Unique BnBs in Cuba Part 2

This time our unique Bnb is in Viñales, Viñales is beautiful valley and a nice little village, that got flooded by tourists over the last years. There are around 300 Bnbs in Viñales, each one has it’s own appeal, but this one is special.
La Cabaña el Atardecer is a Bohío, that’s the name for the wooden farmer’s houses in Cuba’s countryside, with roofs made out of palm tree leaves.
Those help to keep the place cool in summer and warm in winter.
Well, La China, the owner of the BnB prepared one part of her farm, in the middle of the valley for tourists and gives them a unique experience. The BnB is your chance to stay at a real tobacco farm and be part of the country life.
It is not that rustic though, the Bohío has power and running water, it’s own bathroom and a fan.
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La Cabaña
The position is idyllic and close to the village but comes with the peace of the valley.
Every food served on the farm is organic and planted by the farmers, who are lovely hosts.
I recommend to book the room in advance, as there is a huge demand.
Make your days in Viñales unique and get the real experience.
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José Luis and La China 
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Young and Independent Cuban Cinema

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The Cine Chaplin Yesterday with the opening installation 
Yesterday one of my favorite events started in Havana: La Muestra del Cine Jovén.
Basically it is a film festival for young Cuban directors to present their latest work. They present a great variety of short films and documentaries. During the festival there also a lot workshops and interesting talks from local and international realizers.
Every year the Muestra is a interesting way to engage with Cuban culture from different perspectives and get to know young Cuban art.
The festival mainly takes Places in the Cine Chaplin (23rd Street between 10 and 12 in the Vedado), but there are also activities in the cultural Centre Fresa y Chocolate across the street and in the Cine 23 y 12, just one block away.
The 16th Muestra de Cine Joven started yesterday April 4th and finishes on the 9th. Make sure to stop by while your in Havana you won’t regret it.
The films have English subtitles, so even if do not speak Spanish you won’t be lost!

Colorful Fusterlandia

Imagine your home as a tourist attraction, you’ll get a lot of visitors from all around the world. Of course there has to be a reason why a home can be an attraction at the same time, or somebody famous lives or lived there or somebody has turned his home to something different.
That is what the artist José Antonio Rodríguez Fuster did. Fuster, who lives and works in Havana’s neighborhood Jaimanitas started to decorate his home and parts of the neighborhood with mosaic and sculptures. That project grew over the years and is now one very interesting and less known attraction in city.
Located in a less touristic area but easy to reach by taxi, route taxi or bus, Fusterlandia is a different experience of Art and community project.
Each part of the main house and the surroundings tells his own story. You can find sculptures and painting about Cuban history, culture and identity but also about other countries and personal lives of the people living close by.
The place feels like a huge playground of fantasy and things to discover. The ride there takes you through some beautiful parts of Havana and combines well with a visit to K’chos studio at the Paradero de Playa. YoloIMG_0089.JPG

Cuban Music

Yes, Cuban music is famous all over the world. Everybody knows at least the Buena Vista Scocial Club.

But Cuban music is not just Salsa and Son or Reaggeton. There is much more and especially young Cubans experiment a lot and make mix different styles and influcences to create a unique musical envoirnment. There is Cuban Rap, Indie Rock, Reaggea, Punk, Metal and also electronical music.

In Havana you can see concerts from different groups and styles in many places like the Fabrica de Arte Cubano or the Diablo Tun Tun (Calle 35, esquina 20, Playa)  and the Corner Café, or Clubs like the Berthold Brecht (Calle 13 e/I y J, Vedado) or the Submarino Amarillo close to the John Lennon Park .

In those places you can discover more Cuban music and see live concerts for just a small fee or even no entrance prices. You can enjoy Jazz, Indie and other types of music that you might nor have expected on the Island.

Here are just some artists and songs that you should have heard of:

X Alfonso

The artist who also started the F.A.C in Havana grew up in very musical environment and mixes a lot of styles and influences. He has a lot of songs about the Cuban lifestyle and everyday life. He got popular, also internationally, by making the soundtrack to the Spanish movie: Habana Blues.

Check it out:

Buena Fe

Buena Fe are really popular on the island. They have nice and interesting lyrics and catchy songs, also they do great live concerts. They form part of current Cuban culture so if you have a chance to see them while you there, do so!

