Cuba: even in the days of Covid-19, young people from the world travel to heaven (+ Photos)

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By Lázaro David Najarro Pujol / Collaborator.

May, 2020.- The eastern Cuban city of Holguín is characterized by symbolic sites, among which is La Loma de la Cruz, located 261 meters above sea level, where thousands of young people from around the world traditionally converge in the May Pilgrimages. (from 2 to 8 of the fifth month of the year), but this time, for the Covid-19 it will be through social networks.

The staircase (takes its name from a wooden cross that exists on its top), constitutes one of the main attractions of the inhabitants of that region.

Alexis Triana, one of the defenders of the May Pilgrimage project, affirms that Oscar Albanés Carballo, president of the Catholic Knights was the promoter of building “a staircase that would allow the pilgrimage of the Cross to be developed in all its splendor.

The engineering project was carried out by Vicente Bosca and included not only the staircase, but a set of works consisting of a chapel, roundabout, viewpoints and the reconstruction of the fort ”.

Triana points out that despite the importance of the work, the City Council never provided the expected budget.

Hence, the money for its execution was collected by Albanés through tombolas and festivals, as well as the labor, which had the help of the group of explorers that he directed, who carried the construction materials on their shoulders or on the back of mules.

It specifies that the work took 23 years, from January 28, 1927 to May 3, 1950, amid the laziness of the rulers of the time.

The staircase became at that time the largest in the world, with 458 steps, as it predates that of the Corcovado Christ, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

In the site other beliefs of the religious syncretism of the island are manifested: on its top there lives, according to Triana, an Abatalá, a Yoruba divinity, represented by the Virgen de las Mercedes; However, he details, it is not usual to perform this rite in Holguín.

The investigations also reveal that the Ax of Holguín, a ceremonial exponent of the agro-pottery groups in the region, was found in 1860 by an officer of the Spanish Army in the surroundings of Loma de la Cruz.

And according to Alexis Triana, the province is the one with the greatest archaeological finds in Cuba and he recognized that it is the only event that is born in Holguín. Every May 3 there is a pilgrimage to the Loma de la Cruz (protective symbol for many, deposit of promises or original ornament for others), carrying the Taina ax and an immense Flag. (Author’s photos).(Translated by Linet Acuña Quilez)

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