CIVILIZATION BEGAN WHEN MAN
PLANTED THE FIRST SEED
La Finca Coincidencia is a farm in the heart of the Matanzas Province of Cuba where art and agriculture collide. Héctor Correa started working with this land 36 years ago and has seen it grow into a lush farmland and productive ceramic studio.
Correa and his wife, Odalys, have formed a family that embraces art and agriculture. Héctor and Odalys have three sons, all of whom now have their own section of the farm. The three sons all play a vital role in both the ceramic studio and the agricultural operations.
To Correa, the land is sacred. Coincidentally, the land and earth provide soil for farming and the clay for ceramics. “La Finca Coincidencia” became a fitting name for the land. This farm provides the family and all who visit the two aspects of life that Héctor finds absolutely necessary to be happy: to make art and produce food. These goals help compose Correa’s mission that he wants to spread with the world. It is Correa’s profound belief that mankind can obtain incredible and wonderful things by working with kindness and care towards all that surrounds them. Correa’s mission is to be devoted to nature and care for it so mankind is able to happily produce and create with what opportunity is given to them.
Héctor is the founder of Finca Coincidencia and has been on the farm for 36 years. Héctor went to school to study agronomy in order to become an agriculturist. He has three sons, all of which now own land on the farm. Héctor’s enthusiasm for art and agriculture are apparent through his work with the farm and his views on how humans interact with the earth. Héctor also enjoys Barcelona FC and American Classic Rock from the 1960’s and 1970’s.
Odalys is the wife of Héctor Correa, and has a background in Ceramics and Art History. Odalys met Héctor at a very young age, but have been together for (30 years). Her main job in the farm is working in the ceramic studio with her youngest son, Héctor Manuel. Odalys also plays a vital role in greeting small tourist groups and maintaining the farm’s warm and generous hospitality.
Héctor Luis is the eldest of the three Correa sons. Originally working in the ceramic studio, Héctor Luis has gained expertise in mechanics and helps run the agricultural side of the operation. He is still heavily involved in the ceramic studio, especially when commissioned to create large pieces that are reinforced with metal material. These large pieces are often sold to businesses and organizations, but are also used to plant trees and other larger plants seen on the farm.
Pedro Héctor is the middle child and the father of Dalí and Liz. Pedro Héctor is dedicated to the agricultural side of the farm. It is his job to help maintain and cultivate the crops grown on the farm. Additionally, Pedro Héctor is a certified apiarist, and looks after the farm’s bee hive and honey production.
Héctor Manuel is the youngest of the three Correa brothers. He helps out with the agricultural side of the farm, but his main job is running the ceramic studio. Along with several employees, Héctor Manuel creates commissioned ceramic pieces for a variety of clients and art shows.
Héctor Correa started La Finca Coincidencia with a concentrated effort on agriculture. Initially the farm was not as big as it is today, but through laws and the growth of their own family, the farm has grown into 23 hectares. There is hardly any wasted space, as most of the land is sown with a variety of trees, crops, and other vegetation. The farm sells some of what they plant to companies that supply food for the population and tourism. However, much of what is grown on the farm doesn’t leave. The Correa family use many of their crops to feed themselves and those who visit the farm.
A source of great pride for Héctor and his family is their coffee and honey production. Although coffee is grown mainly in the mountainous regions of Cuba, Héctor’s coffee has been flourishing. The decision to grow coffee was planned well before the first seeds were planted. Héctor needed to grow trees tall enough to provide the necessary shade required for the coffee plants to thrive. As time goes on, the coffee production will continue to increase and become more developed. In addition to growing coffee, the farm has a great production of honey. Matanzas is known in Cuba as the leading province in honey production. Over the past 5 years, the Correa’s have created a successful beehive that contains 70,000 bees produces around 105 kilograms of honey per year.
Héctor’s belief is that agriculture is the foundation of society. His philosophy as an agriculturist is to maintain a balance with nature. He gives happiness to nature and through his land he receives happiness in return. Some of what he grows is not sold or necessary for food production. Some plants’ sole purpose is to create pigments used to decorate ceramic pieces. What makes Héctor happiest about the farm is that some plants are planted for botanical purposes to increase the diversity and beauty of the land. The farm is beautiful, lush and well kept. Héctor likes to say that when he is among farmers, he is an artist, but when he is among artists, he is a farmer.
When asked about his land, Héctor gives a very humble response. The farm was a very spontaneous project that continues to grow. Héctor is very grateful for the land that he was given, and he is proud to share the fruits of his land and labor with all those who wish to visit. Héctor does have one request: do not forget to thank the farmer. The Correa family is fortunate to have the ability and resources to receive fruits and vegetables, but someone is required to do the work and grow the food. Héctor does not aspire to be the best farmer, or have the most land, but to do what he loves until he can do it no longer. Knowing people are able to enjoy the fruits of his labor, brings him the most joy.
Visitors of La Finca Coincidencia will be immediately see in the importance of art in this space. Sculptures, statues, and large ceramic works are visible in the fields from the highway. Héctor Correa has a deep passion for the arts. Odalys, his wife, has a background in art history and ceramics. Together, they raised their three sons on the farm and in the ceramic studio which influenced their passion for art and agriculture.
Matanzas is known as the “Athens of Cuba” because it is the home for many artists, scholars, and cultural institutions. Traditionally, ceramics has not been a mainstay in Matanzas, but with a lot of sacrifice and hard work the Correa family has seen their studio thrive.
Through ceramics, the Correa family has developed good relationships with other artists and organizations. “Arte del Fuego” is an event hosted at the farm annually. Artists from around the world come to learn and collaborate through their art. This event is a great opportunity to create new connections and friendships in the artistic community.
The ceramics studio is maintained by the youngest son, Héctor Manuel. In addition to Héctor Manuel and his mother Odalys, the ceramic studio employs six other employees. The studio is often commissioned to create a variety of functional and decorative pieces for outside institutions and organizations such as educational centers and health departments. Additionally, the farm itself acts a showcase of the craftsmanship found in the studio. Large ceramic pieces are scattered throughout the farm, and most of the kitchenware used to serve food at the farm are created in the studio.
The sculptures that are scattered throughout the farm are from various artists and represent sources of inspiration for the family. One can find sculptures of famous people in literature, cinema, philosophy, and culture. Although Héctor and Odalys did not intend to make this space a gallery or museum, it was important for them to display their inspiration. This way, neighbors and visitors may learn from what is displayed and take with them lessons that the family believes will make them better people.
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