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Cayo Brujas and the irresistible charms

Published: 2018.02.13 - 17:08:19   /  /  Laura Barrera Jerez  /  translated by  Luis E. Amador Dominguez  /

In the Jardines del Rey archipelago, north of the central region of Cuba, an island of 6.69 square kilometers reserves incredible landscapes. There we will find lagoons, mangrove forests and four paradisiacal beaches of blue-green waters: Las Brujas, La Salina, Caracol (also known as Manteca) and Punta San Agustín. The largest of them measures just over two kilometers in length, the smallest, only a dozen meters.

That key is a place blessed by nature, there is no doubt. And as if such privileges were not enough, the popular imagination has been responsible for bringing greater relevance.

A slender and vigilant feminine sculpture welcomes all visitors. It is the first indication that there the legends of love and sorcery, along with the wonderful landscapes, will mark the lives of those who disembark in the place.

They say that at the time of the colony, one of the many fishermen who made a living in that sea lived with his family in the key. His daughter, in the prime of her life and with the charming beauty that corresponds to that age, fell in love with a man who lived on a neighboring island.

The girl's father opposed the relationship from the beginning. Even so, the lovers looked for alternatives to pursue their love. They began to meet in a hidden mountain where they could have the privacy they needed. There they consummated their desires and mocked social misunderstandings.

To reinforce their security and prevent someone from visiting those places and discovering them, they spread rumors about ghosts and dark noises that came from the place where, hidden from the world, they were happy.

That is why, when someone happened to see the beautiful young woman enter the forest, they associated her with a witch. That unexpected event did not affect the lovers, but according to the legend, her brothers began to suspect, investigated, discovered everything and intoxicated the boyfriend so that he would be absent at the next meeting. The young lover, when he woke up, only saw before him a brief appearance that vanished quickly. From then on he began to look for his beloved maiden, but no one else ever saw her.

As they say, his sad spirit, for the supposed abandonment of the groom, was in the hands of the witches. From its history comes the name of the key and to perpetuate the legend, a slender figure of a woman receives visitors as a protective symbol.

As Armando Paz Pineda said, in an article published in La Jiribilla Magazine, the sorceresses who lived in that place always had a maternal instinct: "They lived in a castle located on top of a cliff, really a wonder, because from there, over the most whimsical shades of green and blue, the witches watched over the fishermen, making the best fish bite the bait, the best winds will propel the sails and the worst storms will go away for the good of all."

So this Cayo owes the witches, more than the name, the benevolent breath that mixes with the sea breeze. Who can resist so many charms together?

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