The path leading to La Guabina ranch is bordered by trees on one side and the other. There is almost no traffic of vehicles and with so much silence you listen better to the singing birds. 55 species of endemic and migratory birds created their nest in these places.

A man from the area tells me that he has just seen a tocororo flying over his head. “What a man’s luck!”, I think, due to the clean air that breathes every morning, because he has his soul and his eyes full of mountains.

The farm where he works is located on the Luis Lazo road, just 15 kilometers from the city of Pinar del Río, in the middle of a serene landscape of mountains, valleys and a reservoir. It has an extension of 1300 hectares of land in which zebu cattle, roosters and rabbits are raised. However, the reason for the site lies in the care of racehorses.

In the property lies a Center for Equine Genetic Improvement, unique of its type in the west of the Island, focused on stimulating the Appaloosa breed, with black and white hair and Pinto Cubano breed, with brown hair and white spots. The specialists say the gestation rate exceeds the national average.

“I’ve been working on this place for 25 years, taming colts,” says Jose Luis Armenteros.

“At six or seven months of age they are weaned and we begin to work with them. There are bad or meek ones” he says in his peasant accent.

– What food do you give them?- I ask

“Feed, egg, honey and grass; if it is a dry grass is better.”

Since Jose Luis was a child, he fascinates to take care of the animals. “I’m a guajiro (farmer),” he says proudly.

Those who visit these estates can enjoy the rodeo organized by the most skilled cowboys of the region, horse riding, riding alone or in a group, paddling in the lagoon and having lunch exquisite creole dishes: goatling, roasted pork and stewed beef with vegetables ( dressed with sour orange and lemon) in an open-air ranch.

The estate also has a five-room house, three independent cabins, a private restaurant for guests, a grill and a bar.

Nature was generous in Guabina. The countrymen describe as ordinary the miracle of a tocororo. It´s worth to get there.

By: Susana Rodriguez Ortega