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Even after most have left, an effort to keep Chinatown alive

Shugui Luo sits underneath the moderate spring sun, scanning passersby from the porch of Tien Tan, the local Chinese restaurant he works for, located on the vibrant Cuchillo street in the heart of the city’s Chinatown. One of only an estimated 70 ethnically Chinese immigrants still living within what used to be the largest Chinatown in Latin America, Luo, 50, lives in Havana with a Cuban wife and a 12-year-old son.

Protecting Cuban roots, organically

At Organoponico Vivero Alamar farm just outside of Havana, where rows of fruits and vegetables soak up the early spring sun on a recent Wednesday, a simple red-stemmed mint plant is under the 24-hour surveillance of a security guard and watchdog.

Boston’s own little (tiny) Havana

Phil Chiampa and his wife Toni Lyn have been coming to El Oriental de Cuba for decades, but they worried they may have lost “the best Cuban food that we’ve ever had” when an arsonist set fire to the restaurant in 2005.

Hip hop artists find a new beat in Cuba

Hip hop music was born in the United States but Cubans have always loved a good beat. Now young artists are trying to create their own following, which isn’t always easy in a country known for salsa, rhumba and jazz.

Evangelicals surge in Communist Cuba

John Wesley rides his horse through the Cuban countryside, beneath tall palm trees and mountains so green they look purple. He holds the reins in one hand and his Bible in the other.

Scientists navigate Cuban-US strife through collaborative research

Laura Weber looks fondly at a gallon-sized tank filled with test tubes and adorned with weathered security clearance forms. This tank, called a dry shipper, had been charged up with liquid nitrogen to act as a special cooler that would keep its contents cold during the long journey from the United States to Cuba and back again.

Cuban doctors go back to their roots for plant-based remedies

Just off of Avenida 23, one of Havana’s busiest streets, lies a small shop, its storefront minimally decorated like most others in communist Cuba. The interior is organized like a small jewelry store, with a glass countertop display case separating patrons from a woman in a lab coat, darting in and out from the back room.

The Afro of Cuban music

African influences are often lost when listening to Latin music. Cuban rhythms would be empty of the clave and the drums without the creativity, imagination and strength of the Yorùbá people who were forced to leave their homes as slaves. Today, those sounds still beat as the heart of the island.