Today, the Cabildo de Gran Canaria, through its Citizen Participation Directorate, hosted the “II Encuentro Vecinal de Gran Canaria” at the Patio del Cabildo. This event is a significant annual gathering for neighborhood associations in Gran Canaria, attracting over fifty individuals connected to local community associations. The meeting serves as a platform for these associations to share experiences, voice demands, and celebrate the community and neighborhood movement on the island.

Teodoro Sosa Monzón, the Councilor for the Presidency of the Cabildo de Gran Canaria (Feature Images: ACFI), emphasized the importance of strengthening local associations and collectives that represent common interests. He highlighted that neighborhood associations are an effective means for channeling citizen participation, both individually and collectively, in public decision-making.

Jorge Pérez Artiles Rrecognises Gloria (Image: ACFI)

Jorge Pérez Artiles, Director of Citizen Participation at the Cabildo, noted that neighborhood associations in towns, neighborhoods, and cities are a vital part of the social fabric. They play a crucial role in channeling demands and fostering citizen participation, thereby strengthening the social capital essential for the development of communities.

Neighbourhood Associations from across the island came together to answer not a call for solidarity, but for participation.  Jorge Pérez Artiles and his team have, in the last few years, started to transform the nature of the conversation between the island council (Cabildo) of Gran Canaria’s 21 municipalities, and the old neighbourhood associations, many of which predate the Spanish constitution.

Representatives of residents’ groups and communities were being asked to speak up, and were recognised for much of the work that stays hidden, that they undertake trying to improve the environment in which we all live, and were invited to join the conversation, identifying needs of communities across Gran Canaria.

The event featured the presentation of conclusions from a participatory process conducted in recent months. This process was aimed at designing and shaping the “Foro del Movimiento Vecinal de Gran Canaria,” a forum intended to be activated by neighborhood associations across the island.

This initiative is part of the “Agenda Ecoisla Gran Canaria 2030,” particularly within the dimension of Public Governance (Peace, Justice, Strong Institutions, and Relevant Partnerships). This aspect significantly influences and impacts the implementation and achievement of the goals set out in the Sustainable Development Strategy of Ecoisla Gran Canaria.