More than 200 people gathered at the gates of the “campsite” in Arguineguín on Friday to protest the imminent eviction of those residing at the site, after the San Bartolomé de Tirajana townhall ordered the company managing the space, Canaricamping SL, to close the facility. The reason indicated by the southern town council is a lack of appropriate licenses. The facilities, on land owned by the aristocratic Del Castillo family, have been open to the public for almost a decade.

The order affects more than 200 “campers”, who have been told to leave the facilities before January 31. Sources close to the company have reportedly said that the ayuntamiento are asking  “for things that may be difficult to obtain”, without specifying what those requirements are. “The company is pained to have to close a business that could last for years,” sources say, “but we want to be faithful to the institutions and the laws”, which is why they say they will comply with the order issued by the council.

The company communicated the situation to the campers last Monday by simply installing a sign at the entrance of the campsite, and by means of a notification to each one of the campsite users, through which they were informed of the situation and the deadlines “with enough time” to remove the caravans from the land.

Discomfort, shock and despair are widespread among campers, who say they have not received any clarification on the reason for their expulsion from the place. They say they reject the closure of the space after they were made to purchase the caravans standing on the site, that were sold there, and to pay €150 monthly for the plots they occupy. Though many of the campsite users travel to the campsite only on weekends and during holiday periods, there are also several families living at the site, many of them with children, who simply cannot afford to live anywhere else. This little known coastal campsite community on the edge of Arguineguín has for many years meant the difference between destitution and a place to call home.

Having no other place to go, due to the high price of rents, several families, with few other options due to unemployment, have made their homes at the site with their children attending nearby schools. The imminent closure of this facility is bound to cause severe distress and disruption to these people’s lives.

Some of the campers have already started to make enquiries as to how they might contract a lawyer to advise them and perhaps take charge of the case. Several have expressed their intention not to leave the site saying they will resist until the very last moment.

Source: La Provincia