The piñon trees that line the winding rural roads just west of Bonao and about 40km south of La Vega – as well as many other roads across the country – are thought by many to have magical properties; local brujos use their wood for staffs with which to heal the sick. This belief stems in part from a strange physical characteristic: around the time of Good Friday the piñon leaves and bark turn red, which locals claim is in emulation of the Crucifixion. The trees do have some remarkable regenerative properties, too; stick one of the branches in the ground and allow it to take root – within a year the branch becomes another full-grown tree.

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