Episode 1. Pepe: dedication and commerce

Pepe has been working since he was 10 years old, the age at which he started coming to Arucas from the neighbourhood of Vegueta where he was born. He used to put up his clothes stall in the Plaza de Arucas at the weekends. He is now retired and likes to spend his free time with two of his four sons who now run the shop Pepe, the ‘Arab’ which he opened 45 years ago in Calle León y Castillo in the historic centre of Arucas.

Pepe is an example of sacrifice, effort and dedication to the traditional commerce in the municipality of Arucas.

The guard, who was on duty at night, would see me under the stall and say to me: ‘Pepillo, why don't you get out of there and stay at the police station?’, I used to say, ‘OK!’ It didn't make any difference to me, and I used to stay on one of the stone benches in the police cells.

I used to write down the names of the customers who owed money in a little notebook. At the end of the month, they would all start paying, well, not everyone, but eventually everybody paid.

The shop of Pepe the ‘Arab’ is not only a reference point for local businesses and the people of Arucas, but also for the visitors and tourists who come to the Town of Flowers. In this particular shop you can find everything, from clothes for a pilgrimage, to a fridge magnet in the shape of the Church of Arucas, which tourists buy as a souvenir.

We would like to thank Pepe and his family for the kindness they have shown us during the making of this report, the same kindness visitors to Arucas will find when they get to know Pepe the ‘Arab’ and his emblematic shop.


Production and direction: Excmo. Ayuntamiento de Arucas (Concejalía de Promoción Económica y Turismo)

Camera: Antonio Domingo Pérez Acosta (Reflejos pro)

Editing: Teresa Armesto (Reflejos pro)

Script and interviews: Epifanio Gómez Navarro y David Cabrera Guillén

Photography: Nacho González Oramas

Assitants: Beatriz Jiménez Jiménez; Carla Castilla Falcón y Yasmina Santana Velasco

Collaboration / Acknowledgments: Radio Arucas, Tienda Pepe el Árabe y Parroquia de San Juan Bautista de Arucas

Funding: Gobierno de Canarias (Consejería de Turismo, Industria y Comercio) y Excmo. Ayuntamiento de Arucas (Concejalía de Promoción Económica y Turismo)