Baracoa always celebrates

Baracoa always celebrates

Heritage & Traditions

By Alina Veranes

Last August, the 511th anniversary of the founding of Baracoa was celebrated with great joy, in the eastern end of the country, a special city with the attribute of being the first founded by the Spanish colonization on the 15th of that month in the Year of the Lord of 1511 and that it served briefly as the capital of Cuba.

 

But the people of Baracoa generally enjoy living so much that they put everything into guaranteeing its most important celebrations, as when celebrating life itself in every moment, enriched by the gifts of the splendid nature that surrounds them, and its rich traditions, history and culture.

It was not always like this, because when in 1518 it ceded the condition of capital to Santiago de Cuba, already It was quite uninhabited and since then, a decline that lasted centuries for her and her natives, until the arrival of the changes that occurred in the country from the second half of the twentieth century.

It suffered terrible isolation until 1965, when the spectacular La Farola road was made, which, skirting chasms and crossing mountains, placed it in contact, safer and by land, with the rest of the country and the world.

Also called Ciudad Paraíso (Paradise City), the label refers more to the environment surrounding the area, a land of tropical greenery, abundant waters and forests that without exaggeration reminds or evokes the idea we have of a real jungle, something unique in the Cuban landscape.

In the Church of Our Lady of the Assumption of Baracoa the famous Cross of the Parra, they say was the first of the 29 planted by Christopher Columbus in America during his first trips and the only surviving science-proven authenticity of the so-called Conquest.

With a cuisine based on typical dishes made mostly from fruits organically grown, fish and shellfish, the exquisite coconut cones, a treat as popular there as chocolate, another local product, where the main cocoa plantations are in Cuba.

No one can leave without admiring or climbing the beautiful Yunque de Baracoa, a rare jagged plateau in the landscape of its active horseshoe bay. Its friendly and cheerful inhabitants have the "good nature" of people who enjoy its musical culture, with the guateques and the  autochthonous dances, deserve a separate chapter.

It will be another day, friends.