Marikas Rurales, a new gay group in Gran Canaria
There is now a new gay group in Gran Canaria for all LGBTI+ people who want to meet and make new friends. Born in February 2021, Marikas Rurales is an association that campaigns for same sex visibility in the island by organizing socio-cultural and leisure activities outside major urban centers.
Marikas Rurales is a project initiated by two couples of gay men living in rural Gran Canaria who were determined to get out of their isolation to have fun, make new friends, and above all, give more visibility to LGBTQI+ people in the island. The first two couples were soon joined by three others, and the movement was officially born with lots of desire, energy, and ideas in mind.
In Spanish, "marikas rurales" means "rural fags", which may seem a bit vulgar and aggressive at first glance, but on the contrary, it should be seen as a sign of vindication and proof that the group does not take itself too seriously. That's why they decided to change the word "maricas" into "marikas" and to spell it with a "k" instead of the "c", as a sign of humour and derision, and also to be more modern. Today, the group's management committee is composed of five people, all men : Dani, Daniel, Eduardo, Orlando and Marcos. We met them to find out more about them and their plans.
« We don't want to be a bureaucratic association, we want to go out, be on the street, show ourselves, and talk to people. »
When the first members of Marikas Rurales met, it was shortly after the end of the Covid epidemic, and at that time their objective was above all to rediscover the joys of a natural life, to feel the sweetness of nature, to indulge in hiking, and to explore the beauties of Gran Canaria, away from the big urban centres such as Maspaloma or Las Palmas. This is why they have insisted on the rural side of their movement. These five couples enjoyed walking and getting together for long hikes in the countryside, and it was during these hikes that the association's project gradually took shape. This took many meetings and discussions.
From the beginning, Marikas Rurales wanted to break with current stereotypes. Their first initiative was to organize a nightime tour of Yumbo in high hills to get noticed and start promoting their group. It was a lot of fun and laughter for everyone ! It allowed them to break the ice, take some nice pictures, and get a better idea of what they wanted to do in the future, where they were going to turn, and what kind of action and activity. They like to compare themselves to good bread, which has to be prepared with love, with the right ingredients, and baked for a long time before we can enjoy it.
« Our purpose is to show ourselves, to be on the street, and to act directly from person to person. We want to create new friendships, in a relaxed and quality atmosphere. We also want to be involved in society and help fill its gaps with concrete actions. »
Since its creation, Marikas Rurales has organized numerous cultural and leisure activities. They participated in the Galdar Pride last June, visited the Van Gogh exhibition in Las Palmas, attended an opera concert in Telde, were present at the Maspalomas and Las Palmas Carnivals, organized a friendship day at the barranco de Guayadeque, with picnics and swimming, and an excursion to Teror for the Virgen del Pino celebrations with folk costumes, musical instruments, singing, and dancing as is the tradition in Gran Canaria. Recently, they also organized a day hike at Charco Azul.
« From now on, the aim is to program at least one cultural activity per month, always focusing on friendship, encounters, and exploration of our world. »
In addition to cultural activities, Marikas Rurales is also concerned with gay health to meet the growing demand for information and prevention, especially of sexually transmitted diseases. Two members of the board are in charge of this sector, Orlando and Daniel, who are respectively a male nurse and a social worker, and who have years of experience in this field. As part of the health action, Marikas Rurales attended the exhibition on cancer at the Arucas library and supported the fight against breast cancer.
In the end, Marikas Rurales would like to promote and participate in any activity that can do good for society in general, support Canarian culture and artists, and help LGBTQI+ people. With a heart in your hand and a smile on your face. You too can join the group and register for activities by contacting Marikas Rurales now by email or Whatsapp, or by following their news on Instagram. Anyone is always accepted with respect and the spirit of making new friends.
Whatsapp : (+34) 696 144 248
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Instagram : @marikasrurales