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Cuba 2012

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FC: Cuba April 2012

1: Capitolio Nacional Havana. Constructed in 1926

2: Our introduction to Cuba

4: She's actually wearing heels! | Gran Teatro de La Habana. Built in 1915. Alicia Lanzo, 94, founder of Cuban National Ballet and current artistic director

5: So many colorful and fun ways to get around!

6: Large artisan market in Havana | Smaller fruit and vegetable market

7: A senior day care center sponsored by Iglesia Merced, a Catholic church | Songs and dance, just for us

8: 268,000 college students and others teaching the campesinos how to read. | CIA was threatened by thought of educated masses and reportedly "helped" shut down program | Cuban Literacy Campaign, 1961. Increased literacy rate from 60 - 76% to 96% overall

9: the | The difference between loving your job and not!

10: One of the original Paladars. Only family members could work here; 12 seats was the max.

11: New Paladar, San Cristobal. Many rooms and employees. | Each room had a different theme.

12: Urban organic farm cooperative. 100,000 population served by farm with 160 workers. $5 month pay, but earn more if produce more. 50% profits go to workers. | Lots and lots of worms. (1 kilo per square cubic meter.) Three types of irrigation; drip, micro jet spray and sprinklers. Try to be self-sufficient.

13: Visited Sefardi Synagogue | Museo de Bella Artes Display made out of coffee pots

14: Another small Paladar. Manuel, our guide, sings along with the local musicians. We had music with every lunch and dinner.

15: Such a narrow stick-bat!

17: Casa de Aduanas (Customs House)

18: Unexpected grandeur; magnificent hotels and restaurants

19: Interesting architectural variety

20: UNEAC the association or "union" of artists 200 members, 51 women

21: Three of my favorite artists

22: Reportedly, his work is so well-respected, an anthropology museum has shown interest.

23: The little guy in yellow is only 5 1/2. | An amazingly talented group of young performers

25: Another grand old restored theater in Cienfuegos, featuring folk dance.

26: Walked through a government installation in the Escambray Mountains. Only US groups allowed. | Approximately 3 to 4% of Cuban GDP goes to the military.

27: Combined Military Installation, Nature Preserve and Coffee Plantation. Military is so underfunded, it has to raise money to meet needs.

28: Neighborhoods

32: 250,000 cars for population of 12 million; only 80,000 private cars. | Surprisingly few motorcycles

33: These yellow plates signify government car; "yellowmen" can force you to stop and give free rides to people waiting at "bus stops" like this one.

34: Government run basket factory. We couldn't purchase anything. | We can't buy anything that directly supports the Cuban government, but we stayed at government hotels and ate at their restaurants.

35: Cigar maker. Managed to "smuggle" a Cohiba back for Danny

36: Fisherman's float in the May Day Parade

37: Old sugar factory lookout; tubs to boil the sugar. No longer in operation.

38: Family visit | Homemade TV: Computer screen in old TV frame

41: My favorite paladar, Davimart | Lobster, shrimp, sea bass, all so yummy

42: Family visit

43: Inside the house | The Owner

44: Music and dance are such an integral part of life in Cuba. I could not capture much of it, but loved it all!

46: Professional folkloric dancers Struggling Non-Professional (me)

47: One of the dancers selling CDs

48: Hotel "Art" | Made from my clothes and the blanket; my blouse, skirt and sandals, and my magazine | My Neighbors

49: It was everywhere! Something different every day.

50: There were dozens of crabs crossing the road. Wonder why???

52: The House of Hemingway

53: He went here for inspiration | His dog cemetery

54: Hotel Nacional, bartender making our welcome mojitos

55: Hall of Fame

56: Osmievy Ortega and girlfriend at Ludwig Foundation reception | Fernando, representative of Ludwig Foundation, German organization that supports the arts in Cuba

57: Casket and burial free, but have to pay $20 for cremation. Exhume bodies every two years to make room for new. Keep remains in a small box. | Columbus Cemetery 3 million buried here. 21 cemeteries in Havana

58: Red Buick Convertible | Yellow Submarine sandwich shop

59: Daycare for 2, 3 and 4 year olds run by the Catholic church.

60: Instituto Superior Arte, The National School for the Arts. Castro wanted to have the premiere school for the arts in the world. | Started building in the 50's on a beautiful golf course, but then it went out of favor and was never finished. Used two Italian and one Cuban architect.

61: School is being rehabbed and is in use today. | This was a highlight of my visit to Cuba. The movie "Unfinished Spaces" tells the story of the school and Castro's devotion to the arts

62: Osmievy Ortega is a young Cuban artist I met at an exhibit at the Cleveland Institute of Art. His specialty is engraving, and he took me on a private tour of the school, which is closed to groups, reportedly because of the renovations.

65: Whoa!

66: Made entirely of cardboard cartons.

67: '56 Ford Fairlane, my taxi back to the hotel | Chevy Convertible

68: Met with two Cubans to discuss their views on the history of our relationship with Cuba, what they have done wrong, what we have done wrong, and what they think we all need to do now. Very interesting discussion!

69: Surprise ride home from farewell dinner in '57 Ford Fairlane convertible. Can't believe I was standing in front seat waving at others as we passed everyone. | We all rode in convertibles that night. The old cars often stole the show!

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  • By: linda s.
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  • Title: Cuba 2012
  • Grand Circle Foundation trip to Cuba in April/May.
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  • Published: over 4 years ago

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