What do you expect from a journey to Tenerife ? To rest, to enjoy the sun and to lay down on the beach… But probably not building a whale of 20m and driving it through Santa Cruz!. I got involved in a project of the environmental association ATAN (Asociación Tinerfeña de Amigos de la Naturaleza). Together we built a whale for the demonstration against the oil prospection in the littoral of the Canary Islands.
It has been a very impressive and compelling experience to be part of an activist environmental event and join a group of people that defend values of their Island and environment. We joined to help the group of ATAN the last day of the construction, right before the demonstration. We participated to build up the HUGE animal, made of wood, metal and fabrics.
Laying down in the park, the whale took shape little by little. It was surprising how easy it is to get included in this team, and even without knowing anybody and hardly speaking any spanish, I was able to share intense and funny moments. The long artificial mammal attracted many people, especially children, and we got a lot of help from random people.
When the demonstrators started to gather, we finally lifted it up. Such a beautiful collective action! In the middle of the crowd, many people just came and hold it with us. We were around 10 to build it and ended up 25 to hold and drive it!
The whale was floating above the crowd during the demonstration, and at the end even moving to the rhythm of the Batucada.
It was a great day getting close to people through an “active social day”. It one of the most memorable moments of my visit in Tenerife!
Pictures: www.atan.org , www.desaplatanate.org