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Loma del Capiro in Santa Clara, shares its name with a mountain of South America also called Monte Capiro. It is located northeast of the city of Santa Clara. It is the smallest and most westerly of a set consisting of three natural elevations. This place has great geographical and historical value.

Its slopes have always contributed to the city with fruits, medicinal plants, vegetables and other goods. It also has a great landscape value and magnificent visual conditions on the city. This high point, near the city of Santa Clara, was attacked during the Battle of Santa Clara in 1959 by the troops of Che Guevara and served as a strategic point for planning the attack on the city.

Nowadays, Loma del Capiro is a National Monument of the Republic of Cuba along with the Armored Train. On the top, there is a sculpture representing the union of different firearms projected skyward, connected by a hoop. The sculpture represents the defense of the country sky and rests on a marble base. There are also two billowing flags, the Cuban flag and the July 26 Movement flag.

Two interesting facts about this elevation. First, the tamarind tree planting on the southern slope has great significance for local people. This is the symbolic tree of the city and a reminder of its foundation. Therefore, each July 16 a new tamarind tree is planted there, in a ceremony.

The second curious fact is that, on the Capiro hill is the first and only religious statue erected in Cuba outside the temples. Monument to Pope John Paul II recalls the papal Mass celebrated by the Holy Father when he visited the city on 22 January 1998. This statue was placed there on the tenth anniversary of this event.

Capiro is more than a hill. It is part of the life of Santa Clara people. The Editorial Capiro was named because of that. That organization has published more than one hundred titles by local and national authors and has received two national critics awards.

For visit: Avenida del Papa & Ana Pegudo streets, Santa Clara (“22.40829, -79.94936”). Free access daily.

by: Alberto Gonzalez & Leunam Rodríguez