It’s not that my Pinar del Río essence is still amidst that green, but one of the largest outdoor frescoes in the world is located in the Viñales National Park, no less than in Cuba’s westernmost province. The pride of coming from Vuelta Abajo.
The world famous Mural of Prehistory, declared World Cultural Heritage, draws the attention of all visitors; the lively sight of colors in the open sky makes the most incredulous let out a sigh.
The story goes that one of the disciples of Mexican muralist Diego Rivera fell in love with this hill. Leovigildo González gave thought as to how to transcend in the spirit of these flat-topped hillocks of fascinating shape. Together with the local peasants he outlined in 120 meters the bio geologic evolution of the zone, one of the oldest in Cuba. As part of that history, the guanahatabeyes, first inhabitants of the place, arrived at these rocks that endure the passing of time.
And with them, there came large mammals like the megalocnus rodens, a giant bear already extinguished; the ammonites, mollusks that are over 70 million years old; Mesozoic marine reptiles and many other animals that found a place in this geography.
More than 50 years ago it was not an easy work to carry out. To eliminate the vegetal layer covering the rocky peak, conceive a drainage system to avoid the accumulation of water amidst the stones, and climb the steep hill to paint and touch up with enamel that would resist erosion and the climate were only some of the headaches of this work.
But incredibly, today these bright shades of traces reach us with the same intensity of half a century ago. The power of humankind challenging nature still dazzles us. Some 140 kilometers from Havana, the Mural of Prehistory stands against time.