Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Holguin, my beautiful city

People of Holguin feel proud of this eastern province if they recall that it has one of the largest bays and nickel reserves in the world and one of the most relevant indigenous cemeteries of the West Indies.

And that’s not all. A portion of land currently belonging to Holguin made the Conquistador Christopher Columbus say that Cuba was “the most beautiful land” in the universe. Holguin was also the site of the meeting between the Spanish and the natives when the Grand Admiral was introduced to tobacco.

Many people have forgotten that Holguin came to be the first province to reach one million inhabitants or that it has the longest undersea cavern in Cuba, that it has the highest natural waterfalls on the island and one of the most beautiful natural treasures of our times: the natural bridge over the Bitirí River.

It was Fidel and Raúl´s birthplace, this land witnessed the design of the first July 26 Movement armband.

It is the venue of the most important cultural youth event in Cuba known as Romerías de Mayo (May Processions) , as well as of the most relevant international movie festival outside the Havana: the Low Budget Movie Festival.

Holguín has a huge 458 step staircase up the Loma de la Cruz mountain, it also has the second Polynesian restaurant in Cuba, which was inaugurated by the then leader Maurice Bishop, in July, 1983.

Amazing Geography

The huge bay of Nipe, with the towns of Mayarí and Antilla, is 25.9 kms long and 16.8 kms wide; with a capacity of 1,700 million cubic meters of water. These details would seem nothing if we do not recall those stories telling how the Virgin Caridad del Cobre appeared floating there, or that it was the hideaway of infamous pirates like William Hasting; or bloody sharks like Don Pepe, according to legends.

If this geographic accident in Nipe is important, it is also worth mentioning the Guayabo waterfalls, around 200 meters high, located in Pinares de Mayarí. Likewise, it is amazing to see the largest undersea cave located in Tanque Azul, in Gibara, which is three kilometers long.

What about the bridge over Bitirí River, in Cueto, built by the magic hand of Nature! It is near Birán hamlet and has been declared a National Heritage.

It also treasures the Crystal Peak in the eastern part of the province, 1,231 meters over sea level, surrounded by the Cuban flora and fauna.

Another important place is the Wind Farm in Gibara, the largest in Cuba. It has six wind generators 55 meters high and weighing 75 tons.

At the beginning of 20th century, construction workers built the great staircase ending at the wooden cross in Cerro Bayado, which is 261 meters high.

Archaeological explorations done in the Farallones de Seboruco caves, in the Mayarí area, give proof to human activity there six thousand years ago. From that one can say that Seboruco man was the first inhabitant of the current province of Holguín and one of the first in Cuba.

All these historical elements are the basis of Holguin people’s singular identity.

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