In the verdant expanses of Cuba's Ciego de Avila province, a new chapter in the island's rich ecological and cultural history was celebrated on November 26. The community gathered, not just to observe the National Day of the Royal Palm, but to pay tribute to a revered figure in the nation's cultural sphere, Armando Hart D'avalos, the Honorary President of the José Martí Cultural Society, who passed away on the same date in 2017. By planting a specimen of the Royal Palm in the Martiano forest, the community celebrated their natural heritage and honored a key part of their cultural legacy.
Planting Roots, Preserving Legacy
The event extended beyond the planting of the Royal Palm, with a cedar sapling also taking root in honor of the Commander in Chief Fidel Castro. The inspiration for this act was drawn from the book 'Todo el tiempo de los cedros' by journalist Katiuska Blanco, known for her work as Fidel's biographer. The planting was a poignant reminder of the deep popular roots and perseverance symbolized by the cedar, and its significance within the Cuban narrative.
Among those who attended the event were Odalys Sánchez Méndez, president of the cultural society; Rolando Maché Jaminson, president of the Association of Combatants of the Cuban Revolution; and representatives from the Union of Cuban Journalists and the University Student Federation. The gathering not only celebrated the natural beauty of the Royal Palm and cedar but also underscored the importance of shared cultural and historical narratives.
The Symbolism of Trees
During the event, Sánchez underscored the symbolic importance of both the Royal Palm and cedar. The Royal Palm, she explained, stands as a representation of Cuban beauty, nobility, dignity, and national identity. The cedar, on the other hand, is synonymous with deep popular roots and perseverance. The Martiano forest area, a lush testament to Cuba's natural splendor, also features a garden and orchard dedicated to Cuban National Hero José Martí, with 46 of the 51 trees mentioned in his campaign diary currently planted there.