They also have quite creative video clips, check them out:

Wichy De Vedado

My next tip is a Cuban DJ, who named himself after a neighborhood in Havana. He produces and mixes his music in his home in the Vedado and does a really good job with it!

check it out:

Xander Black

Another good Cuban Dj. You could also expect him to play in a Club in Berlin or elsewhere in Europe.

http://www.cubamusic.com/es-ES/Store/Album/07000129/dj-xanderblack/tour-havana

Telmary

Telmary does Hip Hop mixed with Cuban rhythms and Cuban topics. Her music is for listening and for dancing. She gives great concerts and you should also have heard of her or take the chance to see her live!

Sweet Lizzy Project

Sweet Lizzy Project is a young indie band. They sound like a indie folk band from Norway or Sweden, but they are from Cuba and they rock!

don’t miss them:

 

So check these artists out and be surprised by the variety of Cuban music. Soon there will be more about Cuban music here…

Romerillo 

There is a lot of art and interesting projects in Havana. Some of them combine the artist’s work with social projects that benefit their neighborhoods and the people living there. One of those projects is the “Museo Orgánico Romerillo” opened by the artist Alexis Leiva Machado (K’cho), from the Isle of Youth. K’cho studied art in the close by ISA and was one of the youngest Latin American artists to exhibit his work in museums like the MoMA in New York. In 2014 he opened the Romerillo in 2014 as part of the 12th Bienal in Havana. It’s an interesting place combining art, learning and social projects. 

K’cho started a exhibition with google this year is offering free Wifi to anybody. In the Studio there are several art students working and their are also given time and space to create their own work with the equipment of the studio.

They know a lot about the place and K’chos work and are happy to give you a tour around the Romerillo to see his work and the work of artists that participate in the project. 

The Romerillo is close to the ISA (art school) and the Paradero de Playa in the neighborhood Playa in Havana. 

check: http://www.kchoestudio.com for more information and to keep updated about current projects. 

If you have time in Havana make a visit to the studio, you won’t regret it!

El Ojo del Ciclon

The Ojo del Ciclon (Eye of The Hurricane) is a unique space in Habana Vieja, that is worth a visit or more. The Gallery, Studio and Place to hang out and meet people, is located in Habana Vieja, just one street from the main shopping and touristic street Obispo. But inside you feel like being in a completely different world. Surrounded by art and music or voice recording, that create a special environment. In the Ojo del Ciclon Leo D’Lazaro, the artist, works and created a cultural and welcoming spot in Havana. His paintings, collages and sculptures are unique and full of Ideas. His work is inspired by what surrounds him, his friends, his family and everyday life. In paintings and collages he works with colors lice ocher or sepia and puts painting and fotos together. dsc00282

His sculptures are often made out of recycled materials and have some kind and purpose.

One of them is a table football, he created, that actually is used by the friends and visitors of the gallery. They also do parties and activities there. Every Wednesday, for example you could be part of their private Tango lessons and Milonga. They also exhibit Art of other Cuban artists and are happy to tell you everything about it!

So include a visit, you won’t regret it!
The Adress: O’Reilly No. 501 Esq. Villegas, Habana Vieja

For more Information visit: http://leodlazaro.blogspot.com or http://www.cuban-artist.com

Maytego

María Teresa González or Maytego is a selth thought artist from Havana that works mainly with linoleum printing.

In her work she expresses feminism, Cuban culture and afro cuban culture and portraits her view on the city of Havana. Her paintings are diverse and interesting and any one of them is unique and has a story to tell.

Because of the difficulties to get raw materials in Cuba, Maytego makes the paper for her work out of recycled newspapers and anything else that could be useful.

She did personal and collective exhibitions in Cuba and all over the world. She participated, for example in exhibitions in the USA, Mexico, Spain, Great Britain and many other countries.

But never lost touch with her culture and city of Havana. Maytegos painting of Havana give us a different perspective but still let us see the magic of the city and her typical characteristics.

Currently she is working from her home in Old Havana. Maytego is friendly and open and keen to explain her work and the story behind each painting. Her work won prices awards in Cuba and other countries. She also participated in book illustrations and other publications.

If you want to take a unique peace of art home from Cuba you should have a look at Maytegos peaces and get to know her. She is giving her art a piece of her soul .

some of Maytego’s art work

 

If you want to get in touch with the artist you can contact her through:

maytegoalv@gmail.com or maytego@nauta.cu
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