The Two Havanas

By Michael Malone ~

Today we got a tour of Little Havana in Miami Florida, the tour was a great way to learn about the area and all of its small secrets. Our tour guide was a local author who wrote one of the books that we were assigned to read on the trip. In her book and along the tour she told us about all the secrets that the artists in the area put up throughout the streets. Most of the art is in the form of symbolism by hiding gods and other aspects of Cuban culture in the art. One of the main drags has a wave pattern built into the wall which represents the God of the ocean and how she can bring Cubans to the Americas. The Gods also have numbers that they use to be identified and many of the mosaic flowers have numbered petals to represent the gods. The art is scattered throughout the area and it was kinda fun to try to find it and its meaning. 

Our tour guide also explained many of the stories the people of Little Havana share and their passtimes, the biggest of which is playing Dominoes. She explained the gist of the game to us but as I watched the people play it, it seemed to be intense. The game of dominoes is frequently played in Cuba and them bringing that over to Little Havana showed how the people are similar to the people of Havana. The areas aren’t as different as most people would think.

The area of Little Havana and Havana, Cuba share many of the same traits, the same people, activities, and atmosphere. The only real difference is the infrastructure and condition that the buildings are in. Both areas are extremely beautiful and should both be visited. I would highly recommend going to both Havana and Little Havana and comparing the differences and similarities for yourself.

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