Guardian of our history

A large house with colonial architecture, a tile roof, a high prop, doors and windows with iron gates, thick walls and an interior patio with lanterns, treasures a vast historical and cultural heritage, with traditions that enhance the idiosyncrasy of the Ariguanabo.

Almost four decades after its inauguration, the current José Rafael Lauzan Municipal Museum, of San Antonio de los Baños, the former History Museum-, located on 66th Street, honors with its name who served as historian of the Villa, during sixty years.

Memorable for history was the presence in the cultural institution of Cuban personalities Armando Hart Dávalos, Antonio Núñez Jiménez, Silvio Rodríguez, Pablo Milanés, Luis Wilson and Haydeé Santamaría, among other intellectuals.

Since its opening as a heritage institution, it has carried out a wide and systematic work of conservation and promotion of the knowledge of traditions, through museum exhibitions, guided visits, competitions and exchange spaces with children, adolescents, youth and adults.

The initial exhibitions included photographs of sites, personalities or ancient events of the town to spread the history of the municipality. The first director was Homero Perdomo, who was followed by Alexis Rives, and since January 1990 Estela Pérez Fernández, Bachelor of Education, assumed this responsibility.

The museum has held several community cultural activities among them: peñas, peasant, tango and children's clubs, and the Peña "Your artist, a tea, the poet and something else". In addition, the site hosts members of the National Union of Historians of Cuba and temporary exhibitions of professional and amateur artists.

The strategy deployed over the years by museum workers is to promote actions for health prevention and environmental protection, among other topics of community interest.

After a complete repair, the institution currently has seven permanent rooms, a temporary room and a museum room. Its collection includes historical documents and works by Eduardo Abela and Rubén Suárez Quidiello. Several wooden and glass showcases display objects of Aboriginal archeology found in Ariguana territory, local periodicals and a collection of insects and butterflies dissected by Doctor José Hipólito Pasos.

The museum collection includes a water pump from the town's first Fire Department, the Town Hall Key, a sculpture named Las Tres Gracias and a bust of Rubén Suárez Quidiello, both sculpted by the plastic artist, José Delarra.

Many personalities dedicated efforts to the rescue, preservation and dissemination of history. Among these people, Rubén Suárez Quidiello, José Rafael Lauzan, Miguel Miqueliy Homero Perdomo distinguished. The Illustrious Sons of Ariguanabo, Ana Núñez Machín, René de la Nuez and Nicanor León Cotayo, as well as the photographer and filmmaker Ciro Suárez and the eminent pedagogue Félix Romero also collaborated.

A true heritage work protects the José Rafael Lauzan Municipal Museum, an emblematic site of Ariguanabo, which enhances local history. When walking through its interior, a satisfaction usually invades the inhabitants, proud of so many heroic pages, necessary for us to know where we came from and where we will go.

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