If you want to get a feel for local culture in Cuba, settle down for a morning (or afternoon or evening) of people-watching in any one of Cuba’s central parks.
You’ll find a central park in every village, town, or in each area of a city all through Cuba. Warning: you may find it fascinating.
The people and activity in the little park, Plaza del Cristo (Parque Cristo) which was half a block from our Casa Particular in Old Havana, was quite entertaining.
Here is a little photo essay of regular Cubans in one of Cuba’s Central Parks in Havana, Parque Cristo.
The school is the building with all the windows at the end of the park in this photo.
Because Wifi is primarily only available in central parks, others rested and checked their cell phones, some with dogs at their sides.
For some reason, I was totally enthralled by this black woman sitting on the bench reading a book. Later she had a nap, and after several hours, slowly walked away. To me she seemed entirely beautiful.
Another day, school kids came out in to the park for a puppet show. It was a simple show but the kids seemed to really enjoy it, especially when an old gentleman joined the dancing. Here is a short video.
This little Cuban boy captures the expression on the faces of most tourists when they first see a Cuban woman smoking a cigar.
So if you want to get a feel for the real people of Cuba, spend some time in Cuba’s Central Parks. They are everywhere, in every area of any town or city in Cuba (and in any town in Central America as well).
But we have to ask,
“Would you smoke a Cuban Cigar?”