Canary Islands crisis as Tenerife ‘shanty town grows’ three miles away from luxury hotels

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell Jul2,2024

A shanty town in southern Tenerife reportedly continues to grow as locals struggle to cope with the costs of living on the island.

The illegal settlement is said to be composed of an increasing number of makeshift homes made of pallets, wood or prefabricated structures as well as caravans and cabins.

Located near the Puertito area on the southwestern coast of Tenerife, the settlement stands in sharp contrast with the hotels dotting Playa Paraíso less than three miles away and the luxury holiday home complex being built nearby.

These accommodations provide shelter to, among others, people employed in the ever-growing tourism industry, local news outlet Canarian Weekly has claimed.

These precarious homes, the publication added, are also the refuge of vulnerable people.

Shanty towns have been reported in Tenerife for years, with some living in self-made shacks for decades.

However, there are fears that the cost of living crisis could prompt a further expansion of these illegal dwellings as more and more people can no longer afford rent or a mortgage.

José Antonio Díez Dávila, coordinator of Mobile Street Outreach Units (UMAC) at Caritas Diocesana de Tenerife, previously told Canarian Weekly: “We have been sounding the alarm for years about housing access problems and homelessness in Tenerife, especially in the south.”

An analysis carried out by Caritas – a confederation of Catholic relief services – last year suggested that around 2,400 people across the island were living in substandard housing or other structures such as tents and campervans, and many of those reduced to homelessness still have a job.

Many residents have blamed the ever-expanding tourism industry on the island for their economic struggles, saying the growing number of holiday rentals and hotels is pushing people out of their homes.

Tens of thousands took to the streets of the island’s capital Santa Cruz on April 20 to voice their fears and frustration at the current tourism model.

The widespread protests that have swept across the Canary Islands and Balearic Islands since have seemingly caused a shift in the conversation about tourism, with many officials now agreeing the industry, important to the local economy, needs to grow in harmony with locals.

Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

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