As the name suggests, Old Havana or Habana Vieja is the oldest part of the city, founded by the Spanish in 1519 around the Bay of Havana. As an important link in the flow of treasure from the New World to the Old, the city was very rich and the streets and plazas were lined with grand Neoclassical and Baroque buildings. Many of those buildings still stand today, some beautifully restored, some crumbling. Spend at least a few hours here just wandering the narrow streets and people-watching in the many squares. Continue reading
Happy Friday! Behold some of our favorite images from past Foto Fridays ~
In 2001, artists Manuel Diaz Baldrich and Ernesto Quirch Paz began offering free art classes in their depressed Lawton neighborhood of Havana, Cuba. The project quickly evolved into comprehensive community revitalization, fostering civic participation, social cohesion, and investment in place and community. Today, Lawton rings with creative, collaborative energy, the entire neighborhood a rambling art installation. The visual arts are complemented by performing arts; and everything comes together with a joyous street party every six weeks, with music, dance,food and guest artists from around Cuba and abroad.
In the first decade, workshops were held in the streets or a neighborhood park, using the sides of buildings as canvas and found objects to create sculpture. In 2011 an abandoned water tank was transformed into a workshop, performance space and community center.
The Convento Nuestra Senora de Belen in Havana’s Old City is a social services center focusing on programs for senior citizens and disabled children. The center is housed in a restored 18th century Jesuit convent. The center offers a few slots for permanent residents, but on a daily basis some 300-400 area seniors come to enjoy arts and crafts, music and community so as not to be at home alone while their families work.
Guided tours are available for visitors and it’s a treat to mingle with the day-residents, who are happy to show off their craft projects and sometimes welcome visitors with a song.
Can you name that county?
See below for answers.