Carapachibey lighthouse, guardian of the Cuban southern coast
By Petra Joaquina
The Carapachibey Lighthouse, located south of the Isle of Youth, is one of the highest in Latin America, over 60 meters high.
Made with modern techniques that guarantee its operation in the most difficult atmospheric conditions, it has a structure formed by a circular concrete tower and a lamppost on top of it.
Due to the fury of hurricanes, the lighthouse has undergone several restorations: the first of these dates back to 1944 when “The 1944 infamous hurricane” brought down the then metallic mass. Five years later it was reborn, more vigorous, cylindrical and made of concrete, painted in white and red stripes. With about 27 meters high and incandescent bulbs.
In 1981, work began on the construction of a new lighthouse which was inaugurated in March 1983, also made of concrete, with twice the height of the previous one.
In 2010, it again required the restoration of walls, stairs, railings and columns. In addition, new doors and windows were installed and a new dome was built. Currently, the streetlight that is located inside the lighthouse is equipped with halogen bulbs that emit a much clearer light than the one it diffused when it was inaugurated in the first half of the 20th century.
The light flashes out every 7.5 seconds, and these are visible for 17.5 miles around. Some sailors say that its flashes have been seen up to 27 miles. Due to its geographical position, the Carapachibey Lighthouse is a sign of great help for all sailors who use this important commercial route.
At present, about eight or nine ships each day adhere to the guidance of this lighthouse that does not fail to perform the important service of being the watchman of the night, projecting its shining eye of warning over these dangerous waters.