Cuba’s Sancti Spiritus, Capital City of the Guayabera


By Manuel Echevarria

The determination to open a museum for the exhibition of guayabera shirts in the central Cuban province of Sancti Spiritus has been widely backed with donations that enhance local heritage. The hall which has so far served for the exhibition of such garments was re-opened this Friday.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez sent an emotive letter to Sancti Spiritus’s residents, to whom he donated a guayabera shirt of his own. He said it was a great honor for him to share with the Cuban People the red guayabera with was a present received from Luis Inacio Lula Da Silva. Chavez attended his TV program “Alo, Presidente” broadcasted from Caucagua, last October 4, dressed in that shirt.

Different guayaberas have been received from other countries. Guatemala sent one owned by Miguel Angel Asturias (1899-1974), only Literature Nobel Prize (1967) in Central America who was also granted the Lenin Peace award in 1966. A similar shirt was received from late Shafick Handal (1930-2006), who was the General Secretary of the Communist Party in El Salvador and one of the five members of the Farabundo Marti leadership.

A guayabera from Porto Rican independency leader Filiberto Ojeda was also handed over to the museum this Saturday.

Fifteen Cuban personalities have already donated guayaberas of their own such as Dr. Rodrigo Álvarez Cambra, Dr. Gustavo Kourí and Dr. Orlando Nodarse; Perfecto Romero and Liborio Nodal (photographers of Che, Camilo and Fidel); Edgardo Martín (song writer and critic), Compay Segundo; Cuban sport champions  Enrique Figuerola, Teofilo Stevenson  and Ana Fidelia Quirós; Luis Martell Rosas (trade union leader); Alberto de Pérez (journalist) and Luis Carbonell (reciter).

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