The municipality of Tuineje, founded in 1872, covers an area of 276 square kilometres (about 105 square miles), making Tuineje the fourth largest municipality in the island. Thanks to its location, in the southeast of Fuerteventura, it enjoys a benign, cool climate that makes it possible to use the municipality’s resources the whole year round. These resources, together with the area’s cultural attractions and the traditional lifestyle of its inhabitants make this municipality the ideal destination for lovers of nature and ancient customs. The main centres of population are Gran Tarajal, Tarajalejo, Tesejerague and Tuineje.
Tuinejes’ economy is based on tomato agriculture and forage (first island producer) and livestock (goat meat and cheese ). It also has a relevant role the tourism sector. Highlights include the beaches of Gran Tarajal, Tarajalejo, Giniginamar and Las Playitas.
People began to settle in Tuineje shortly after the conquest, including a significant number of Moors.
In 1779 Tuineje became a parish, independent from Betancuria, and at the beginning of the 19th century the Town Council was created, following the abolition of the feudal estates.
History of Tuineje
Tuineje used to be dependant on the municipality of Betancuria until the late eighteenth century. It became a municipality in 1872 thanks to the Cortes of Cadiz. In 1740, during the Anglo-Spanish war, English pirates landed in the village for looting. But despite their disadvantage in weapons, the natives achieve a victory over the invaders. Months later the events replayed with the same result. This battle is known as the Battle of Tamasite or Llano Florido. This victory of natives is commemorated every 13 October with a re-enactment the events.
Today the municipality comprises the villages of Tuineje, Gran Tarajal, Tiscamanita, Las Playitas, Tesejerague, Tarajalejo, Giniginamar, Las Casitas, Juan Gopar and Tequital, all of which contain significant exponents of popular and traditional architecture.
Interesting things to see in Tuineje
Ermita de San Marcos Tiscamanita, from the late seventeenth century.
Ermita de San Jose in Tesejerague: dates from the first half of the eighteenth century.
Lime Kiln in Great Tarajal, built in 1953, is the biggest lime kiln on Fuerteventura.
Particularly noteworthy is the 18th century church of Tuineje – Iglesia de San Miguel Arcángel, dedicated to its patron saint San Miguel, as well as the Sanctuary dedicated to San Marcos Evangelista, which also dates back to the 18th century and was built in Tiscamanita under the sponsorship of Pablo Sánchez de Carmona.
Protected areas shared with other municipalities on the island:
Protected Landscape Malpais Grande: volcanic lava emissions field.
Cuchillos de Vigán Natural Monument: stronghold of endangered species like the Egyptian vulture, the Osprey and the Barbary falcon.
Betancuria Rural Park: Area of high interest for fauna and also a shelter to several endangered birds of prey.
Natural Monument Caldera de Gairía: newly erupting volcanic cone.
Interesting people of Tuineje
Eustaquio Gopar Hernández, one of the Spanish soldiers participating in the Siege of Baler, on his return, he became mayor of the town for several terms.
Manuel Velázquez Cabrera, lawyer and politician, impetus for the island councils.
Saray Ramírez, a former contestant on Operación Triunfo 2006.