8 December, 2021

Radio26.Cu – Matanzas, Cuba

The Radio Station of your Heart from Matanzas, Cuba

La Roca: an effluvium of homesickness.

It is pouring rain. Sad creaks the wood of its doors. The water seeps through them like unbridled tears. The wind blows through their windows. Plants, mice, bats… they battle for control, while mold, audacious, engulfs the walls. An old man with an umbrella stops , breathes agitated, observes it, withered and distressed, he walks away.

Although it is recognized for its vitality and has welcomed the best of local and foreign culture, La Roca cabaret today constitutes another of the facilities of  Pedro Betancourt municipality that succumbs to constructive decay. In 1991 it closed temporarily for renovation work and then continued as a recreation center. However, the imminent deterioration motivated its definitive closure.

The former Lyceum Macuriges had a marked neoclassical style and during the neocolonial Republic it served as a recreational center for the local white elite. (Photo provided by Julián Rogelio Álvarez López, historian of the town).

It is located in the heart of the historic urban center, on Real Street, the main artery of the territory.

It was built in 1920 and inaugurated three years later under the blessing of the then Bishop of Matanzas, Monsignor Severino Saínz.

After the revolutionary triumph, it became the Giraldo Díaz Pérez Workers’ Social Circle and was later renamed as the Ludoteca-Disco-Cabaret La Roca.

The placement of a stone in the courtyard of the installation influenced its designation as La Roca cabaret.

It was the scene for orchestras from Havana, the Miguel Failde, from Matanzas, the ceremony for the patron saint Santa Catalina Mártir, the Flower Festival and the Guayaberas Dance.

The roof, rebellious, almost “runs into” the  pavement.

After the remodeling, it functioned as a youth disco and space for danzón, graduation celebrations, plenaries and assemblies.

The  history is piled up amid wooden rubble.

Calm and merciless  the grass discolors the walls.


Hope flourishes before the doors of eternal sleep.

The destruction appears in the balcony of La Roca.

Desolation runs serenely through a rickety window.

Time strikes him vigorously and its last breath exhales.

Original by Yadiel Barbón Salgado journalism student.