sunday 13, Formentera Zen gives travellers hoping to see another side of Formentera the perfect excuse to visit. Participants will get a calendar of activities that's packed with yoga and pilates, along with workshops on an array of topics like heart-healthy diets, mindfulness and aromatherapy. An extra special part of this year's programme is Veronica Blume, who will offer a master class on yoga that is open to all.

La Mola's yearly festivities—les festes del Pilar—comprise the now-familiar uphill trek known as la Pujada (Saturday 12), Festival Son Estrella Galicia (Friday 11–Saturday 12), the mountain bike “ride round the island” (BTT Volta Cicloturista; Friday 25–Sunday 27) and the maiden run of a marine photography event known as “Cazafotosub d'Apnea”. Also filling out the month is the third Collective Signatures, a three-day gathering of international artists (Wednesday 16–Friday 18). Complete event information can be found at the tourism website of the Consell de Formentera: formentera.es/en.

13 September 2019
Department of Communication
Consell de Formentera

Return of autumn and winter learning for Formentera adults

cursos-cultura-2019-20201The Consell de Formentera presents the autumn and winter 2019 offering of workshops and courses for adults, an initiative designed to satisfy the wide-ranging educational and leisure demands of islanders.

The catalogue is divided as follows:

Art & Creation

For years, the Consell has endeavoured to put forward a selection of art-centred workshops. Take, for example, Teresa Matilla's twice weekly exploration of creation and painting (Mondays and Wednesdays from 7.30pm to 9.30pm; Col·legi Mestre Lluís Andreu), Aaron Keydar's initiation into wood-working, also bi-weekly (Tuesdays and Fridays from 6.00pm to 8.00pm; Centre Antoni Tur “Gabrielet”), or the pottery classes scheduled at Gabrielet as well (schedule TBD). These classes start in November, conclude in March, and cost between €180 and €220.

Still riding the coattails of last year's success, a crash course in creative painting with water colours will return this year. Led by Fran Lucas, classes start 9 October and finish 6 November (Wednesday mornings; €90).

Photography

Two more breakout hits from last year's lineup were Jose Antonio Arribas' courses on digital and smartphone photography. Scheduled to return this November, the 16-hour digital photography course is part theory-based and part hands on, and will accompany photo fans as they learn to snap shots in the classroom and out. The €90 course is designed for photographers looking to get the most out of their digital single-lens reflex (SLR) camera or to go deep with other areas of photography. The smartphone photo course, meanwhile, is intensive, and includes four hours of instruction spread out over two days (18 and 20 November; €25).

Training

The twice-yearly course on social and cultural integration organised by the Department of Social Welfare will take place in November and March. Signups for the free course can be completed at the social welfare office.

Body and mind

For years, the Consell has also coordinated yoga classes with teacher Susanne Laier. Classes run from November to mid-December and mid-February to late March and will be held in the municipal cinema (Sala de Cultura; schedule TBA; €160).

Language courses

This year islanders once again have the chance to brush up on Catalan, Italian and English. Offered at the A2, B1, B2, C1 and C2 levels, the free Catalan courses are organised by the Consell de Formentera's Language Advisory Service. Enrolment opens 23 September and goes till 11 October. Classes start 14 October, though the end of lessons will depend on scheduling of the official round of exams currently set for January 2020.

English will be offered by Nancy Mc Conachie and Italian by Rodolfo Taccheo. Mc Conachie's afternoon classes in elementary- and advanced-level begin in January. The timetable of the Italian classes remains to be determined, though the course will start in January and will include one basic and one advanced option. Each course costs €180.

Traditional activities workshop

In 2019, the Sant Ferran retirees' club strikes out with its own catalogue of courses and workshops geared towards continuing the legacy of traditional activities. Students learn to sew, repair chairs, make baskets or spin wool. Cooking lessons will also be offered, not to mention a hands-on deep-drive into traditional dress aimed mainly at enthusiasts of traditional dance.

Courses at Sant Ferran's Club de Jubilats get started in November.  Islanders keen to participate should enquire directly at the Club de Jubilats.

Early enrolment

The “pre-enrolment” (preinscripció) process gets under way Monday 16 September at the Citizen's Information Office (OAC), or can be done online across the OVAC. Discounts are available for youth and retirees.

Registration opens on 20 October for workshops, including pottery, painting, wood-working, yoga and photography. Lessons start in November. English and Italian classes start in January and registration continues until 15 December.


12 September 2019
Department of Communication
Consell de Formentera

Consell de Formentera helps publish look at life experiences of local seniors

llibre-2-The Department of Patrimony and the Consell de Formentera are backing the publication of De qui venim (“Who We Come From”), an exploration of the life experiences of elderly Formentera residents directed and coordinated by Dr Josep Maria Garcia-Borés i Espí. Garcia-Borés is a full professor at the psychology department of University of Barcelona, and the study was awarded the Consell de Formentera research grant in 2012.

De qui venim is the first in a collection titled Formentera en estudi (“Studies of Formentera”). The collection was devised as a showcase for recipients of the Consell's grant as well as, pointed out department head Raquel Guasch, other important projects and research probes. Councillor Guasch added that the studies and publications seek to “dig deeper into our understanding of local history and heritage, and leave behind a written trace that won't fade with time”.

De qui venim is being put out by the Josep Massot i Muntaner-directed Abadia de Montserrat publishing house—a big name in science-related publications concerning humanities in Catalan-speaking territories.

Written by Garcia-Borés i Espí and Hermínia Gil i Canales with help from Rita Cardona Ribas and Raquel Gonzàlez Cardona, De qui venim is a “psychocultural study” of traditional Formentera. The project's engineers enlist oral history as they seek to hear elderly islanders talk about lifestyle, community and identity in Formentera before the arrival of tourism. The study touches on questions like subjects' emotional health, intergenerational rifts and efforts to protect culture, identity and language.

Five hundred copies will be produced in a €4,800 publishing effort that included design, layout and printing.


12 September 2019
Department of Communication
Consell de Formentera

Escola de Música puts call out for piano teacher during incoming course

The human resources department of the Consell de Formentera reports that an opening has gone up on the regional job seekers' office for a music teacher specialised in piano. Applications will be accepted until 17 September, and candidates must possess the required superior level accreditation to teach piano.

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