Perico Donkey

Monday, February 5th 2024. | Cultural Traditions

This donkey is neither the one that accompanied Sancho in the adventures of Don Quixote; nor Platero, a character born from Juan Ramón Jiménez imagination. It is about Perico a popular donkey in Santa Clara City, in the central part of Cuba.

Even a sculpture was dedicated to the animal. In the intersection of three important streets of the city, capital of Villa Clara, erects a metallic structure to remember the nice animal. These avenues have lost their names because they all go or return to the area known as Perico Donkey.

The animal lived during the first half of the 20th century in that locality placed 300 kilometres east Havana. Those who knew him tell that in the beginning he pulled the ice cream wagon. One day his owner bought a truck and let him free. Then he began to print his own story, walking around the city to become a friend of children and to demand his slice of bread at the entrance of every door.

That was the beginning of Pericos legend. It is said he was once in jail for grazing in the Central Park. This demand did not have a course due to the fact that the animal was the pet of Santa Clara. Many people remember how the animal used to drink abundant beer, his popularity in the carnivals parade with the “Pilongos”, or when at the time some students opposed to the government hanged political posters in the back of the docile quadruped.

When the famous donkey passed away on February 26th, 1947, children and adults took flowers to his grave. A senator of the Republic said the final words in the funeral and the news of the deceased was published in The New York Times. Thats why after more than a century, the image of Perico is present in the life of the inhabitants of Santa Clara who preserve everyday his legend in the sculpture placed in the intersection of some busy streets.