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Friday, June 12, 2015


Taxis in Havana line up near the Monumento a las Victimas del USS Maine located just West of the Hotel Nacional along the Malecon.  The American battleship was sabotaged in Havana Harbor, January 1898 and its destruction is considered one of the sparks that fueled the start of the Spanish-American War.                                         Photography for this posting by Don Wilgus
Editor’s note: On a daily basis from June 1 thru June 30, 2015 Pillar to Post online magazine is featuring articles, photos and insights resulting from a recent group tour, an adventure we dubbed: the April 23 Brigade’s Tour of Cuba 2015. 


Don Wilgus, a retired marketing manager living in New Jersey, was a member of our 19-person Gate 1 Travel “People to People” tour during April, 2015.  A sampling of Don’s photos is featured here.  His images range from Cienfuegos, Trinidad, Santa Clara and Havana.

When friends ask Don “How was your trip to Cuba?”, they get a simple reply . . . “Fabulous!”.  Don says, “It’s simplistic to say it was a trip back to 1959 although that was part of the initial appeal.  It was really a multi-layered historical and cultural experience—17th to 19th century Spanish colonialism, the 20th century Cuban republican period, the communist revolution, and present-day life which is evolving to a new period in Cuban history, yet to be determined.”

If you marry a Cuban, you can buy one of these suburban homes along the Paseo El Prado in the Punta Gorda neighborhood in Cienfuegos.

Locals chilling out on a Sunday afternoon along the West side of Parque Vidal 
in the heart of Santa Clara, Cuba.

Front entrance to the main bus station at Trinidad, Cuba.  Like so many public buildings in Cuba a fresh coat of paint is unaffordable.

In Havana Vieja it’s common for three generations 
of a family to live in the same apartment.  
A government-sponsored enterprise is gradually restoring buildings 
by investing the “profit” it earns from running local businesses.

The façade on the college building on the left was added in 2002.  Cuban architects now restoring Havana Vieja vow never to let that modern mistake happen again.
Horse drawn taxi moves along the Havana’s downtown.  Note the basket under the horse’s tail.  Throughout Cuba animal droppings are forbidden (by law and common courtesy) to fall onto the streets.

Plaza Mayor in Trinidad, Cuba, April 25, 2015 with the temperature nearing 100 degrees F.  Trinidad is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

When Pope Francis visits Cuba later this year, he might visit Iglesia y Convento de San Francisco de Asis in Old Havana

Pedaling through the seaside neighborhood of Jaimanitas, a suburb of Havana known as the home of popular ceramic artist Jose Fuster (his compound is in the background).

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