guantanamo city .org - The land between rivers

Central Park "José Martí", old parade ground

Our so much liked and central park "José Martí" was in times of the Spanish domination, the Parade Ground, the place in which the troops encamped and made their military training.

This terrain was donated by its proprietors Mr. Pedro Manuel Perez for the construction of the square that would include the church which was already requested by the inhabitants of the poor villa.

guantanamo city .org - Parade Ground 1910

With the passage of time, this place was planted and became a park for entertainment. Every entry possessed stairs with stony paths that led to the church, wooden benches and oil lamps. Afterwards, the stones of the paths were replaced by concrete, the gardens were made rectangular with small stony walls and sown with plants like flamboyant, eucalyptus, almond trees, etc.

When the republic was proclaimed on May 20 1902 eight palm trees together with the commemorative bombax were planted. It was surrounded with walls made of stone with iron backs. The place that is occupied now by the monument of the Major General Pedro Agustin Perez, was the site where a two-story arbor was built. ‘The first flat was used for the sale of ice cream, sweets and toys, the second one was the scenery for the open —air hand concerts.

The monument of Major General Pedro Agustin Perez set up in 1930. Was placed in the center of the park. that is facing the entry door of the church.

guantanamo city .org - Central Park Jose Marti 1930

It’s good to say that every major elected in the villa impressed his convenient change to the Parade Ground. The trees were cut, the lightings were changed according to the new inventions, the walls were removed. The gardens were divided and some spaces were paved.

One of the most notorious transformations took place in the 50’s with the construction of the modern shelllike platform, witch was, up to these days, source for the open—air hand concerts, with underground toilet.

guantanamo city .org - Central Park Jose Marti 1950

The monument of Major General Pedro Agustin Perez was transferred to the site it occupies these days. The design of the grass area was made better and it was built a parade in form of trail with a central area.

guantanamo city .org - Pedro Agustin Perez Monument

The entries were built under the rooftop garden and in 1953 were created the Marti Corner as well as the quadrant where the bombax tree is placed.

guantanamo city .org - Jose Marti Monument