Centro di Terapia Antroposofica, Lanzarote

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By: Sophia Christine Murphy
Centro di Terapia Antroposofica, Lanzarote
A report by Sophia Christine Murphy

Lanzarote is the most northerly of the Canary Islands, off the coast of Africa and belonging to Spain. It is also the most volcanic, its soil being largely lava residue. Flying over it reminds me of a pockmarked face without even a stubble of beard.

Lanzarote has no ground water and yet farmers grow crops. They are moistened by dew which is also sucked into the thirsty black lava pebbles surrounding the plants. Indeed, we had a striking example of the plants’ ability to absorb moisture there. We bought a fairly wilted looking puny little head of lettuce and stuck it in a bowl of water and, o magic, the leaves stood at attention and became fat and crisp. Winter is summer here with warm days and cool star-bespeckled nights. Patches of green grow particularly in the higher regions of the great cones that once spewed fire and now meet the low lying clouds.

Most plants are surrounded by little stone semi-circular walls that bar the prevailing North-East passage wind. The wine harvest is said to be especially fine. The long summer, though not as hot as on the mainland, becomes ‘winter’ as Lanzarote-vegetation withdraws. There are very few trees and fewer animals. People living in the uniformly white stucco houses obtain their water by conversion from the sea. And yet, there is an indefinable magic.

Why would we find a therapy center here? I went to ask Gabrielle Goetz, cultural coordinator for the attractive and well-visited complex. She told me that in her view the island has special healing forces, experienced by all who have come since the 1980’s, especially those suffering from skin problems, asthma and rheumatism. The founders recognized the island’s beneficial qualities of light, sun and sea and had the vision to create a healing center based on the anthroposophical approach to medicine and therapy. And it is an ideal spot with a medical doctor and therapists, cultural and artistic programs, very comfortable one and two bedroom efficiencies and, happily, biodynamic food nicely presented.

The whole place is versatile and gracious with the only caveat being that German prevails as language, but if you can come reinforced by a few friends it should be fine. Know-ledge of Spanish is a help especially in the little town below the center, gaining you respect over the thousands of sunburned tourists who don’t bother with it. I, of course, not having Spanish embarrassed myself totally by trying to point out to a local storekeeper that the day was nice (as one always does in Ireland whether it is just about to or just after raining). I felt around among my Italian words and then tried “El dio e bueno” to which the storekeeper looked startled and then solemnly nodded his head. Going out I realized I had probably said “God is Good” and that he must have thought me a particularly devout Muslim.

Anyway, full marks to: Centro di Terapia Antroposofica, Calle Salinas 12, E-35510 Puerto del Carmen (Lanzarote) Spain. Phone: 001 34 928 512 842, centrolanzarote@terra.es.

Sophia Christine Murphy is the international correspondent for LILIPOH. She contributes articles and news from her home in Ireland.  

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