Turquino Pick seen from Santa Cruz of the South.
Picture: Television Camagüey
The doctor Eric L. Ekman was one of the most famous naturalists in Sweden that visited Havana in April , 1914, with the idea of making a short demurrage before continuing trip toward the island The Spaniard .
However, the interest for the unknown Cuban biodiversity caught for 10 years. In spite of the negative of the Academy of Sciences of Stockholm that financed his trip, Ekman continued his investigations in the Island.
Specialists of the Cuban Society of Botany consider a person outside of the common thing, with extraordinary scientific talent and immense work capacity.
He collected more than two thousand new plants and strangers for the science in Cuba, Haiti and Republic Of the Dominican Republic, but in total, gathered 35 thousand 750 Caribbean materials that, with his copies, add 100 thousand copies.
Many were analyzed with posteriority by investigators and they have been the base for the description of species that today is dedicated to its person by the fact that they take the specific epithet of ekmanii.
The trips with his name in the country covered everything, but the emphasis of his investigation relapsed in the Cuban east, area where he noticed a special center of vegetable diversity.
In April , 1915 climbed the Turquino Pick and measured its height. Are attributed, also, the responsibility of the names of two important summits of the Sierra Maestra: the Cuba Pick and the Sweden Pick.
The commemorative badge in Virtues 36, in the municipality of the capital of Center Havana, remembers its stay in that house and in the National Botanical Garden in the called area “Corner Ekman”, where are exhibited several of the plants that collected.
In 1920 he sent to Sweden 19 thousand 212 Cuban plants that added around 50 thousand copies, and at least near the thousand of these turned out to be new species, that which conferred Ekman a great recognition for his botanical work, among those that didn't bet for their exploration of the Island.
Nevertheless, in the summer of 1924 Cuba left going to Haiti and never more he returned, although neither returned to his homeland, but rather he died in Santiagode los Caballeros (Republic Of the Dominican Republic) January 15 ,1931 to the 47 year-old age.
His letters attest that, in spite of the big difficulties for those that happened, found great satisfaction in his fantastic botanical collections of the Caribbean, never before achieved.
In 1926, from Haiti, he wrote “I comfort Myself with the fact that I give the best in me where I am now and I let that the approval of my conscience is enough compensation. Without a doubt I was born to be what I am, a modern adventurer, a wandering walker in the green earth of God”. (Lino Luben Pérez, AIN)