We took a trip out of Santiago to El Cobre to see the Basilica del Cobre, which houses the Virgen de la Caridad del Cobre, Cuba's patron saint. El Cobre is the site of the oldest operating mine in the Americas. In 1606 fishermen found the small statue of the Virgin floating in the water; they took the statue to El Cobre and a hermitage was built to honor her. Now pilgrims come from all over Cuba to visit the Basilica. In 1916 the Pope declared the Virgen de la Caridad del Cobre the patron saint of Cuba; in 1998 the visiting Pope recrowned the statue.
This local taxi carries 12 passengers in back plus two in the front with the driver. The driver sported a cap from a Canadian beer company: Lucky. The hood ornament is a silver bat.
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