Every year the Diputación de Malaga commemorates the Day of the Province on 26 April by presenting a number of medals and awards, and the ceremony is held in a different location each year.
This year it took place at the former Convent of the Carmelitas in Gaucín, which is now a cultural centre. The awards are being presented to Elías Bendodo, the spokesman for the Junta de Andalucía, singer-songwriter María Peláe and chef and entrepreneur Miguel Herrera, as well as Malaga airport and the Liga de Jábegas.
There is also to be an Honorary Mention for the Ukrainian people, who are suffering the consequences of the Russian invasion of their country and the human rights abuses.
The Diputación is awarding Elías Bendodo his gold medal in recognition of his work as the president of the organisation between 2011 and 2019, and for his contribution to projects such as the restoration and reopening of the Caminito del Rey and introducing new attractions such as the Coastal Path and the Great Path of Malaga, and his support for the agricultural sector through the ‘Sabor a Malaga’ brand.
María Peláe is receiving her medal for her career and especially her committed and socially critical lyrics. A press release from the Diputación also referred to her music "with its Andalusian accent and wide-ranging mixture of rhythms".
Miguel Ángel Herrera, who lives in Ronda at present, is a chef and an entrepreneur who has created Rustic Experience Andalucía, a project encompassing six different brands, such as an inclusive cookery school, several restaurants, an agri-food association to boost local products and for helping those most in need.
The Diputación has decided to recognise Malaga airport as one of the economic motors of the province, because it is a major entry point for tourists not only coming to the Costa del Sol but all over Andalucía as well. It handles nearly 85% of all international air traffic in Andalucía and connects the Costa del Sol with over 120 cities in 34 countries. It also employs 8,000 workers.
And finally, since 2010 the Asociación del Remo Tradicional (ART) has been organising a Jábegas League, with 700 men and women competing in 14 regattas in this special type of boat along the Malaga coast. Its aim is to raise awareness among young people of the traditions of jábegas and this sport, and to increase the number of regattas which take place.