By Natalí Peguero Díaz
A teacher showed us very old photos of my town. None of us could recognize the majority of the places in them, although most were the most central of the town. Images of buildings such as la Casa de la Tertulia, the old wooden mansion that served for a long time as a school, stores and private businesses (as many as two or three in a single block), and the park with its gazebo that the grandparents miss so much.
Someone was impressed with the quantity of goods in a store, and the professor, one of those people who has a justification for everything, said yes, there were many things but they weren’t for everyone, those were bad times because the money didn’t stretch far enough to eat, but thanks to the Revolution everything changes. It’s true. Everything changed.
Today my town doesn’t shine as it once did. La casa de La Tertulia changed its name, and now sports a large sign that says, “in danger of collapse,” and all that is left of the old wooden house is the floor and an enormous vacant space that has been turned into a trash dump. Some of the old stores remain, of course, but only the old building, there’s no longer anything in them for anyone.
When I am a grandmother, I will also show the photos that I am taking now of my San Cristóbal and when my grandchildren ask, I will also tell them that things were bad.
San Cristóbal, Pinar del Río. b. 1992
January 20 2011