As a native English teacher living in La Palma I am confused as to the lack of tourism here from my country. From the moment my plane landed here I immediately fell in love with this tiny gorgeous island. In my opinion it offers up a wonderful diversity of landscapes alongside great places to eat and fun activities. So why is the only language I ever hear German?
I have certainly picked up on the fact that it is a very select type of person who decides to go on holiday on the island. Over the years I have really grown fond of the tourists here. They are always polite, educated and tend to smile enthusiastically at everything. Perhaps their universal fashion choice of knee length walking shorts isn’t the most stylish choice of clothes, but still, I always find myself smiling back at them.
However I can assure all readers that there are just as many of these types of people in England, perhaps even more than in Germany. The English have earned themselves a bad reputation in Tenerife for gulping down incredible quantities of beer and managing to turn lobster red in 24 hours. It is a little known fact that there is a big population of English people who love nothing more than wearing the very same knee length walking shorts, marveling at traditional Canary architecture, and politely smiling at everything they come across. (I proved this point last year when my parents visited!)
Let’s hope that in the years to come we can attract more polite and civilised English people to La Palma. Asides from the fact that I think they would love it, and it would be a big boost for La Palma, I would like to hear more English on the streets, and stop beating myself up about still not having learned German.


By Abigail White,


  • offer up: provide something intended to satisfy somebody
  • pick up on: notice
  • smile back: smile at somebody after they smile at you
  • gulp down: drink in large amounts
  • come across: meet or find by chance
  • beat yourself up: criticize yourself