With a magnificent view to the Main Parochial Church and nearby the Yayabo bridge

History related to Dr Antonio Rudesindo Garcia Rijo

Sancti Spiritus, the city of Yayabo, is also known this way by the name of the river that crosses over the city, as well as the old bridge with the same appellation.

There is a small park and an old inn which have eye witnessed ancient and present-day love stories. Antonio Rudesindo Garcia Rijo was born on April 20, 1852, in Sancti Spiritus. Son of Doña María del Rosario Rijo y Gil, and Jose Manuel Garcia Cañizares, MD.

Garcia Rijo traveled to Paris with his mother when he was a child. In that city he studied Medicine. In 1879, at the age of 27, he was granted the medical doctor diploma. A year later, he qualified as a physician in Madrid, Spain.

According to “A Doctor's History”, a research paper published in the History, Science and Culture magazine in 1996 by Vivian E. Martinez Penton, MD; Rudesindo Garcia practied as a clinician, surgeon, ophthalmologist, bacteriologist and gynaecologist when he returned to his hometown.

"Those who met him knew that he was proud of being an “espirituano”, he could have turned into a very wealthy man but he preferred to assist his fellow countrymen with no profitable interest, focusing on doing well to those who needed it", the author pointed out.

On account of his scientific knowledge, he was recognized as an outstanding figure of the 19th century Cuban medicine. He was also an illustrious member of the Medical, Physical and Natural Sciences Academy of Havana. One of his merits was the fact of trying to put into practice the vaccination campaign against the infantile tetanus.

In April 1896, Rudesindo Garcia traveled to Havana after being accused of a crown detractor by Don Pedro Pin, head of the military division. During the blockade to Havana city in 1898, he left to Paris. After a while, he returned to his hometown.

On September 15, 1912, at the age of 60, he was murdered despicably by two thieves in his Lajitas estate where he assisted free of charge the neighbours of the locality.

On February 24, 1922, a statue of the figure of Rudesindo García was unveiled perpetuating his name in a central square known as Honorato Park located in the heart of the ancient village of Sancti Spiritus, founded in 1514 by the Spanish conqueror Diego Velazquez.

After the death of Rudesindo Garcia Rijo his house was given different uses. Time deteriorated the building into ruins but it was rescued after a meticulous restoration project transforming the structure into a cozy exclusive Inn.

On November 18, 2001 the hotel was inaugurated becoming into one of the most attractive tourist resort in Sancti Spiritus.

One of the most emblematic sculptures that decorate the hotel is the one of “Teofilito", Rafael Gomez Mayea a local traditional minstrel.

The sculpture of Gomez Mayea is in a sitting position bowed on a guitar.

The bard shares the accomplice gaze of his countrymen that from time to time slip a hand on his shoulder to share love stories which inspired the minstrel to write waltzes, guarachas, danzones, yayaberos, congas and even a musical drama for the theater.

Nigel Alexander Hunt

Welcome to my site dedicated to the famous and historical Hotel del Rijo. I am "poco a poco" researching and updating it with the aim to provide as complete as possible record of the hotel's ancient and recent history; bearing in mind that the goings-on today may one day be of historical interest.

My site is NOT the official website of the current hotel operator, and is by no means endorsed by them; but I am grateful for their help with the research.

You can make from this site room reservations through the Bizloco eTravel System operated by Cubaism Ltd.

Best wishes for 2023

Nigel Alexander Hunt