We started our third day in Cuba by visiting the Plaza de la Revolución. This plaza is where Fidel Castro and other political figures have addressed Cubans. Pope John Paul II and Pope Francis have also both held large Masses at this square during papal visits to Cuba. The square is massive, but even at its size, it’s hard to imagine one MILLION people here during these large events! The José Martí Memorial is the dominant sight here – it’s a 358 ft tall tower with a statue of José Martí in front of it. The plaza is surrounded by government buildings with steel memorials to two important figures of the Cuban Revolution – Che Guevara and Camilo Cienfuegos.
Our next stop was the 19th Street vegetable market in the Vedado neighborhood of Havana. This was a good sized market that had vegetables, fruits, meat, and even flowers! We spent some time here walking around and one of my favorite moments was at one of the meat counters. There was a little black cat who was waiting for a handout and one of the vendors made that happen! He cut a super tiny piece of meat off and gave it to the cat!
We visited the home of artist Douglas Perez, who is a satirical artist. He uses his art as a commentary on society, history, and culture in Cuba. He was a fascinating person and hearing him explain his art was really interesting. As we were looking around, we noticed this little lizard that kept crawling around. We kept noticing some red on its neck and after a lot of watching, Mike got this video of it:
We had lunch on the water, which was super beautiful and peaceful! After lunch, we visited the home of Kelvin Lopez, another Cuban artist. He does a variety of things and is incredibly talented! Mike and I bought a few of his flower watercolors and I know there were many in our group who purchased art! After this visit, we wandered back to the hotel through Old Havana. We stopped for a drink at O’Reilly 304, where according to a sign in the bar, we had our COVID vaccine via mojito! It was such a fun afternoon with our group and the drinks were amazing!
Click the arrows below to see a photo story in three parts:
Sampling the Goods, Vedado, 2022