Press release -
Outpouring of support for Puerto Calma owner Marina Starkey over illegal immigrant situation
Since frustrated timeshare owner Marina Starkey poured out her heart to the Timeshare Consumer Association (TCA) recently, other Holiday Club Canarias owners have flocked to support and agree with her.
Lives in danger
Marina has been a contented member of exclusive Canary Island timeshare club, Puerto Calma for 12 years. Marina lives in the UK but travels for 2 or 3 months a year to stay in the little resort overlooking Puerto Rico harbour. During the pandemic, the Holiday Club Canarias (HCC) have allegedly been charging members in full (despite them not being able to use the club), but then selling the the inventory again, this time to the Red Cross to house illegal immigrants.
"This horrified both myself, and the other owners," says Starkey. "Instead of encouraging illegal immigrants to migrate safely and legally, those people are being incentivised to make a dangerous crossing at sea by the reward of luxury accommodation, free food and a new life. People's lives are being endangered so that HCC, it's director Calvin Lucock, and his wife Unn Tove Saetran can make more money by selling something already paid for by the members, and feeding them from the Aqui restaurants."
"Calvin seems to think its ok that these people make the illegal journey, because (as he says): 'They are not born with a European passport so they can’t travel in the same way I can,'" quotes Marina, "whereas us members believe that the authorities are better placed to make decisions about who can travel than Calvin. I mean if a bank won't let me take money out legally, should I then feel at liberty to take it out by any means I see fit? Of course not."
The mainstream media's support of Calvin's actions drove Marina to speak out to the TCA, and when she did other 'marginalised' Puerto Calma owners contacted her in support both by private message and on the Friends of Puerto Calma Facebook page.
"I've been blown away by the positive feedback I have received since the TCA article," confesses Marina. "The mainstream media's kneejerk reaction when illegal immigrants are involved is to immediately take a position against the members, rather than actually speak to us and get our side of the story.
"My inbox hasn't stopped pinging with messages from Puerto Calma members saying that they dared not speak up in case the media portrays them as bigots. This is the trouble. Calvin, Unn Tove and Holiday Club Canarias have successfully positioned themselves as 'champions of the downtrodden'. Anyone daring to disagree that Calvin and his cronies are riding around on unicorns, dispensing charity and love, is subjected to character assassination from journalists who have never spoken to any Puerto Calma members, or been here to see what is going on."
The TCA article was posted on the Facebook page, and immediately messages of encouragement for Marina began peppering the comments section.
The comments universally agree with Marina's take on the situation, praising her for having the courage to speak up.
More problems at Puerto Calma
Members are also reporting in the group that a storage room, used by members to keep summer clothes safe between visits has been broken into, suitcases smashed open and clothes, alcohol and even electronic goods stolen while the illegal immigrants were the only people staying onsite. According to members, this storage room has never been targeted in the past. Members also claim they we were not informed by Puerto Calma staff until they arrived, meaning they then had to go out and buy new clothes for their holidays
Marina herself reports that the pool is being used for washing clothes and personal hygiene. "I really am at the end of my tether. There is nothing 'humanitarian' about Calvin and Unn Tove's actions. It is illegal immigrants being taken advantage of to keep Holiday Club's profit up by selling something that doesn't belong to them, and to keep Unn Tove's restaurants full. I won't stop until we get justice."
Have your say
Are you a Puerto Calma owner, or even a Holiday Club Canarias staff member? Do you agree with Marina and the other members quoted here, or do you agree with Calvin and Unn Tove that they are just trying to help.
If you would like to comment or give another perspective, please email us on email@example.com and we will do our best to give you a platform for your voice to be heard.
If you are a fed up timeshare owner, and want advice on either escaping from your membership or claiming compensation for your club's behaviour, contact us at the Timeshare Consumer Association for free, impartial advice
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