Morón : a traditional town in Cuba

Morón, founded in 1543, is nicknamed the “City of the Cock”. In this Cuban city where the traditions are very strong were born in 1926 cakes called “Torticas”. It is also known in particular for Laguna de Leche, La Redonda, Cayo Coco, Cayo Guillermo. Guided visit…

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When you go all over Cuba, that often provides you more surprises than a city traveller could expect. Nevertheless, it is not a question of finding places from another world but precisely to not find differences between any Havanese suburb or  a town or a village on the outskirts. In Morón , for example, life is hectic like in the capital and, maybe, it benefits from the value added to have the sense of belonging of its inhabitants.

Situated in 36 kilometres north of the province of Ciego de Ávila, it is especially famous by the statue of the Cock which guards its entrance and the Torticas (cakes) which, according to history, were made for the first time in 1926.
About the Cock, symbol par excellence of the town, there is thus 400 and more years of ancestral history based – as reported by the investigators – on an anecdote which  occured in Morón de la Frontera, in Spain. The tiresome phrase “Like Morón’s  featherless Cock that cackles” comes from there. As we are a land of transculturization, that’s life, also we manage to have our Morón and our Cock.

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Crowing for all

Around the current sculpture (a work made by Rita Longa and Armando Alonso), erected in May, 1982, stands a clock tower with amplification equipment to reproduce its crowing in the whole village, at six o’clock in the morning and at the same hour in the evening.
The position of the above-mentioned symbol created the funniest popular proverbs, however it is a motive for vanity for the Moronenses or Moroneros, who start in May their cultural week with a serenade dedicated to the star, sculpted in bronze.

The town is about to celebrate its 473 years, it was founded on May 24, 1543, however  its urbanization began in the mid-18th century.
It is a source of anecdotes, traditions and legends, on the origin of its name, there are various speculative versions, though the word “morón” geographically represents a small mound of earth located on the edge of a forest.
The village is long and narrow, turbulent and cultural, night and funny. In its streets and in the main Tarafa Avenue, go countless bicycles, horse-drawn carriages and automobiles of any kind of makes.

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Laguna de Leche, another natural symbol

In the architecture prevails the eclectic and vernacular style. Some emblems from the colonial and neocolonial era are still standing : the church, the oldest constructive relic ; the railroad terminal, with an enormous stained-glass window in the ceiling, constructed with marble brought from Italy ; the bookshop La Moderna Poesía ; the movies theaters Apolo and San Carlos, stage of the Festival Boleros de Oro on the rare occasions ; and the damaged building of the old Hotel Perla, more representative for its inhabitants than Hotel Morón itself. The inn, located next to the railway line, closed down at the beginning of the 1990s.

In the popular imagination,, according to tradition, like in Camaguey, travellers who test Morón water stay there. True or not, what is certain the second most populated town in Ciego de Avila has, in the northern cays, Jardines del Rey (King’s Gardens), one of the largest tourist poles in the country.

Just at a distance of 52 kilometres from there, Morón displays Cayo Coco Beach and Cayo Guillermo Beach ; at 26 km, the island of Turiguanó where is the Dutch village founded in the 1860s  ; at 19 km, Lake La Redonda, a basin where there is an international fishing center ; at 9 km, on the road to the Central Cunagua, current Bolivia municipality, there is Criadero de Cocodrilos (Crocodile Farm), a regularly visited tourist center ; and at 5 km, Laguna de la Leche (Lagoon of Milk), also considered as a  natural symbol of the town of the Cock.

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Passionate Moroneros

Also known as Laguna Grande (Large Lagoon), the lake takes its name from the whiteness that had, at a given moment, its waters by the presence of calcium sulfate and gypsum in the bottom.

In the vicinity of the pond, there is a gastronomic complex with restaurants, cafés and recreation centers, like La Atarraya and La Cueva. Every year, also takes place the Carnaval Acuático (Aquatic Carnival), a deep-rooted and popular event.

At first sight, these are all the stories in which the village abounds, it’s up to the traveler to discover the popular legends, curious anecdotes or simply to relive the historical events of Trocha de Júcaro a Morón. But, with this extraordinary quantities of elements, the principal characteristic of the place is its inhabitant itself.

The Moronero feels passion for his land, for this town which has unnoticed things for many which, as few villages in the outskirts, has its true greatness in the small historical and idiosyncratic details that make its people proud.