Radio26.Cu – Matanzas, Cuba


When the Fair flows like San Juan River.

Tamara Caridad Mesa González 10 marzo, 2019

Like the San Juan River, the Fair flows, in a parallel course, a torrent of books and people who embellish that piece of city re-conquered for all: the Narváez street promenade.

But, “how did we not do the Book Fair before here?!” One wonders half a second before remembering that this street was until very recently a mere ruin before resembling a gray, cobbled ribbon that accentuates the curves to the water stream.

I never tire of repeating that this is not, not yet, one of the most beautiful corners of Matanzas, the neoclassical city of Cuba, that of bridges and poets, but it deserves to be.

Music, which is an accomplice and not a protagonist, sounds in the background; the wind sets in motion the pages of the books and the loose hair of the women, perhaps twice as radiant; the sun burns without haste and without pause and it shines in everything because it makes a splendid afternoon to enjoy the beach of Varadero … and nevertheless the people are to the side of the San Juan hunting books.

Everyone looks at everything as if it were new and almost seems to be born just this centennial corner to which we forgot to put their share of love for too long. It is pure joy to see how the Matanzas makes it their own again; they place it on their agenda, on their mental map, on their route, on their list of worthwhile things.

Restless children as schools of tropical fish sneak through any space between the human tide of all possible colors surrounding the warm carp in this March with summer ahead. The artists are everywhere, like an army of crazy and irreverent ants / surgeons trying to sew the wounds of the second largest Historical Center in Cuba.


Everybody comes to Narváez today, looking for books to go, food à la carte, art with or without labels, wind between sweet and salty. Some enter directly into the Grotto of San Juan and put on their 3D glasses to visit some of the most wonderful and remote landscapes of a Cuba that they did not think possible.

Oblivious to the unusual city jelengue, a pelican plummets from the blue sky to the green current of the San Juan, then rocking while savoring its prey.

Many legs hang from the cement jetty, swinging a few centimeters from the still water where occasionally passes a fishing boat that returns from the bay of Guanima. Narvaez comes those who read and those who do not. Some just want to pull their cable to the ground, eat something, quench their thirst, pause, steal a kiss, and escape to another time or to another world through the door of a book.






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