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In the beginning was the sea and mangroves: the salt, mud, and mosquitoes. Frigate birds and pelicans partitioned the skies; crabs took over the land. Then came the coppery people, who first named me and later stripped away that name with their partial extermination. A handful of renegade creoles and many blacks—enslaved and free Caribbeans—began to make my hills their destination. The hermitage was part of it, but the consecration, many years later, was the endeavor of Captain Cortijo. It took place a hundred years before the abolition of slavery: Cangrejos, the first town founded by blacks.

Crustacea Mundi

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