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Pupils of island learn value of aid

Conferencia Solidaritat premsaEarlier today, the 515 pupils of Formentera’s three primary schools all attended a talk entitled Aid and solidarity in the Third World by Javier Colomo, president of the NGO Amigos Solidarios. The talk was given three times at the Sant Francesc cinema. Councillor of sport Jordi Vidal explained, «the children were able to get an in-depth look at what aid and solidarity are all about, and learn how they can get involved and help out the less fortunate».

Tomorrow’s talk open to all audiences

Tomorrow, Friday 22 January, the same conference will be given to students of the IES Marc Ferrer secondary school. Later on, another version of the same talk – this time open to the public – is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. in the Casal d’Entitats. The CiF office of sports has organised the Solidarity and aid conference as part of Esport és més (Sport is more), a campaign to promote the positive values of sport sponsored by the Council and Govern Balear. The goal of the initiative is to «encourage participation in sports as a way for young people to stay healthy, develop character and grow socially».

Formentera’s message at FITUR: nature lovers, look no further

fitur 2016The doors opened today at Madrid’s International Tourism Trade Fair (FITUR), where the Formentera Council was ready to show would-be Spanish tourists the door that forms the heart of the island’s patrimony. By promoting our outdoor attributes, the Council hopes to appeal to Spanish travelers, a group that over the last three years has even begun surpassing Italians in numbers at certain periods of the season. Tourism councillor Alejandra Ferrer explains: «The national market helps us fill out our numbers in the pre- and post-season. It also happens to be the closest one to us geographically and getting away to Formentera for a few days is more feasible for them».

Tomorrow is the day the people of the Balearics celebrate their region – a day known officially as el Dia de les Illes Balears. At 12 noon, CiF president Jaume Ferrer will be joined by the tourism councillor and Carlos Bernús, head of the local tourism advisory board, in giving a presentation on Formentera highlighting the island’s natural and cultural charms. At 1 p.m., Juan Ramón Cobo, chef at the Es Marès hotel, will give a culinary demonstration of a new take on the popular local salad, amanida pagesa. Some fifty media representatives specialized in fine dining and tourism are scheduled to attend both presentations.

Outdoor trails and sport

In an attempt to increase footfall at the Balearic Islands’ stand at FITUR, Formentera reps will be on hand to greet and provide visitors with information on the island’s different outdoor trails and activities. A portion of the stand is dedicated to sport, and information is available about the more than 20 sport meets and trials set to take place during the low season. Together with different cultural events, explained Councillor Ferrer, Formentera’s 2016 activities programme includes over 60 suggestions for fun.

On Saturday visitors to the stand will be treated to a sampling of the famous Pitiüsa pudding flaó. For their part, the Formentera representatives will also have a full schedule of meetings with offices of tourism, websites, magazines and niche media outlets – all with an end toward showing the best of what the island has to offer. The goal is to push promotional campaigns like Discover Formentera in May and October, both of which are devised to attract more visitors before and after summer. New this year is Formentera Astronòmica (28 and 30 October), which takes advantage of scarce light pollution to show off the beauty of Formentera’s night sky.

Pi des Català tower closed January and February

torre des pi des catala interiorThe Pi des Català tower (la torre des Pi des Català) will be closed this month and next to allow holiday time-off for staff. From March the site will be reopened to the public every Saturday morning from ten a.m. to one midday, as was the case in October and December. According to the CiF councillor of patrimony, Susana Labrador, «after seeing the public’s response last summer» – when the tower was open Thursday afternoons from five to seven – «the decision was made to extend public visiting hours into winter, with a slight change». Looking ahead, Councillor Labrador says after the break the intention is «to reopen the tower so more people can continue discovering this important local heritage site».

First tower with access to inside chambers

After a recent remodel, Pi des Català became the first tower on Formentera to allow public visits of its inner chambers. It is classified as a monument on Formentera’s list of cultural heritage sites. Constructed between 1762 and 1763, it is one of four defence towers on the island. Until 1867 the buildings were used both for defence and – more often – as watchtowers.

Formentera to coastal authority: make new walkways accessible

passareles 03The Formentera Council's office of mobility has contacted the Balearic coastal authority to request  «the removal of architectural barriers in the recently-installed waterfront walkway». The appeal was made by Formentera's councillor of mobility Rafael González in a letter sent today to Gabriel Pastor, director of Coastal Demarcation Baleares.

Resident complaints

The Formentera Council hopes its intervention will help solve a problem which has been reiterated in numerous grievances since December. Resident complaints have taken issue with the «design of the new duckboard footpaths at different locations along the Formentera coastline». The remodelled walkway follows the same path as before but «changes have been made to the height, the angle of inclines and beach access points», González said. The head of mobility noted that ramps at entry points have been replaced by very large steps.

Following receipt of the complaints, the CiF office of mobility ordered a technical report taking stock of the new walkway design. The report mentions «spots where walkers could easily fall distances of more than a metre» and notes other points of «difficult access to beaches, especially for individuals with reduced mobility and families with baby prams».

Positive review of the remodel

Nevertheless, Councillor González gave a positive review of the coastal authority's investment in the Formentera coastline and indicated it «is necessary for the regeneration of the island's dunes». Still, he said Formentera hopes for a solution that can combine «dune regeneration with proper beach access for everyone».

Hence the Council's petition to «eliminate the architectural barriers in the walkways installed in Formentera in the final trimester of 2015». In his letter, Councillor González highlighted the importance of «removing the stairs and barriers that are problematic in the current walkway».

González said the Council is ready to answer any questions on the subject and provide the coastal authority with any additional information. He indicated the Council's willingness to discuss different possible solutions to the problem.

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