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In a bold move against the impacts of mass tourism on Tenerife's way of life, activists initiated an indefinite hunger strike yesterday in the historic city of La Laguna.

Nearly a dozen advocates for a more sustainable tourism approach have taken a stand outside a local church, organized by a platform named Canarias Se Agota, translating to 'The Canary Islands Are Exhausted' in English. This platform is associated with various ecological groups.

The hunger strikers are urging authorities to halt two tourism projects, notably one involving the construction of a luxury hotel near La Tejita, a pristine beach in Tenerife. Additionally, they demand policy changes from local and regional officials to address the negative consequences of mass tourism, such as environmental degradation, traffic congestion, and the housing crisis fueled by short-term rentals like Airbnb.

The campaigners dissociate themselves from recent anti-tourism graffiti appearing across Tenerife. Victor Martin, a spokesperson for Canarias Se Agota, emphasized the hunger strike's indefinite nature, stressing the need for action to halt the targeted projects and engage in dialogue with regional authorities for a tourist moratorium.

Alfonso Boullon, representing the organization Salvar La Tejita, aligned with Canarias Se Agota, underscored the hunger strike's broader objective of restructuring the economic and social model of the Canary Islands. He clarified that the protest isn't anti-tourism but rather seeks to reformulate a tourism model that is environmentally and economically unsustainable.

The hunger strikers' identities remain undisclosed, and they have refrained from interviews as they continue their protest outside Plaza de la Concepcion.

As tensions escalate, with environmentalists resorting to symbolic gestures such as fake "closed due to overcrowding" signs in tourist areas, upcoming protests on April 20th across various Canary Islands are anticipated to amplify the message of the hunger strikers. These demonstrations aim to challenge regional authorities to address the pressing issues raised by grassroots movements, signaling a growing urgency for change. Photo by Lmbuga (Luis Miguel Bugallo Sánchez), Wikimedia commons.