From sleeping crammed on the pier to taking turns eating at the hotel




“It is true that they are the same hotels that are used for tourism, but the daily life of immigrants there is very different.” José Javier Sánchez Espinosa, spokesman and deputy director of Social Inclusion of the Red Cross, explains it, the entity in charge of attending to all the castaways who these days arrive by the hundreds to the Canary Islands.

They are also in charge of assisting these people after being identified by the Police and referred to hotels or other centers. That is why they know perfectly what are the routines of groups like the one made up of the 197 people who on Tuesday, after being evicted from the overloaded Arguineguín dock, were relocated to a holiday complex in Maspalomas (Gran Canaria).

The leisure devices of these facilities are not operational, so there is not much alternative beyond staying in the rooms, which are occupied by a small number of people, as Sánchez confirms, and resting. “At no time can we prevent anyone from leaving”, however, warns the spokesman. Sánchez emphasizes that they also follow special protocols against the coronavirus, such as isolating positive cases or organizing immigrants in groups – which coincide with the contingents of the boats – to avoid contact: «For example, there are different meal times so that can keep the different cohorts intact. ‘

In addition, Sánchez highlights the usefulness of using hotels in these difficult times when it comes to avoiding possible infections and isolating both people who have been in close contact with a positive, as well as those infected: «We need the hotel model, what They are rooms with a small number of people, more or less four, and individual baths to proceed with the isolations ».

Immigrants receiving these types of assistance resources can stay in them for three months, except in some exceptional cases. However, as the Red Cross spokesperson points out, they tend to leave earlier since their family or social networks tend to continue with the reception.

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