Sun and beach, the main destination.

The recently concluded summer season left a bittersweet taste in many families in Tunisia, who, still bruised by the consequences of the paralyzations and the COVID-19 lockout, were looking forward to months of fun in the broadest sense of the word, especially for the children. However, the suffocating heat was accompanied by very high prices, a lack of offers, and a crushing calm in almost the entire stage, interrupted only by a few loudspeakers in "fixed summer areas" that mercilessly tormented the neighbors of these communities at all hours.

User Alberto Hernández reflected a few days ago on 26's Facebook page that "what you think might be feasible becomes utopia, for example, something as simple as a day at the beach. You used to plan your lunch and fill it with the knick-knacks they sold there, but now you can't think about buying something extra, because the expenses skyrocket to a level that is not covered by a month's salary, not counting transport. And I only have one child, I can't imagine those who have two or three".

Susana Cabrera considers that "parents have an infinite number of limitations, from the few recreational options and the excessive prices, not only for taking their children out but also for their leisure. Nowadays it is a feat for the family to enjoy the holidays with our children, you have to do wonders, to find the time, resources, and encouragement from where there is none, to work magic...".

There have been many comments in the publications of 26 regarding these issues, and there is no shortage of dissatisfaction with the summer options available to our editorial staff. On the subject, we take a look at two attractions that mark the pulse of July and August in these areas.

Summer season is gone.


Mairelys got off the bus with a lot of luggage and her two 7-year-old twins, Alejandro and Alexis. Although she entered the hut without great expectations, it was more than an austere place, it looked dirty and abandoned. Two bunk beds and a bed with stained mattresses, a broken television, and a rusty old water tank made up the picture. Lamps and light bulbs were conspicuous by their absence; the refrigerator, although a bit battered, worked.

"The trip was given to me as a reward for my work and the children were very happy, because the recreation I had been able to give them was to go and play in the little park in my neighborhood, but when I arrived and saw that I felt, as one of them says, that the wings of my heart were falling off. Luckily, the neighbors in the next-door hut lent us a light bulb so we were able to get some light. In the end, one manages to settle in and the little ones enjoyed the beach, which was the main objective," she says, as if to cheer herself up.

Like Mairelys, hundreds of families from Tunisia flocked during the summer to Villa La Boca, a place for the encouragement of workers where the organizations have rooms assigned to them, and the only option that many of those who make up the labor collectives can afford. In the opinion of the holidaymakers, the prevailing sentiment is that they are grateful for the continuation of this offer, amid the difficult economic conditions the country is going through, but they also suggest more attention from their organizations.

"Some companies arrange their cabins very well, simple but comfortable; however, others have poor conditions. All the institutions do not have the same resources, but even so, this should not happen, because what should be considered synonymous with recognition of a year's effort, becomes, in good Cuban terms, 'going to work'," Arturo Guerrero told 26. At the same time, he acknowledged the affable treatment of the kitchen staff and the regular supply of water.

The regular supply of water was a good news this summer.

In many cases, the solution to the problems that families have to overcome to enjoy the benefits of the resort would not require excessive expenditure. Some require more sensitivity and attention to detail. The location of tanks with the required hygiene for drinking water, a waste collection system, the conditions of the central kitchen for the preparation of food (currently it is with firewood), the recovery of the children's playground that the facility had, ensuring the lighting of the cabins and keeping the electronic equipment in their interiors in order would be a good starting point.

In a scenario that is not even ideal, cultural activities could be designed in the evenings at La Boca, which would surely contribute, along with other elements, to make the stay at the site a real diversion, not only for the guests of the village but also for the high number of holidaymakers who make this place their main recreational destination.

The number of bins added this year is very good," said Dayana, "but it is very bad that people continue to throw waste out of them, even into the sea. One of the issues pointed out by the scientists who recently carried out the Bojeo to Cuba was the excess of plastics and cans on the seabed of the country's coasts".

Excess of plastics and cans in Cuban beach areas.

Reynaldo Pérez, for his part, believes that the self-employed who work on the beaches during the holidays should be favored from a fiscal point of view, on condition that they lower their prices, as many of the groceries on offer are unaffordable.

Despite the extreme fuel crisis, the transport to the beaches in the north of the island was better organized than in previous years, although it had its shadows, such as young people queuing the day before and sleeping in the terminal to get a turn on the cheap buses because there were too few of them. Not all the demand was satisfied, but the Transport delegate in Las Tunas, Reynaldo Reyes Silva, told 26 that the whole system of his sector was at the disposal of the Railway Terminal and the organizations, based on what they had designed in their holiday plans.

"They worked an average of 12 to 14 means, every day between four and five buses left the terminal, which was joined by a group of actors such as self-employed workers (TCP in Spanish) and MSMEs, who were allocated fuel with the support of the government. We also ensured, after several years without this modality, the holiday plan of the Central de Trabajadores de Cuba, with more than 300 people in each of the rotations, and we incorporated two university camps that were not foreseen and were protected," said the director.

