May Showers

Rosa Martinez

Photo: Elio Delgado Valdes

HAVANA TIMES — Like every country, our beloved island has many traditions and beliefs, some are more well-known than others, others are followed more, but they all have a history.

There is a popular belief, at least here in Oriente, which says that everyone (adults and children) should drink water from the first downpour in May, Cuba’s wettest month, and if you don’t, you’ll suffer from terrible stomach cramps and diarrhea.

With scientific progress and the knowledge that we need to boil water before being able to drink it and wash our hands all the time, the most important things we need to do to keep healthy, quite a few people have stopped believing in this tradition.

Some Health experts also say that the real reason so many suffer from gastrointestinal disorders during this time of year is precisely because there are so many downpours, which lead to many bacteria and microorganisms being swept away to rivers and reservoirs, or they remain on vegetables and fruit.

Even though both of these explanations have scientific grounds and people need to take extra care in carrying out hygienic practices so as to prevent unbearable stomach upsets, most people still put out a pot to collect some drops from the first downpour of the fifth month in the year.

Like a neighbor of mine says, it might not do anything good for me, but it won’t do anything bad to me. I myself put out a pan, like my maternal grandmother used to say, just in case…

Rosa Martínez

Rosa Martinez: I am another Havana Times contributing writer, university professor and mother of two beautiful and spoiled girls, who are my greatest joy. My favorite passions are reading and to write and thanks to HT I’ve been able to satisfy the second. I hope my posts contribute towards a more inclusive and more just Cuba. I hope that someday I can show my face along with each of my posts, without the fear that they will call me a traitor, because I’m not one.

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