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HAVANA’S CHINATOWN

Only a very small portion of Havana’s Chinatown is occupied by Chinese Cubans and their descendants.

The Chinese younger generation now include doctors, lawyers and engineers.

These young people, often the product of intermarriage with non-Chinese, are determined to regain their lost traditions.

The Chinese Language and Arts school opened in 1993 and thrives today.

Various community groups are working to revitalize Havana’s Chinatown and to rescue and foster Chinese traditions for future generations.

Several years ago, Cuba’s economic policy was altered to allow individual operation of small businesses such as repair shops, beauty salons, and produce and food stands.

Many such ventures are now active in the Havana Chinatown, and the Chino Barrio community are experiencing a renaissance with a bustling market and plans for a museum and renewal of the historic architecture.

While the government provides health care and there are many doctors. The Chinese doctors are introducing the use of acupuncture and massage to help alleviate the lack of pharmaceuticals.

Education in Cuba is free. About 90 percent complete high school and 70-80 percent go on to college.







Kwong Wah Po Chinese Newspaper

Kwong Wah Po is the only Chinese newspaper in Cuba. Located in Havana’s Barrio Chino (Chinese neighborhood), the weekly newspaper serves a population of approximately 1,000, living principally in the city.

The Cuban government’s continued support of Kwong Wah Po is part of an overall effort to preserve Chinese culture and history in Cuba. Over the last few years, with the help of the government, the younger generation of Cubans of Chinese descent have launched a Chinese Cultural Center with language and martial arts classes, as well as holding the first Chinese festival late last year.


An staff of eight keeps the newspaper going from week to week, which is no small feat given there are no computers in the office.


The typeset for the newspaper is all hand set from the thousands of different Chinese characters that are neatly sorted by character in the large room next to the printing press.



The Spanish page is also hand set but only deals with the 26 letters of the alphabet.



It’s no surprise the paper takes a whole week to publish even if it is only four pages.

The press itself was made at the turn of the century in the U.S and is reminiscent of something that should be in a museum Institution.

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