CAA Manitoba Fall 2018 - Page 47

Havana Cuba Camaguey An artist at work Santiago de Cuba Camaguey’s historic town centre O See it with CAA Introducing Member Appreciation departures ur road trip begins in Camaguey, one of the first villages settled on the island by the Spaniards in 1528. The city’s historic centre is a UNESCO heritage site; much of its colonial architecture is preserved. Today, it’s a maze of narrow, cobblestone streets punctuated by tree-lined plazas that typically feature a statue of a heroic figure from Cuban history. These plazas are popular not only for their pleasant surroundings, but because public squares are among the few places in Cuba where people, including tourists, can access the internet. Users log on via public Wi-Fi using access cards that cost two convertible pesos per hour (about performing traditional son cubano tunes. Music and dance are pervasive in Cuba—nearly all restaurant meals are accompanied by live performances by unbelievably talented musicians. One of the artists we meet is Joel Jover, a tall, bearded 64-year-old who shows us his studio. In a country where 80 percent of the population works for the government in one way or another, art allows people like Jover to run businesses of their own. “Artists like me are totally indepen- dent; there is no support from the government,” Jover says. “All I do is pay tax, but it’s very high. After 50,000 Cuban pesos of income [about $2,500], I have to pay 50 percent tax.” When asked why he doesn’t leave Cuba, he says with a laugh: “Someone has to stay! My family is here. I have a beautiful house, I make my living from this work and my art market is here. I lived five years in Spain and I had a chance to stay there longer, but Cuba is where I feel I can paint. This is my home.” » Cuba IntensIve voyage AzAmArA Club Cruises Public transit, Cuba-style $2.60 CAD)—a significant sum in a country where the average monthly salary is only about $40. Camaguey is a major centre for the arts. We explore several galleries, stopping at the opera house to see the city’s renowned ballet troupe practice. On the street, we listen to musicians Explore Cuban culture, cuisine and history on a 9-night guided cruise adventure. Your CAA host will reveal Havana’s hidden corners, colonial architecture in Cienfuegos, and Santiago de Cuba’s rumba clubs. Feb. 10–20, 2019 CaamanItoba.Com/travel 47