The House of Pedro El Cojo
By: Bejomi Photos: Francisco Fernández
It is said that the ﬁrst person who visited the area before the arrival of Columbus in 1492 was the Indian boy named Baconao who was skillful in ﬁshing, swimming and played batos game similar to baseball.
Pedro Espinosa Garcia was born in the same place several centuries after Baconao (who had given his name to the park) but was unfortunate to be diagnosed with poliomyelitis at the age of 10. He survived but his leﬁ leg was badly damaged and left him crippled. As it commonly occurs in Cuba, he was called Pedro "El Cojo" or Pedro "the Lame."
With such a name and being physically disabled, he did not initially have big aspirations in life and so he started to produce charcoal in rudimentary ovens. He spent his leisure time ﬁshing and playing a Cuban instrument called a tres, a guitar with three strings.
He began to play at get-togethers in his home where people enjoyed his barbecued pork skewers and where a lot of rum was consumed.
There were also plates of roasted and fried pork and seafood and these dishes became famous in the region that covers the present ﬁve eastern provinces. All bohemians from the eastem Cuban region knew Pedro El Cojo and he was immortalized by the famous Cuban singer, "Pacho" Alonso, who wrote a song dedicated to him in 1982:
Let's go eat a hog
AtI the House of Pedro El Cojo,
Let's have some yucca with mojo
And have a good time, folks.
When they told me about it
I Just did not believe,
So, they warned me that
There the San is quite spicy.
Let's dance and let's have fun at the House of Pedro el Cojo's.
Famous Pedro died ﬁve years ago but his house, with its white walls and red roof, still welcomes around 60 clients under it and another 80 on the terrace located on the ﬁne sandy beach only 50 metres away.
Many visitors enjoy the specialized Creole menu of today's House of Pedro El Cojo. The menu includes roast and fried pork, pork crackling, seafood, rice and beans, natural juices, typical farmer's desserts, and the specialty of the House, Pedro's pork skewers for I9 Cuban Pesos (about CUC$ 0.75).