Torrevieja Outlook is an electronic magazine with an English speaking readership. Most people are aware of the problems that occur when immigrants fail to integrate because of language, or knowledge of traditions, customs and history. Spain is a country rich in all these aspects of living abroad. Why an emag? The internet is the obvious way of future communication, it can provide a wider readership than printed copies and it is relatively free from costs, something very close to Scottish born Andy Ormiston, whose idea it is. The magazine uses Apple’s Pages for design and layout, putting it into PDF format and ISSU system to convert it into book format of turning pages.
The magazine aims to assist integration and promote solidarity, using photos relevant to articles about fiestas, history and gastronomy, personages in Torrevieja specifically, but with an Outlook reaching other places on the Costa Blanca and Costa Cálida, and elsewhere in Spain. This idea is based on the premise that knowledge is power, and English users need to have the power to communicate sensibly with Spaniards at an intelligent level if they are to integrate fully in the marvellous Spanish lifestyle and enjoy a fuller life – and be respected.
Torrevieja is a multicultural town of over 120 nationalities, so is a perfect example of the rich local traditions and culture that have been enlarged and enhanced by the many Spaniards from other Regions, plus by the influence of so many customs and celebrations of other nationalities. These combinations have resulted in a spectacular growth in cultural groups; examples being a Madrid choir with a Russian musical director, or an English flamenco dancer with his own troupe. Several of the foreign groups have won the admiration of the Spanish, especially with the solidarity of local needs. As a tourist town Torrevieja also holds several international events using its many concert halls, exhibition centres and expertise of dozens of clubs and associations. A large part of the town is composed of retirees who have a huge pool of experience in all walks of life and the magazine intends to demonstrate this throughout the year.
Torrevieja Outlook is a tool to explore Spanish culture and history alongside the introduction of so many foreign influences making Torrevieja a prism of Europe, reflecting the many colours of this continent as well as the bright cultures from other continents.
It does not intend to paint Spain with rose tinted glasses, because there are faults and problems, but the more we are aware of them, we can deal with them without any shades of xenophobia. History has so many lessons to teach us, which is why there is an emphasis in articles on the past whose experiences should make us look forward with hope and the intention not to repeat those mistakes.
An important aspect is looking forward and, whenever possible, the magazine provides advance information about upcoming fiestas and cultural events. The intention is to be a source of information for those who are residents or second homeowners, that Holidays and leisure time can be planned and enjoyed fully.
One early criticism of the magazine contents is that there is too much religion, but it is difficult to talk about Spanish fiestas without examining their origins. The writers have no desire to be controversial, but to offer a positive look at Spain and what she has to offer. There is no advertising apart from occasional unsolicited business profiles.
The person behind the project is Andy Ormiston who has lived with his family in Spain for almost thirty years. In those years he has sold properties, provided after sales care, spent hours at airports with car rental companies, set up a solar energy company, sold newspaper advertising and written numerous columns and articles. His first job in Spain was to write a monthly Newsletter for houseowners and potential buyers for a well known property agent, but he was so good with people he ended up on the sales team. The idea of a news vehicle arrived later when he was main writer for the first local English language monthly newspaper, then another large property company offered him the opportunity to extend himself to a monthly magazine published in four languages, which he did until his official retirement, although he maintains he retired thirty years ago. These various job experiences meant he had to travel extensively in Valencia and Murcia Regions.
On retirement, after a serious illness, Andy published a history book, “Torrevieja Cameos”, about Torrevieja’s early history within a Spanish context until the disastrous war with U.S.A. that ended the Spanish Empire. He would like to follow this up with a second book about the town in the 20th century Spain. He is a great believer in putting something back into the general community, especially showing solidarity with those who have special needs.
Much of his free time was devoted to organising cultural events that helped integrate foreigners, particularly English language, into the town. Another integration project was an annual colourful calendar providing dates and information about fiestas and annual cultural events, which was sought after as people could plan holidays in advance to coincide with an event that interested them. The proceeds of the calendar were donated to several local charities. The calendar information is now provided through the pages of this online review magazine Torrevieja Outlook. Andy Ormiston’s activities were recognised by the town hall and he received a gold star pin as European of the Year by the Mayor.
Another medical set back affected his health, which means he is unable to travel much, so this magazine is one of his ways of continuing to participate in the community from an armchair!
The latest issue is here