Al's trip to Camaguey, Cuba

rev 30 June 1999


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In 1999 Hampshire College was been developing a relationship with the Universidad de Camaguey in Cuba. I was then still affiliated with Hampshire College and in June 1999 I visited Camaguey as part of this exchange.

[Cuba map] Camaguey is located in the central-eastern part of Cuba, about 500 km. east of Havana. It is a very old city, founded in 1514 as Puerto Principe, one of the seven original Spanish settlements in Cuba. Now it is one of the largest cities in Cuba (although much smaller than Havana) and is the center of the largest of Cuba's provinces. It is the only Cuban city other than Havana that has direct air connections to Miami.

Here are some pictures from my trip to Camaguey. Click on the small photos to see bigger versions:

[picture] The Centro Cultural is in the old downtown section of Camaguey.

[picture] There are many old churches there, too. This one looks old on the outside, but has been recently renovated inside.

[picture] [picture] [picture] This view of the cathedral is from the 5th floor of the Gran Hotel, where I stayed for several nights. My room had a balcony overlooking the street.

[picture] [picture] [picture] Tinajones are large ceramic vessels formerly used to collect rainwater from roofs. They are a symbol of old Camaguey, and are used as decoration everywhere. Camaguey has a modern side, too. For the last half of my trip I stayed at the Hotel Camaguey, on the edge of the city and closer to the university, which is also relatively new.

[picture] [picture] [picture] The US economic blockade has made life difficult for Cubans in many ways. Fuel is scarce, my friend Angelita, like many Cubans, commutes by bicycle. Horse drawn wagons and classic carriages are common.

[picture] [picture] [picture] Russian tractors are often used to pull trailers, and Russian cars and motorcycles are common. There are also many well-preserved cars from the USA from years before the blockade.

[picture] This picture isn't of a classic 50's car rally, it's just the parking lot at the Camaguey airport.


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