María La Gorda among legends that do not die

María La Gorda among legends that do not die

Heritage & Traditions

By Alina Veranes

The current María la Gorda International Diving Center, nestled in the wild Guanahacabibes peninsula (Biosphere Reserve), in Pinar del Río, despite its current charms and attractions, still lives under the spell of a huge number of legends born there, in the fiery times of piracy and filibustering.

The point is that the environment currently has the homonymous beach and comfortable tourist establishments, which provide bathing, sport fishing, contemplative diving and ecological hiking, among other benefits. It has about 60 points that give access to spectacular seabeds, due to the conservation and color of its coral reefs, all very close to the pier.

Those who claim there really was a certain María La Gorda handle two versions about her indistinctly. Some claim that she was a Venezuelan native brought by force and raped by the crew of a Spanish galleon. Others say that she was the daughter of a Spanish officer, with large breasts, who was dedicated to the transfer of food to offer to the sailors, along with the lucrative business of prostitution.

Everything remains in the popular imagination as there is no documentary evidence of those primitive, wild and hectic days. Many comment there are descendants of famous pirates or not, among the current inhabitants of the area, because the geographical location of the peninsula and the secluded beach were a safe and sheltered refuge for them.

There are some material ruins of crops surrounded by ruinous stone fences, where pirate captives were said to work. We could tell many more tales of the mythical María La Gorda, but in our opinion the best thing nowadays is the offer of excellent vacations, in a wonderful environment, that she offers to visitors.

Internationally recognized contemplative and scientific diving courses are also taught there. The marine and terrestrial landscapes and their rich ecosystems are the closest thing to Eden, here on earth, while they boil like formidable laboratories where wildlife quickly recovers, when due to meteorological circumstances they face storms or hurricanes. On such occasions tourists are very well guarded.

Oh, and there is no doubt that after the rigors of the pandemic, this Cuban enclave will more than recover.