likely one of hundreds of similar sized towns in Cuba and there
are probably several other towns of equal or greater beauty and
interest. This web-site is focused upon Guanabo partially on the
authors are not well travelled in Cuba and are only familiar
with the Matanza, Guanabo and Havana corridor
represents a Cuban community that is not too or exclusively
touristy. and not to Cuban in terms of no one speaking
English nor there being any basic visitor infrastructure.
services and accommodations.
finally It does have a beach and is very conveniently
located near other towns and Havana.
enables an English speaking foreigner to meet a number of Cubans
somewhat outside of the tourism industry and experience day to
day life of Cubans. In other words it does have some ex-pat
types that can answer questions and provide some assistance and
insight, while on the other hand you are living within a Cuban
community with many families, parents going to work on the
buses, students heading to school, dogs about, houses in various
states of maintenance etc.. I guess it’s just something more
real and less sanitized.
watching and observing the villagers make their way, a person
also begins to develop a sense of Cuban history, the political
system, generational differences, over time the transformation
which is occurring, Cuban values and sensitivities. Also quite
interesting is watching the evolution of small business in Cuba.
It is interesting to note that almost 20 years ago or perhaps
even more recently there was hardly any small, independent and
private entrepreneurial business in Cuba.
also somewhat noteworthy as it is a holiday resort of sorts for
Cubans from Havana. This is particularly true during summer
(possibly from May to October) as the hard working people and
families get away from the heat and humidity of Havana to the
constant breeze, beaches and festival like atmosphere of Guanabo.
So much so, that during this period there are thousands of Cuban
families along the roughly 12 KM beach during the summer,
Just some of
the little things (besides the dozens if not hundreds of vintage
50s cars and russian motorcycles) that make this part of Cuba
weekday morning around 9 am and at about 4 pm this little
horse and carriage which is more of a school bus goes by
with all these (maybe 8 or 10) really cute and small kids in
their uniforms. It’s truly a post card shot.
as above every morning and afternoon mother and fathers
walking their uniformed kids up the hill to school
small local merchants that work outdoors on a stool either
fixing shoes, selling newspapers, filling lighters…
outdoor old and very friendly barber, where for a $1 you get
a haircut outdoors under a hatch roof with great mexican
quaint and very popular bakery, where on a good day you can
get a great box load of baked goods for like $3
or mattress day. I dont know when it happens, but on some
days it seems like everyone is walking around with egg
cartons or small matresses. Obviously it has to do with
rationing and/or inventory and supplies.
cute and rickity little street carts where each day you can
buy all the fresh onion,. garlic, vegetables, fresh juice
and fruits etc… for next to nothing. This is where the
kitchenette and gas top stove comes in real handy. You can
easily make great and very fresh ommelettes each day,
mentioned the many scrabbly but highly intelligent dogs that
seem to spend the day on the street and manage to never get
hit by cars or busess.
Cojimar the guy that whips around on his motorcycle with his
dog on his seat behind him and how the dog has absolutely no
problems hanging on high speed and around corners.
local and very friendly Cuban guys that are able to spend
the day at the pub without working.
summer and late into fall the thousands of Cubans from
Havana that jump off the bus and head to the beach.
Summertime deluge of cheap, large and very fresh avocadoes.
Fisherman walking downtown with their fishing gear and fresh
Guanabo there is a swimming guard school or college or
something. So at some point in the morning dozens of tall
and fit guys (there are a few women) in swimming shorts jog
up and down maintsreet.
absolutely no rules as to where you can drink or smoke. And
it all seems to work just fine. That’s another really nice
feeling about Cuba, it seems like there are just so many
fewer rules and regulations. Its just a nice break from
are so many more snippets and small attractions that I will
remember later, but at this point it’s really a case that
that you have to come to see it for yourself and discover
some that we have never seen.
… And do it soon as Cuba is changing fast, and all of the
above will soon just be memories….