Casilda Bay, Trinidad, Cuba

Dec 25, 2017 - Harmony V

This morning we woke up in Casilda Bay en route to the port city of Trinidad. Reaching the center of Trinidad by bus, we visited the office of the city architect, where we had a presentation on the history and development of the city. Afterward, we walked towards the city center where the main plaza is surrounded by historical buildings of major importance such as the cathedral and various homes of prominent sugar cane barons of the 18th and 19th century. These homes have been turned into museums. 

Next we visited the studio of Lazaro Niebla, a young sculptor with a particular woodcarving style that focuses on creating portraits of the older members of society in Trinidad. Afterward, we continued to the local Santeria house where we interacted with a priest who devotes his life to Yemaya, the Santeria saint of water. We then spent time interacting with local townspeople and shopkeepers.

Lunch was held at Guitarra Mia, where paella was served by the friendly staff. After lunch, we headed by bus to the Valle de los Ingenios, where more than 38 sugar mill plantations once engaged in the world’s largest sugar production during the 18th and 19th centuries. Here, we enjoyed a walking tour of Guimaro plantation and learned about the extraordinary family who owned and operated the plantation. 

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About the Author

Fabio Amador

Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

Fabio (Fe) Amador is a Senior Program Officer for the National Geographic Society/Waitt Grants Program, which is dedicated to funding exploratory research around the world. He has traveled and worked extensively throughout Latin America and is presently collaborating with research projects in Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, Peru, El Salvador, and Madagascar. He has also traveled regularly to Cuba over the past five years on educational and scientific missions for National Geographic. As a trained archaeologist, his interest in Taino Indian culture (which spanned the Greater Antilles, including Cuba) is focused on the sacred landscape and the use of caves for ritual activity. In his role at National Geographic, Fabio uses imaging and visualization technologies to provide new ways of capturing data and to document the experience of conducting research and exploration. His initiative in supporting worldwide research has resulted in a workshop titled The Art of Communicating Science. This capacity building initiative is aimed at students, scholars, explorers, government agencies, and stewards of the cultural and natural patrimony, so that they can be trained in how to develop, design and use imaging technology to document, protect, and communicate the importance of their heritage through exploration, discovery, and storytelling. Fe's continued effort in communicating science has allowed him to use photography, cinematography, and other multimedia tools to reach large audiences through his public lectures at universities, presentations at international scientific and professional symposia, publications in scholarly journals and on National Geographic’s Explorers Journal and NatGeo News Watch online blogs.

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