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islands canary costa among poorest antigua neighbourhoods

Costa de Antigua among the ten poorest neighbourhoods in the Canary Islands
In the eighties Fuerteventura lived immersed in the tourist take-off. These were times when everyone wanted to get on the tourism train, hotels appeared under the carpets and the ghost of partial plans flew over the whole Island. In that context, New Horizon emerged at the end of that decade, with the intention of becoming an important tourist centre as an extension of El Castillo.

However, that dream was short-lived and eventually became an area with ghost developments and, in statistics, as one of the ten poorest neighbourhoods in the Canary Islands. Nuevo Horizonte is the story of what could have been and stayed halfway.

In that coastal strip, in urban planning, on paper, the plans Mountain of Money, Plains of Money or Miraflor were drawn. In total, forecasts of more than 10,000 tourist beds less than two kilometres from the airport. It even projected a water park in the nineties that opened for a brief period. At present, and despite the change of official name - from the reviled Nuevo Horizonte to the aseptic Costa de Antigua -, what was considered as a leading tourist area has become a town with more problems than tourists.

The licenses were allowed to die. He looked towards the area of Caleta de Fuste to the detriment of Costa de Antigua, and Nuevo Horizonte ended up becoming a dormitory city, but with hardly any services. Now his neighbours fight to dignify New Horizon. The Italian Giuseppe Signorino is, for six years, president of the Association of Neighbors of Costa de Antigua. Together with a group of residents, he regrets the abandonment in which the area is immersed. They say that Nuevo Horizonte has the problems of a neighbourhood that "has been abandoned for 20 years."

It is also a melting pot of nationalities: Italians, English, Irish, Belgians, Spaniards, Moroccans ... Together they add up to 1,500 people that the neighbourhood association estimates could live in the area. “Nuevo Horizonte is a multicultural neighbourhood with people from all over Europe and from outside its borders. It was built as a tourist area, with several hotels and urbanizations, but they did not leave lots for public spaces, ”laments Signorino.

The lack of planning has made today Nuevo Horizonte a place without parks, public square, or cultural centre. “There is nothing that can help us to have cohesion. In this sense there is no town, ”Signorino laments as he complains that“ a lot of Money ”can be spent in the Plaza de Antigua, while they have to celebrate the town's festivities in the middle of the street.

The representative of the neighbours insists that the only thing they ask for is “a parity of rights and services”: a library, a public square, a place where, for example, to give language classes to the foreign population and conduct workshops or a centre for greater. They simply ask to live in the 21st century.

This lack of social cohesion has caused neighbours to live in small communities, relating only to those with whom they share a flag. Signorino explains how the population is “divided into segments and this leads to, sometimes, there is some conflict, for example, between the Spaniards and the Italians. They take us as conquerors, occupants, but we pay our taxes. ”

The National Institute of Statistics (INE) published last September the average income data per person and household at the lowest geographical level. The statistic, with data from 2016, places Nuevo Horizonte among the ten poorest neighbourhoods in the Canary Islands. With 5,481 euros per person and 12,091 euros per household per year. To the tail of the Canary Islands, other areas such as Añaza and Arona, in Tenerife or Jinámar, in Gran Canaria.

Nuevo Horizonte is the other side of tourism and construction. Part of its population worked in these sectors until the crisis hit its face and began to frequent the lines of unemployment and social assistance. In Spain there is a lack of work and Nuevo Horizonte is no exception. Signorino estimates that 30 percent of its population lives in unemployment.

The tourist crisis hitting Fuerteventura does not pass by Nuevo Horizonte. The president of the neighbourhood association estimates that the two hotels and an aparthotel in the area are at 50 percent occupancy. “The tourist who comes to Fuerteventura is low level and here it is even more. There is no tourist attraction and what comes next is a tourist who is only looking for cheap prices, not level, ”he emphasizes.

Squatter territory

The economic crisis reduced the rental price in the area. Nuevo Horizonte attracted people with low wages or unemployed. It has also become a squatter territory in recent years. Suen Tubback is another of the neighbours of the place. He explains how “the image of poverty in El Castillo began to be cleaned up. There, the image for tourism changed and the residents went to Costa de Antigua, where there were a lot of empty houses. ”

For his part, Signorino explains that one of the main problems in the area is the arrival of squatters that break the doors of the apartments of the urbanizations and start living in them. He does not dare to give a precise number of squatters, but he does speak of many in this situation. "These people occupy homes and never respect the legality and then, to live, perform acts like small thefts," he denounces.

He says that “they generate noise, crime, discomfort, breakage ... they arrive at night, break a door and get in. They look for counters to get hooked on water and light and break everything. ” Ask for more presence of the City Council and the Police and is that, in his opinion, "the City Council turns a blind eye".

