Evaristo’s ‘farm’, emergency point for animals affected by the La Palma Volcano

A few days ago he hit midmorning running after five pigs in a banana tree on the Camino de los Barretos (Los Llanos de Aridane). Each one weighed more than 100 kilos and the pigs gave more war than the three he collected 48 hours after another herd from La Laguna. “The pig was bigger (about 150 kilos), but we took advantage of the fact that he got into the goro and gave us no more struggle,” he says. Evaristo de la Rosa (1972, Santa Cruz de Tenerife) on the latest rescue operations carried out since the beginning of the Tajogaite eruption.

In Evaristo’s family there is no history associated with veterinary medicine, although there is with livestock. His mother’s parents had animals in La Victoria de Acentejo and his father’s in El Rosario. The union of these originated an agricultural exploitation in La Laguna and when Evaristo finished the institute, and approved the selectivity, he went to Las Palmas de Gran Canaria to begin his Veterinary studies.

Back on his home island, he specialized for nine years in the care of herds of goats, but the thing was not to shoot rockets and he began to handle the possibility of looking for the future far from home. «I am in love with La Palma, They asked me to work with cattle and in Tenerife there weren’t many opportunities for the future ”, De la Rosa lists when it comes to talking about the reasons that he took into account when deciding to settle on the Isla Bonita.

Tiring days

Evaristo answers our call road to Puntagorda. From there is the family of his wife, Rosmania, the mother of a 16-month-old baby who “loves” all the animals. “I do not know if he will be a veterinarian or not, but he likes to be with them”, he abbreviated before talking about the farm that has been forming in the El Paso Fairgrounds since last September 19, the day the land was opened on the top of Tajogaite. He and other members of the La Palma Livestock Health Defense Association have participated in more than a dozen rescues.

Two donkeys, eighteen pigs, between 130 and 140 goats and sheep and chickens, ducks and turkeys galore are being cared for by an army of volunteers at the facilities located in El Barrial. “There are animals of evicted neighbors who have not been able to find another place to leave them, animals that we collected, animals of people who had to leave their homes and have no means to keep them …”, summarizes the veterinarian about the reasons that They have been shaping the cattle census of the El Paso Fairgrounds.

Evaristo has become a kind of Swiss army knife, a multipurpose veterinarian who, when he is not involved in a cattle evacuation maneuver, runs out of time at the emergency point that has been set up in El Paso. There he monitors the animals’ health status daily, administers the necessary medications. He feeds them (some owners take over this task to spend time with them) and even does the milking work. «This is a without living, here there is no truce. The working hours are exhausting, ”says Evaristo de la Rosa.

A rescue operation

Exclusion zones

Process permits

  • A livestock rescue operation begins with the processing of permits to access the exclusion zones.


Find a vehicle

  • Once the exact number of animals to be saved is known, the right vehicle is searched for each need.


Regrouping and loading

  • Already at the point marked by the neighbor requesting the services, the regrouping and loading of the animals begins.


Farms or Fairgrounds

  • Some neighbors have a point where they can take their cattle, but if it doesn’t exist, the El Paso Fairgrounds are used as an alternative.


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