Jaruco’s Church – attending to the plantation community

The town of Jaruco features a traditional town square in front of its church, San Juan Bautista, Saint John the Baptist. The Catholic Church founded the church in the late 1700s in order to attend to the growing number of plantations in the area. Local historian Nelson Tapanes Castellaños indicated a number of items on the church grounds are from this time period (including the bell–made from European metals) and some marble items throughout. However, perhaps, even more valuable, the church has maintained records of the people in the parish since its founding.



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Among these documents are notices about Tiburcia Sotolongo y Ugarte’s birth and baptism on San Miguel plantation. Also is an annotation of Josefa Sotolongo y Ugarte’s death only a few years later. There are a number of listings of a few other Afro-Cuban women with the surname Sotolongo in Havana in the early 1900s and possibly from the same plantation. Similarly, Jaruco’s church has records for the nearby Armenteros plantation, and, in Havana, Margarita Armenteros became Tiburcia’s godmother in La Regla de Ocha.

One thought on “Jaruco’s Church – attending to the plantation community

  1. Dr. Juncker, how great to see these photos. They add to Tiburcia Sotolongo y Ugarte’s story, which you describe in your book, and make it come alive in a new way.

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