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Mitos y leyendas: The Legend of the Camalote

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  • Mitos y leyendas shares with you the legend of the camalote.
  • Two beings from different worlds meet, and a feeling is born between them.
  • Conflicts arise due to problems from these two worlds.

They say that in past times, in the waters of the Paraná River, there was no presence of camalotes. The land was simply land, the water flowed without obstacles, and the islands remained as simple islands.

It was a time before the arrival of the Spaniards, when the riverbanks were inhabited by the Guarani people.

It was in the year 1526 when men under the command of Diego García sailed slowly through the Mar Dulce and then through the turbulent Paraná, aboard a caravel and a patache.

Diego García presented himself as Governor of the Río de Solís, but upon reaching the mouth of the Carcarañá, he discovered that another Spanish sailor, Sebastián Gaboto, had already claimed that title.


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For several days, both leaders argued at the Sancti Spiritu fortress, while their troops took advantage of the pause to acclimate to the mainland again and enjoy some distractions.

They explored the surroundings and benefited from the kindness of the Guarani people.

Amidst these circumstances, a young indigenous woman fell in love with one of García’s soldiers.

During the summer, while García and Gaboto left the fort heading inland, the lovers met in secret.


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Despite the language barrier, their love blossomed, full of laughter and desires. They swam together in the river; she showed him the secrets of the jungle while he taught her about his ship anchored on the coast.

He tasted Guarani food, such as abatí (corn), and chipá (cassava bread), while she experienced the unique love of a foreigner.

Meanwhile, relations between the Spaniards and the Guarani people deteriorated.

Despite the assistance provided by the indigenous people in unloading the ships and working in the forge, the Spaniards did not fulfill their agreements and treated their hosts with contempt.

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Finally, tired of the arrogance of the whites, the indigenous people set fire to the fort one night. The few Spaniards who survived took refuge in the boats, awaiting the return of Gaboto and García.

After the fire, the relationship between the soldier and the indigenous woman became more difficult, more hidden, and sadder. Despite the secret meetings and displays of affection, she could not dispel her distrust.

When the leaders decided to return to Spain, they found the fort devastated.

During the weeks of preparation, the young Guarani woman grew saddened, spending her days on the shore among the willows, hoping to see her lover even for a moment.

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The departure came as a surprise to her, as there was no farewell.

One morning, with barely any clouds in the sky, the young woman watched as the boats sailed away down the river.

She watched them disappear into the distance until they were out of sight at the first bend.

For days, the indigenous woman cried alone in abandonment, wishing she had a canoe or the wings of a heron to follow the boats downstream.

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Her thoughts were heard by the porás, the spirits of the coast, who recounted them to Tupá and his wife, the water gods.

Finally, one afternoon, her wishes were granted, and she was transformed into a camalote.

She floated on the water, dragging with her logs, plants, and animals, providing refuge for the exiles of the coast, becoming an eternal companion of the river.

Mitos y leyendas bids you farewell for now and hopes that the legend of the camalote has pleased you. Until next time!

Mitos y Leyendas
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