With the historian Eusebio Leal (1942-2022) always in memory, the Sala Ignacio Cervantes, in the Havana Prado, hosted the closing of the Rutas y Andares summer projectwhich organized by the Office of the City Historian (OHC) once again caught the attention and took girls, boys, adolescents and families out of their homes.
As Katia Cárdenas, director of Cultural Management of the OHC, said at the closing of the program, the Cervantes room served as the venue “given the impossibility of meeting at the Martí theater, where today details are being finalized for its next reopening after the serious damages that suffered in the painful accident at the Saratoga hotel.”
Cárdenas remembered Leal. “Other circumstances have changed the nature of this meeting, each year the families beat the goals of the project to reach the grand prize and participate in the long-awaited meeting with Leal,” he said.
At the same time, he recalled that “for him it was an appointment that could not be postponed, as it was also signing the thousands of diplomas of participants, guides and collaborators with his own hand, an act of authenticity that he always defended. Not even in the most difficult moments of his illness did he accept that his signature be replaced by a stamp or any graphic solution”.
Leal, he said, attached great value to the project, which he himself inspired with his lectures at the amphitheater and later with his program Walking Havana, which taught generations of Cubans the values of their city and the importance of loving and caring for it.” .
Cárdenas recalled the historian’s words about the initiative, who considered that “Rutas y Andares is part of a projection that has to do with the participatory life of citizens in the culture of their country and fundamentally, of Havanans. I believe that we must unite in this campaign for the tidying up of public customs that comes precisely from the enjoyment by all of the knowledge of each thing, of each corner, of each place, which entails an act of respect, enjoyment and of enjoyment”.
When taking a tour of the 2022 edition of this project, which is already 22 years old, the director of Cultural Management highlighted the great call that the Andares had related to facets of Leal’s life, especially Leal, cultural manager, “a tour that marked his conception of culture as the backbone of development and that looked at the main projects he created for the benefit of the resident community”.
On this occasion, the project celebrated the 40th anniversary of the inclusion of the Historic Center of Old Havana and its system of fortifications on the World Heritage List by the United Nations Organization for Education, Science and Culture.
Edition 2022 inside
During July, the main squares were walked; in August, From the hand of architecture professionals, they learned stories about the recovery of heritage in different stagesand essentially, from the granting to the OHC, in 1993, of exceptional powers to act in the territory and seek funds for the restoration work.
Colonial fortresses were toured, they approached challenging projects such as the restoration of the Torreón de Cojímar; and for the first time, the Prince’s Castle received a public visit, which became “true expeditions, which were accompanied by the residents of the communities where these fortresses are located, since, without their involvement, any attempt to save the heritage is impossible.
“We walked many Havanas, that of Martí (José Martí), that of Juan Gualberto (Juan Gualberto Gómez, intellectual, journalist and collaborator of Martí), and that of the rumba in the Jesús María neighborhood, to continue discovering traditions that speak of our identity, as do our museums,” he said.
As Cárdenas explained, the thematic routes that every Tuesday in July and August showed the connections of the museological discourses with that of table services and traditional costumes were the most popular in this modality “which puts us in front of the challenges that still beat the museums to achieve greater communication and convocation to the public”.
As usual, since 2008, some of the proposals incorporated the interpretation service for deaf people, together with the project Culture in the handsmeanwhile, the Directorate of Documentary Heritage and its team designed four tours of the libraries, engraving, photography and eight virtual walks, which arouse the interest of all audiences, beyond the elderly for whom it was initially conceived.
Research accompanying the project showed that the highest levels of participation of the 38 virtual walks were those of documentary heritage, the Casa de las Tejas Verdes, the planetarium, the Quinta de los Molinos and the Palacio de Segundo Cabo. In the latter, she highlighted the special route on the representation of women in the discourses of museums, which allowed for a debate on the spaces yet to be conquered and the responsibility of institutions for making women’s participation in history visible.
During this edition, the actions promoted, for example, by the Hispano-American Center for Culture and the Quinta de los Molinos also stood out. The latter, among the most dynamic, with its 17 workshops, four walks, six tours and its Zona Quinta festival, attracted 1,562 participants.
As Cárdenas stressed, despite the fact that the vacation time was reduced to the month of August, the statistics of participation in the workshops exceeded those of the year 2019; Quinta de los Molinos and the Center for adolescent spaces, concentrated the largest number of the 89 workshops organized in this edition.
The adolescents were able to enjoy different options related to printing practices, photography, dance and motivational dynamics in the center created by and for them, while the young people preferred cycling through areas of industrial heritage and of the Miramar division.
Once again, the director of Cultural Management highlighted, this edition was distinguished by the special routes We are one and the spaces for social inclusion for children in vulnerable situations, with three actions: the storytelling workshop organized by the Hispanic American Center for Culture with children with disabilities intellectual of the special school, a meeting in the Cervantes room between blind and visually impaired children and children with the members of the Old Havana Children’s Symphony and in its outreach work it also reached the Juan Manuel Márquez Pediatric Hospital, in collaboration with the planetarium of Havana.
According to the preliminary results of the participation studies carried out by the OHCH Cultural Management Directorate team, they indicate that On this occasion, more than 6,800 people joined the different proposals.Of these, more than 40% were new hires.
Perla Rosales, deputy director of the OHC, also remembered Leal and expressed “the will to continue the work for you, for Cuban families, for Havana families,” with the challenge of having something new to teach each year.
“There will be surprises next year, we still have thousands of plans, thousands of works to do, because he left it in writing….we have grounded work until 2030 and we are already working for 2040”.
“We are still here working for the people of Cuba, which is what they always taught us too”, he said and highlighted that the best tribute to Leal, on its 80th anniversary, on September 11, is “having finished a summer walking its streets”.
Goodbye to summer from Ship of the 10 peaks