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Christmas holiday season officially under way

Foto nadales 20171The Christmas 2017 kick-off came yesterday in the form of a concert of holiday carols by the children of El Pilar de la Mola and Mestre Lluís Andreu primary schools. “Cantam Nadales” got started in plaça de la Constitució at 5.00pm.

Though scheduled for Friday, the evening performance, together with a tree and decoration lighting ceremony, was delayed due to inclement weather. Attending residents enjoyed complementary hot chocolate the show.

Wet weather was again behind the postponing of the Christmas Market opening. It was pushed back from Friday to Saturday morning. All of Formentera is encouraged to come out for the market. It will be open from 11.00am to 3.00pm and again from 5.00pm to 12 midnight until January 7.

Officials check in on dig at Sant Ferran cemetery

Foto exterior cementeriA team of local and regional officials paid a visit today the site where crews have worked since last Wednesday to locate a Civil War-era gravesite near the Sant Ferran cemetery. Led by the president and vice-president of the Formentera Council, Jaume Ferrer and Susana Labrador, and Manel Santana, head of the Govern's department of democratic participation and memory, and including Formentera's provincial councillor, Sílvia Tur; Senator Bernat Picornell and the local administration's social and community involvement secretaries, Vanessa Parellada Sònia Cardona.

Almudena Garcia-Rubio, the forensic archaeologist and anthropologist who is overseeing the effort, said the crew of experts enlisted in the disinterment have performed four probes in the cemetery; two failed to produce results and the remaining pair are still under way. An additional dig is being conducted just outside the cemetery in a spot where evidence suggests the bodies of the victims of the pro-Franco violence might lie. The driving impulse behind the undertaking is to unearth the remains of five individuals —Jaume Ferrer Ferrer, Josep Ribas Marí, Joan Tur Mayans, Jaume Serra Juan and Vicent Cardona Colomar— killed by firing squad during the Spanish Civil War.

President Ferrer said he was hopeful the bodies would be found, calling their unearthing a “potential pathway to healing for the families”. Manel Santana voiced his appreciation for the efforts of historians like Santi Colomar and Artur Parrón in restoring this part of the collective memory. Even should the attempt to locate the graves proves unsuccessful, “sites like this must be honoured and the acts that transpired there forever remembered,” Santana said, pledging that a bid to highlight Civil War grave sites was in sight.

Funding for the archaeological effort in Sant Ferran is possible thanks to a €16,780 Govern grant for the Eivissa-Formentera memory forum and a €4,000 contribution from the Formentera Council.

Christmas shop window contest enters eleventh year

Fotos be formentera 2n premiThe Formentera Council and the local chamber of commerce handed out prizes today in the island's contest of Christmas shop window displays. For the eleventh year, the administration crowned business-owners for standout efforts to decorate their shop windows, an effort to get out the Christmas spirit this holiday season.

A jury including Enric Riera, a painter and art teacher at Marc Ferrer high school, the CiF culture department's Amalia Mora and Alvaro Mendoza, president of the local artists' association, considered imagination, originality and creativity in the Christmas window displays at the following establishments:

-First prize: Administració de Loteria
-Second prize: Be Formentera
-Third prize: Casa Ortega

Cash prizes —€225 for first place, €150 for second and €75 for third— and plaques were delivered by CiF tourism and trade secretary Alejandra Ferrer and Juan Manuel Costa, president of the island's chamber of commerce.

Formentera observes International Day of People with Disabilities

Foto presentacio cartell discapacitatDetails of the plan to observe International Day of People with Disabilities this Sunday, December 3, were unveiled today. Vanessa Parellada, the island's social welfare secretary; Marta Uriarte, the director of the Formentera Day Centre; Camila Tessio, a psychologist at APNEEF, a special needs group for residents of Eivissa and Formentera; and Núria Alandes, head of a group called APMIPTEA that promotes the inclusion of people living with Autism spectrum disorders, seized on a crafts display as the perfect opportunity to present the poster for International Day of People with Disabilities.

From 11.00am to 1.00pm today in Sant Francesc's plaça de la Constitució, a group of adults enrolled at Formentera's day centre for persons with disabilities and the elderly will exhibit ashtrays made of repurposed bottles, aromatic soaps, sponges and massage oils with rosemary, all fruits of workshops held at the centre.

Charity walk
Tomorrow, December 2, the island will host the first-ever Caminada Solidària, “to bring visibility,” explained Parellada, “to the island's community of people with disabilities”. At 11.00am participants of the “Charity Walk” will set out from jardí de ses Eres on a two-kilometre circuit, which according to the secretary has been specially tuned for walkers of all abilities “in an effort to make the event inclusive”. “One of the top priorities at Formentera's day centre is the integration of those who use its services,” said Parellada. The last to make it to the finish line are expected to arrive by 1.00pm, where they will be greeted with an array of snacks at jardí de ses Eres. Advance registration for the walk is not required.

Then, on December 3, the two associations, APNEEF and APMIPTEA, will man information booths between 11.00am and 1.00pm in plaça de la Constitució, offering information about their activities and programmes on the island.

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