"During the weekends, we transported an average of 2,500 to 3,000 travelers to this area every day, the rest of the week it was between 1,000 and 1,200. Violations were detected in the prices approved for this transportation, which were 60.00 pesos to the municipality of Puerto Padre and 30.00 pesos more to the beach. In the case of 'Jesús Menéndez' the cost was 90.00 pesos and an increase of 35.00 pesos to La Herradura.

"Certain actors took advantage of the weekends, the two busiest days, to increase fares, but fortunately in most cases the infractions were detected and corrected. Those who did so were sanctioned. In some cases we had the direct participation of the population, based on their complaints; at other times we were not very well accompanied", argued Reyes Silva, who did not fail to recognize the dilemmas surrounding the barges, which on more than one occasion generated tensions and caused unrest.


Amusement Park.

Last Sunday, 16 July, Children's Day, Jaime Gutiérrez Rodríguez and his wife decided to celebrate the date by taking their daughters to the Amusement Park, but they were far from suspecting that the day would be marked by disappointment. There was no local bus covering the route, so they were left at the mercy of cars and motorbike taxis for the return trip, at prices that were more than supply and demand.

On site, they found several pieces of broken equipment and others functioning with difficulty, as well as scarce gastronomic offerings. "Cuba is in a worsening economic crisis and I know that there are several resources that are not within our reach, but many of these problems could have been solved to allow our children to spend a day at the level they deserve," Jaime told 26.

"The summer at the Park-Zoo complex was depressing compared to previous editions," said Luis Vázquez Cutiño, group leader of Gastronomy there. "Transport was greatly affected, so the number of visitors was minimal. The train that goes here had setbacks that prevented the mobility of personnel and Route 1 did not work."

On the matter, the delegate of the Transport in Las Tunas explained that the train was out of circulation due to repairs that already were foreseen. This destination was assigned to two self-employed people, who were provided with fuel to cover the route of Route 1, something that did not have the desired result.

"The gastronomic offers were maintained, but they were not as in the past. We didn't have jams or sweets; we did have ice cream, we were given 20 tubs every two or three days, and about two thousand bags of Coral soft drinks per week, as well as small quantities of bread."

Yamisleidy Peña Oduardo, head of the recreation group at the complex, says they didn't look their best. "We had representatives from Inder with us all the time, but not from Cultura. Fortunately, we had TCP who brought inflatables, and that made other attractions possible, because, for example, the Cubana planes were damaged, which only managed to be resolved at the end of the summer with the efforts of colleagues from Metunas; and the flying chairs, whose repair was carried out by ACINOX Las Tunas, did not work during these two months."

"We received many complaints, some parents questioned the high price of the privately-run schools, far from their economic solvency, while the rest complained about having to rent cars or co-cabs to get here."

In recent weeks, experts from these companies have been working hard to ensure that children can enjoy the usual attractions at the site. Metunas repaired the floor, doors, and latches of the Cubana planes and painted the flying chairs, their deputy director, Albert Joseph Bisset, told us.

Osvaldo Reyes Pérez, senior specialist of the Industrial Maintenance Unit of ACINOX, commented that a brigade of electricians and mechanics of the entity was involved in the recovery and commissioning of the transmission system of the Cubana plane and the boats, the transmission and rotation mechanism of the flying chairs and the coupling, the cogwheels and the electric motor of the sled.

It is not the first time that the success of the work carried out by both bodies has extended the life of the old equipment, demonstrating once again the importance of such alliances. It would be very satisfying, in addition to achieving sustainability in the operation, if the revisions and repairs were always carried out before the beginning of the season of the year when the only park of this type in the province is in greatest demand.


The summer options need to be designed with greater intention and foresight. The stage has indeed passed amid severe dilemmas, there is no room for wasting resources, but initiatives are necessary. We cannot give up on everyone being able to find a family space or something they like to do at a cost they can afford. The beach or the amusement park are just two examples of how much we need the gears to move with efficiency and vision.

In recent sessions of the National Assembly of People's Power, President Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez insisted on the need to break apathies and open up to complaints and difficulties, with more articulation between agencies and institutions.

"A comprehensive approach is essential, he said, and the needs of children, adolescents, young people, and the elderly must be taken into account. The pandemic paralyzed us and has left us with a link of inertia in the recreational sphere, from which we now seem to be waking up; but we have to finish it now. In many places, there are, despite all the obstacles, a variety of offers and this shows that the attitude of the decision-makers of the processes has an impact. The way we look for solutions determines the result we want to achieve."

Although we are closing the summer, cultural and social life should be alive for the whole year. These months are just the perfect excuse to bring out the best of our art, sport, and traditions, for the full enjoyment of the people, and we can certainly do that much better.