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This park has its history. Some time ago it was a stage of military exercises, today is crowded by all kinds of walkers. It was baptized as Square of Mars during the XVII and XVIII centuries until transcendentally it obtained the title of “Park of the American Fraternity”.

It was built in 1892 to celebrate the four hundred years of the discovery of America by Christopher Columbus. It had several uses during the colonial period. With the birth of the Republic inaugurated in May 1902, several roads, gardens and fountains were added. However, the fateful cyclone of 1926, almost completely destroyed it.

Thus, in 1927, on the occasion of the VI Panamerican Conference in Havana, it was completely remodeled. In order to symbolize the continental fraternity, a ceiba tree was planted with the earth of the American republics that were independent at that time. “… The peoples do not unite but with ties of friendship, fraternity and love” is one of the phrases that can still be read in this monument. The busts of some of the most representative figures of the American continent that are all over the park, completed the homage. In this way the old Square of Mars was converted in the Park of the American Fraternity on February 24, 1928.

Cubans commonly refer to it as the Park of the Fraternity. It is currently one of the busiest areas in the Cuban capital. Every day many walkers stop their way and sit on the benches chatting while taking a break. In the neighborhood, there are various buses and “almendrones“, those old American cars saved from decadence and converted into collective taxis. In the park, vegetation abounds, especially the royal palms, a distinctive attribute of the Cuban nation.

Within walking distance are important buildings and monuments such as the Fountain of India, the Capitol, the Royal Partagas Tobacco Factory, Chinatown and Paseo del Prado Avenue.

For visit: Reina & Dragones, Paseo del Prado and Idustria streets, Old Havana (“23.13324, -82.35936”). Free acces daily.

by: Leunam Rodríguez