Today I go west, trying to find Las Guanas Sendero, which I
eventually dp but not until I ride maybe ½ mile beyond it. I turned around and
headed back, finally reaching the park.
$3 pesos later, I took the wonderfully self-guided trail,
reading all the signs, and exploring the woods as well as the ancient cave. I will attach pictures here and explain more when I get somewhere I can attach pictures!
There are two lovely womyn again who work at the park: one
works the concession stand and collects the entrance fee for the park path (sendero)
and the other is like a ranger. We talk for probably way over an hour, in the shade with a nice cool breeze, and I’m getting better at asking
about fear and government.
I tell Lourdes directly that I’m asking because I know a
Cuban American who claims this. She laughed and said that he is getting paid to
say these things that are not true – because he wants to have the things that
we have in the u.s. he has to believe these things. He might not be getting
paid directly to say lies about Cuba, but he’s getting paid in some way.
She went on to say that it is true, that Cubans don’t get
much money. She is lucky she has this job but even so, she makes little. But she
doesn’t pay any rent for her home, she (and all Cubans) get a certain amount of
food every month, she has free health care and she’s gone to school many years
for free. She says she pays taxes but it is so little it is not worth
Neither of these womyn talk about a spouse nor do they ask
me about a spouse. It is so interesting. One womon does say that she has a
sister who has two children, but that’s it.
We talk over the dangers of more people from the U.S. coming
to Cuba and Lourdes says they discuss this as a community once a week, every
week. I’m fascinated. She tells me there are community meetings where people
hash out problems, bring up ideas, and basically check in with each other – if I
Lourdes speaks more English than I do Spanish so she again
ends up correcting my Spanish and translating for her friend. Several men
appear but they sit behind us and rarely say anything. It is very interesting.
Before I leave, I go to the other side of the park where it
is advertised for $50 you can “swim with the dolphins”. I’m thinking that they
take folks out on a boat and then you jump in the water if or when you spot
dolphins. I’m horrified to see 3 small wire fence cages cordoning off tiny
spaces in the ocean less than half the size of a half a basketball court where I
see at least one dark grey dolphin swimming.
I go back up the path to retrieve my bike and express my
dismay to the womyn and men still sitting there discussing plastic and war – I had
told them about the 1,500 plastic bottles a SECOND we use in this country, and
the wars we’ve embarked on to ensure the ‘free flow of oil’ into our industries.
I let them know how stricken I was, that dolphins need to be free.
That’s how I left today to return to the hotel.