 Gran Canaria’s iconic Christmas sand nativity sculptures will be modelled by 10 artists from 8 countries
 Public tours begin on Friday, December 3, and continue, through to January 7, 2022
 Solidarity donations, which can be made electronically in cash, will go one more year to the soup kitchens of the capital



The Belén de Arena, in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, open its doors to the public on Friday, December 3, artistically dedicating its proposal to the resilience of the island of La Palma’s population in the face of the Cumbre Vieja volcanic eruption. This popular Christmas attraction, unique and monumental, opens its doors to the public on the first Friday in December, with capacity control to guarantee compliance with COVID-19 health measures.

Modelling the detailed sand sculptures are 10 artists from 8 countries, sculptors giving life to one of the city’s most iconic annual attractions, using the sands of Las Canteras beach, at the La Puntilla end, watched from the promenade by passers-by, visitors and residents alike.

The sand nativity artists, who have a week ahead of them to finish the work, were welcomed by Councillor for Tourism for the Las Palmas de Gran Canaria City Council, Pedro Quevedo, accompanied by the directors of Belén de Arena, Aday Rodríguez and Miguel Rodríguez, and the head of CaixaBank’s Social Action in the Canary Islands, Olga del Pino.

La Palma island will be included in two of the main scenes. Latvian sculptor, Sanita Ravina, is creating the design that will pay tribute to the Isla Bonita using as her inspiration the island’s widespread cultivation the banana, the island population themselves and the Canarian struggle, as a sign of effort and solidarity, in the face of the eruption. La Palma will also be present within the scene modelled by Canadian sand artist Guy-Oliver Devenueau: The School, in support of boys and girls, male and female teachers who have lost their schools under the lava.

The traditional scene of The Annunciation will be the work of Fergus Mulvany, from Ireland; the Gate to Bethlehem and the Adoration of the three Kings, this edition will be united in a space modelled by two women: Karen Jean Fralich, from Canada, and Sue Mac Greu from the USA.

The entrance to the enclosure will have a set of four images dedicated to rural life and some of its traditional trades: pottery, herding and cheese making, rendered through the work of Rodrigo César de Magalhaes, from Portugal and Johannes Christolfel from Holland.

Canarian artists Paco Arana and Bentejuí Ojeda join this group of international sand art experts to create the scene of La Fuente, a prominent space in the central area of ​​Belén de Arena. Finally, the main Nativity Scene, as usual, will feature an image of a landmark building from the capital, this time the Alfredo Kraus Auditorium that will come to life in the hands of French sculptor Benoit Dutherage.

The Councillor for Tourism pointed out that the annual Sand Nativity has continued “16 years demonstrating its ability to attract from an artistic and tourism point of view, but also socially” recalling that again this year “donations from the visitors, which can be made electronically and in cash, will go to support the soup kitchens of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria”. Entrance is free, although there will be capacity controls so as to respect COVID-19 health protocols.

Opening: Friday, December 3 at 4:00 p.m.
General hours: from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Days with special hours: December 24 and 31 and January 5, from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.