According to Suen Tubback, many of these people come from El Castillo. They lived there until they were unemployed and unable to pay a rent. Others already lived on squatters in Caleta de Fuste. “The complexes in that area were sold, security guards were hired and could no longer enter. Then, they saw that they had to live somewhere and where the nearest, empty and unguarded houses were in New Horizon. ”

This neighbour is hopeful and explains how they are working to clean up the bad image of Nuevo Horizonte. “More activities are being organized, and, throughout the year, four parties are scheduled that have a good influx of people,” he explains. All are missing "more political will to solve once and for all the problem of Costa de Antigua as a tourist place." And they conclude: “If we want to look for a culprit, they may be the institutions, but also the population. For example on cleaning issues, the City Council may have to clean more, but people should not get dirty. ”

Nuevo Horizonte is the area with the lowest income on the Island, with 5,481 euros per person per year, and is located in the poorest one percent of Spain, according to the Atlas of distribution of household income, which has been published by the Sub-Directorate General of Socio-demographic Statistics. Very close to that area is the richest area, that of Las Granadas in Puerto del Rosario, which is close to 15,000 euros.

In the capital there are areas between 11,000 and 12,000 euros, such as El Time, Puerto Lajas or Tetir, and others that range between 8,300 and 9,400 euros in the neighbourhoods or more than 11,000 in the hull. The worst stops are in the distribution are the tourist areas of the Island.

In the municipality of La Oliva there are areas that do not reach 7,000 euros and in Corralejo the district with more income exceeds 8,200, a figure similar to that of Costa Calma and more than the rent in Caleta de Fuste. The rural areas are those with the highest income on the Island, with figures ranging from 10,000 to 12,000 euros.

Courtesy of Diario de Fuerteventura

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I Heart Fuerteventura
2 users say Thank You to Sam for this post
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Oh dear that is rather damning and I'd think quite upsetting for residents there to see this article.
2 users say Thank You to Emmi Smith for this post
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I'm absolutely positive that Costa Antigua isn't the worst place to live in Fuerteventura. For example El Charco in PDR. Also the statistics are three years old, many things change in three years even in Fuerteventura.
I Heart Fuerteventura
1 user says Thank You to Sam for this post
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I agree Sam.  The residents association started by Giuseppe Signorino, managed to get the Ayuntamiento to do a lot of clearing up and other works over the past several years, so it is sad to see such a negative report.
2 users say Thank You to Emmi Smith for this post
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Things have been changing in Costa Antigua for the better over the past few years.  

It's a very negative report produced in the local free paper.
5 users say Thank You to Captain Sensible for this post
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The report is indeed very negative. And I would love to show some positives about Costa Antigua, hope you'll find more.
  • Cheaper properties (usually 2/3 of Caleta prices)
  • Very close to the Airport (10 minutes cab ride)
  • Not many (noisy) tourists - the area has more of multicultural residential feel
  • A short walk (drive) to the supermarkets (Fran Y ChemiIKEA, Superbarato, Mercadona, China Town, etc)
  • Further from the flight path - still able to see and hear the planes but as noisy as in Caleta
  • Never heard of any water issues like complaints about not having water in PDR or less tourist areas.
  • Only 20 minutes stroll to Caleta
  • Being located on the cliff could be safer in the apocalyptic scenario of massive wave created at the west of the archipelago. I know, worst case scenario usually never happens but is always nice to have a feature like this. Huh
Feel free to add more to the list.
I Heart Fuerteventura
2 users say Thank You to Sam for this post
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Whilst its not a great report the publicity it could generate may
force the authorities to invest in the place.  The whole place feels
unfinished.  Caleta has had steady investment in it over the years
the latest being the promenade extension.  Whilst Costa de Antigua
seems to have very little if anything at all.  There is still hope for it
there are still open areas of land which could be developed.  I
agree with Mr Signorino it doesn't seem to have a centre point
like a park, it just seems to be a series of streets.  When I was
over last time I drove along the coast road and there where some 
very nice villas with amazing sea views most of which were empty
or not finished which is such a waste.  Hope the place turns around
3 users say Thank You to Si Tie for this post
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We are planning  a walk next week from Caleta for lunch and are looking forward to it, not interested at all in the negative publicity.
2 users say Thank You to Jason W for this post
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As SiTie mentioned, even negative publicity could create some good results.

...take some raw, unsalted, shelled peanuts, there's a massive chance you'll meet some  Squirrel  Squirrel  Squirrel  on the way to Costa Antigua. Wink
I Heart Fuerteventura
1 user says Thank You to Sam for this post
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I have read your article with interest Sam. At  present i am reading a book about the island written by John Mercer in 1973. It says there is a small hospital in Rosario but many have to go to Gran Canaria since the hospital has only four beds is under staffed its patients meals are brought into them by relatives. Thank god times have changed. Cool
2 users say Thank You to OMR + MIN for this post
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