14ymedio, Havana, 3 January 2017 – The flag that waves in the breeze or a cloudless sunrise on the first day of January, are seen by the people of Santiago as good omens for the year to some. But Norma Santiesteban, 77, has her own source of prognostication. The mango bush in her backyard is bearing fruits that, only in 2017, arrived outside the season, which is usually limited to the summer.
Cuban peasants have woven a thousand and one rural myths around mangoes. When the trees are loaded with flowers, the aged prophesy that it will be a year “with little food.” On the other hand, if in April the branches are bent under the weight of dozens of small fruits, then the guajiros smile and predict economic abundance for their fields.
Norma, born on La Fortuna Farm in the Sierra Maestra, still does not know how to interpret the whims of her backyard. At the moment she has begun to pick some mangoes, although they are still green, for fear that “the children of the neighborhood” will climb the tree to grab them.
With the alarming situation facing the Cuban economy and the somber forecasts announced in the National Assembly, Norma is taking advantage of the sudden whims of nature that has brought her mangoes in January.