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Slave's Route: History and Legend in Angerona

The scourge of slavery, an essential element during the Spanish colonial period in Latin America, also affected Cuba, due to the need for cheap labor force in the island nation.

Thousands of people were brought by force across the ocean from Africa to the Caribbean Island, where they were exploited in plantations and construction works of different kinds.

The usual destinations for African slaves were coffee farms such as Angerona, located in the territory that is known today as the western province of Havana.

The remains of the living quarters, the slaves' barracks, storehouses, coffee dryers, the watchtower and six huge wells that made up the estate's hydraulic systems are silent witnesses of a period of prosperity.

That infrastructure is regarded as a monumental engineering work and an element of vital importance in the country's agri-industrial heritage from the 19th century.

The huge water deposits were filled by gravity and the water was used to irrigate the fields.

Batá Drums.
Shangó dance.
Yemayá dance.

The estate was built in the early 19th century, a period during which coffee plantations proliferated throughout the island.

According to experts, Angerona, where reality and legend mix, was the most important coffee farm in western Cuba and the second major estate in the country.

Its development began in 1813, when the farm was bought by the German citizen Cornelio Sauchay, who was romantically involved with a black woman.

According to history, Ursula Lambert, from Haiti, found in the plantation the ideal place to hide her relationship with the European landowner, in addition to making great contributions to the development of the area.

In fact, researchers say that Lambert's presence brought prosperity and better living and working conditions for the slaves, who even had access to medical care.

People who visited the place and the remains of the estate highlight the marble sculpture of goddess Artemisia, the ruins of the living quarters, the underground facilities that were used as a hospital for the slaves and the watchtower.

The main building was a true exponent of neoclassic style, marked by arches and columns in the façade, which was adjusted to the characteristics of the place, in addition to verandas and railings.

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