May 26: Architectural Preservation; Projecto Muralhando; Habana Compas

This morning we take a walking tour of Old Havana and meet a Swiss educated Cuban architect working with the government to restore infrastructure and Havana’s Spanish Colonial architectural beauty. As a result, apartments, home to several generations, must be vacated while whole buildings are renovated to reverse five decades of neglect. The Mooring facilities along Havana Harbor have been improved to accept a single cruise ship which may bring as many 3000 visitors at a time. The Cuban government is working to improve infrastructure to accommodate that many additional visitors at one time.

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Entrance to Havana model layout.

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Model of Havana Harbor

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Model of the State house modeled after the US Capital Building.

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Life beyond a building’s facade may be welcoming.

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Some buildings have been painted but not necessarily in harmony with its history.

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The upper floor of this limestone facade has been cleaned.

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Apparently an apartment building built in place of the remainder of a temple.

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Beautiful Colonial architecture in need of restoration.

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Left over canons used as bollards.

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This side of the renovated building is in good order.

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“Who didn’t read the drawings?!”

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Note added flooring for a second level of living space.

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Interior of the cathedral

This online site shows other views of Habana Viejo.

 

Then, boarding the bus, we were taken to the Havana barrio that is home to Projecto Muraleando (mural making). We were given a tour of the facility by one of the volunteers, fellowed by a Cuban Salsa concert during which one of the singers singled out Amy for an impromptu dance. Wow, she cuts a mean rug, even on concrete!

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Many truck loads of trash were removed from the circular structure.

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Many pooled talent and time to create a healthy learning environment for kids.

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Art was created out of found objects.

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This site was reclaimed from an area used as a dump.

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These musicians entertained us with their salsa music.

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Then, this gentleman chose Amy for a dance.

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And there she is, keeping us with the artist in 90 degree plus heat. What a gal.

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After lunch at a paladar, we experienced an exciting dance and cultural performance by Habana Compas .

 

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Still pictures don’t convey the energy these people needed to perform, but one does have a hint of the joy they felt. Check this out.

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