ONE MAN AND HIS ISLAND

 

CÉSAR MANRIQUE

ECO-TOURISM



We often hear about people that became well known from a young age and their stories are always fascinating,  but it can be even more interesting to learn about someone who did it when they were a little bit older. 

César Manrique was a visionary architect, artist and activist who had worked and lived all over the world including in Madrid and New York.  In his late 40s, he came back to his home of Lanzarote in the Canary Islands. Lanzarote is an island shaped by its volcanic past with miles of black twisted rocks and a vast national park of craters and mounds. 

The older, widely-travelled and determined Manrique set to work creating tourist attractions on the island that fitted into its nature out of concern for the future of the island.  He built houses into volcanic bubbles. He created a spectacular viewpoint on the north of the island. He built a site around a cave full of blind crabs as well as a unique restaurant that allowed you to cook on the geothermal heat from a dormant volcano. All of these attractions still exist today. Manrique’s work in eco-tourism was sensitive and could only have been done by someone who knew the island as well as he did.

Manrique was a visionary because of his determination to ensure that tourism in Lanzarote would be continued in a sensitive and environmentally sound way and his activism has largely succeeded.


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