Being far out in Western Cuba…provides an excellent opportunity to engage in some personal cultural enrichment…but, first….

Restaurante La Ceiba… 🙂

One thing I love…right along with street food…are the road side restaurants out in the provinces….talk about what is authentic 🙂  And, it isn’t even just out of hunger….it is as if the cultural experience requires to absorb the food as well…it is part of it….and so….

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This following experience is particularly interesting to me.  For while we have mentioned a few tidbits about the historical components of Cuba.  We have not mentioned the initial development of its early economy – sugar.  In its early days, Cuba was one of the worlds large producers of Sugar…which means…plantations…which means of course – SLAVES!!  These slaves worked the sugar plantations, but also in the mills and on the ranches.

Leaving Vinales, there is an area called “Palenque de los Cimarrones” – “Fortress/Place of the Runaway Slaves.  As it is said, those who know … know…those who don’t …. don’t….so, I will use less words here…and provide you more of an opportunity to look, feel, and consider….

Coming into the opening….

This is an area….where those maroons/slaves who ran away…sought refuge in these caves and mountains.  Outside, there is a certain light indeed….

But, how much consideration is made for those who must live in the dark….

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Now I’ll just post a series of shots…illuminated by light…but, shows the internal areas of this Palenque….

Reflecting on my own experience of touring the slave castles off the coast of Ghana contained in one of my previous posts…the obvious difference is these are the areas where the Maroons chose to live in order to be free…the slave castles are a different story….

It could be interesting to click on a few of these photos and see if you can feel what it would be like to live in here….during this time….to seek refuge….

So much to absorb…so much to consider…one of the reasons I keep this blog is obviously to share my experiences….but, on a more personal note….

This trip was taken several months ago….writing this blog allows me to relive it …. over and over… so that when the vicissitudes of life come along…I can have a tool to fight the urge to become small….and I can remember….the vastness of these experiences…in other words….I can build my own ‘Palenque’…..

Ahhhh……what waits for me ahead….down this road of life….

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