Our history


Korimakao is a myth, a very popular myth, because many people have heard of him, but few really know him. Knowing Korimakao is a luxury, a privilege for the soul, because it feeds it with beauty.

Why Korimakao?
Korimakao is an indigenous word that, it is assumed, was with which the first settlers of the Ciénaga named the nomadic peoples, gatherers, hunters and fishermen close to our territory.
The term “kori” means man and the word “macao” designates the arthropod that takes refuge in abandoned shells. This Arawak word has served to synthesize our meanings and purposes in the passing of these 29 years: to bring together young people who, far from their places of origin, have come to this Set conceived to take and leave our art in cenagueras, Cuban or any other communities. part of the world.

Beginnings … with the house in tow.
From the ideas of Commander Faustino Pérez shared in a series of interviews with Manuel Porto, the idea of ​​the Ciénaga de Zapata Experimental Artistic Project materialized, which over time would become the Korimakao Community Artistic Complex, the only one of its kind in the country. .
In its beginnings, Korimakao was nurtured with young people from the cenaguera community, but in the first two or three years, it fell into a truth and that is that an artistic movement in which all artistic manifestations are participating, even music that added a little later, or the audiovisual, could not satisfy its cast only with a population that is that of the least densely populated municipality in Cuba, it was necessary to bring people from other parts of the island and abroad.
«Korimakao is a synthesis of Cuba: the singularities of the speech of different regions of Cuba, thoughts, aesthetic postures, even of the folkloric technique itself; all this from a place like the Ciénaga de Zapata ».

The house in the new millennium
Another turning point, as important as the founding event itself, was the visit in 2001 by Commander-in-Chief Fidel Castro. After the Central Act for the Victory of Playa Girón on April 19, the Commander visited him, spoke with Porto, the artists, and saw a fragment of the show that had premiered the night before. Thus, Fidel commits himself to share with Porto his idea that this space would become the International Center for Community Art.
In the following years, the construction of the facilities that our Institution has today began, where the artists of the Ensemble actively collaborated without leaving aside the artistic work, their presentations for communities, artistic tours along the southern coast of Matanzas and Cienfuegos; several tours through the Escambray towns of Cienfuegos and Santa Clara, places affected by meteorological disasters in Pinar del Río and Matanzas; peripheral neighborhoods of Havana, tour of all the military units of the Central Army and surrounding communities; and of course, the Annual Tour through the towns of the Ciénaga de Zapata.
Vocational training work for boys and girls from Ciénaga de Zapata and Jagüey Grande also began. In addition to implementing transcendental improvement actions for specialists and artists of our Institution.
Starting in 2011, as part of a gradual update in the Korimakao sociocultural management model, substantial changes were made in the dynamics of integration of new artists to the Ensemble, with a pedagogical perspective as it was, in 2013 and 2014, the two Creation Scholarships “Art and Community” and three National Workshops for Creation (2014 -2016)
The conception of National Workshops has had as objectives: The collective creation of shows to premiere on April 18. The incorporation of a part of the members of the Workshop to the permanent casts of the Artistic Ensemble. In addition to constituting a space for artistic improvement from different pedagogical approaches.
During 2017, the 25th Anniversary Distinction was awarded to personalities and institutions that have had a transcendental impact on the conception of Korimakao: This is the case of Fidel Castro, Faustino Pérez and Armando Hart.
The latter wrote: “Years have passed and I always remember the day we were in the Ciénaga and made the tour with dear Faustino sponsoring and promoting the project and we had the opportunity to share with you and the young Artistic Ensemble that then began to act out. (…) I congratulate you for this new anniversary, for the successes achieved and I urge you to continue working with the same tenacity in this beautiful endeavor. “

Eight Definitions of Korimakao expressed by José Luis Estrada Betancourt.

  1. “Korimakao is an essence. That when it is discovered and defined, it is necessary to defend it until the end, because it runs the risk of being less than nothing.”
  2. “Korimakao is a myth, a very popular myth, because many people have heard of it, but few really know it. Knowing Korimakao is a luxury, a privilege for the soul, because it feeds it beauty.”
  3. “Korimakao is an antidote, a remedy against the market, against the hectic life of the capital, against perverse materialisms. It is a revolutionary project that fights against postmodernity, that makes war on economic distress with that sentence said by a giant, who in the middle of the abyss, settled the debate with “… culture is the first thing to save.”
  4. “Korimakao is a dream come true, shared by many people, who come and go, who stay, who carry themselves inside. Korimakao is an oasis in the middle of the swamp, a swamp that was once a forgotten place and today is a symbol of freedom.”
  5. “Korimakao is a utopia, a utopia bathed in people and youth, like genuine works. It is a metaphor for the Revolution, a project that tries to survive only with the strength, will and intelligence of its people.”
  6. “Korimakao is an animal, an opportune one who“ borrows ”a friend’s house in order to take it hard and survive. It is an attitude towards life, it is commitment, it is discipline, it is professionalism, it is talent.”
  7. “Korimakao is not A step forward, nor Step up, nor Path to fame. Korimakao is Korimakao, a real, long-suffering and joyous work, never a media construction made by the deception industry.”
  8. “Korimakao is an essence, a path without going backwards, something that deeply marks all its members, and perhaps the distracted traveler, when he hears that,“ being in Korimakao is not the same as being a korimakao ”.


Korimakao has received numerous awards for his professionalism, altruism and dedication. Among the most relevant are: the National and Provincial Award for Community Culture; the Neighborhood Award given by the Committee for the Defense of the Revolution, the Los Zapaticos de Rosa distinctions awarded by the “José Martí” Pioneers Organization; Honor Honor of the José Martí Cultural Society; Elena Gil from the Félix Varela Center; National Vanguard of the Union of Culture; the Replica of the Machete of Máximo Gómez of the Revolutionary Armed Forces, among other distinctions.