One by one the candles and incense are lit in the dark room covered in paintings reminiscent of Mexican murals, and the details of the splendid altar emerge. The doors open and the guests pass in respectful silence.
This culminates the celebration of the Day of the Dead and the 35th anniversary of the founding of the Casa del Benemérito de las Américas Benito Juárez, which was inaugurated by the then president Miguel de la Madrid, Fidel Castro and Eusebio Leal.
With the essential support of the diplomatic representation of the brother country, headed by its ambassador, the always present Miguel Díaz Reynoso, and Santiago Sánchez de Arellana, cultural and press attaché, an extensive day took place yesterday that began with the words of Miguel Hernández , director of the popularly called Casa de México in Cuba, followed by the inauguration of a beautiful exhibition of plastic arts, under the curatorship of Beatriz Hernández, with works by Cuban and Mexican creators.
From there the celebration moved to the Plaza Vieja, where a group of Cuban dancers, under Mexican artistic direction, performed dances of Mesoamerican and Spanish tradition, at the end of which our stilt walkers and puppets, to the rhythm of Cuban and Mexican songs, led the participants, along Mercaderes Street, back to the House, where in the perfumed room we admired the altar dedicated to Pablo Milanés and Armando Manzanero. The photos of these beloved composers and performers, whose works are already part of the musical and emotional memory of our America, were joined by images of other friends who disappeared in the preceding months.
Such an endearing tradition, which syncretizes pre-Hispanic and European practices, is recreated every year at the Casa de México in Old Havana, as a beautiful way of ratifying, combining the sensory, the sentimental and the cultural, the centuries-old ties that unite both peoples.