The Cienaga de Zapata Nature Park is situated in one of Cuba’s most humid regions, the Zapata Peninsula. The simple huts of the Indian village of Guama give a basic impression of the life of the country’s original inhabitants, which like silent witnesses of the past, rise out of a steaming swamp in the light of the breaking dawn.
The rising sun paints the landscape in warm hues of colors and the flight of a bird is a reminder that under the cover of apparent stillness, there is a constant pulse of life. In this natural bio-space exist biological remnants which stem from the time of Earth’s infancy.
A lonely fishing boat moves quietly through the morning haze, past wooden bridges and dwellings, accompanied only by the splashing of water and the eternal melody of the wild and exuberant plant and animal kingdoms.
The most varied life forms coexist harmoniously in this natural paradise, the splendor of the plant world contrasting starkly with bizarre forms of decay and the transformation of life and death which is bound up in nature.
Slowly and dominantly, the crocodile-shaped head of the primeval Manjuari, a fish thought to have been extinct until some years ago, forces itself through the dense surface of the water only to quickly disappear into near-impenetrable vegetation.
In the king palm covered Bahia de Cochinos, the so-called 'Bay of Pigs', on the Playa Larga, only a few remnants remain of the failed landing of exiled Cubans in 1961. This peaceful paradise of grazing horses and white heron makes it easy to forget that this infamous event brought the world to the brink of annihilation.
The Cienaga de Zapata is a universe of nature’s treasures, a last refuge of Earth’s history which stamps itself forever into the memory.