That Moment When a Vacation by the Sea Collides With the Arrival of Refugees

Holidaymakers in bikinis and trunks rally round, roused from their day in the sun to attend to thin and near dead-looking migrants from Africa who have turned up on shore after traveling across seas for up to 1000km.

refugees kindness

Photographer: Arturo Rodriguez. Location: La Tejita beach (Tenerife)

In the photo above, one woman calls out for help as her friend supports a man wrapped in a blanket, huddling with exhaustion, trauma and dehydration.

Tourists, security forces, and Red Cross workers attended to African migrants who landed on La Tejita beach. Tens of thousands of migrants arrived in small wooden boats with up to 150 people on board. They faced a sea journey of some 1,000km, and many arrived starving, dehydrated, or died on the way.

Some migrants were repatriated, others were sent to mainland Spain, but many ended up in limbo, unable to gain work papers yet unwilling to go home. 

We wish these unfortunate people all the best for the future and hope they found a safe (and welcoming) place that they can call home.


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