Butterfly Park

Osmel Almaguer
Osmel Almaguer

Today I’m going to visit the “Butterfly Park” amusement park for the third time. If I mentioned that to my friends, the only reaction I would probably get would be inquisitive or doubtful looks.

However, if I said “I’m going to Lenin Park,” the reactions would be just the opposite. That’s because the park was almost completely renovated a little while ago, and with it came a new name, as if they wanted to erase something more than a mountain of old rides. So now they call it Butterfly Park although it would be very difficult for a visitor to find an actual butterfly there.

The times are past when such facilities carried the names of local or foreign heroes. The new name seems more appropriate for an amusement park.

Today I hope to have the luck of finding the roller coaster functioning, since it wasn’t on either of the other occasions. If it’s not because they’re doing maintenance, then it’s because there aren’t enough people that want to use it and since it consumes so much electricity it’s not profitable to run it.

Nonetheless, like almost all the visitors, I have to cross almost half of the city to get there and then find out that the most attractive rides aren’t functioning. There are three parks with these characteristics, all at extreme ends of the capital. These are times in which there is a growing shortage of places to have a good time, which helps us recuperate from the week of work. So I decided to take the chance.

Despite the difficulties, we enjoy ourselves there, although it’s not a completely satisfying experience. It also costs a lot of money. If you go on ten rides, including repeating the most attractive ones in service, it would cost 60 pesos. If I decide to buy something or other to eat, that would be 20 pesos more, making a total of 80 pesos. For me, as someone who makes 355 pesos a month, that would be 22.5 percent of my salary. And this doesn’t take into consideration the possibility that I might want to invite someone else, because if I did, there would be no money left to finish the month on.

Could it be that those who baptized the new park, or perhaps just re-baptized the old one, sensed these difficulties and decided not to dishonor the name of the Soviet martyr with a place of so many limitations?  There are many things that I have to say when I get the opportunity, but as always, I get a lump in my throat.



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Central Park and the Capitolio, Havana, Cuba.  By Gloria Alpizar (USA).  Camera: iPhone XS Max

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