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Monday, March 14, 2016

Pichardo Cave: Latin American Natural Treasure



Camagüey, Mar 14.- Pichardo Cave, located in the Cerro Limones-Tuabaquey, protected area belonging to the municipality of Sierra de Cubitas, has valuable pictographs preserved in a wonderful scenery between natural rooms and trees that grow on rocks.

Along with the physicist and French archaeologist Léo Dubal, we visited this world heritage through a footpath of dense vegetation.

According to Yudiel Alarcón, guide of the place, the cave honors the memory of Camagüey´s prestigious archaeologist Felipe Pichardo Moya (1892-1957).  

The cavern, approximately 30 kilometers to the northwest of the city of Camagüey, was used by the aboriginal Tainos as a ceremonial place to adore their gods, to evoke spirituality and probably for the celebration of the solar calendar.

“The aborigines lived close to the coasts, but they moved to the cavities of Sierra de Cubitas to hold their rituals reflected in pictographs on the walls of the cave”, says the young man.

The French investigator recounted that he knew about the existence of the cavern through the references written by Antonio Núñez Jiménez in his book “Cuba: Dibujos Rupestres” (“Cuba: Cave Paintings”), at the time that he admitted the conservation state of the pictographs of the Pichardo Cave.

“It is surprising to observe them, to go over the gallery and to caress you’re your hands its walls. It is a dream realized”, added Dubal.

The president of the Foundation Antonio Núñez Jiménez of the Nature and the Man, in this province, Eduardo Labrada, explains that the cavity is horizontal and has two galleries that are opened in branches, so from a geomorphologic point of view, it is distinguished for being at the higher level than the other caves in the province of Camagüey.

The cave paintings realized by the aborigines in the Pichardo Cave were the first registered ones in the 20th century in Cuba and in the universal scope, well before the well-known paintings of the Altamira Cave in Spain.

The ecological reserve Limones-Tuabaquey as a whole covers an area of 19,6 square kilometers, of which approximately 123 hectares are dedicated to the public use to show one of the most visited natural treasures in this province.(Lázaro David Najarro Pujol)