Sweet taste of memory

In the streets of Cartagena de Indias there are thousands of stories that take us back to the past.

The charm of the city

The charm of this city has made it one of the main tourist places in America. Every detail is packed with events and happenings that are carved into the colorful walls, balconies and spaces of The Walled City.

One of the most visited points in the Corralito de Piedra, is the Portal de los Dulces, a very cloying square that hides a sad tradition.

Day after day, visitors and tourists pass through its streets, unaware that this part so full of color, joy and dance has been the scene of such sad and heartbreaking routines as the slave trade, all of which leads us to go back a little further into the past of the events.

Marisol Carrasquilla © Solkes

This portal, which has a spectacular view of the Clock Tower It wasn’t always called that way, it also happens that in colonial times it was known as the Judge’s Portal, named that way because the judge who would swear in Pedro de Heredia’s successor stayed there.

Although quickly because of its strategic location on the Caribbean Sea, with its hot climate, thousands of slaves arrived there to be sold, they were the most requested and best paid slaves by different countries and regions of Europe. Under this perspective it acquired not only the name of the Slave Portal, but also marked the historical memory of the black people of Heroica.

The candy portal

A concession can be made here, when the exploitation of the blacks ended at the beginning of the 20th century, it began to be called Portal de Los Dulces.

Jorge Sandoval, architect and director of the photo library, tells that on the arcades hung undulating curtains that created a favorable climate, fresh, serene, for those who waited for the buses that took time to fill up.

Its crew members, meanwhile, enjoyed the sweets of the grandmothers and matrons who left behind secret recipes for the preparation of coconut, sesame, papaya and tamarind.

A new tradition

Marisol Carrasquilla © Solkes

Behind the chronicles that relate the plundering and break-up of black families of that time, today a new tradition is being written.

A tradition that seeks with the sweetness to soften the pain of mothers, sisters, wives, aunts and grandmothers who lost the best men in their family.

I think I have suggested before that, definitely, for their rich cakes, biscuits, chocolates mixed with coconut, with guava, with patacón, with a thousand exotic ingredients, in the middle of the cars and the typical dances.

This is an obligatory place for all those passionate about history and photography because through the captured images they intend to mark new times and the breaking of patterns and behaviours that have marginalized man.

Translated By: Laura Prado

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