Taino smallpox epidemic The Spaniards, who first arrived in the Bahamas, Cuba, and Hispaniola in 1492, and later in Puerto Rico, did not bring women in the first expeditions. They took Taino women for their common-law wives, resulting in mestizo children. Sexual violence in Haiti with the Taino women by the Spanish was also common. Scholars suggest there was substantial mestizaje or racial and cultural mixing in Cuba, as well, and several Indian pueblos that survived into the 19th century. The Taino became extinct as a culture following settlement by Spanish colonists, primarily due to infectious diseases to which they had no immunity. The first recorded smallpox outbreak in Hispaniola occurred in December 1518 or January 1519. The 1518 smallpox epidemic killed 90% of the natives who had not already perished. Warfare and harsh enslavement by the colonists had also caused many deaths. By 1548, the native population had declined to fewer than 500.
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Laguna del Tesoro at Guama is a lake which is 5km east of Boca de Guama, entering via the Canal de la Laguna. The lake and resort are accessible only by boat. On the far (east) side of the 92-sq-km body of water is the tourist resort named Villa Guama, built to resemble a Taino village scattered across about a dozen small islands. Boca de Guama is the main tourist center of the Peninsula de Zapata and a bit of [...]
One of the biggest attractions at Guama is the Criadero de Crocodilos or Crocodile Farm, a huge complex displaying Crocodiles throughout their whole gestation cycle. Operated by Ecotur, the Criadero de Crocodilos is a Crocodile Farm breeding facility for the Rhombifier and the Acutus (known in Cuba as the caiman) species of crocodiles, large aquatic reptiles, and a sanctuary for sixteen species of endangered reptiles. As the largest crocodile farm in Cuba, the Criadero de Crocodilos has more than 100,000 [...]
Villa Guama in Cuba is located on the far side of Laguna del Tesoro or in English Treasure Lake, from Boca de Guama in Matanzas. Boats wait in Boca de Guama to take travelers across the lake, which is the only access to the resort. Villa Guama is uniquely designed to resemble an Indian Village and named after Guama a Taino, an Indian warrior who led a rebellion against the Spanish in the 16th Century. The Guama Hotel & Resort consists [...]
The Taino were historically enemies of the neighboring Carib tribes, another group with origins in South America, who lived principally in the Lesser Antilles. The relationship between the two groups has been the subject of much study. For much of the 15th century, the Taino tribe was being driven to the northeast in the Caribbean from what is now South America because of raids by the marauding Carib tribes. Women were taken as captives, resulting in many Carib women speaking [...]
Cuba, the largest island on the Antilles, was originally divided into 29 chiefdoms. Most of the native Taino settlements later became the site of Spanish colonial cities retaining the original Taino names, for example; Havana, Batabano, Camaguey, Baracoa and Bayamo. The name Cuba comes from the Taino language; however the exact meaning of the name is unclear but it may be translated either as the Taino word Cubao which means “where fertile land is abundant”, or the Taino word coabana [...]
One of the biggest attractions at Guama is the Criadero de Crocodilos or Crocodile Farm, a huge complex displaying Crocodiles throughout their whole gestation cycle. Operated by Ecotur, the Criadero [...]