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La Cuba del Espiritu Cubano
Educational Program

Havana

Before and after the program in the provinces, time was spent in Havana.  It would have been easy to spend two-weeks learning about the diversity and activities of the city.  There are several universities, commercial districts, sports complexes, industrial areas, libraries, a wide variety of cultural venues and all kinds of rules and policies for how things get down.  There is no way to cover it all, so here are a few anecdotes for which there are pictures that go along.

click to enlargeThis is not a picture of the United State Capitol in 1958 (note the cars), it is a picture of the Cuban National Assembly in 2000 and virtually unchanged since 1958.  The building is modeled after the U.S. Capitol.

click to enlargeHavana is a gem of a city with quaint narrow "old world" pedestrian only streets, wide boulevards, museums, churches, art galleries, craft markets and a lot of life. Specially events seem almost common place.  Here a fife and drum corps plays in the plaza in front of the main Cathedral.

click to enlargeCuba has had a significant Chinese population for a century.  The Chinese were originally brought as laborers in the sugar cane fields.  When they started to move to the city they tend to live near one another and eventually developed a Chinatown.  The district shrank after the revolution, but effort are now being made to revive it.  It is now characterized by restaurants and vendors.

click to enlargeChristo watches over the harbor and the city.  Cubans gather here to be at the base of the statue, to look at the view and to relax in the park near by.  There is often music here so it is not unusual to see a couple dancing.  Being self-conscious doesn't seem to be a common trait of Cubans.

click to enlargeHavana is a city of sound -- a lot of it music -- a disproportional amount.  click to enlargePerhaps this is because while Havana has ordinary urban traffic noise, there is less of it so it is easier to hear the music.  Or perhaps it is because there is just more music in Havana.  Or perhaps it is a little of both

click to enlarge click to enlarge click to enlargeIt is hard to tell whether the gravel in the streets of old Havana is from the building crumbling or being restored, or some of both.  There is a lot of restoration work going on and the Havana Office of Historic Preservation is very active and influential.

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