Trinidad is a lovely colonial town, but with a dark history. The day following my arrival I took a private taxi guide to take me around the nearby highlights, without really looking into what it’s going to be about. To my great surprise it was a day dedicated to the sugar slavery taking place in the region. Horrible tales very much like the slave farms up in the US, you can roam through the plantations and hear how the slaves were treated worse than animals, with various ruins to help you envision the horror. Some of the towers, now used by tourists to look onto the gorgeous mountain scenery and coastline, were used to keep guard to ensure slaves aren’t escaping. Having the local tour guide also helped me get a somewhat fresh perspective on how the locals in the region see the local government. My taxi driver did not stop talking the whole time we were on the road about how much he hates his government with details of the local history in armed conflicts between opposition to the revolution and the revolutionaries turned authoritarian. With details like having to pay tens of thousand of US to buy a rundown 70s car with no car part replacements, when the local average salary is 14USD a month, I could see why he was worked up, but couldn’t help but wonder if he does this speech every single day with his tourist guests. In any case, Trinidad isn’t all colonial beauty and music, there’s a dark side, both in terms of local history, and in terms of current local politics.
Torre de Manaca Iznaga
Los Ingenios Valley