CubaSi on a Journey: Cajobabo’s Blessing

CubaSi on a Journey: Cajobabo’s Blessing
Fecha de publicación: 
9 November 2022
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In Salustiano's kitchen, they invited us to a tebenque tea. If Martí, recently arrived in Playitas, tasted that tea that the people of Imias prepare with a kind of liana that rises like the sun in Cajobabo, it would have been in Salustiano's other house, where he was an 11-year-old boy when his parents housed Jose Marti.

At the Museum 11 de Abril, located in the house that Fidel ordered to be built for Salustiano, who was no longer a kid in 1976, but an old man in his 90s who had lost already his vision, the plan the Commander in Chief had envisaged worked perfectly.

Some say he came incognito, as if he were a journalist who wanted to interview Salustiano, even in times of that famous statement that seems like a play on words: I am Fidel's brother, because he is General Martí's brother and I am General Martí's brother.

At the house entrance, we are greeted by a replica of the boat in which Martí and Gómez landed in Playitas de Cajobabo and it was made to commemorate the centenary of that event and, inside, several rooms furnished and set just as they were in Salustiano’s life.

Then, the rooms dedicated to the history of Imías, from archaeological finds to a lantern used by the girls and boys who taught literacy in the area.

To get there, we crossed the train line that runs through the Los Cocos community, near the exit of the city of Guantánamo, a point where the Guaso and Bano rivers converge.

From there, we joined the highway that passes through San Antonio del Sur and stopped at Imías. This should have been a two-hours trip, but it takes longer because you want to stop by and get off the bus to enjoy the landscapes: mountains and sea, both being awesome.

The province of Guantánamo has the three types of royal palm that exist in the country and has another twenty or so species of this plant. Much of Cuba's salt is produced in Guantánamo, in the Caimanera and Joa salt flats. It rains little in the southern zone, so the cacti have privileges to survive and the guayacán, a slow-growing species that adapts very well to the climate, is firm and resilient like the people of Imias.

We crossed the town, stopped for a few minutes at Imias beach, and continued on our way to Cajobabo. From the Museum, we walked another section by road and walked on the sand and the bare stones of Cajobabo: black, greenish, terracotta, almost pink and white, some opaque and others shiny, quartz.

The trail is marked with stairs and rustic handrails to the exact spot where historians have marked the landing of Martí and Gómez to join the Necessary War.

Places, like people, have energies. Playitas de Cajobabo has their own. We took some pebbles from there. There were people who even rinsed them in the sea water. I assure you that they served us as an amulet on the long trip back to Havana.

Translated by Sergio A. Paneque Díaz / CubaSí Translation Staff

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