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andres tetir san vandalism hermitage

Vandalism in hermitage of San Andres in Tetir
Radio Sintonia:

Vandalism in the hermitage of San Andrés in Tetir.

The Vega de Tetir neighborhood association has denounced this Sunday, July 3, the destruction caused in the hermitage of San Andrés in the town, facts brought to the attention of the City council of Puerto del Rosario.


In the photographs provided by the neighbors you can see the breaking with stones of the windows of the temple which has caused indignation of citizens who say they do not understand acts of this type that only seek to destroy public spaces.

According to the scholar Francisco Sardeña in his blog "Cuadernos de Puerto del Rosario" with the title San Andrés: Romería or Fiesta del Agua

The hermitage of San Andrés, is located in the Sargenta Valley, Tetir. Don Juan Berriel Jordán donated it to the parish of Santo Domingo de Guzmán on November 30, 1989, according to the plaque placed on its façade.

Sardinia points out that its history goes back to times long before the parish, when Santo Domingo did not even dream of having a "house" in Fuerteventura. And this is a proven fact: Bishop Pedro Manuel Dávila y Cárdenas confirms it when in his list of hermitages on the island, 1735, he tells us that in the Vega there was no other temple than the hermitage of the Sargenta Valley.

The temple was built by the Tetireños between 1650 and 1652 to house the saint chosen as patron saint of the majorero farmers and the rain; an election supervised by the old cabildo or island council itself in session of March 1609.

For years there was doubt about the place where a hermitage could be made to the patron saint of farmers, some pointing out that the ideal place was on the back of the Esquey or Esquén, between Valle de Santa Inés and Antigua, near the current roundabout that orders traffic integrating the branch that continues to Betancuria, but it was rejected for being in a place beaten by the wind and closer to cattle confines than farmers.
Then it rose in the Sargenta, one of the valleys of Tetir, where it lasted just over a century. We do not know for sure when they collapsed or when they knocked it down, but it would not be unreasonable to suppose the disaster on dates close to the construction of the parish, in the mid-eighteenth century.

San Andrés was remembered and was always present in the prayers and novenas for the water, being in the moments of drought "dragged" from the Valley of the Sargenta to Betancuria to, along with other images, beg him to bring the rain.
To the originality of being a patron chosen by lot at the beginning of the seventeenth century, he joined, after the demolition of his hermitage, a unique water festival where, with trial included, the farmers came with the veiled threat of desriscarlo or banish him if he did not attend them in their supplications.

Francisco Sardeña writes in his blog that the banishment opens a new hypothesis in the sense that knocking down the hermitage and expatriating the saint could be consistent in both directions: the hermitage was demolished because San Andrés was collected in the parish church or the saint was deposited in the parish church to be able to dismantle the hermitage ...
We would like to think otherwise, but it gives the impression that the interests of the regional owners coincided with the bet that was made to build a new church in honor of Santo Domingo; that the neighborhood supported the initiative, wrapping the old custom of asking for rain in a pilgrimage to the crucita that was placed where its primitive hermitage was, today answered in the same place by those we mentioned at the beginning of this article.

With Santo Andrés in the parish of Santo Domingo and his annual walk to show him the place where he was and since 1989 his hermitage is again, the santito does not shed more waters than his own tears, overwhelmed with so many patronages. And in this sense it should be remembered that the Tetireños lent it to the plotters of the Rural Colony García Escámez when, in 1950, they had the idea of naming him their patron: and from Tetir to Las Parcelas he traveled by van or van to the board of Las Escuderas to be, from there, processioned to the Dam of Los Molinos, perhaps to amaze him at so much water and let him fall that they already had where to store the one that brought them.

Visiting the Crucita de la Montaña de San Andrés was done for many years before the replacement of the hermitage and, therefore, well before the recent romera stage. Perhaps the old remember the episodes and the custom of judging the saint for the lack of water.

Given the antiquity and history of the territory in which the hermitage of San Andrés is located, we can say that these acts of vandalism are much more than that, they represent an important patrimonial damage. Francisco Sardeña, in an interview granted to Radio Sintonía, links these acts to the lack of knowledge and historical memory. He points out that we must claim our own and not forget our past.

As Francis Sardinia describes in his article, "memories, the historical press and the documents themselves help us to reconstruct history" and thus, "the santito" continues to honor his Pilgrimage or Water Festival, still shedding some more tears.
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