Health and Wellbeing Conference in Adeje, Tenerife
by Monica Gentile
On the eve of December 17th, 2021, amid a group of residents of Adeje, the beautiful city located above Dzamling Gar, in Tenerife, I had the privilege to listen to the public presentation of a very important project.
Initiated by the Mayor of Adeje, Jose Miguel Rodriguez Fraga, this project is named “Mentalizate”: The primary meaning of this Spanish verb is “making aware” and the project aims at making the public of Adeje aware of the many dire consequences of the ongoing pandemic on their own mental health and equip them to cope with their effects in a positive way.
The presentation started with a detailed explanations of the psychological impact of the pandemic on the population by prof. Wenceslao Peñate of the University of La Laguna. He explained how destructive emotions such as rage, sadness and fear, disruption of sleeping pattern, identity and family crisis, substance abuse, have all grown exponentially in the past two years of the pandemic.
The Mayor together with his counselors and coordinators – María Clavijo Maza (Education and People ), Mercedes Delgado Vargas (Community Wellbeing), Amada Trujillo Bencomo, (Health and Quality of Life) – took turns to describe the various workshops organized to aid the population in managing these diverse problems.
These workshops, held in the public spaces of the town hall of Adeje, are managed by a team of professionals – psychologists, educators, social workers, etc. – who work with various target groups: adults, children and teenagers.
The core concepts to develop throughout all these workshops is Communication, Emotional regulation and Personal and Social wellbeing.
Among the professionals running the workshops, there is also a team of instructors from the International Dzogchen Community who are living in Dzamling Gar. The International Dzogchen Community has in fact been requested to take part in this project and conduct courses of Yantra Yoga, Kumar Kumari and Khaita dances for both adults and children. These courses span the whole school year.
This is for the IDC and in particular for the Atiyoga Foundation, the International Foundation which is registered in Spain and is patronizing the project, a great token of recognition from the Spanish authorities of Tenerife who are acknowledging the value, professionalism and potentials of our Community to work in the field of public health.
A short presentation and demonstration of the workshops was orchestrated by Ilaria Faccioli, the interface between the city of Adeje and the International Dzogchen Community of Dzamling Gar. Instructors and participants of Kumar Kumari and Khaita displayed their skills and colors in front of a public.
The Mayor already took the commitment of renewing and even expanding these workshops next year.
Besides the excellent work already being done with Yantra Yoga, Kumar Kumari and Khaita, other areas the International Dzogchen Community could help with, is undoubtedly the sphere of the mind, through workshops on Presence and Awareness (which is mostly known as Mindfulness in the western world) and the development of positive emotions through the many mind trainings of the Mahayana tradition .
We hope we can continue this collaboration and contribute to benefit the public of this marvelous island by sharing the precious and living heritage of wisdom of which we are depositories.
Photos by Miguel Ferrada Gutiérrez