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Verbenas de Güirabito, Living History in Holguín’s Identity

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guirabito 1Photos: By the author.
The Verbenas de Güirabito, held every year with the arrival of the spring season, took place in the site where the first population settlement laid the foundations of the city of Holguin, founded as a town about three centuries ago.
The festival, which emerged as a community project for the rescue of cultural traditions and the conservation of archaeological heritage, has as its central axis the knowledge about agriculture, besides promoting good life practices and the protection of environment.

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In the celebration, a group of community members brought to life the legend that recreates how the Indian Güirabito came to these lands and his skills in the production of food, which allowed him to become a cacique and conquer the passion of his beloved.

Maikel Cruz Gonzalez, cultural promoter of the community and "cacique" of the tribe told the Cuban News Agency that they expect each year to gain in participation and effectiveness of their message of respect for the nature.

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For this, he said, every year we sow the güira tree and try to return to the origins as our aborigines did, asking in front of their gods for good harvests as an omen of prosperity.

Promoted by the Credit and Services Cooperative (CCS) Pedro Rogena Camayd, to the south of the city of Holguin, this social project intends to raise awareness about the respect and protection of El Yayal, considered one of the archaeological sites of transculturation in Cuba.

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The festival gathers the different artistic expressions in the community along with folkloric traditions such as the horse-riding and popular music performed by local bands.

The event also includes dishes of Creole cuisine, such as the ajiaco criollo, which also marks an important moment in the celebration of the festival, where this food is cooked in large cooking pots to be given to all who arrive at the celebration.

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The Verbenas de Güirabito and the arrival of spring season as a prophecy of good harvests will be the date to celebrate, together with the legacy of history, the most immediate achievements of the present, from a demarcation considered the genesis of Holguin identity.

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