By Osmel Ramirez Alvarez
HAVANA TIMES – Going to the beach in the summer is inevitable when you have children. If you forget, don’t worry they’ll remind you every day. Children love the sea, the sand, to sunbathe non-stop, and it’s as if they aren’t bothered by the heat or the blinding sun that multiplies in small white rocks.
This past Sunday, I went to Corinthia Beach with my wife and children, a real natural paradise close to where I live in Mayari, but it’s on the border and belongs to another municipality in Holguin: Frank Pais, formerly known as Cayo Mambi. Stretching over 8 km, it has plenty of fine white sand, so much that you have the same sand even dozens of meters inland towards the forest, it seems never-ending.
According to experts, it can hold 16,000 bathers and it is low to medium in depth, going up to 3 meters into the water, you’re still only about a 1.5 meters deep. It’s like it was designed for families to take their children.
Going dozens of meters further, the water level drops again and a coral barrier serves as a breakwater and even protects us from sharks. It’s a very safe beach. There is only about 5-8 meters of sun from the water to the shade of the trees, in front of sparse vegetation, but enough, mostly seagrapes. This is followed by a thicker scrubland like a secondary forest.
Up until two years ago, there were no tourism facilities, it was a completely virgin beach, but then a People’s Campsite began to be built which is partially open, but not for night-stays as electricity still hasn’t been installed, although the posts are up waiting for their cables.
Gaviota LLC has plans of encouraging a tourist destination, expecting 5,000 rooms in the beginning, an international airport in the neighboring area of Nicaro in Mayari, to bring visitors on flights to this potential resort, Saetia island and Ramon de Antilla, which have already opened their first hotel facilities. But even though studies on their environmental impact were carried out over a decade ago, works still haven’t begun.
These works don’t harm us for now, because we won’t be able to access these facilities anyway and our tourism will still be the same as it is now, bringing everything from home and enjoying the water, sand, a moment of relax under a seagrape, our children happily playing and the magic sound of waves crashing one after the other.
Luckily, a neighbor rented a Diana bus for the neighborhood, 140 pesos per person for a return trip, that left from right outside my house and it left me back there. I even took a mattress to rest in the shade with the gentle and cool breeze, especially during the peak hours of sun at noon and the afternoon.
It was a wonderful and different Sunday. We came back and it was still day, because it’s quite close, just an hour away. We were excited to go to the nearest river, to wash off the salt and cool down. We did this and it’s just a 15-minute walk away. We were there for almost two hours in the water, washing everyone’s hair and enjoying the freshwater, which was calm and dark after so many hours in saltwater, with waves and in the sun. A divine contrast.
Our Cuba is super beautiful. I love my country. I wouldn’t want to emigrate ever. But oh the times I’ve been surprised by this idea that runs through every Cuban’s head. I would like to resist.
Further yet, I’d like those responsible for the domestic blockade to move towards a political democracy, economic freedom, and full human rights, to abandon this criminal policy they call “continuity” and to give us hope again of a Better Cuba: to let the change Cuba needs happen. If only! Because this beautiful country deserves to get out of this hellish predicament.