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El Gordo de Navidad Joy for La Palma
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El Gordo de Navidad Joy for La Palma

2021 hasn’t been a great year for La Palma in the Canary Islands. It’s had a happy ending though with €400,000 won in the El Gordo de Navidad.

Tourism is important to La Palma but that’s been hit badly this year. The ongoing coronavirus pandemic was bad enough but then it got worse for the island. The Cumbre Viejavolcano erupted in mid-September, and it carried on doing so for three months hitting tourism even more.

Now there’s been some much-needed joy. The El Gordo de Navidad draw was held on December 22 and two local kiosks on La Palma sold winning tickets.

Really needed

The €400,000 won may not be the top prize in the draw but kiosk owner Ricardo Cobiella was delighted. His kiosk sold €200,000 worth of El Gordo de Navidad prizes. He said “We really needed this. People here were in need of a bit of good news.”

Just who has been lucky enough to win isn’t yet known. Mr Cobiellia hopes it is someone from the island but has a message for any winner not from La Palma. “Come to La Palma and spend the money here because we need people to invest in the island’s economic recovery,” said the kiosk owner.

Nearly 3,000 buildings on the island were swallowed up by the ash and lava that came out of the volcano. The banana plantations that are so important to La Palma have been destroyed and thousands of people have had to leave their home.

It was only last week that the seismic activity finally ended. Now there’s lots of work to be done rebuilding areas affected by the eruptions. Hopefully, this El Gordo de Navidad win will help some of the stricken islanders.

More good news on the way?

Perhaps the island will have even more luck in early January. That’s when the El Niño draw takes place on January 6. Maybe the El Gordo de Navidad success was just the start of more good news for the island of La Palma.

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